Pokémon Go has become the biggest mobile game in US history since its drop date in early July, attracting more than 21 million users daily, reports CNBC. The app claims to promote outdoor exercise and socialization with other Pokémon Go players.
However, the app has also created serious conversations regarding the app’s safety – particularly while driving. There are repeated cases of drivers using the app while behind the wheel and crashing into other vehicles, people, and structures. Pokémon Go is just the newest craze while fun, also present the very high potential of distracting drivers. And, according to the CDC, 8 people are killed and 1,161 people are injured each and every day in the U.S. in crashes that involve a distracted driver. Those are serious statistics that we shouldn’t ignore.
Niantic, the video gaming company behind Pokémon Go, has made an attempt to alert its users to the potential dangers by issuing safety measures on the app itself. These include a safeguard that detects if the user is moving over 10 mph along with various safety notification warnings, such as “Don’t play Pokémon Go while driving” and “Do not enter dangerous areas while playing Pokémon Go.” While these warnings are headed in the right direction, there are some very simple precautions you can do to enjoy the app safely.
Don’t Pokémon Go and drive
The worst Pokémon Go incidents have been incurred by playing the game while behind the wheel. It is not worth risking your life or the lives of those around you because of a potential Pokémon catch. It can wait. Or, at the very least, recruit a friend or a family member to drive while you target Pokémon.
Be aware of your surroundings
Pokémon Go players have been injured while focusing on the app and not paying attention to others and their surroundings. Robbers have been reported using the app to lure players to isolated locations and steal their phones. While playing the app, look up and look around. This action alone prevents injuries to yourself, as well as potential harm to others.
Don’t trespass and protect yourself
Niantic has stated in their terms of service that they cannot be held liable if a player decides to trespass on private property in order to catch Pokémon. When roaming for potential Pokémon, be sure you’re not trespassing on private property. As a homeowner, ensuring you have liability insurance, which covers bodily injury to others as well as your property, is always a good idea. Pokémon Go just makes it that much more important!