It is a trend spreading all over the world. Children of the 90’s rejoice as they reminisce on one of the favorite franchises of their childhood. Nintendo recently released the Pokémon Go app, an interactive and more modern way to bring this card game to life.
Pokémon Go is now on more Android phones than the dating app Tinder and has been neck and neck in popularity with the social media platform Twitter according to recent analytics. Pokémon Go made a whopping $35 million in revenue from in-app purchases in its first two weeks and brings approximately $1.6 million dollars per day from its iPhone users alone. It remains the top-selling app in the app store since its release.
While it seems like all fun and games, Pokémon Go has been linked to robberies, the discovery of deceased bodies, and falling off of cliffs while users attempt to catch all of their favorite Pokémon.
There have been numerous reports of pedestrian injuries as well as at least one report of a pedestrian hit by a car while playing Pokémon Go. Users are so enthralled with the game that they wander aimlessly through city streets being struck by oncoming vehicles. Nintendo has placed a pop-up warning as the Pokémon Go app loads to warn its users prior to the start of the game to watch your surroundings as you play, however, this is a difficult task when users’ eyes are glued to their phones while searching for nearby Pokémon, gyms and various poke-stops.
Pedestrian injury has been common since the age of texting began, but Pokémon Go has taken the phrase “injured by a smartphone” to a new level. Pokémon Go users are bumping into stationary objects and people on the streets, suffering from cuts and scrapes. Many have also experienced more serious injuries from tripping and falling while playing the game. As pedestrians drift into the road to catch Pikachu, they are also blindly walking into oncoming traffic. If hit by a car, Pokémon Go users can suffer severe cuts, scrapes and bruising, as well as more serious injuries such as burns, broken bones or even death.
As stated above, Pokémon Go has led users to unusual situations. A teen in Wyoming discovered a body in a river while catching water Pokémon. Two California men fell off of a cliff while playing Pokémon Go. There have also been instances where criminals lure in users and attack them while they are distracted by the game. They use the geolocation feature to anticipate a location and the seclusion of unsuspecting users.
Pokémon Go has also been very damaging for distracted driving prevention. Forget changing the song on your iPhone, Pokémon Go has its users watching the road through their phone screen while searching for Pokémon. All of their focus is on where the Pokémon are and not where the road is. Locally, in Auburn, NY, a driver wrapped his car around a tree while playing Pokémon Go behind the wheel. Luckily, the man was not seriously injured, but the situation could have been much worse. In Baltimore, a Pokémon Go user slammed into a parked police car while playing the game. Imagine this very real situation, a Pokémon Go player could be driving down the road while a pedestrian also playing Pokémon Go wanders into the road. If users are not paying attention, Pokémon Go could be a dangerous threat to the community.
There are several ways to prevent a pedestrian accident or injury while playing Pokémon Go. Police urge users to be very aware of their surroundings while playing on the app. They suggest playing with friends if the game takes you to new or unfamiliar places. Most importantly, never play Pokémon Go while driving.
Have you been injured by someone that was distracted while playing Pokémon Go? If you have been injured as a pedestrian or as a motorist as a result of someone’s distracted driving, while playing Pokémon Go, or otherwise, you need The People’s Lawyer. We are experienced accident lawyers ready to fight for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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