KALAMAZOO, Michigan. In just a couple of weeks, Pokémon Go has become more popular than Twitter, Netflix, and Spotify, according to the BBC. The game has been touted for promoting exercise and exploration. In order to find Pokémon, players explore the real-world, using a map on their phone. When a Pokémon is nearby, they use their phones to film the location and try to capture the Pokémon. Yet, the real-world component that players love, brings some real risks. Players have already been warned to look both ways when crossing the street and not to play the game while driving. It is already well-known that using your cell phone and driving is dangerous. And, pedestrians should also be aware of the dangers of distracted walking. In order to help prevent injuries, Christopher Trainor & Associates in Kalamazoo offers a five more tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe while “catching them all”:
- Play in groups. Don’t explore new neighborhoods or locations on your own. Younger children should be supervised when playing. Playing in groups can also benefit your gameplay experience. According to Oregon Live, some of the rarer Pokémon appear when groups of players are together.
- Be alert when playing at night and choose well-lit places if you do plan to play in the dark. Nighttime play has been when some of the more serious accidents and injuries have occurred. Instead, play in public areas where there is ample lighting.
- Don’t play and drive or play and walk. Distracted driving leads to countless car accidents every year. Pedestrians are also at risk. Two people fell off a cliff in Encinitas while hunting Pokémon near the cliff edge. Use common sense and play in places that are safe. Time Magazine, likewise warns players to watch out for ditches, waterways, steps, and trees.
- Don’t trespass. There have been reports of players getting shot at when they trespassed onto private property. Use common sense when hunting Pokémon and obey any warnings and signs. Real-world rules always should come first—even if the game is telling you a given area is a Pokémon gym. Remember that the game has been known to mistakenly label private property as a gym. Visiting closed parks at night or scaling your neighbor’s fence to catch a Pikachu is also a no-no.
- Be aware of security risks. The game accesses your location data. Be aware that this information could be public, putting you at risk of being robbed. There have already been cases where individuals were robbed at gunpoint, having their cell phones stolen when thieves discovered their location. Thieves could also potentially use information that you are away from your house and car to steal. Be aware of your surroundings and what data you are sharing with strangers!
Pokémon Go is not likely to go away anytime soon. Drivers have a responsibility to be safe, no matter what. If you or a loved one was injured by a driver, visit http://www.michiganlegalcenter.com/kalamazoo-car-accidents today to learn more and to protect your rights.