A New York man playing Pokémon Go while driving crashed into a tree on Tuesday, the Auburn Police Department said. This seems to be the first major road accident associated with the augmented reality game released earlier this month.
The 28-year-old driver admitted to playing the game and becoming distracted as he moved northbound on Owasco Street. Officers responded by 10:44 p.m. and found the driver disoriented, sustaining lacerations on both legs.
Thankfully, he was “not seriously injured,” The Citizen reported. He was brought to the Auburn Community Hospital through a TLC ambulance. “The engine was actually starting to come into the passenger compartment. Extremely lucky,” Police Chief Shawn Butler said.
In light of the unfortunate incident, the Auburn Police Department issued the following reminders:
- Do not use the application when you are operating a motor vehicle or bicycle
- Do not trespass on private property when trying to “catch” a Pokemon
- Be aware of your surroundings when walking and do not stare down at your phone not knowing hazards around you, like roadways, drop-offs, waterways, etc.
- Use caution when sharing your location as strangers can see your location information
- Travel in groups in public/well lit locations
Authorities expect compliance as these guidelines are pretty much self-explanatory. The Auburn Police Department said common sense — while playing — should be paramount “above everything else.”
Pokémon Go has brought good and bad news to the public in a short span of time. With over 15 million downloads to date, the game has been helping small businesses and bringing positive impact on physical and mental health.