October 1, 2003

New video game helps teens understand driving risks

Washington, D.C. – The Chrysler Group has released a new driving safety video game called “Road Ready StreetWise” designed to increases teens’ awareness and understanding of driving risks. Teens who played the game were more likely to take steps to protect themselves from driving risks according to initial game research conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

The video game is part the official launch of the Road Ready Teens safety program, a Chrysler Group initiative to help parents ease their teens into driving while gradually exposing them to and educating them about the risks they face on the road.

“On average, teens spend 55 minutes a day playing video games,” said Alex St. John, CEO, WildTangent. “Using a video game that entertains and teaches teens makes good sense.”

To insure that the game achieved its safety goals, researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute conducted an initial evaluation of the game during its development. Researchers found that the teens who played StreetWise, said that the game helped them better understand the driving risks they face as young drivers and increased their awareness of these risks. A majority of these teens said they were more likely to take steps to protect themselves from driving risks and were more receptive to driving guidelines as a result of playing the game.

Researchers also noted that teens enjoyed the game and agreed that a game format was a better way to teach driving risks than other communications such as videos or brochures.

Road Ready Teens’ materials, including StreetWise, the Parent’s Guide and other resources are available at no cost on the program’s Web site at www.roadreadyteens.org.

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