You know it’s not a good idea to play Pokemon Go while you drive. But you just can’t help it! The game is so captivating and you feel — unsurprisingly considering the hype about this augmented reality app — that you gotta catch ‘em all.
Since its release, Pokemon Go has already been involved in a lot of accidents, injuries, and even crimes. Police departments have been tweeting at players to pay attention on the road to no avail, and even pedestrians are having trouble staying safe while playing.
Yesterday a teenager in Melbourne, Australia, 19, crashed his car into a school building while playing Pokemon Go, reports the Australian news website The Age. The local police spokesperson’s quote about the accident says as much about the popularity of the game as it does about the incident itself.
Julie-Anne Newman is clearly steeped in the lingo and spirit of Pokemon Go. She told reporters, “The 19-year-old did not level up nor collect any stardust or candies only debris from the crash. Any ‘Poke balls,’ eggs or potions the driver may have had remaining only attracted police, leaving the wild Pokemon for another day.”
Suggestions from Police
Here in the United States, police have also prepared for Pokemon Go, with detectives and chiefs becoming steeped in the language of the game and even accidentally catching fugitives with these efforts. But there have also already been accidents and injuries for distracted drivers and walkers.
In Auburn, New York, a driver crashed his car into a tree this month, just after Pokemon Go was released. The local police chief reportedly provided a convenient list of tips for local game players with the following suggestions:
- Do not use the application when you are operating a motor vehicle or bicycle.
- Do not trespass on private property when trying to “catch” a Pokemon.
- Be aware of your surroundings when walking and do not stare down at your phone not knowing hazards around you, like roadways, drop-offs, waterways, etc.
- Use caution when sharing your location as strangers can see your location information.
- Travel in groups in public/well lit locations.
Watch Where You Walk
Perhaps the most amusing of the Pokemon Go accidents happened on foot, when two Los Angeles youth walked off a real cliff in an effort to catch the imaginary cartoon creatures on their smartphones. According to USA today, the real boys chasing the fake characters were extricated from the beach below the cliff by the actual fire department, using genuine ropes and harnesses.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another, speak to a lawyer. Tell your story. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to assess your case.
- Have an injury claim? Get your claim reviewed for free. (Consumer Injury)
- Playing Pokemon Go Is Causing Real Injuries (FindLaw’s Injured)
- Sinister Side of Pokemon Go Shows Itself (FindLaw’s Legally Weird)
- Police Nationwide Warn Players About Pokemon Go Crimes (FindLaw Blotter)