In mid-July, two hikers had to be rescued after falling off a cliff near the Pacific Ocean. How did it happen? They were playing Pokemon Go and not watching where they were going!
The immense popularity of the game has, unfortunately, been accompanied by a slew of personal injuries as users suffer the consequences of paying more attention to their devices than to their surroundings. In Washington, D.C., just moments after the game’s release, a user came into the emergency room with a broken foot after falling in a ditch. Two teenagers in Florida dodged serious injury when a homeowner fired shots at their car, believing they were burglars. A teenage girl in western Pennsylvania was hit by a car when she crossed a busy highway while playing the game.
Not surprisingly, reports of motor vehicle accidents involving drivers playing Pokemon Go have also surfaced. Campus police at Texas A & M reported that a motorist in pursuit of a Pokemon sideswiped a parked car. Massachusetts authorities say a man playing the game on the highway caused a multi-car accident. Baltimore law enforcement officers had a much more personal experience. A motorist, distracted playing the game behind the wheel, crashed into a police cruiser.
The game’s developer, Niantic, has released an updated version that has an icon that must be pressed to operate the game in a vehicle traveling at high speeds. The button says “I’m a passenger,” but officials acknowledge that it’s on the honor system. There is no way to ensure that it’s not a driver who’s tapping the button. Though there have been no reports of similar actions in the United States, police officers in Japan and Thailand have conducted roadblocks, arresting or ticketing drivers caught playing the game behind the wheel.
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn your options when you have suffered a personal injury, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.