#DontPokemonGoAndDrive Trends After 'Pokémon Go' Hoax Stories

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Pokémon Go, a new mobile game which tasks players with leaving their homes to hunt Pokémon in the real world via an augmented-reality interface, has some players concerned about real-world safety issues. So it's not surprising that bogus reports of a massive Pokémon Go-related traffic accident and spike in pedestrian injuries went viral along with the hashtag #DontPokemonGoAndDrive this weekend.

Appearing on sites called CartelPress and Stubhill News, the stories make a variety of extremely dubious claims about the new app and traffic safety. The CartelPress version claims a player caused "one of the worst traffic accidents" after stepping in front of the vehicle of another man who was also playing while driving. It quotes a make-believe officer as saying Pokémon Go could "double or triple the amount of incidents that happen due to driving while using a mobile device."

The Stubhill News version is more obviously satirical, quoting a researcher on traffic safety as saying "We may lose a few along the way, but the losses will be dwarfed by increases in quality of life and life expectancy ... Sick! Caught a Charmander!"

As #DontPokemonGoAndDrive trended on Twitter this weekend, it remained unclear whether the satirical articles were partially responsible for the hashtag or merely attempting to cash in on it, though credulous social media users spread screenshots of the two posts online.

Others, perhaps realizing the hashtag sat upon a throne of lies, simply joked about it.

No serious reports of major Pokémon Go-related traffic incidents seem to have as of yet hit the news, but the CDC estimates every day distracted drivers are involved in 8 deaths and 1,161 injuries, resulting in hundreds of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries annually. So yes, Pokéballs and driving are a bad combination.

While the app is much safer on foot, users are reminded to maintain visual awareness of their surroundings at all times. Case in point: on Friday, Pokémon Go led a 19-year-old Wyoming girl searching for water Pokémon to a dead body floating in the river.

Read more:
'Pokémon Go' Leads 19-Year-Old Girl Not to Pokémon, but Dead Body in River
This Pokémon Go Player Caught a Pidgey While His Wife Gave Birth Like It Was NBD
Police Station Warns 'Pokémon Go' Gamers Not to Terrorize Them Trying to Catch 'Em All

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Nintendo doesn’t think 4K UHD is widespread enough to worry about it with the Switch

President and COO of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime explains why 4K resolution and competing with the "big dogs" in tech isn't a concern with the Switch.

Here's five of the best deals on the Steam Summer Sale's fourth day

Day four of Steam's summer sale is going on now. Here are some of the best deals you can get.

How to get the useful new Golden Razz Berry item in 'Pokémon Go'

Need to give your Pokémon more motivation in 'Pokémon Go?' Find out how to get the Golden Razz Berry to restore them to full.

'GTA 5' OpenIV mod tools may be available for download again soon

'Grand Theft Auto 5' mod makers may have a reason to rejoice, as the OpenIV toolkit hints at a return.

‘Titanfall 2’ The War Games DLC brings new modes and maps next week

'Titanfall 2' is getting a new free DLC bundle in the form of The War Games.

Here's when you can chill out in 'Injustice 2' as Sub-Zero

Here's when you can expect to play as Sub-Zero in 'Injustice 2'!

Nintendo doesn’t think 4K UHD is widespread enough to worry about it with the Switch

President and COO of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime explains why 4K resolution and competing with the "big dogs" in tech isn't a concern with the Switch.

Here's five of the best deals on the Steam Summer Sale's fourth day

Day four of Steam's summer sale is going on now. Here are some of the best deals you can get.

How to get the useful new Golden Razz Berry item in 'Pokémon Go'

Need to give your Pokémon more motivation in 'Pokémon Go?' Find out how to get the Golden Razz Berry to restore them to full.

'GTA 5' OpenIV mod tools may be available for download again soon

'Grand Theft Auto 5' mod makers may have a reason to rejoice, as the OpenIV toolkit hints at a return.

‘Titanfall 2’ The War Games DLC brings new modes and maps next week

'Titanfall 2' is getting a new free DLC bundle in the form of The War Games.

Here's when you can chill out in 'Injustice 2' as Sub-Zero

Here's when you can expect to play as Sub-Zero in 'Injustice 2'!