July 13, 2016

The Dangers of Pokemon GO and Driving

Travel across the land searching far and wide - just not behind the wheel.

Pokemon GO is the newest craze sweeping the nation, and it seems it’s here to stay. Through a free-to-download (just like Urgent.ly!) app, users participate in an augmented-reality version of the classic Pokemon games.

In your quest to Catch ‘Em All, remember that those Pokestops are real places, and beyond that Eevee, Onyx, or Blastoise you’re trying to capture are potentially real people or real-life obstacles. Be aware of your surroundings. You might walk straight into another Trainer with their nose in their phone, or even someone who (gasp!) isn’t using the app. There have already been a variety of stories about people getting hurt - or getting sunburned - while playing the new game, not to mention some of the more serious risks.

While the story about a major car accident caused by playing PokemonGO turned out to be a hoax, various other dangers have been documented. There have been multiple reports of robberies, a car crash at Texas A&Mone in Auburn, NY, and even horrors as strange as stumbling upon a deceased corpse.

Some people have taken to Twitter to chronicle what happens when augmented-reality meets, well… reality. Here are a few examples of what happens when you’re not paying attention behind the wheel:

Many individuals and local authorities have already jumped on the opportunity to remind users to drive safely. There are even signs popping up on highways to encourage safer driving.

Luckily, there are tools out there to help the tech-obsessed (or the poke-obsessed) improve their driving. One of our favorites is an app called TrueMotion Family! The app analyzes your driving in order to provide you with a score - and insights as to how you drive. It's perfect for parents who want to monitor their teen drivers. The app gives parents the power to see where their kids drive, and produces a 'report card' on their driving in addition to an assessment of whether they were driving distracted (using their cell phone). Plus, families have access to roadside assistance on-demand from right within the TrueMotion app.

I don’t remember Ash, Misty, or Brock driving cars in their quest to be the very best, like no one ever was. And there aren’t vehicles any in PokemonGO. At Urgent.ly, we love the game and just like you, we’re prepared to travel across the land searching far and wide to catch 'em all, but we encourage you to put safety first in your travels! Remember that the power of Pokemon is awesome in augmented reality but automobiles are a powerful tool meant for use in the real world and require optimum focus to operate safely. In a world we must defend, you can start by driving safely, and catch and train ‘em all when you’re not operating a vehicle.

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