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Pokémon Go GPS Game May Increase Personal-Injury Accidents

July 20, 2016 | Accident & Injury

It’s a craze that has taken over the streets for those young and old. Whether you embrace it or not, the Pokémon Go GPS game may increase your risk of personal-injury accidents. This game has had a far-reaching effect on many levels, but with the positive always comes the negative. Unfortunately, the media has been reporting on many personal-injury accidents related to driving, personal safety and pedestrian accidents.

Pokémon Go players at risk for pedestrian personal-injury accidents

The Pokémon Go augmented-reality game has catalyzed many positive things – increased exercise, interactions with real people, a surge in admissions to museums and attractions, boosting voter registrations and helping increase revenues for small-business owners. It is quite the phenomenon watching people wander around in a daze trying to acquire Pokémon Go balls so they can capture different Pokémons along the way.

Nintendo and Niantic Labs have combined a mobile app game with GPS to play with real-world obstacles. There have been numerous reports since the release of Pokémon Go of personal injuries, car accidents, falling off cliffs and walking into traffic. Many police departments around the country have even warned people to pay attention when walking and driving.

Pokémon Go GPS game may increase risk of personal-injury accidents while driving

It’s one thing to play the game as a passenger, but it’s critical that a driver not play while driving. This is a much greater problem than distracted driving while texting or talking on the phone. The length of time it takes to execute an action is far longer than glancing at a text message.

The Vancouver personal-injury lawyers at Warnett Hallen LLP advise that players should deactivate the game while driving a vehicle to avoid car accidents. Even a passenger playing can cause distractions for a driver. The game was meant to be played walking, not driving, and a game is not worth the loss of life – yours or another person’s.

One company has created a device that blocks drivers from using apps like Pokémon Go while driving, Drive ID. Install the small device in your car, sync it to your phone with Bluetooth and Drive ID puts your cellphone into safe mode based on predefined criteria. In addition to eliminating distracted driving, it also helps encourage other safe-driving habits such as staying within speed limits.

Pokémon Go and Driving in Vancouver

The Pokemon Go craze means we are likely to see many more Vancouver car accidents and injuries because these GPS games increases the risk of personal injuries. It would be great to see these game developers get behind the messaging to eliminate distracted driving and use technology to try to stop it. Put the phone and Pikachu away while you drive and when walking, remember you are not in a virtual world.

Have you been caught in a Pokémon Go craze and sustained a personal injury? Call Paul Warnett, Manjot Hallen, Guyle Clark or Mark Lyons of Warnett Hallen LLP – voted best law firm to call when an accident strikes by the Georgia Straight Best of Vancouver to help you achieve a winning outcome if you have real-life injuries due to a car or pedestrian accident.


Aftermath of Pokémon Go distracted driving

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