We get it, you gotta catch ’em all but here’s the thing: you need to be safe while playing Pokemon Go. Maybe you’ve heard the horror stories of people falling off cliffs and driving their cars into police vehicles(video below) and you’re saying, “That would never happen to me!” Those people probably said the same thing before they found themselves in a heap of trouble and at the butt of a lot of jokes. While the news has been sharing quite a few negative stories about the record-setting app, Pokemon Go itself is relatively safe. The app/game can’t hurt you but where it takes you might if you’re not careful, aware of your surroundings, and using a bit of common sense. So let’s go ahead and take a look at how to stay safe while playing.
Here is how to stay safe (and out of trouble) while playing Pokemon Go:
- Stay alert at all times. The game even tells you this one. This is a good golden rule for anything that requires using your phone or looking down at your phone. How many fail videos have you seen and laughed at that show people walking into walls, falling into fountains, or even walking out into busy traffic because they were busy looking at their phones? It doesn’t matter if you’re texting, looking at a new video on YouTube, or playing Pokemon Go – when you’re on your phone, you need to remain alert and look around. While Pokemon Go encourages you to move about (that’s the whole point), you should be sure you’re looking up from your phone, you stop walking when it’s time to catch a wild Pokemon, and also that you are aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Don’t play and drive. So, we shouldn’t have to tell you this one but apparently people keep doing it so let’s remind you once again – do not play while driving. If you play Pokemon Go while driving, that is considered distracted driving. It can get you fined, or worse, and it will also increase your risk of accidents. You could hurt yourself or someone else. It’s not worth it. Play responsibly and never behind the wheel of a vehicle. Even if you’re playing as a passenger, it can be a big distraction to the driver. Never wave your phone around in front of the driver and always allow your driver to concentrate. It’s common sense but some people need to be reminded.
- Don’t walk into the street without looking. Do we need to return to Kindergarten for a lesson on why this is dangerous? You should always look before crossing a street and if a pedestrian crosswalk is available, always cross there in a safe location. Don’t stare down at your phone while crossing and never, ever cross without looking. In addition to this guideline, don’t stop in traffic or while crossing the street. Get to the other side safely before you resume playing. Those Pokemon will be back, I promise!
- Don’t go to places you wouldn’t go in any other situation. If you wouldn’t do it before Pokemon Go, you probably shouldn’t be doing it now. If you wouldn’t feel safe in a dark alley alone at 3 a.m., you shouldn’t be doing it to catch a Pokemon. If a place looks dangerous, don’t go in chasing Pokemon. You also shouldn’t hunt on private property, restricted areas, or in work zones or other dangerous places. Again, if you wouldn’t go there in any other circumstance, don’t be lured there by Pokemon.
- Bring supplies. This is especially important for hunting in the day and during the summer months when it is hot but it’s good advice for any time of year. Bring along a bag of water and snacks. Stay hydrated even before and after you go hunting, stop to eat or take snacks with you, and wear sunscreen if you’re fair skinned. If you’re hunting at night, keep in mind that many stores will also be closed (depending on where you live).
Again, these are some common sense basics but it never hurts to recap. Clearly there are people out there who aren’t following the basic safety rules. Be careful, pay attention, and respect others. You can have a lot more fun with the game this way.
So remember, don’t be this guy: