How much is that Pikachu worth to you? It’s a valid question because if you’re found to be breaking the law when you crash your car, you may well end up having to foot the repair bill yourself.
Understand Insurance spokesman 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.”
Mobile phone use while driving
Recent research by Canstar Blue found that even before the advent of Pokemon Go our driving habits left something to be desired. A national survey of more than 1,700 Australian drivers found that a worrying 26% admit to texting while driving – including 56% of those aged 18 – 29 – and 15% use social media while driving. Nothing like Instagramming your very own car accident!
Source: Canstar Blue survey of 1762 Australian adult drivers
A recent survey by Quantum Market Research for www.understandinsurance.com.au found only 31 per cent of drivers under 30 had comprehensive vehicle insurance, compared with 18 per cent of all motorists. One in 12 Australian drivers (8 per cent) don’t have third-party property cover.
Mr 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 said.
A number of Pokemon Go car accidents have been reported across the country, including a driver crashing his car into a school building on Ridgemont Drive, Berwick and a driver backing her car into another at Toowoomba’s Picnic Point.