Game over for drivers playing ‘Pokemon Go’


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AAA is urging drivers not to use Pokemon Go behind the wheel because it could lead to potentially deadly consequences. This week’s crashes involving the game should serve as a wake-up call to focus on the task of driving and not to be distracted.

“Driving is among the most dangerous activities that people do on a daily basis, and the last thing we need is to increase the number of distractions in the vehicle,” said Theresa Podguski, AAA East Central Legislative Affairs Director.

Distracted driving is very risky. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that at least 3,000 deaths per year involve distracted driving, though the true number is likely far higher. The following statistics help put the dangers of distracted driving into context:

Taking your eyes off the road for more than two seconds doubles your risk of a crash.

When driving 55 miles per hour, five seconds with eyes off the road is equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded.

Distraction is a factor in nearly six out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes.

Pokemon Go should not be played while driving and motorists need to be aware of others playing the game that might enter an intersection or cross a street at an inopportune time. Drivers and pedestrians playing Pokemon Go can experience mental, visual and manual distractions while interacting with their phones. The media already has reported at least two cases of drivers getting into crashes while playing the game.

Crashes are not the only risks affecting drivers. Drivers playing Pokemon Go also could face jail time and fines. Most states have laws against distracted driving and every state has laws to prevent reckless driving. Motorists are likely to be pulled over by law enforcement if they are a threat on the road.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 83 local offices in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York and Kentucky serving more than 2.7 million members.

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