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Catching Serious Harm (Part Two): Pedestrian Injuries Caused By Pokémon Go

This is part of an ongoing series about the dangers people face while playing Pokémon Go. Get caught up on part one of the series here.

A 15-year-old Pennsylvania girl was hit while looking for Pokémon on a busy highway during rush hour. Pedestrians in New Jersey have been hit by people driving and playing the game. And across the country, countless reports are streaming in of people falling down, walking into objects or being hurt by someone failing to pay attention while playing the game.

What are pedestrians, both those who play Pokémon Go and those who don't, to do to stay safe during the height of "Pokémon fever?"

Tips For Pokémon Go Players

First, stay aware of your surroundings. Remember to look up from your device and to keep your real-world surroundings in mind.

Second, obey all state, local and federal laws. This includes not trespassing, using crosswalks, not driving and playing the game, and other related rules.

Lastly, keep things in perspective. Most reports of people being injured while playing Pokémon Go (or by someone playing the game) involve someone taking things too far, such as walking through rush hour traffic, walking into a ditch or off a cliff without looking, or getting behind the wheel to catch Pokémon more quickly. While "catching them all" is fun, your safety and the safety of those around you are more important.

Tips For Nongamers

The same starting advice for Pokémon players applies to nongamers as well; be aware of your surroundings. If you encounter a Pokémon player being less than diligent about safety, you can avert disaster by remaining on guard in case the player walks in front of your car or swerves while driving.

Next, avoid large clusters of people when possible. You do not need to completely alter your day around this phenomenon, but if you see a large group of people with their phones out, be careful. Stampedes involving hundreds of Pokémon Go players have occurred, such as the mad dash of people in New York that happened when a rare Pokémon became available.

Lastly, be understanding. Even if Pokémon isn't your "thing," don't let the presence of Pokémon players get you riled up; you're more likely to make bad decisions when you're angry.

Ready to learn more? Check out part three of our "Catching Serious Harm" series. 

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