Forget Catching Them All: Pay Attention First

This new popular mobile app game has taken the world by storm, yet at the same time increased the number of people getting hurt. A phone app based on a twenty-year-old card game is causing injury after injury. Oh, but it’s fun they say. It gets people of all ages off of the couch and puts them on an outdoor quest to capture weird creatures. Unfortunately, those people aren’t paying attention to their surroundings while playing the game and they and others are getting seriously hurt.

The game is called Pokémon Go! The game creates an augmented reality between the mobile phone and the surrounding area by utilizing the camera and your geo-location (GPS). As you’re walking around playing the game various Pokémon characters are displayed on the screen and your job is to catch them by throwing a Pokéball at them. And although periodic warnings are displayed on the screen telling players to pay attention to their surroundings, they are brief in nature and dismissed by players as nothing more than suggestions to the rules.

The game doesn’t seem to adhere to common sense thinking nor does it adequately protect the player from making stupid decisions. The game seems to have such an effect on people that they will play the game while driving, or completely ignore their surroundings and walk right into traffic in hopes to catching a Picaku (just one of the 142 Pokémon in the game).

  • A man was driving while playing Pokémon Go when he got distracted, veered off the road, and slammed into a tree. He was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
  • A 15-year-old girl was hit by a car as she was walked onto a busy highway while playing Pokémon Go on her phone instead of paying attention to oncoming traffic. The girl suffered an injured collarbone and bruising on her foot.
  • A man stopped his car in the middle of the highway, causing a multi-car pile-up, in an effort to catch Pokémon.
  • Texas A&M Police tweeted an accident where a motorist crashed into the back of an illegally parked car that had been exited by someone who left it to catch a Pokémon.

I’m David Holub an Indiana personal injury attorney, playing Pokémon Go while driving is more dangerous than texting while driving. Why? As I stated the game utilizes the phone’s camera and GPS to augment (change) the perceived reality of what the viewer sees allowing them to feel like they are actually in the game itself. The game distorts the brains comprehension of what’s real and what’s a game.

Those operating a motor vehicle while playing fall under the classification of “distracted driving” and can result in serious injuries and possibly death to self or others if involved in an accident. Playing an augmented reality game while driving is a big NO NO!

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident caused by someone playing Pokémon GO or an otherwise distracted driver and it happened in Indiana pick up the phone and talk to my staff or myself at The Law Offices of David W Holub at (219) 736-9700. Or subscribe by submitting your email and receive my latest report “FAQ: Vehicle Property Damage”. Discover answers to the 15 most common and frequently asked questions consumers inquire after a vehicle accident.

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