You may have seen them around. People of all ages walking around absent-mindedly while staring and flicking at their smartphones, conglomerating around parks, malls and downtown hotspots. Many of them are playing the new, massively popular app, Pokemon Go. The best way to describe the game is that It is a virtual scavenger hunt. Since its release on July 6, Pokemon Go has gotten over 15 million downloads and has even surpassed Twitter in the amount of daily active users. It’s topped download charts in the US, Australia and New Zealand.
However, the game – which utilizes your phone’s GPS to catch virtual “Pokemon” – has been causing serious car wrecks. A quick Google search of “Pokemon Go car crashes” yields a wealth of Pokemon-related headlines:
- “2 Pokemon Go Players, allegedly drunk, crash cars into tree in Wisconsin”
- “Man Playing Pokemon Go While Driving in NY Crashes Car into Trees”
- “‘Rare Pokemon’ causes car crash in Slidell”
- “Teen Playing Pokemon Go Walks Onto Highway and Gets Hit By A Car”
Incidents have become so common that several police departments have issued Pokemon Go safety warnings. The National Safety Council even released a statement, urging gamers to understand that “no race to ‘capture’ a cartoon monster is worth a life.”
“People are putting themselves in dangerous situations,” said a police chief in Toronto. “We’re seeing people are playing while they’re driving and stopping their cars in the middle of the intersection to go get a [Pokemon] or something like that.”
While we understand the fun and excitement of the Pokemon Go app, we at Dudley DeBosier would like to remind everyone to use common sense, be aware of your surroundings, and not to drive distracted. And as an official Pokestop, we would like to encourage everyone to safely visit us, and please park your vehicles before catching any Pokemon near our office.