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The First 'Pokémon Go' Car Crash Finally Happened

From huge increases in traffic to small businesses to reports of people unintentionally exercising while playing, it's safe to say a lot of crazy stuff has happened since Pokémon Go hit the scene like a Hitmonchan. And now, just a week after the insanely popular game launched in the US, it looks like someone crashed their damn car while playing.

A 28-year-old man veered off the road and crashed into a tree Wednesday night in Auburn, NY, according to a public safety notice from the local police. Notably, authorities said the driver admitted to playing Pokémon Go behind the wheel, which as Business Insider reports, could make it the first crash linked to the game. 

Luckily, the man suffered only minor injuries, but as you can imagine, the crash could have been a lot worse. Either way, it's a high price to pay for trying to catch a damn Pikachu or hitting up another Pokéstop with an open Lure Module.

In response to the accident, the Auburn Police Department has joined several other local law enforcement agencies across the country in warning people of the potential dangers of playing the game. Here's what they recommend, per the safety alert:

  • Do not use the application when you are operating a motor vehicle or bicycle
  • Do not trespass on private property when trying to “catch” a Pokemon
  • Be aware of your surroundings when walking and do not stare down at your phone not knowing hazards around you, like roadways, drop-offs, waterways, etc.
  • Use caution when sharing your location as strangers can see your location information
  • Travel in groups in public/well lit locations


Anyway, we can't think of a single Pokémon worth even the risk of injury and destruction (you'll probably just find freaking Pidgeys anyway). Oh, and one more thing: you can't catch 'em all if you're dead.

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and feels like it's only a matter of time before he hurts himself while walking and playing the game. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.