Why You Shouldn’t Pokémon and Drive

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Why You Shouldn’t Pokémon and Drive

Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game that has captured the world as players set out with smartphones in hand in an attempt to “catch ‘em all.” The object of the game is to head outside and walk around to catch a variety of Pokémon monsters and evolve them from one stage to another.

Although the game is meant to be played simply by traveling to a variety of destinations on foot, some players are taking Pokémon GO a step too far in getting into their vehicles and playing while driving. This is yet another problem on the road, for both pedestrians and people in cars as it involves distracted driving.

Players who have taken to this means of playing Pokémon GO have been driving and then stopping when one of the pocket monsters appears. Due to the potential for disaster driving and playing creates, it is one of the things responsible for increasing car insurance rates. It has been a particularly concerning problem in the state of Ohio.

Because of the increase in players driving while trying to “catch ‘em all,” police stations have begun to issue warnings in Ohio and throughout the United States, in the form of the message of “Don’t Pokémon and Drive” along highways and surrounded by 
flashing orange warning lights.

Of course, distracted driving isn’t the only problem that results from drivers playing Pokémon GO. In addition, there are more and more pedestrians with phones in hand, eyeing their screens with heads down instead of watching where they’re going. In spite of the fact that no major accidents have yet occurred, the most serious so far is that a man in Upstate New York rammed his car into a tree and survived. Experts are claiming the game app might just be the biggest threat to roads that are already full of distracted drivers.

For most people, the tone signaling that a text message has just come through is distracting enough. People turn their attention off the road while driving and instantly and instinctively turn it toward their smartphone. This unto itself has become the most common situation prior to a deadly motor vehicle accident occurring in the U.S. Still, reading a text takes one’s eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds on average, and playing Pokémon GO is expected to go further than that, considering the game’s immersive nature.

Unfortunately, even if there is legislation in Ohio and other states that ban the use of mobile devices while operating a vehicle, there are always going to be people ignoring the laws. In a world that has seen many conflicts, playing a game like Pokémon GO seems like a great escape from reality. However, it is important to not indulge in such behavior while behind the wheel as there are very real and tragic consequences that can follow.