Both the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and IAM RoadSmart have issued friendly warnings to Pokemon Go players not to get so swept up in the game that they cause an accident.
UK road safety charity IAM Roadsmart is urging motorists not to go on the hunt for Squirtle on Spaghetti Junction, Jigglypuff on the Hangar Lane gyratory or Magikarp on the M4.
The new Pokemon GO mobile phone craze has swept the world in the last month but IAM RoadSmart has reminded drivers not to play the game while at the wheel of their cars.
The game allows you to seek out Pokemon characters in real life settings via your mobile phone. But IAM RoadSmart fears that young drivers especially could go on the search for Pikachu and his friends on the roads.
Samson Ruwangu, IAM RoadSmart digital content executive said: “Kids and adults alike are going crazy for this game. But the risk is that some people are going to be playing it at the wrong time – and driving a car is the last place you should be looking for Pidgey, Rattata or the others.”
Samson added: “While looking out for Eevee, Weedle and the rest is great fun, it is important to keep concentration on what matters – and that’s keeping your eyes on the road. Psyduck can wait for later.”
Safety guidelines for Pokemon Go players
At the same time the ABI has set up guidelines for safe “hunting and catching”. In addition to not playing while driving they also warn players to:
- Be aware of your surroundings – there is higher risk of slip and trip accidents if you don’t pay attention
- Stay alert to those around you – displaying your mobile phone in public increases the risk of theft, so be careful about when and where you do it
Ross Penstone-Smith, Policy Adviser for General Insurance at the ABI, said: “Playing Pokemon Go shouldn’t mean letting go of your senses. It’s important to remember that mobile phone users should always have their wits about them, drive carefully and watch out for hazards.
“While insurers will be there to help customers when they have accident or are victims of crime, it’s best for everyone if risks are avoided in the first place. Following these simple principles should reduce those risks while still allowing gamers to play to their hearts’ content.”