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You don't 'gotta catch 'em all': Pokemon GO sends driver crashing into tree

2016-07-14 10:00

PIKACHU NOT TO THE RESCUE: A US driver crashed into a tree while playing Pokémon GO. Learn from his mistake and don't play mobile games while driving. Image: iStock

Cape Town - In what has to be the most peculiar 'He did what?!' story of the week, a driver managed to wreck his car while playing the new Pokémon GO mobile game.

According to Syracuse.com, the 28-year-old driver "admitted he was playing Pokemon GO while driving".

The newest version of the game uses your smartphone's GPS-location and tells you where to go to catch a Pokemon. Great way to combine gaming and exercise or an accident waiting to happen - for one hapless driver, it proved to be the latter.

READ: Pokémon GO is getting kids to go outside

Applying logic

Playing the game is one thing but South Africans need to know when to play it. Reckless behaviour behind the wheel is a killer on our roads. We contacted Johan Jonck from Arrive Alive to share his thoughts on distracted driving.

READ: All you need to know about Pokemon GO

He says: "Before cellular phones driver distractions were limited mostly to conversations, eating and drinking or distractions outside the vehicle next to the road. Cellphones brought with it the dangers of telephone conversations, texting and driving and now gaming while driving."

READ: Distracted driving in SA - 7 worst in-car distractions

Jonck continues: "Smartphones multiplied the risks with a wide variety of social platforms to attract and occupy the attention of the driver.

"Driving while playing games (i.e distracted behind the wheel) is illegal, stupid and selfish. It disregards the right to safety of other road users and threatens the life and limb of innocent road users!"

Distracted by cellphones and technology 

There is growing concern of the dangers posed by motorists using cellular phones whilst driving.

An international survey amongst 837 drivers with cellphones found that almost half swerved or drifted into another lane, 23% had tailgated, 21% cut someone off and 18% nearly hit another vehicle while using the phone.

Safety tips:

  • Don't use your cellphone while driving.
  • When your phone rings, let it ring! It’s better to use your phone’s voicemail or even miss a call than to put yourself, your passengers and other road users at risk.
  • Use hands-free microphones/bluetooth.
  • If you have to make a call ask a passenger to dial or answer the phone for you. Otherwise pull over.
  • Keep your calls brief.
  • If you expect a call to last longer than a few seconds – be on the lookout for a suitable spot to pull over.
  • Never take notes or jot down numbers whilst driving.
  • In heavy traffic, rather tell the person you will call back when it is safer.

Read more safety tips.

Read the original article here.

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