If you have a smartphone, chances are you know about the phenomena that is Pokémon Go – the augmented reality app that’s captured the world’s attention in just a few short weeks. What began as a game for Pokémon lovers has blossomed into a full-blown cultural frenzy.
If you aren’t among those playing Pokémon Go, the goal is to catch Pokémon – miniature sized monsters – as they are projected on your phone’s screen. These mini-monsters can be found at various nearby locations, enticing players to venture out and capture the monsters – which encourages, to some extent, exercise.
But despite this positive influence, recent incidents demonstrate the potential dangers associated with playing the game. Because playing Pokémon Go requires a high level of concentration on your phone screen, players are walking around seemingly unaware of their surroundings. Since the Pokémon Go frenzy began, players have grown increasingly oblivious and have even gone as far as walking off cliffs.
Playing Pokémon Go while driving has also become a rising concern for law enforcement across the country as it’s been linked to several car accidents. Officials have begun to warn people about the dangers of playing Pokémon Go in the car. However, accidents continue to occur due to drivers playing while behind the wheel. Playing the game while driving is dangerous because it leads to distracted driving when drivers take their eyes and attention off the road.
If you’re an avid Pokémon Go player, consider these tips to help you stay safe while playing the game:
- Don’t use the application while operating a vehicle. Apply the same rules to playing Pokémon Go and driving as you would to texting and driving.
- When walking, be aware of your surroundings while playing the game. Don’t stare at your phone for long periods of time because you can become unaware of hazards around you.
- Use discretion when sharing your location in the game because other users can locate you through information on the app.
- Don’t play the game alone, especially at night. It’s always good to have a partner with you, so when you’re hunting Pokémon, try to have fellow players accompany you.
Following these tips will help keep you safe and out of harm’s way so you can continue to play everyone’s new favorite game!