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Pokémon Go: Is the Game Leading to More Traffic Accidents?

by  on  News & Resources

More than likely, you have heard about one of the latest mobile game crazes to sweep the country — Pokémon Go. Seemingly overnight, the game (which debuted on July 6, 2016) has attracted millions of individuals, young and old, to participate. However, it didn’t take long for the news of injuries and accidents to reach various media outlets in Colorado and across the country.

Users of social media have shared many stories about injuries and accidents that have occurred due to playing the game. In fact, the accidents stemming from the game have touched people of all ages, from adults who have fallen off cliffs to children who have been hit by cars to even a collision with a parked police vehicle in Baltimore. As of yet, no auto accidents related to the game have been reported in Colorado; however, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) issued a warning to area drivers: “Beware the Pokémon. Don’t Game and Drive.”

The message appeared briefly on approximately 50 of the 200 digital message boards that exist all across the state. A CDOT spokesperson stated that drivers were likely playing the game while driving, so the Department issued the warning due to the game’s popularity.

Why Are People Getting Injured?

For those who do not know how the game works, Pokémon Go uses what’s known as “geocaching” to permit players to find and “catch” Pokémon in various actual locations throughout that person’s immediate area and/or city. For parents who have been struggling to figure out how to get their children off of the couch and out of the house for activities, the game has been helpful in that effort.

In order to obtain as many points as possible, players who are seeking to find items and discover new Pokémon are walking, running, biking and driving from one place to another. The first weekend the game was released, it was immediately evident that the game may be leading to unfortunate incidents. For instance, when it was first released publicly, four teens in Missouri allegedly used the game to rob several victims who were lured to various locations near Poke-stops.

Even more disturbing than the robberies that have occurred is the fact that many drivers are attempting to operate their vehicles while trying to catch Pokémon. Apparently, using a vehicle to play the game can result in catching Pokémon and accessing Poke-stops quicker, which leads to players improving their “XP level.” One player admitted to driving while playing and luckily escaping a potentially deadly outcome after a vehicle pulled out in front of her while she was trying to get a “pidgey.”

AAA also issued a warning, noting that even taking as much as a quick look at the game while driving is just as bad as texting while driving and doing so could cause someone to lose his or her life.

It should also be noted that playing the game while walking is risky as well. When playing the game, individuals become so engrossed on the phone screens that they often fail to pay attention to their surroundings and the potential dangers that may be ahead.

If you or someone you love has been injured due to someone else’s negligence that may have been caused by game distraction or any other type of distraction, contact a Denver personal injury lawyer at Levine Law as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and options under the law.