A new online game, Pokémon Go, has hit the world by storm, quickly becoming the most popular game for mobile devices. Unfortunately, it is also a dangerous distraction for adults as well as children.
Pokémon Go is an augmented-reality game that is playable on mobile devices, such as cellphones and Bluetooth-enabled tablets. By using your mobile device GPS and camera capabilities, the free app superimposes virtual monsters - called Pokémon - on your actual location as viewed on your mobile device screen. The object of the game is to capture the monsters.
While the game encourages people to get outdoors and walk around, distracted players have already caused numerous accidents.
Crazy accidents caused by Pokémon Go players
One young player sideswiped a police car with his SUV, an accident that was recorded on an officer's body camera. When the driver stepped out of the car, he held up his cellphone explaining that he was playing the game.
Players across the country are falling into pools, stumbling off ocean-side cliffs and running into trees. One driver stopped his car in the middle of a busy highway - with his three kids - in order to try to catch a Pokémon. The ensuing car pile-up included at least one other player who also admitted to playing the game while driving.
It's worse than texting while driving
As downloads for the app exceed 15 million, law enforcement agencies predict that there will be a sharp increase in pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers. It's only a matter of time before this latest driving distraction becomes deadly. It may have already caused a death by the time this blog is posted.
What to do if you are injured by a Pokémon Go player
Like any other type of accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries, medical expenses and lost wages if you or a loved one suffers injuries in a crash. No matter the cause of the distraction, contact a skilled attorney at Wood, Carlton & Hudson, P.C., to learn about your options for filing a personal injury claim.
On the upside, a Mississippi tour bus driver is offering Pokémon Go tours. She is making money while helping keep these distracted drivers off the roads.