Washington

Report: ‘Pokemon Go’ distracting drivers

A new report released by the American Medical Association has the Washington State Patrol again urging people to exercise caution and not play “Pokemon Go” while driving.

The report tracked 14 “Pokemon Go”-related crashes nationwide over a 10-day period in July, according to a news release from the State Patrol.

“It’s one thing to be walking around on a sidewalk, it’s another to be behind the wheel,” said Sgt. Mark Francis with the State Patrol. “It’s just too dangerous, and I think we forget that because it becomes so commonplace for us to drive.”

In Washington state, the first “Pokemon Go”-related accident was reported July 18, about two weeks after the game’s release, according to the State Patrol.

“The WSP urges gamers to consider safety over their high score,” the news release states.

Driving requires the driver’s attention to be focused on multiple things, Francis said, and adding “Pokemon Go” to the mix can make driving more dangerous.

“Driving a 4,000-pound vehicle is hard enough when you’ve got things dividing your attention, for example speed limits and blinkers and following distances,” he said. “You are only making it dangerous by trying to divide your attention even more by playing this video game.”

According to the report, researchers analyzed the tweets of drivers involved in the 14 nationwide accidents and discovered that of those, 18 percent indicated a person was catching Pokemon and driving.

One tweet read, “omg I’m catching Pokemon and driving.”

Eleven percent indicated a passenger in the car was playing Pokemon, likely distracting the driver.

Four percent indicated a pedestrian was distracted while playing the game.

The news release also warned “Pokemon Go” players against trespassing and urged them to pay attention to their surroundings.

  Comments