„Pokémon Go“ has taken the world by storm. The augmented-reality game challenges users to catch Pokémon on an abstract map on their smartphones. The game has seen players running through shopping malls, hospitals and national monuments. Some lose themselves in the game, which merges reality with a virtual world, and find themselves on busy streets or rail lines.
Even worse are those who hunt Pokémon while driving. Until now, the list of most dangerous driving distractions has been led by preening in the mirror, making phone calls and sending texts. Pokémon will likely join the list with the increasing number of people playing behind the wheel.
“Texting and making phone calls are the most common activities on a smartphone while behind the wheel but there are already more signs that smartphones offer more and more functions that may become dangerous if driving,“ says Dr. Jörg Kubitzki, the Road Safety Expert of the Allianz Center for Technology (AZT). “In online games, people look at moving images and solve problems using their visual, manual, and cognitive skills. Nothing could be more dangerous while driving.”