Driving during Pokemon Go? You're going to get a ticket - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Driving during Pokemon Go? You're going to get a ticket

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WASHINGTON - Pokemon Go is all fun and games, as long as people are using the app safely.

After a national study done by the journal of American Medical Association, it seems that the app is not always being used safely, but it is often a distraction for drivers here in Washington.

Reporter Haley Gibbs spoke with Washington State Patrol today and learned that in just a ten day period in July, there were 14 crashes, and all of them were related to Pokemon Go.

The researchers used drivers' tweets with crash data they found in news reports, and with this study they found that 18% of people were playing the game while driving, 11% said their passenger was playing, and 4% said they were distracted while playing and walking around. These percentages meant that they weren't paying attention to their surroundings in any of these situations, something that Washington State Patrol says isn't just a Pokemon Go issue, but an issue overall.

"We want to have people be aware of their surroundings and not be distracted," says Sgt. James Prouty with the WSP. "Put those electronic devices away because as we know, whether it's Pokemon Go or a text message or listening to music, any of those electronic devices can be a distraction."

These devices can be a distraction both inside and outside of the car. WSP says it's pretty hard to pinpoint these distracted drivers to Pokemon Go, but that ultimately, they have seen an increase in accidents caused by distractions.

The study shows the same increase, stating that the percentage of young drivers involved in these types of distracted accidents has increased from 18% in 2008 to 24% in 2015, and more than half of those crashes were severe.

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