SPOKANE, Wash. – A new report from the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates 14 crashes in the United States over a 10 day period in July were related to Pokemon Go. Washington State Patrol confirms they have seen Pokemon Go-related crashes right here in Washington State.
The research correlates driver’s tweets with crash data found on news reports.
According to the study, 18% of tweets indicated a person was playing and driving, while 11% indicated a passenger was playing. Four percent indicated a pedestrian was distracted.
WSP is now urging drivers to put down the interactive game while behind the wheel.
WSP officials have witnessed collisions and dangerous driving behavior as a result of drivers and passengers distracted by Pokemon Go.
In Washington, the first Pokemon Go-related crash happened on July 18 in Fall City. WSP officials said a distracted driver ran into a stopped car carrying a mother and son. No one was injured in the crash.
Troopers have also stopped drivers for being distracted while driving with the game open on their phone.
According to the Department of Licensing, 24% of young drivers involved in Washington fatal crashes were distracted in 2015, up six percent since 2008.
WSP urges games to consider safety over becoming a Pokemon master.
Tips from WSP:
- Do not trespass while playing Pokemon Go.
- Please don’t catch and drive. WSP said it is more dangerous than texting and driving.
- If you are on the way to a PokeStop, know your surroundings and pay attention to where you are going and who is around you.
(© 2016 KREM)