16 Sep “Pokémon Go” Hazardous to Motorists
“Pokémon Go” is the hit virtual game of the summer, combining real-world locations and digital characters. Bringing back the nostalgic 90s monster-catching game and updating it for today’s technology-driven society, “Pokémon Go” is an outdoor adventure, directing players to various physical locations through their smart phone’s GPS.
Pokémon enthusiasts across the globe are now on a mission to collect as many Pokémon creatures as possible. The game places these cartoon monsters in the real world for players to find and catch. Captured Pokémon can then be used in battles where one player’s Pokémon fight those of other users.
An Attention Grabber
While “Pokémon Go” encourages players to get outside and move around, it unfortunately has also led to other consequences. Players of the app must keep their eyes on their mobile device while playing, an activity which is often simultaneously incompatible with other physical activities.
Playing “Pokémon Go” while performing another activity can lead to several problems, but this is especially true for those playing the game while operating a motor vehicle. Such practice can and has led to many distracted driving accidents already, and could easily result in harm befalling the driver and anyone else involved. Law enforcement and transportation agencies everywhere are warning players to avoid using the app while driving and to be aware of their surroundings while playing the game and walking.
Distracted Driving a Global Problem
All over the globe, “Pokémon Go” has played a role in car accidents. In Japan, a driver caused a three-car pileup after driving distracted while playing. The Japanese government has also reported that several dozen additional traffic accidents have been attributed to the app’s use in just three days. This just goes to show the magnitude of the problem, and it’s only the beginning.
In Melbourne, Australia, a teenager smashed his car into a school while playing “Pokémon Go,” despite there being roadside signs specifically warning motorists not to use the app while behind the wheel.
There have also been a number of instances in which pedestrians and even stationary motorists playing the game have caused accidents. A car in Singapore crashed into a barrier after attempting to avoid another vehicle, which was idling in the road. Witnesses reported that the occupants of the stopped vehicle were playing none other than “Pokémon Go.”
US Drivers Also at Risk
Here in the United States, we’ve also been seeing our fair share of distracted driving accidents related to Pokémon hunting. In New York, a man crashed his car into a tree while playing the game, just the first of many such accidents. Every week, more and more of these accidents are being reported, and while injuries have thankfully been few and not serious so far, it seems it’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt or killed.
Playing “Pokémon Go” while driving undoubtedly poses a major hazard to motorists. The game’s maker, Niantic, requires users to waive their ability to sue the company for any injuries and legal issues caused while using the app. Whether Niantic could be held responsible by someone who was hurt by an app user, however, is a matter of some debate right now.
Car Accident Lawyers in California
If you were injured in a car accident involving any kind of distracted driving, including the use of “Pokémon Go,” contact an experienced attorney from Crowell Law Offices. We are committed to helping you navigate the legal system and recovering just compensation for your injuries. Please contact us at 916-303-2800 for a free consultation or complete the form below. We can help you in your recovery.