The Pokémon GO virtual reality game is based on the popular TV show and card trading game, and it has swept the globe and inspired millions of players to get out and be more active. The game works by rewarding players for the distance they walk. The farther you walk, the more characters you can find and “collect.”
While the game was designed with good intentions, players have unfortunately found a way to negate the positive health benefits by playing the game while driving. A recent study in the Journal for the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that during the period of July 10 though July 19, 2016, approximately 113,993 drivers, passengers, or pedestrians had indicated through Twitter that they were playing the game while on the road.
Pokémon GO Accidents Reviewed in Study
The study was conducted by collecting every tweet during the ten-day window that included the word “Pokémon” along with the word(s) “drive,” “driving,” “drives,” or “car.”
Of the 345,433 tweets that contained these words, a sample of 4,000 were taken for the study. Among those 4,000, approximately 18 percent were concluded to have been by a driver who was playing the game while on the road.
The researchers also looked for media reports on Google News about Pokémon GO-related accidents. They found 321 story clusters covering a total of 14 accidents between July 10-20, 2016.
While there is a small silver lining – the game’s developers have updated the game to only work when players are moving under 10 miles per hours – it may not be enough to prevent injuries.
The distracted driving caused by the players while stopped at a red light or stop sign, or if they slow down traffic to collect their rewards, may still lead you or someone you love to suffer serious injury after a car accident.
Hurt by a Distracted Driver? Call Bressman Law in Columbus
For drivers in Columbus, Ohio, and the surrounding areas, Bressman Law is here to help you fight against negligent drivers and get the compensation you deserve after an accident. If you have been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, call 877-538-1116.