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From Playing games while driving? BrightDriver's challenging proposition (emphasis added):

At first blush, playing games while driving sounds like the kind of thing only the accident-prone would love. But apparently, certain types of games -- like trivia -- can increase a driver's focus, reduce the risk of accidents and even help with navigation...

Albrecht tells Gamasutra. "At first, I was like, 'wow. That's dangerous and slightly crazy.'"

But the idea of solving the problem of boring drives -- which aren't just tedious, but can be dangerous when drivers space out or lose their attention -- through interactive entertainment appealed to Albrecht, especially given a number of studies that've been done by MIT, Duke University and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that show interactive entertainment can improve people's behavior behind the wheel.

However, I can find no concrete examples of such studies on the BrightDriver site. Most of the examples they give are of the form "I was so bored I [did some incredibly unsafe thing like texting or reading a newspaper], but with the game I didn't."

So,

  1. Is there evidence that "certain types of games" actually reduce accidents or improve driving relative to drivers doing only things that are considered nearly universally safe, like listening to a radio or having a casual conversation with passengers? In other words, does the increased risk offset the risks caused by "spacing out"?
  2. If not, is there at least evidence that offering "interactive entertainment" would improve transportation safety by replacing other, less safe, behaviors? In other words, is the increased risk offset by reducing the chance of the average driver taking other risky actions like reading a newspaper?

As acceptable risk in driving can vary greatly between regions, I am most interested in statistics applying to the urban United States.

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"does the increased risk offset the risks caused by "spacing out"" There is likely another factor, and that is that such activity is likely to prevent you from falling asleep. –  Suma Nov 23 '12 at 7:24
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