The Grand Theft Auto series has always allowed us to channel our inner outlaw in a relatively harmless manner. We might not speed through busy intersections and jump ramps over the train tracks in real life, but what’s to stop us from doing that in previous versions like Grand Theft Auto 3 or 4 (other than getting chased by the cops)?

The undoing of the outlaw fantasy has always been that it’s a little too easy to get away with driving like a nut. The new game in the series offers a wider range of reasons to obey traffic laws.

For instance, if you want a really sweet ride, you’re going to have to spend a lot of your in-game money customizing it, which makes you far less likely to want to smash it into other cars or lose it by getting arrested. Even kicking your car leaves an accurate dent. Grand Theft Auto 5 is perhaps the first game of its type where the cars aren’t simply disposable means of transportation; they are prized by players as deeply as real life cars are prized by their drivers. Furthermore, if you get into an accident, your character will still have cuts and bruises when they leave the hospital. For the first time, Rockstar is showing us some more realistic consequences of driving like a maniac.


Another neat detail for the safety-minded gamer: you know the shoulder ripples on the highway? Those tiny speed bump looking things that make your whole car rattle if you drift over the line. You can find those on the roads in this game, and if you drive over them, your controller will vibrate.


Grand Theft Auto 5 is perhaps the first game of its type where that defensive driving course that you took might come in handy. In previous entries, it made little sense to drive safely, and it wasn’t uncommon to burn through three or four stolen cars on the way to a mission marker. In GTA 5, as funny as this may sound, many gamers report that they choose to follow every traffic law and stop at every light just to make sure they don’t ruin their prized sports cars by plowing it into a busy intersection.

Have you noticed any other aspects of GTA 5 that seem to promote safe driving and obeying traffic laws? If so, share them with us!