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Dr Catherine Purcell creates app to educate children about road safety

8 October 2019

Virtual Road World app

Dr Catherine Purcell, Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the School of Healthcare Sciences, has created an app to enhance road safety educational practices.

According to the Road Safety Trust, preventable road accidents represent the second largest cause of death or disability for 5-14-year-olds.

The app ‘Virtual Road World’, which is mainly targeted at seven to nine-year olds, teaches how to cross a road safely.
Users of the app must complete a series of quests which involve them crossing roads as they navigate around a virtual city.

Purcell worked in collaboration with the University of South Wales to test the app. Primary school children from Newport were also consulted about the look and usability of the game.

Speaking about the new app, Purcell said: "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.

"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...

"This is another means for schools to engage children in road crossing in a fun and interactive way."

The app is funded by a grant from the Road Safety Trust.

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