Nearly everyone in Las Vegas and elsewhere in the country has heard about the most popular gaming app on the market. Pokémon Go has millions of players around the world leaving their homes to hunt and capture virtual creatures on their smartphones and mobile devices. While getting out in the fresh air is good exercise, mobile technology always has the potential for distraction-related injuries to those who are not cautious.

According to Distraction.gov, thousands of people in the United States are killed and hundreds of thousands more are injured every year in motor vehicle accidents related to distraction. Unfortunately, numerous hospitals are reporting injuries attributed to the Pokémon app. What exactly is so dangerous about this app? It is not the game itself, but the way some people are playing that creates so many hazards. For example, one man reportedly crashed his car into a tree while using the app to hunt Pokémon while driving.

It goes without saying that nobody should use a gaming app while behind the wheel – yet every day, people use their smartphones for such dangerous activities as reading, texting and gaming while driving. However, driving while using Pokémon Go is not the only danger. A teenage girl was hit by a car and injured while walking across a highway to hunt the virtual characters.

Mobile technology can be a nice distraction when used correctly. In the case of games that get people outside and walking around, it can also be healthy. However, everyone should remember to use common sense when on their devices. When using an app as a pedestrian, it is important to always pay attention to one’s surroundings. The best course of action when it comes to using an app in the car is simply to stay off the game while driving, and to pull over in a safe spot whenever it is necessary to look at the screen.

Source: New York Daily News, “New York man crashes into tree playing Pokémon Go while driving; Pennsylvania teen run over crossing highway,” Alfred Ng, July 13, 2016