When Turlocker Juan Pineda Sanchez noticed a disturbing trend of vehicular accidents among teenagers while reading the newspaper, the inventor and entrepreneur decided to take matters into his own hands. His latest invention, a board game called Driving Trivia, helps players learn the laws, rules and regulations of driver’s education while having fun along the way.
“I’ve seen that there’s a big problem. A lot of people drive, but they don’t really learn driver’s education,” said Sanchez. “I thought, ‘How cool would it be if you had a game just like Monopoly, but instead of buying houses you learn something that’s going to help you in reality.’”
Sanchez is known for his other inventions, such as the Master Locking Pliers, and now his creative mind has helped him to develop a board game he hopes can save lives.
Driving Trivia is game that takes its players through the ins and outs of driving and its rules, with question cards that help them to learn street signs and memorize traffic signals. Each player begins the game with a small, pin-like game piece, and as the player moves through the game by answering questions correctly, their game piece is upgraded until it ultimately becomes a car.
“You get to move spaces, and answer questions according to what space you land on,” said Sanchez. “It’s a game of memorizing in a fun, challenging way.”
In order to create questions for the game, Sanchez took information directly from the Department of Motor Vehicles handbook, which is also used to create the written driving test used by the DMV to determine teens eligible for a driver’s permit.
Sanchez’s teenage nephews played Driving Trivia in order to prepare for their written tests, he said, and passed with flying colors.
“The questions range from beginner to advanced, and once you know those advanced level questions, you’re ready for the test,” said Sanchez. “I’m willing to give a 90 percent guarantee that whoever plays this game will pass their driver’s test.”
While players of Driving Trivia learn to master the rules of driving, they are also faced with the consequences of what happens when you don’t know the rules. Players who answer questions with spaces containing “police officers” incorrectly are sent through the judicial system, and must pay fines for questions answered incorrectly or can have their tickets dismissed if they know the answer.
“I tried to put everything from the real world into a game that is fun and exciting to play,” said Sanchez.
He added that, although Driving Trivia is geared toward those just learning how to drive, it can serve as a refresher course for even the most expert drivers.
“Before I came up with the game, I would drive and follow the rules, but playing the game keeps you fresh,” said Sanchez. “It’s perfect for teens who want to get their license, but if you’ve already had your license for 20 years, you can have fun and play with your family. The rules come back to you naturally.”
Sanchez teamed up with Harder’s Print Shop in Turlock to bring the game to life, which features a playing board with road signs and traffic signals, as well as cards with true or false, multiple choice and trivia questions printed on them. He hopes that with community support, the game will eventually end up on store shelves.
“The most important message I want to send is that there is a game out there that if we all help support, it could help save lives,” he said.
Sanchez also wants to raise awareness for Driving Trivia in hopes that he is able to land a meeting with Gov. Jerry Brown, so that the game can be used by the Department of Transportation and one day in the state’s schools.
“The driver’s education classes now teach you a lot, and you watch videos and study from the book, but it’s not the same as getting something that’s fun and playing in a group,” said Sanchez. “If we can have this game in schools, we can have teens learn in a fun way.”
Currently, Sanchez is catering to those who would like a copy of Driving Trivia through the board game’s Facebook page, Driving Trivia Board Game, and he encourages community members who want to play the game to message him on the Facebook page.