Road Safety App for Kids

Road Safety App for Kids

Written by Dr Catherine Purcell
Road Safety App for Kids
New methods of teaching Road Safety to kids.

On Average Thirty-seven children are seriously injured and one fatally on UK roads every week* and worldwide. Preventable road traffic accidents represent the second largest cause of death or disability for children aged 5-14 years old**. 

Furthermore, road safety is not currently part of the core curriculum in primary education. To help combat this, Dr Catherine Purcell from Cardiff University has released a virtual reality game. To teach the next generation about road safety. 

Virtual Road World

It is the first of its kind, a free game called ‘Virtual Road World’. It aims to educate children aged seven to nine in road safety.  The app immerses users in a virtual environment. Where the user needs to complete a series of quests. Requiring them to cross the roads, as they navigate their way around a virtual city. 

By playing the game children learn how to safely navigate roads, traffic and suitable crossing points.  Whilst at University of South Wales Dr Purcell worked with students from the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science. She consulted with 100 primary school aged children about the look and feel of the game. Collected in-game data from over 200 children aged between seven and nine from schools.

Dr Catherine Purcell said:

“The app has been developed not to replace but to support and enhance existing road safety educational practices.  Through our research we know that educating children through the use of illustrated books or kerb side practices can be highly time and resource-intensive.  We have utilised technology to upskill children in their understanding of road safety.

“The more children get into the game, the more opportunity they have to understand the risks and make safer decisions about where and when to cross the road.  I hope that the app will now prove a fun and successful way of supporting road safety education for children of this age.”

Sally Lines, CEO of Road Safety Trust said: 

“Virtual Road World goes beyond 3D video and games for entertainment. Offering a fun and accessible way to help children choose safe road crossing sites in the real world.  We believe it can make a difference in keeping children safer on the roads.” 

To access the app, simply search for ‘Virtual Road World’ on the Apple Store.


Dr Catherine Purcell is a senior lecturer in Occupational Therapy with a background in psychology.  She specialises in research that explores the link between perception and action in natural contexts, such as driving and road crossing.

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  

*Statistics from the Department for Transport

**World Health Organisation 2015

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