How to play Pokémon Go without causing an accident in Ohio

Playing Pokémon Go can be fun, but it must be done in a way that will not lead to a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident.

Within just weeks of its release, Pokémon Go went viral. According to Survey Monkey, just seven days after it launched, approximately 25 million people were playing the game. That includes people in Ohio using smartphones and mobile devices equipped with a camera to "catch" Pokémon.

Supporters of the game have noted that it has gotten people outside and even exercising as they hit trails to find Pokémon. Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad, and some of the bad has been devastating.

Doing harm?

CBS News compiled a number of incidents that have occurred across the globe as the result of people playing the game. Here in Ohio, two people were arrested for breaking into a zoo to hunt Pokémon. In another case, a hit-and-run driver fatally injured a woman in Melbourne playing the game.

Reports of distracted drivers and unaware pedestrians are popping up all over the world. It appears that people are too focused on their screens to pay attention to the task at hand.

Additionally, there has been criticism of the game infringing on private properties. Pokémon will "hide" near private homes or in places where it would be inappropriate. For example, The Washington Post reports that the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has had to ask guests not to play there, as doing so is disrespectful.

Play it safe

It should go without saying that anyone playing the game should be mindful of when and how it happens. People on foot must be aware of their surroundings to avoid walking into traffic or other hazardous conditions. Further, consumers engaged with the game should be careful of where they go to look for Pokémon. Dangerous areas or playing at nighttime when visibility is low should be avoided.

People who play the game should be mindful of boundaries. Trespassing on private property is never a good idea, especially if it is simply to play a game. Further, it can be a sign of disrespect to play the game in certain venues, like work spaces where people are trying to concentrate.

Beyond safety, playing Pokémon Go while driving could cause legal issues. Under Ohio law, texting while driving is illegal except under certain circumstances like emergencies. Of course, the game does not require texting, but it does demand someone's attention on a screen. Causing a motor vehicle accident due to playing the game could land a driver in hot water.

When playing the game or another distraction does lead to an injury, it is possible for a victim to hold the negligent party responsible. People who have concerns about this topic should speak with a personal injury attorney in Ohio.