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July 28, 2016

Pokemon Go Accident Highlights the Dangers Associated with Apps and Driving

Dangers of Pokemon Go

If you watched the news or been online in the past few week, you have like heard of a new game that is being played by millions of people around the world known as Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go is a new and wildly popular app that was designed to be used with people’s smartphones and utilizes augmented reality, a technology that augments the real world with computer-generated enhancements. The app broke the Apple App Store’s record for the number of downloads during the first week it was available and has some 9.5 million active daily users according to some estimates.1

How the App Works

If you have not tried Pokemon Go, this all may sound very confusing. For the uninitiated, here is a brief explanation of the way in which the app operates. Users control an avatar in the game by moving around the real world. The app uses the locational tracking functionality of smartphones to place the avatar on a map that is analogous to the player’s real world location. The player goes through the real world looking for Pokemon, which are fictional creatures that they can capture and train. When they are in range of a Pokemon, their phone uses the camera function to superimpose an image of the Pokemon character on an image of the real world, which they can then capture by throwing Pokeballs at it. Furthermore, players can visit “Pokestops” and “Gyms” in order to collect game-related items and battle with other players.

Playing Pokemon Go Requires a Significant Amount of Attention

Because taking your avatar through the Pokemon Go world requires you to move through the real world, many players look down at their phones as they are walking from place to place in order to make sure they are heading in the direction of the Pokemon they are trying to catch. If you have noticed people in the area looking at their phones more than normal and then stopping to flick their screen repeatedly, it is very likely that you are watching someone playing the game.

Whenever a person is looking at his or her phone, it is taking their attention away from their surroundings. Recognizing this fact, the game’s maker has placed a conspicuous warning on the game’s startup screen reminding players to be careful and to always be aware of their surrounds, but not all players are heeding this advice.

The First Pokemon-Go Related Car Accident Occurred in Less than a Week

Pokemon Go was released on July 6th of this year. According to a report published on CNET, not a week later, a man in Auburn, New York crashed into a tree while playing the game, marking perhaps the first accident caused by a driver distracted by Pokemon Go. While no one was injured in that accident, so long as drivers are using the app, there is a risk of a serious injury-causing accident occurring due to distracted driving.

Distracted Driving Often Entitles Victims to Compensation

Fortunately for people who are injured by distracted drivers, the fact that a driver was distracted and caused an accident is usually sufficient to recover compensation. While Pokemon Go and other smartphone-based activities can certainly result in significant distractions, distractions can also occur in much less high-tech ways. Some of the more common examples of driver distractions that can lead to accidents include the following:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Grooming
  • Applying makeup
  • Reading
  • Talking on the phone
  • Looking at scenery
  • Searching for objects in the car
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Using a GPS device

People who were distracted when an accident occurred may be reluctant to admit that fact to law enforcement or the other parties involved in the accident. For this reason, it is critical for victims to retain an attorney in order to make sure that their legal rights are protected.

Call a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation

If you have been injured by a driver who was using their smartphone or otherwise distracted, you should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as you can. At the Levin Law Firm, we are committed to helping people who have been injured by the negligence of another person to recover for their losses. Best of all, we offer free consultations and will charge you nothing in legal fees unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. To schedule your free case evaluation with a skilled Philadelphia car accident lawyer, call our office today at 215-825-5183 or send us an email through our online contact form.

1 http://www.recode.net/2016/7/13/12181614/pokemon-go-number-active-users

2 http://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/that-didnt-take-long-first-car-crash-attributed-to-pokemon-go-in-new-york/

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