22 January 2019
A FREE child road safety app, developed in conjunction with the University of South Wales (USW), has been made available on the Apple Store.
The app, ‘Virtual Road World’, immerses the user in a virtual environment where they are required to complete a series of quests that mean that they have to cross virtual roads to navigate around the city.
The development team, led by former USW psychologist Dr Catherine Purcell, drew on previous academic research on the way children learn about road safety to produce a game for seven-to nine-year-olds using the latest available technology.
Dr Purcell said the app has been developed not to replace existing road safety educational practices, but to support and enhance current practice.
“I am thrilled to have Virtual Road World available on the Apple Store, and to know that it has already been downloaded in the UK and the USA,” Dr Purcell said.
“The opportunity is there to help educate children about a very real problem. After all, preventable pedestrian road traffic collisions represent the second largest cause of death for children aged five to 14 years worldwide.
Dr Purcell was awarded a grant of £67,468 from the Road Safety Trust in 2016. The project drew on academic research about the way children learn about road safety, and succeeded in producing a freely available game using the latest technology, with a short guide for teachers in its use.
To access the app, simply search for ‘Virtual Road World’ on the Apple Store.
For more details about the Road Safety Trust, please visit www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk
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