Have you heard all the fuss over Pokemon Go yet? Chances are your children, coworkers and even your drivers are hooked. The augmented reality game has become an overnight sensation across the world.
Here's how it works: Using your smartphone GPS, camera and clock, the game prompts you to find “hidden" Pokemon characters that can pop on your screen view anywhere. Some “PokeStops" might be in your house; others can be two blocks down the road.
This addictive game has everyone walking — and sometimes even driving — around searching for more Pokemon.
The app has become wildly popular among millennials, who grew up playing the original Pokemon game. We can already see it affecting younger and older generations as well.
Like we've witnessed with most other internet fads, they calm down after a while. However, distracted driving is an epidemic causing major impact throughout the country. Adding Pokemon Go to the mix raises the stakes even higher.
Traffic accidents linked to Pokemon Go have recently been making headlines. Pedestrians have been injured because they crossed busy intersections and highways while looking down at the game. Even drivers have been involved in accidents, as they played while driving.
Fleet drivers need to be wary of increasing numbers of distracted Pokemon Go players on the streets. It also goes without saying they should not be playing Pokemon Go — or any other online game — while driving.
But, unless you have this clearly spelled out in your fleet safety policy, your company may be liable for gaming-related incidents involving your drivers. This leaves the door wide open for lawsuits and PR nightmares.
“While many companies are quickly coming up with policies for talking on the phone while driving, it's important not to limit your policy verbiage to only talking on the phone, but also for the use of apps," said Bob Krueger, director of safety at LeasePlan USA. “These include — but are not limited to — Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram, LinkedIn or any game apps."
Think about your policy as it is today — would it protect your company from Pokemon Go?
Want to learn more about how to craft your safety policy with generations in mind? Register today for LeasePlan USA's webinar, “Safety and the Generational Gap," with safety experts Dan Shive and Bob Krueger.