As you go to work or school in the morning, you probably notice more than a few people talking on their phone, texting or reading emails. Technology is a huge asset in our lives, but it is also a hazard, especially when used while driving. The newest technological fad is the widely popular game, Pokemon Go. Back in the 90’s, Pokemon was a harmless card game for children and pre-teens. Now, Pokemon is digitalized and has found its way into the hands of adults in the form of a phone app that uses a GPS device that allows you hunt Pokemon in the real world.
The mentality of “gotta catch em all” has led people to playing while driving, making this once innocent game literally lethal. According to Distraction.gov, distracted driving is “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Any kind of distraction can endanger the driver, passenger and bystander, but those activities that require visual, manual and cognitive attention are particular dangerous.
Pokemon Go is, of course, one such activity. This highly distracting activity has led to motor vehicle related deaths and injuries. In Japan, police arrested a driver who struck and killed a women while he was playing Pokemon Go. In Australia, one driver was so distracted while playing that he crashed his car into a school. Back home in the U.S., in Maryland, a distracted driver plowed into a police cruiser while trying to catch a Pokemon. The footage was even caught on video.
These are not isolated events by any means. In fact, in a recent survey, NBC News reported that 18% of people playing Pokemon Go were driving while doing so. Injuries as a result of playing the game stem from everything from death to bumps and bruises. If you are part of the newest Pokemon generation, heed the warnings given by the producers of this game and use caution and care for both yourself and others. In particular, don’t play and drive. There will be plenty of time of time to “catch em all” when you’re no longer on the road.