Good Old Gamers, Good Drivers: Results from a correlational experiment among older drivers

Suchada Vichitvanichphong, Amir Talaei-Khoei, Donald Kerr, Amir Hossein Ghapanchi, Bridie Scott-Parker


In many situations, driving is essential for senior citizens to maintain their independent lifestyle. A systematic literature review was conducted that summarized the age-related physical, visual and cognitive functional declines and their associated risk to driving. Based on these findings, we explored whether the skills required in playing Xbox Kinect video games were correlated with measures of driving performance among older drivers. Fifty-two participants, 65 years of age or older (Mean = 72; SD = 3.84; range 65 – 85 years; 29 males) who have access to a car and drive frequently were invited to play Just dance, Table Tennis (ping pong), Bowling, and Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training Exercises on an Xbox Kinect 360. Participants also completed a 25-minute on-road driving task along a predetermined route to assess and identify critical driving errors using a similar instrument as that used by a driving license tester. Bivariate correlation examined the relationship between game scores and these objective driving skills. There was a significant correlation between the Xbox Kinect video games and on-road driving scores (r = 0.861, p <0.001), indicating that ‘good gamers are good drivers’. This was correlation was significant for the males (r = 0.864, p <0.001) as well as for the females (r = 0.878, p <0.001). We suggest that performance on Xbox games may be a suitable, cost-effective and less-risky indicator of on-road driving skills for older drivers, particularly in jurisdictions in which mandatory testing of older citizens has been introduced or is being considered as a requirement in the driver licensing process.


Older drivers; Xbox; gaming; road safety; driving behaviour

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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