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Allstate may steer drivers to games

October 19, 2008|From Times Wire Services

Could playing computer games enhance mental agility enough to turn people over 50 into better drivers? Allstate Corp. wants to find out, and if the answer is yes, it might offer insurance discounts to people who play the games.

Under a pilot program called InSight, Allstate will offer specialized computer games to 100,000 customers in Pennsylvania ages 50 to 75. The games' developer, San Francisco-based Posit Science, will track the number of hours these drivers play. Then the group's accident rates will be compared with those from a group of people who did not play the games.

The games are not all specific to driving. They're designed to reverse age-related cognitive decline and improve visual alertness. Although people in their 50s and 60s have the lowest accident rates of all drivers, in the mid-60s this rate starts to climb again, said Tom Warden, an Allstate assistant vice president. Allstate hopes the software can show benefits "beyond dollars and cents."

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