Distracted Pokemon Go Players Cause a Spike in Injuries
Pokemon Go has proved to be a massive hit in Virginia and elsewhere. However, the crazy has also led to an upsurge in distraction injuries with players becoming too obsessed with their smartphones.
The Washington Post reported an upsurge in injuries within half-an-hour of the game’s release as users made unscheduled visits to the emergency room.
Pokemon Go entails players capturing cartoon characters on their phones. It’s not inherently dangerous but it’s causing users to become distracted.
In a recent article, we described how the large number of injuries attributable to distracted walking had led to a call for it to become an offense.
It followed a survey from Safe Kids Worldwide that found 47 percent of a sample of 1,000 people who said they were hit or almost in an accident, were listening to music, 20 percent were talking on a phone and 18 percent were texting while walking.
Social media has been recording some of the misfortunes of Pokemon players. One reported on Reddit he slipped and fell into a ditch just 30 minutes into the game’s release, fracturing a metatarsal bone in his foot. In California, two players had to be rescued after falling off a cliff.
Gerry Beyer, Governor Preston E. Smith Regents Professor of Law at Texas Tech University School of Law, warned death by Pokemon is coming. He said.
“Pokemon users will have all sorts of accidents as they use the program while walking, biking, driving, etc.”
The Pokemon Go app contains a warning in the loading screen those who play to pay attention to their surroundings. Clearly, many users are ignoring it.
Now police departments across the country are advising Pokemon players to look up when they walk, to be careful about where they are going, and to avoid playing while driving.
The distracted driving aspect is the most worrying one of them all. There are already too many distractions to entice drivers to look at their phones and Pokemon adds one more. It may only be a matter of time until the term “Pokemon Go” appears in personal injury lawsuits.
If you are playing Pokemon Go you need to keep your eyes on the real world. Do not play it while you are driving and crossing the road. You should also exercise care on sidewalks so as you don’t walk into obstacles.
The police have also warned players against going to unsafe locations after dark to play the game.
We hope you have fun but make sure to take basic precautions to avoid injury. If you have been hurt in an accident as a pedestrian or a motorist, you may have grounds to file a claim. Call us at (757) 455-0077.