If you haven’t heard of Pokemon Go, you might want to get a crowbar and bang your way out from under the rock that’s got you pinned down. Then again, you might want to stay right there, nice and blissed-out. This game has taken distracted driving (and walking) to a whole new level. And thus: Pokemon go accidents are a thing now, too.
I’m not a user, so my very base understanding of Pokemon Go is that you score points and “level up” by walking around, staring at your phone, where you essentially see a Pokemon-themed map of exactly where you are (aka: augmented reality), including all kinds of characters that you need to find. You could be walking down your neighborhood street and discover a Pokemon character behind a bush. Bingo! You’ve got points.
Pokemon Go Accidents in the News
But, as you can imagine, we are now witnessing a ton of Pokemon Go accidents. Case in point: check out the video to the left of a guy driving right into a police car because he was playing the game! Another man was saved as he was found wandering around a Japanese expressway on foot, playing the game. But wait, there’s more! Another man literally parked his car in the middle of a Massachusetts highway so that he could catch Pikachu; he caused a horrific accident.
Then there’s my personal favorite: two men who walked off a cliff while trying to catch characters on their phones.
OK, the examples could go on and this game is only a couple of weeks old. I thought people were crazy to text and drive; now they are playing by-the-minute, virtual reality games while driving?! This takes distracted driving to a whole new level.
Statistics from before Pokemon Go came out:
- The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
- Texting while driving causes nearly 330,000 injuries in accidents each year.
- One out of every four car accidents is caused by texting and driving.
- Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
- Answering a text takes your attention off the road for about five seconds. If you’re driving 55 mph, that’s enough time to go the length of a football field.
- 11 teens die every day as a result of texting while driving.
I also found a statistic that stated, “Of all cell phone use, texting while driving is the most dangerous.” I’m sure, thanks to Pokemon Go, that fact has now changed.
Please, please put down your cell phone in the car!
If you have been the victim of a Pokemon Go accident in Denver, please call me today. I’d be honored to help you through this challenging and frustrating time.