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Pokémon Go Encourages Drivers to Cheat the System, Resulting in Careless Driving

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on August 15, 2016

Pokémon Go is the current craze sweeping the entire world, from Seattle, Washington to Tokyo, Japan. Designed by Niantic after a successful franchise involving a television show, video games, and trading cards, the app seeks to revitalize interest in hunting and collecting rare animals known as Pokémon, evolving them, and then battling other Pokémon at locations known as gyms.

Pokémon Go is, in some respects, an ingenious phone app that seeks to encourage children this summer to get off of their couches and go outside. Many players have lauded the app as helping them lose weight by walking long distances, and others have expressed that the app helped them explore sites and monuments that they never knew existed. With that said, many players have recently realized that they can catch more Pokémon while driving and have thus taken to the roads, staring intently at their phones instead of the road.

The Dangers of Driving and Pokémon Go

The Pokémon Go app strategically places Pokémon throughout the city of Seattle, forcing Seattle residents to travel in order to catch the Pokémon. In addition, the app places Poke’ stops, which are locations where you can fuel up on supplies, throughout the city. Furthermore, the app gives players eggs that can be hatched by walking a required distance. Drivers have discovered that they can more quickly catch Pokémon, visit Poke’ stops, and hatch eggs if they drive instead of walk.

Unfortunately, this leads to a large number of distracted drivers who are more focused on catching a rare Charmander than braking for a pedestrian crossing the street. As such, the Pokémon Go app has led to an increased number of accidents due to distracted drivers.

In July, one Pokémon Go player was slowly cruising down a street while playing in the app. He was not looking up and ended up colliding with a parked police car. Several police officers were standing next to the vehicle, wearing body cameras. The accident was caught on camera, and the driver was unable to escape.

In another incident, a driver was distracted by trying to catch a Pokémon, swerved off of the road during the late evening, and crashed into a tree. Though he was not seriously injured, his car was totaled. The man admitted to police officers that he was playing the game while driving.

Injured in a Car Accident? Call Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.

If you were injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, the experienced Seattle personal injury attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. can assist you with proving negligence and seeking compensation. To schedule a free case evaluation, call us at (888) 228-3860.

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