Pokemon Go: A New Distraction for Drivers?
For years now, we’ve been warning New Jersey drivers on the dangers of distracted driving. According to recent research by the government website Distraction.gov, 3,179 people had died and 431,000 people were injured in auto accidents that involved a distracted driver in 2014. The percentage of drivers visibly either texting or using handheld devices increased from 1.7 percent 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2014. And now, we have a new threat: Pokemon Go.
What is Pokemon Go? You may have heard of the app but not really sure what it’s about. The game itself is rather simple — the player has to capture video game cartoon characters called Pokemon that are hidden in the real world. Using the GPS signal on your phone, the game will alert you to any nearby Pokemon as gamers walk around town. Once captured, you can build a team, train them, and then battle other players in locations called “gyms.” However, the game requires to you to keep an eye on your phone at all times in order to find and capture the Pokemon.
According to recent news reports, the extremely popular game app is already causing havoc. Before the game loads, it does warn players to pay attention to their surroundings while playing the game but the warning doesn’t seem to be helping much as more and more reports come out of players getting into accidents. There have been sightings of players around New Jersey walking around in search of Pokemon and not watching where they are going. This is cause of alarm since pedestrian accidents had increased dramatically in 2015. And although the game has not yet been sited as the cause for any auto accidents in New Jersey, it has happened in other parts of the country. A couple of weeks ago, a New York man had broken his ankle after driving his car in a tree while playing the game. Just last week, a Baltimore man had hit a police car while playing the game behind the wheel.
So if you are an avid player of the game, please answer this question before getting behind the wheel: Is playing a game really worth risking your life over?
If you get into an auto accident with a distracted driver in New Jersey, we’re here to help. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone now for a free consultation.