Pokémon Go is arguably the most popular mobile video game of all time. This smartphone game app enables players to hunt down and capture their favorite Pokemon character in the real world using the same technology that powers Google Maps. Although it has been hailed as a way of getting game-obsessed teens out of their bedrooms and off their couches for some much-needed exercise, it has also raised safety concerns.
In July 2016 Fox News reported that an 18-year-old Guatemalan teen was shot and killed while playing Pokémon Go. Reports were unclear as to whether the boy was ambushed by unknown attackers or shot while breaking into a home to catch a virtual monster. There was even a security incident at a base in Indonesia when the player breached the secure premises while hunting Pokemon.
While not all incidents are of this magnitude, there is still an alarming number of reports of people tripping and falling, wandering into traffic and even driving while playing the game. Last February two Purdue University professors released a report suggesting that there has been a marked increase in the number of collisions, injuries, and even deaths due to people playing Pokémon Go while driving.
According to the report, the number of traffic accidents has increased across the U.S. in the wake of the game’s 2016 release, but the incident totals are 26.5% higher at intersections close to a Pokéstop, or hunting ground. This outcome is likely because drivers slow down suddenly and take their eyes off the road just long enough for an accident to occur.
The message of gamers everywhere is clear. To play safely, they need to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Players should not trespass either and must avoid playing Pokémon Go while driving. While this seems like it should be common sense road safety, police have caught many people driving while trying to capture a Pokémon character.
When someone is injured by a Pokémon Go player, the negligent party and possibly even Nintendo could be found liable- the National Law Review is suggesting that the game may be a form of “augmented reality incitement” for players to behave negligently.
When the weather is pleasant this number, you’re going to find more people out playing the game. If you are struck by a distracted driver or otherwise injured by someone focusing more on the game than on their surroundings, then contact a New York personal injury attorney immediately. When any type of carelessness causes you months of painful recovery, your attorney will fight to get you the award or settlement needed to recover. Jayson Lutzky is a highly experienced personal injury and accident lawyer. If you were injured due to a defective product or due to someone else’s negligence, then set up a free in-person initial consultation with Mr. Lutzky. Call his office at 718-514-6619 to set up a consultation.