Can You Catch Pokemon While Driving?

by Lily Feinn

Tired of walking around in the summer heat but not quite ready to quit catching Pokemon? Millions of players have faced the same dilemma, and wondered: "Wait one hot second — can you catch Pokemon while driving?" It's a tempting idea, indeed. A car gives the dedicated player the ability to cover more ground quickly, while avoiding the enforced exercise. "Pokemon Go" may be incredibly fun and addictive (believe me, I know), but playing it on the road is incredibly dangerous and under no circumstances should you play "Pokemon Go" while driving.

The technical answer to the question is, yes, Pokemon will continue to pop up on your phone screen even if you are in a car. If the speed of the vehicle is slow enough, it could even be possible to catch them. However, for your safety, and for the safety of those around you, please do not EVER, EVER play "Pokemon Go" while behind the wheel! That's just common sense, people.

The popular augmented reality game can be distracting enough for those strolling down the street in search of a Growlithe (and I have the bruises on my shins to prove it). Over the past week, "Pokemon Go" players have wandered into traffic, trespassed on private property, and even fallen off a cliff in pursuit of finding rare creatures. The game even issues a warning when players sign in, reminding people "to be alert at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings".

Police departments have posted their own warnings to players as well:

We all know how dangerous texting while driving is, and that taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road is a very bad idea. The FCC reports that 18 percent of all fatal car crashes are caused by driver distraction. The augmented reality universe of "Pokemon Go" is the very definition of distraction, but unfortunately some people are still making bad choices —

USA Today reported that on Tuesday, a New York man actively playing "Pokemon Go" while driving crashed into a tree, totaling his car and suffering minor injuries (and national embarrassment). Don't be that guy!

If you really must "catch 'em all," try opting for public transportation when your feet get tired of walking. Playing on a bus or train is totally safe. If you must drive, hand your phone to a passenger in the car and have them check into Pokestops for you.

Remember: friends don't let friends "Pokemon Go" and drive.

Images: screenshots/"Pokemon Go", NYPD 19th Precinct/Twitter, Makenzie/Twitter