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Pokémon Go is the newest road hazard

The summer's hottest craze seems to be Pokémon Go; a mobile game played on a smartphone or tablet. The game interfaces with the real world to allow users to catch and train small monster creatures called "Pokémon." Children, teens and adults alike are completely infatuated with Pokémon Go and have been spotted playing it in some of the most unlikely places. However, because the game requires travel in order for a user to advance, it has also encouraged bad habits in players - particularly teens whose judgment can often be influenced by their excitement.

A recent well-publicized incident in Auburn, New York, truly depicts how deeply this little game can affect your life. A 28-year old driver admitted that his collision with a tree was caused by playing the game while driving. His attention focused elsewhere, and staying aware of the road was not his priority.

Though the driver was not seriously injured, he was considered lucky by police who were on the scene. Distracted driving and distracted walking can cause trouble for you and those around you, and Pokémon Go is not doing you any favors while you are trying to get from place to place.

The Department of Transportation has released a set of tips for drivers to help avoid situations such as this. They recommend that individuals remain aware of their surroundings; not trespass onto private property; travel in groups while playing; stick to well-lit public areas; and exercise caution when sharing location information.

Stay alert, and stay aware! This does not mean you need to stop having fun, but enjoy your diversions responsibly.

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Robert L. Brenna, Jr.Selected to Super Lawyers: 2007 - 2015

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