Don’t Pokémon Go and Drive

pokemon_go_logoWhen it comes to driving…it’s more like Pokémon NO! Distracted driving of any type can be dangerous, even deadly.  As the latest safety campaign urges drivers to heed the advice “better unread than dead” in re: texting while driving – a similar warning should apply to playing Pokémon Go while behind the wheel – “better left unfound than in the ground.” And recent incidents in the news have confirmed that people have been getting into accidents playing the game while driving. If that isn’t enough to dissuade you, perhaps these additional reasons might convince you to don’t Pokémon Go and drive:

Using your Phone While Driving is Against MA Law

That’s right. MA, like many states, bans the use of cell phones while behind the wheel – specifically the law prohibits the use of “a mobile telephone, or any handheld device capable of accessing the internet, to manually compose, send or read an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle” and fines can range from $100 – $500+ depending on the offense. So, not only are you risking accident or injury playing the game, you are also in jeopardy of getting a ticket.

Distractions Lead to Accidents

Statistics don’t lie – there is steady increase in the occurrence of accidents due to distracted driving. According to a Boston Globe article: “The habit has had a devastating effect: Nationally, distraction-related crashes killed 3,179 people and injured an estimated 431,000 in 2014, the most recent year for which data was available, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.” It takes mere seconds to lose control of the vehicle – and any distraction can contribute to that momentary lapse and subsequent collision.

Tickets and Accidents Will Increase Insurance Rates

If the cost of a ticket or accident weren’t enough – you’ll be paying for playing for years to come with a raised rate on your insurance premium. Your driving record is a major factor in determining your insurance rate and any tickets or accidents that are deemed your fault (especially from distracted driving) will cause an increase.

Better to Walk and Play! Don’t Pokémon Go and Drive

The game has been praised for getting sedentary people up, out, and about by hunting for characters. Some people who have never exercised have actually walked 10 miles in a single day to catch Pokémon and hatch eggs! Think of all the health benefits you’ll receive by getting out and walking while playing – cardiovascular fitness, vitamin D exposure, weight loss, etc. Why risk getting a ticket, a potential accident, increased insurance rates, and possible death…when you can just walk and play? Even better – it offers you a chance to socialize with fellow gamers while on the hunt!

The game is called Pokémon “GO” – it’s all about getting out, exploring, and traveling around to find the different creatures. Play the game as it is intended. Don’t try to cheat the system or cover more distance faster. Be safe and avoid distraction – don’t Pokémon Go and drive.