Gaming and driving don’t mix: NAFA

Organization reminds fleet professionals and drivers that video games are a form of distracted driving

July 27, 2016
by Fleet Management Staff

PRINCETON, NJ—Pokemon Go, the smartphone game phenomenon which combines augmented reality with GPS tracking and the world-famous monsters of the Pokemon series, is a digital version of a treasure hunt. NAFA Fleet Management Association’s Safety Advisory Council urged fleet professionals and drivers to remember that, if you’re behind the wheel, it is also another form of distracted driving.

“NAFA issued the Association’s ‘no tolerance’ distracted driving position in October of 2015, which makes clear that using smartphones—either handheld or hands-free, for talking or texting, or gaming—is not acceptable,” said David Thompsen, CAFM, NAFA’s Safety Advisory Council Chair.

The Association and fleet professionals alike recognize the dangers of distracted driving, and see aspects of gaming that could be an enticement to gamers to play while driving. “NAFA has also noticed a trend of gamers playing while driving and recording themselves doing this, subsequently uploading the video footage to websites,” Thompsen added. “Not only do you have distracted driving taking place, but the added bad example of videos showing this behavior.”

Furthermore, Thompsen said that smartphone usage also contributes to distracted pedestrians who walk into roads without sufficient awareness. “You see it almost every day, the person who walks across the street, head down, engrossed in whatever’s on their phone. It is up to drivers to stay alert and remain responsible.”

NAFA’s no-tolerance distracted driving position is part of the association’s efforts to promote safe and sane driving. Attendees of NAFA’s 2016 Institute & Expo were encouraged to sign a ‘no distracted driving pledge’ during the event, and NAFA’s publications like the association’s magazine FLEETSolutions feature articles highlighting the issue of distracted driving.

“Video games are entertaining and fun when engaged in a responsible manner,” said Thompsen. “But gaming-while-driving is irresponsible. NAFA’s Safety Advisory Council encourages all fleet professionals and drivers to take to heart three principles: No gaming while driving, no distractions while driving, and always be on alert for distracted pedestrians.”