A case study of a virtual reality-based drink driving educational tool

Callum Masterton, Andrew Wilson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Road traffic accidents are of major concern and could be reduced by better education. This paper describes the development of a virtual reality (VR) app that mimics the effects of alcohol on a driver. It was developed using Unity (version 2019.3.14), smartphone and Google Cardboard™. The user experiences a car following a predetermined route that is lined with trees and objects (traffic lights, road signs and other cars) which they need to spot and react to. By using graphical filters and time delays the driver has a feeling of being under the influence of alcohol. Twenty volunteers (18–60 years old; mean age ± sd 25.5 ± 11.6) participated in its evaluation. Data were collected on concentration times, reaction speed and observation of objects in both the alcohol simulated (impaired) and non-simulated (unimpaired) runs. Data were analysed using paired t-test. The result showed that people spent longer concentrating on objects in the impaired vs unimpaired run (10.72 ± 5.07 vs 5.30 ± 4.22 s n:20; p < 0.0001). The average reaction speed to objects in the unimpaired run was lower than in the impaired run (1.44 ± 0.66 vs 2.66 ± 0.28 s n:20; p < 0.001). Seventeen out of twenty subjects spotted all the required objects in the unimpaired whereas only seven out of twenty spotted all the objects in the impaired run (p < 0.001). The authors have shown that an inexpensive VR app can be used to demonstrate to users the effect that alcohol can have on concentration, reaction speeds and observational skills.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMultimedia Tools and Applications
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 17 Nov 2023


    • Virtual reality
    • Drink driving
    • Road safety
    • Road accident
    • Driver education


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