“It’s just a game.” “I’ll only take my eyes off the road for a minute.” “If I drive while playing, I can ‘catch them all’ even faster.”
These quotes highlight what many people are thinking when they choose to get behind the wheel and play Pokémon Go.
What these statements and other related thoughts ignore is the fact that even though Pokémon Go may be “just a game,” operating a motor vehicle while playing the game is very much a form of distracted driving.
This recent video from the Baltimore Police Department shows what can happen when someone plays Pokémon Go while driving.
#PokemonGO is not all fun and games. Here is a video of a distracted driver who struck one of our cars. #PlaySafe pic.twitter.com/kOTfbTcILo
— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) July 19, 2016
This is far from the only instance of such an accident. Reports are coming in from all over the country of Pokémon Go-related crashes:
- A driver in Washington rear-ended another vehicle while playing the game.
- A New York man ran off the road while looking at the app on his phone.
- Two different Wisconsin drivers hit trees while on the hunt for Pokémon.
Incidents like these have prompted public safety departments across the country to issue emergency notices such as “Don’t Pokémon and Drive” and “Don’t Catch and Drive.” While this sounds like a bad joke, it is, unfortunately, a needed warning.
See tips from KOAA on staying safe while playing Pokémon Go. Have fun, but make smart decisions while you’re playing. And have fun “catching them all!”
Ready to learn more? Check out parts two and three of our “Catching Serious Harm” series.