Is Pokémon Go Causing Car Accidents?
Pokémon Go has been out for two months now, and the game hasn’t seemed to lose much popularity. With over 20 million active users, Pokémon Go is the most popular mobile game in U.S. history. The premise of the game revolves around going outside, and walking around to look for Pokémon. Once a player finds a Pokémon, the player can then attempt to catch it by swiping their finger across their phone screen. The game is incredibly addictive, and is played by both children and adults across the nation.
Pokémon Go was intended to be played by pedestrians, but some people have started playing the game while driving. By driving while playing, players can find more Pokémon, and visit more landmarks in the game, which are called Poké Stops. Driving while playing is incredibly dangerous, more so than texting while driving, especially because some moments in the game require the player’s immediate attention.
Back in July in Auburn, New York, a 28-year-old driver crashed his car into a tree while playing Pokémon Go. He admitted that the game diverted his attention from the road, and caused him to swerve into the tree. Luckily, the driver received only minor injuries. If he had crashed into another vehicle instead of a tree, he could have seriously injured himself, and the passengers of another vehicle.
Pokémon Go is fun, and the game’s motive of getting kids outside is genuine and respectable. On the other hand, drivers need to be aware of the dangers of playing the game while driving. Though not many other car accidents resulting from drivers playing the game have been reported, it’s safe to assume that more accidents have been caused by the game, but drivers have neglected to admit that they were playing the game while driving.
Because Pokémon Go tends to attract an audience of young adults, many who have been driving for less than a year, it is particularly concerning that players have started to play the game while driving. Young drivers tend to have quick reflexes on the road, but they are more prone to distraction. Pokémon Go is just another distraction that could divert a young driver’s eyes from the road, and the game’s creators should make sure to enforce the point that people should not play the game while driving.
The reality is, most drivers are smart enough to avoid playing the game while driving, but there certainly are some people out there who are incapable of resisting the urge to play while driving. Is Pokémon Go causing car accidents? Certainly a few, but not enough that drivers should be fearful every time they hit the road. Instead, drivers should be a little bit more cautious this summer and fall, and they should be aware that both pedestrians, and some drivers are playing Pokémon Go.