Texting and driving is already a serious issue, but with the recent ‘Pokémon Go’ craze, drivers have to be even more vigilant.
The smartphone game – which has been downloaded an estimated 75 million times – is based off the 90’s card game and hand-held Nintendo games. The augmented reality game encourages people to find and collect over 150 Pokémon characters spread throughout a given city.
Unfortunately, this has led to a slew of accidents as a result of individuals playing the game while driving. As the app requires players to essentially stare at the screen to track down the fictional creatures, those who are engaged with the game while operating a vehicle are truly endangering the lives of other drivers and pedestrians.
In fact, several incidents that have already occurred include:
- On July 12th, a 28-year old driver in Auburn, New York crashed into a tree while playing the popular app. He was distracted because of the game and ran his vehicle off the road head-on into the tree. Though his injuries weren’t serious – a few cuts caused by the shattered glass – the car was totaled and could have truly led to serious trauma or even death.
- A 37-year old man was injured in Bangor, Maine, on July 24th after a ‘Pokémon Go’ road rage incident.
- On July 20th, a driver slammed into a parked police car in Baltimore while distracted by ‘Pokémon Go’. Luckily, there were no police in the patrol car and nobody was injured by the at-fault driver.
- In Pennsylvania, a 15-year old girl walked onto a high-traffic road and suffered injuries to her collarbone and foot as well as receiving several cuts and bruises. She had only been playing the game for 30 minutes before the accident happened.
- Two police officers were injured in Canada when a distracted driver backed into their cruiser. Prior to the incident the car had already failed to signal a turn. The officers were treated at the hospital for minor injuries and the driver walked away with only two $30 tickets.
- At Central Park, a “rare” Pokémon was released and hundreds of players stampeded into the vicinity. Drivers and pedestrians rushed to the site with one individual leaving his car on and parked in the middle of the road. Though no accidents occurred the situation could have quickly escalated and led to grave injuries.
Because of all of the deplorable incidents that are happening nationwide (worldwide considering the release of the app in numerous nations), J. Gonzalez Law Firm would like to offer a number of tips to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.
- Do not drive while utilizing the game. You CANNOT safely do both.
- Be diligent while driving to avoid unfocused pedestrians and drivers, who inappropriately, may be playing the game.
- If walking through your neighborhood pay attention to oncoming traffic.
- Play in pairs or groups to have multiple eyes focused on safety.
- DO NOT trespass onto private property.
- If you are traveling to an unfamiliar area let others know where you will be.
Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, but cause lifelong damage or even death. At J. Gonzalez Law Firm we understand that games are entertaining and meant to be a form of relaxation. Yet, the reality is that it is vital you remain aware at all times for you and the safety of others.
If you or a loved one has been hurt as a result of a car accident, then give J. Gonzalez Law Firm a call. Our personal injury lawyers have the dedication and intelligence to help victims of negligence to receive the reparation their pain is owed. Reach us here to get the legal assistance you deserve.