Driving Essentials XE Gets Teen Drivers Off to a Safe Start
For many new drivers, getting behind the wheel is a mixture of excitement and anxiety. Of course, there’s the joy from all the freedom that driving brings, but there’s also the fear of violating traffic laws, damaging property, and accidentally hurting people. Luckily, game developer Bob Davis developed a simulator to help teens get comfortable with the rules and regulations of driving.
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Why practice in the virtual world?
Even the NHTSA agrees that simulators help young drivers, stating “Driving simulators allow active learning by making it possible to give immediate feedback on driver performance. It is as close as a person can come to training on real roads with a licensed driving instructor but without the crash risk.”
Driving Essentials XE is a fun, accessible way for teens to get a feel for the road. Just as the NHTSA said, there are zero stakes — no dented bumpers, no speeding tickets, and no mumbled apologies from a teen who knows they’ve goofed. That makes it the perfect place for a kid to make their first driving mistakes — and get those bad habits ironed out before taking the wheel for real.
The game features 10 lessons, starting with the basics of driving. It also covers hazard detection, space management, distracted driving, parking and backing, negotiating inclement weather, managing hydroplaning/skidding, and handling different driving environments.
What teens and parents are saying
Edutainment gets a bad rap, so you might be wondering — will your teen actually play the game? Developer Bob Davis explains, “It keeps the attention of the teen users ‘cause it’s competitive and its immediate feedback,” he said. “It’s entertaining without being silly.”
Teens seem to agree. Penny Chai, a young driver who plays the game, says, “It’s a game and it really doesn’t seem like practice. I’m trying to get the best score and I get upset when I don’t, so I think that’ll translate when I’m on the road, I’ll want to get the points!”
“If everyone got to do this, I think so many accidents would be prevented,” reads another teen testimonial. “My brain is re-wired for driving now.”
Admittedly, the game isn’t meant to replace actual driving practice, but it’s an easy and safe way for teens to reinforce what they’re learning and form safe habits.
The game is available as a digital download for both the Xbox One and PS4.
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