Nintendo's Pokemon Go game is causing a nationwide frenzy. While most of the action is taking place in the digital world, there have been a number of accidents reported as players lose track of their surroundings while trying to catch a stray Pidgey or errant Rattata. In order to avoid joining their ranks and possibly having to explain to a judge how a Pikachu figured into your car accident, follow these rules.
Rule Number 1: Don't allow the game to operate when you're in the car.
While it might seem obvious that you shouldn't play the game and drive, the advice bears repeating, especially in light of accidents like that involving a Baltimore driver who smashed into a parked police car while playing.
To play it safe, keep Pokemon Go completely off while you're driving. The vibration that alerts you to the presence of a wild Pokemon nearby can be distracting. Keep in mind that 14 states ban drivers from handheld cell phone devices in order to try to prevent distracted driving in the first place, so it's safer not to have it on at all.
Even if you have a navigator in the car with you doing the work of catching the Pokemon, you could be tempted to make some erratic turns or lose track of the flow of traffic as you try to get in range of the digital beasts. Remember that cell phone data is something that can be easily uncovered with a subpoena, should anyone be injured in the accident. A personal injury attorney would have no problem proving that the game was in play at the time of the accident.
Rule Number 2: Don't try to use your hazard lights to get around Rule Number 1.
At least one driver admitted to throwing on his or her hazard lights and pretending that the car was broken down in order to catch a Pokemon while playing the game. Don't follow suit. Many states have specific laws regarding the use of hazard lights while in motion. Even if you stop the car, you're essentially inviting disaster—other cars in motion may not see you in time to avoid hitting you and you could cause a slowdown in traffic that causes drivers to bump into each other. Even minor fender benders can lead to accident claims in court.
There are plenty of Pokestops and gyms available that can be accessed by foot, especially around parks and urban centers. Find a place to park and do your hunting on foot.
If you are involved in an accident caused by a determined Pokemon hunter who didn't heed this advice, contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your case.Share