Pokémon Go has been nothing short of a cultural phenomenon in the
two weeks since its launch, getting people out of the house, exercising,
and socializing in ways never seen before. However, one alarming trend
that has also emerged is motorists playing the game while behind the wheel.
As a result, drivers distracted by the game have begun causing car accidents
all across the country.
Despite the fact that the game shows players a warning, asking them to
stay aware of their surroundings at all times, this seemingly has not
stopped drivers, as stories of accidents related to playing the game have
begun appearing all over the. U.S. Let’s take a look at a few of
the most recent ones:
The first reported crash came when a man was injured in Auburn, NY after he
lost control of his car and ran head-first into a large tree. While his car suffered significant damage, the driver escaped with nothing
more than minor injuries. He openly admitted to actively playing Pokémon
Go while behind the wheel and took his eyes off the road before losing
control. Fortunately in this situation, no other bystanders were around
as well, meaning there were no further injuries.
Fall City, WA
A 28-year-old driver in Washington became the state’s first reported Pokémon Go crash when he
rear-ended a Chevy sedan in Fall City on Highway 202. Once again, there
were no injuries that resulted from the crash, but neither car was able
to drive away from the incident and had to be towed away. This crash once
again demonstrates the danger of taking your eyes off the road and focusing
on a cell phone while driving.
Police officers in Baltimore are fortunate to be okay as a man playing
the mobile game struck their squad car. The officers were just finishing
a service call and standing outside the car when the accident happened.
The entire incident was
captured by the body camera one of the officers was wearing. Once again, fortunately nobody was injured, however the officers are fortunate
nobody was inside the vehicle when the accident happened.
Baltimore Police spokesperson T.J. Smith good-naturedly quipped “We
would rather people certainly be playing games than committing crimes,”
but then sternly added “This is serious stuff. It's a game,
but it's not a game when you're behind the wheel of a 2,000-pound
vehicle, driving down the roadway.”
The Major Safety Issues
While drivers in each of these incidents were fortunate to escape without
serious injuries, these accidents all serve as a sobering reminder of
what T.J. Smith of the Baltimore P.D. said: “This is serious stuff.”
Cars are dangerous, heavy chunks of metal traveling at high speeds. Operating
one safely and optimally requires a driver’s full attention or else
they risk causing an accident which could lead to serious injuries.
Texting and Driving Safety.com estimates that the average text message
takes your eyes away from the road for five seconds, which is enough time
to cover the entire length of a football field if you are traveling 55
miles per hour. They also report that almost one in four car crashes involved
a cell phone. This has led 39 states to place a ban on all drivers from
text messaging while behind the wheel. It’s true that Pokémon
Go is not the same as text messaging, but early indications are that it
can pull your attention away from the road for even longer periods of
time, thus increasing the probability of a crash even further.
Make sure you stay aware while on the roads to help avoid an accident,
and don’t use your cell phone and drive. After all, it’s against
the law in New York. And if you have been injured in a crash involving
a distracted driver, make sure you retain the services of a Buffalo car
accident attorney for assistance in reviewing your legal options.
The Rossi Law Firm
has assisted Buffalo residents with their injuries after car accidents
for many years. Their legal honors include being selected for Super Lawyers
honors, admission into the Million Dollar Advocates Forum®, an AV®
Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, and an Avvo Rating of
10.0 Superb. Trust your case to one of the most highly-regarded and well-reviewed
law firms in all of northern New York.
Call The Rossi Law Firm today at (716) 951-5040 to start reviewing your
legal options after you have been injured in a car accident by a distracted driver.