Use of a Virtual Reality Driving Simulator as an Alcohol Abuse Prevention Approach with College Students


This article reports on a study of the use of a virtual reality (VR) driving simulator. The study was designed to establish the internal validity of the drunk driving simulation by comparing participants' performances under a "sober" condition to a "driving drunk" condition. The study also assessed the external validity of the simulator by asking subjects about their future likelihood of engaging in drinking and driving and their general expectations regarding the use of alcohol. The study included 51 males and 35 females, a proportion that represented the composition of students on the campus used in the study; the average age was 20.9 years. The results were generally positive and showed that the virtual reality simulator could be a safe, ethical, and effective approach to educating young people about the dangers of drinking and driving. The authors call for addition work to demonstrate the impact of the VR simulator on expectations and future behavior, including the need to have more connections with realistic consequences associated with drunk driving.


Psychological Science

Second Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Alcohol Use; Automobile Driving; College Students; Driving Simulators; Drunk Driving; Risk Assessment; Simulation; Validity; Virtual Reality

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2006 American Alcohol and Drug Information Foundation (Lansing), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2006

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