NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A new study links the augmented reality mobile game Pokemon Go with car crashes involving distracted driving.
Pokemon Go uses people’s smartphones with GPS to take players through a virtual map that includes real world locations.
San Diego State researchers found 14 car crashes associated with the game between July 10 and 19, including one player driving his car into a tree.
They also found 4,000 tweets referred to driving while being distracted by playing the game. Some people were even taking screenshots of themselves playing the game while driving.
“If you’re not paying attention to the road, to the vehicle you’re driving, there’s a delayed reaction if you have to stop the car quickly,” Northampton, Mass., Police Capt. John Cartledge explained. “And certainly texting being on the internet or playing games is not advised.”
Pokemon Go was released for mobile devices in the U.S. on July 6.
Cartledge said his department’s officers were pulling over more drivers playing Pokemon Go when it first came out in July but these incidents have decreased in recent weeks.
Originally published by our Media General sister station WWLP-TV