Pokémon Go and Distracted Driving
This week a distracted driver in Japan crashed into two women crossing the street. One woman suffered a fatal injury, and the other woman is currently hospitalized.
The driver’s distraction was Pokémon Go. The most notorious driving distraction in recent years has been texting. Since the advent of the cell phone, drivers have been easily distracted by phone calls, checking emails, and other smartphone activities.
This incident is not the first collision attributed to Pokémon Go, and the game’s distraction affects drivers and passengers alike. Earlier this summer, a distracted driver crashed into a parked police car in Baltimore while playing Pokémon Go. Then, not even 24 hours later, a driver who was chasing Pokémon with his wife, who was instructing him where to go, hit another police car while rushing to get to a Pokémon Gym.
Drivers on the streets are consumed by the virtual reality offered by Pokémon Go, diverting their attention from driving to playing the game. Distracted driving creates a high risk for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. No game is worth taking a human life. Those who play Pokémon Go should exercise self-restraint and only engage in the game when they are in a safe environment—not while driving.