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Pokemon Go players have killed two people this week

It was obvious before it started becoming illegal, but it’s worth stating yet again: using a phone while driving is incredibly dangerous and can end with the driver seriously injuring or killing someone. And yet, people still do it and continue to cause harm.

The Pokemon Go craze, although waning, isn’t helping matters and seems to be making drivers forget how dangerous playing while in control of a vehicle traveling at speed is. This week alone, two people have died in Japan in two separate accidents because of drivers focusing on Pokemon Go instead of the road, and a third person remains seriously injured.


The first accident occurred on August 11 in Kasugai. A 29-year-old woman was crossing the street on her bicycle when she was hit by a car causing her critical injuries. She sadly passed away yesterday. The driver admitted he was playing Pokemon Go while driving, which had drained his phone battery. He hit the woman while looking away from the road and the game to plug his phone in to charge.

The second accident occurred on Tuesday evening when a 39-year-old driver hit two women crossing the street in Tokushima. He admitted to playing Pokemon Go while driving and didn’t see the pedestrians. The older of the two women (72) died of her injuries soon after reaching hospital, while the younger (60) remains seriously injured.


This isn’t the fault of Pokemon Go, of course, it’s the individuals playing the game. But how do you hit home how dangerous this practice is and overcome that “must play” urge in these situations? The threat of prosecution doesn’t seem to be enough because I see plenty of people still using their phones in cars to talk without a hands-free kit.

Maybe the solution is more extreme… maybe phones need to automatically not work whenever they detect they are inside a car and not hooked up to a hands-free system. I don’t see that ever happening, though, and even if it did someone would create a workaround “for convenience.”

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