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.