While the Pokémon Go obsession takes over the world, drivers should realize how dangerous it is to play while driving. In fact there have been two car crashes caused by players — a teen drove into a tree and another rammed into a Baltimore Police car. A Pokémon Go player was cited in Fall City, Washington for running into a Chevy sedan.
The Washington State Patrol is urging gamers to consider the following safety tips over chasing a high score.
• Do not trespass! Please don’t be poking out of bushes at WSP facilities or anyone else’s private property … especially at night as it will most likely trigger security or cause police to respond.
• Please don’t catch and drive, it’s more dangerous than texting while driving.
• If you’re on your way to a PokéStop, know your surroundings and pay attention to where you’re going and who’s around you.
AAA is urging drivers not to use Pokémon Go behind the wheel because it could lead to potentially deadly consequences. This week’s crashes involving the game should serve as a wake-up call to focus on the task of driving and not to be distracted.
“Driving is among the most dangerous activities that people do on a daily basis, and the last thing we need is to increase the number of distractions in the vehicle,” said Jake Nelson, AAA Director of Traffic Safety Advocacy & Research.
Distracted driving is very risky. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that at least 3,000 deaths per year involve distracted driving, though the true number is likely far higher. The following statistics help put the dangers of distracted driving into context:
- Taking your eyes off the road for more than two seconds doubles your risk of a crash.
- When driving 55 miles per hour, five seconds with eyes off the road is equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
- Distraction is a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes.
Pokémon should not be played while driving and motorists need to be aware of others playing the game that might enter an intersection or cross a street at an inopportune time. “Driving requires your full attention, and putting away your phone until you reach your destination could save your life,” continued Nelson. “Pedestrians playing the game also should be aware so that they do not cross a busy intersection while distracted.”
Crashes are not the only risks affecting drivers. Drivers playing Pokémon also could face jail time and fines. Most states have laws against distracted driving and every state has laws to prevent reckless driving. Motorists are likely to be pulled over by law enforcement if they are a threat on the road.
In Toledo, Ohio, a couple broke into the zoo to play PG, they were caught near the Tiger exhibit.
Even more disconcerting is that Oliver Stone, director of NSA whistleblower movie “Snowden,”said at the Comic-Con that “Pokémon Go creates a new level of invasion” of our digital privacy.
“Google has invested in what surveillance is, data mining, which is about what you’re watching, what you’re buying, and Pokémon GO taps into that..Pokemon GO “manipulates our behavior, leading to a “Robot society where they know how you behave … It’s what you call totalitarianism.”