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Don't play and drive

Don't play and drive

With people chasing monsters all over the country while they played the new Pokémon-Go virual reality gaming app, it seemed inevitable that the first car crashes caused by people playing while driving, was an accident waiting to happen.

And so it turned out.

Pokémon related crash repair

In July, the ABC reported that, "a panel beater west of Brisbane has received his first Pokémon Go-related crash repair, and did not expect it to be his last".

The woman backed her car into another at Toowoomba's Picnic Point during a Pokémon Go session, the crash report said.

"There were cars pulled over everywhere obviously chasing Pokémon," panel beater Darren Holmes said

"Everybody was on their phones and we were all talking about it through the week that we'd catch somebody ... and we've got one already.

"It's only minor so it's not a major accident but it's still enough that it needs to be an insurance claim.

"I think we will see some more over the coming weeks I'm sure.

"Whether they actually admit to what they were doing is another matter."

Fines and demerit points

As the craze continues to sweep the nation, the NSW Police reminded drivers on Twitter the consequences of getting caught while playing:

"What do you get when you mix driving & Pokémon Go? $325 and 4 Demerit Points."

Compromised insurance cover

Pokémon Go players are also being warned their insurance cover could be compromised if they cause an accident while using their vehicles to chase down the fictional monsters.

Understand Insurance spokesperson Campbell Fuller says breaking the law may result in insurers fully or partially denying claims.

“The appeal of marauding across the metropolis hunting down mythical manga monsters may not be clear to everyone, but the road rules most certainly should be,” he says.

“Handling a phone or other mobile device, such as a tablet or smart watch, while driving is dangerous and against the law in every state and territory.

“Comprehensive and third-party property motor insurance policies require policyholders to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of themselves and their vehicles. That includes obeying the law.

“If an accident was caused by a driver who was handling their phone, it may result in an insurance claim being denied, and the driver left to cover the repair costs themselves.”

Fuller says Pokémon pursuers using their cars to catch the critters should pull over before pulling out their mobile phones.

“Better yet, use public transport and remove any chance ploughing into another road user or a pedestrian while stalking Snorlax or tracking Tyranitar,” he says.

“Not even the chance to capture the powerful and elusive psychic Pokémon Mewtwo is worth causing an accident, possibly hurting yourself or others, facing fines and prosecution and being saddled with thousands of dollars in debt.”

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