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Pokémon Go Causing Accidents

Almost anyone with a smart phone is now aware of the new Pokémon Go application available on smart phones of all kinds. With distractions like this becoming more and more popular, it is becoming more likely that a person may be harmed on the road as a result of distracted driving. “Playing games like ‘Pokémon Go’ while driving is a distraction just like sending or receiving a text while behind the wheel,” said AAA Public Policy Manager Karen Morgan [3]. So what is Pokémon Go? The game that has taken over the world is about traveling in your local area and finding Pokémon, tiny fictional monsters. To quote pokemon.com, after downloading the application to your smartphone, to begin playing the game follow the provided instructions:

“Get on your feet and step outside to find and catch wild Pokémon. Explore cities and towns around where you live and even around the globe to capture as many Pokémon as you can. As you move around, your smartphone will vibrate to let you know you’re near a Pokémon. Once you’ve encountered a Pokémon, take aim on your smartphone’s touch screen and throw a Poké Ball to catch it. Be careful when you try to catch it, or it might run away! Also look for PokéStops located at interesting places, such as public art installations, historical markers, and monuments, where you can collect more Poké Balls and other items.” [1]

Imagine now that an inattentive driver is playing Pokémon Go while trying to operate a motor vehicle. Not only is this illegal, it is immoral, and very dangerous.

Distracted Driving

The Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving defines distracted driving as “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.” [2] These types of distractions include:

  • “Texting”
  • “Using a cell phone or smartphone”
  • “Eating and drinking”
  • “Talking to passengers”
  • “Grooming”
  • “Reading, including maps”
  • “Using a navigation system”
  • “Watching a video”
  • “Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player”

Pokémon Go could start to be a legitimate distraction for teen drivers due to Pokemon Go being a game targeted at the youth. The Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving states how “ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the crashes” [2] Pokemon Go is another method of distraction that could allow youth to be looking at their phone instead of the road while driving.

How to Avoid Using Your Cell Phone While Driving

The American Automobile Association describes their best tips to avoid using your smart phone while driving as the following:

  • “Silence your cell phone and turn off the vibration mechanism: Airplane mode is a setting available on many mobile phones. When activated, it suspends many of the device’s signal transmitting functions, thereby disabling the phone’s capacity to place or receive calls or use text messaging.” [3]
  • “Ask for help: Remind the people in your vehicle to be a good passenger and enlist their help. Ask your passengers to handle tasks such as texting, placing a call or re-programming your GPS.” [3]
  • “Ask family, friends and colleagues to respect your commute: Set mobile boundaries and politely ask them not to contact you during the hours of your commute.” [3]
  • “Place your phone in the glove compartment or trunk: The old adage, ‘out of sight, out of mind’ can be applied here. Wait until you’re at your destination or safely pull into a gas station or rest area to check messages.” [3]
  • “Download a safety app: Get some technological help. Many mobile safety apps can help discourage texting while driving.” [3]

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA

Being a victim of a car accident is never an easy process. It can be painful and life altering. No new popular game should be the reason that you or a loved one is seriously injured or even killed in an automobile accident. If you have been injured in a car accident as a result of a distracted driver using their smart phone, you may be entitled to compensation. The automobile accident lawyers at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are some of the most awarded attorneys in the state and dedicate their lives to providing their clients justice. Feel free to speak to one of our representatives for a free consultation regarding your accident. Call now at 727-451-6900.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765



[1] https://www.pokemon.com/us/pokemon-video-games/pokemon-go/
[2] https://www.distraction.gov/stats-research-laws/facts-and-statistics.html
[3] https://wsvn.com/news/us-world/aaa-avoid-using-pokemon-go-while-driving/