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Pokémon Go: Distractions, Dangers, and How to Avoid Them

Updated on August 23, 2016

Pokémon Go has recently dominated entertainment news as the new, popular app has caused masses around the country and the world to get out, get walking, and catch virtual pokémon. While I love this new game, and think it is a fantastic way for pokémon-lovers to stay active and interact with new people, I became concerned with the most recent Pokémon Go headline:

“Pokémon Go Player Crashes his Car into a Tree”

According to the USA Today article by Sean Lahman, a Pokémon Go player in Auburn, New York was driving while playing Pokémon Go, and drove into a tree. While he is thankfully alive, he sustained minor injuries and burns to his legs, including a broken ankle; he also totaled his brother’s car--all to play a game. In order to prevent situations like this, or ones with even worse outcomes, this week’s blog post is going to include some specific safety guidelines to playing Pokémon Go safely.

While Driving

The number one danger while driving for our current generation is distracted driving. While our phones and pokémon are an enticing lure, it is our responsibility as adults and teenagers with a driver’s license to put the phone down and focus on the road. If you want to find more pokémon while driving, take a friend with you! Whoever has shotgun can be on the lookout for pokémon while you are driving to your next Pokestop or gym.

Rare Pokemon inside
Rare Pokemon inside

In Popular Pokémon Go Areas

Make sure you stay in a safe area. Stear clear of shady neighborhoods, and dark alleyways. And for Pete's sake, don't talk to anyone that says they have rare pokemon. He doesn't have any Pokemon, he just wants to poke, mon! Don’t stop suddenly or park dangerously to get to a gym, Pokestop, or to catch a Pokémon. The Dallas Zoo in Texas has had to ask players to refrain from dangerously stopping on the highway frontage road in front of the Zoo in order to battle at a gym by its iconic giraffe statue. Instead look for safe, designated parking, and walk to your desired location. Respect traffic laws, private property, and others as you go on a Pokémon safari or a meetup with your friends. Also, as other Pokémon trainers will likely be roaming the same popular areas, make sure to look out for pedestrians that may be distracted. While they should try to be aware of their surroundings, it is always important to put your safety and the safety of others as your top priority. Watch where you're going, watch who's behind you and around you. Just be observant (whether you're playing Pokemon Go or not. Seriously, way too many people just don't pay attention to anyone but themselves these days. Especially when driving. You don't want to find yourself walking off a cliff, or running into a naked caveman. (Watch the video) I'm pretty sure this guys not a cop, but either way he makes some good points.

Pokémon Pedestrians

While on subject of avoiding pedestrians, we should talk about pedestrian safety while playing Pokémon Go. As pedestrian players are walking around, it is easy to become engrossed in the game screen on your phone, and forget to pay attention to your surroundings (as the application loading screen implores you to do every time the app is opened). This can be very dangerous and lead to an auto accident that can cause serious injury to both car drivers and pedestrians. In fact, one 15 year-old Pittsburgh girl learned this lesson the hard way as she was struck by a car while playing Pokémon Go. While trying to catch a Pokémon at a nearby museum, she entered a busy highway and was struck by a car, but sustained only minor injuries in the car accident. I’d hate to see a preventable injury like this from happening, when it could be so easily avoided.

Stay Safe My Friends
Stay Safe My Friends

“Gotta Catch ‘Em All!”

As you go on your quest to be the best trainer and win over gyms for your team, collect Pokémon, and explore new places in your community, remember to be safe and respect traffic and safety laws. By being more aware, and less distracted, we can all avoid costly and dangerous car accidents. Let’s keep Pokémon trainers out of the hospital, and out catching all 151 Pokémon! But if you do need a hospital, a handy YellowPages app from will help find the nearest one and directions.


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