Recent Crashes Should Serve as Wake-Up Call to Drivers


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 Marilyn Buskohl, spokeswoman for AAA South Dakota. “One would think playing Pokemon Go while driving is so blatantly dangerous, a warning to drivers wouldn’t be necessary. Apparently, that’s not the case.”

Distracted driving is risky driving. 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.

Not only should Pokemon Go not be played while driving but motorists also need to be aware that others playing the game might enter an intersection or cross a street at an inopportune time. “Driving requires your full attention, and putting away your phone until you reach your destination could save your life,” said Buskohl. “Pedestrians playing the game also need to stay alert so they do not cross busy intersections while distracted.”

Crashes are not the only risks affecting drivers. Drivers playing Pokemon Go also could face jail time and fines. Most states, including South Dakota, 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.

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