The Cure For Driving While Elderly: Video Games?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
the cure for driving while elderly video games

Because driving is one of the freedoms Americans take most seriously, the government faces fundamental challenges to any attempt to reduce traffic fatalities. As the Secretary of Transportation’s crusade against distracted driving proves, raising awareness does nothing until the market has as much incentive to fix the problem as contribute to it. Luckily, when it comes to the problem of out-of-control elderly drivers, the free market seems ready to offer an actual solution: video games. A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society [ PDF here] indicates that cognitive training for seniors can actually make a major impact on elderly accident rates.

The study of 908 motorists aged 65 or older was conducted by giving one group memory training, one group reasoning training and one group speed-of-processing training and comparing the occurrence of accidents to a control group. The result: memory training had few effects on the number of at-fault vehicle crashes, reasoning training had a moderate effect and speed-of-processing had the greatest effect (see above). The study used software from Posit Science including DriveSharp and InSight, both of which bill themselves as a mix of brain-building and entertainment. Unfortunately, one of the authors of the study owns stock in Posit Science, so there is definitely some conflict of interest involved in the study. Our suggestion: let’s run it again, only this time let’s see if regular Nürburgring laps in Gran Tourismo does as well at improving senior driving performance.

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3 of 6 comments
  • .5MT .5MT on Nov 16, 2010

    Doesn't work in lynx, damn yankees, hell with it. Where's my toast? I mean what the hell?

  • FleetofWheel FleetofWheel on Nov 17, 2010

    Be careful what you wish for. If states employed computer driver simulation tests that also measured some level of aggressive impulse (the bureaucratic witch hunt of the day) then some young drivers might get restricted licenses or fail altogether due to their anti-social tendencies as simulated behind the wheel. The DMV might even pull up your social networking habits where our young driver proudly boasts how much they enjoy violent driving mayhem video games.

    • Kendahl Kendahl on Nov 17, 2010

      Young people (I'm 65) are already learning the hard way that publishing their transgressions on social networking web sites can have unpleasant consequences. Take a hint from the people with concealed carry permits who need to avoid letting others know they are armed. Keep a low profile! What nobody else knows can't be used against you.

  • Tassos And all 3 were ordered by Fisker's mother. Seriously, given Fisker's terrible record of Failure in the past, only an utter loser, (for example, VGhost or Art Vandelay?), looking for a BEV terrible enough to be a proper replacement of his 11 mile range Fiat 500E, would order one of these. (apart from Fisker's mother)
  • Tassos And all 3 of them were ordered by Fisker's mother.Seriously, after Fisker's DISMAL record of UTTER FAILURE in the past, only a GOD DAMNED MORON would order this one.
  • RHD Any truth to the unconfirmed rumor that the new, larger model will be called the bZ6X? We could surmise that with a generous back seat it certainly should be!
  • Damon Thomas Adding to the POSITIVES... It's a pretty fun car to mod
  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.