Pokémon GO took the nation by storm when it released on mobile devices in July of this year. Almost immediately, the game drew criticism from groups like The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), citing the dangers of a game that encourages people to walk around looking at their phones.
News reports of players injured while playing soon hit the news from across the nation. Players have kept using the app amidst warnings from the software itself about being alert to their surroundings. Now, a research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine is looking at just how dangerous this game can be.
Studying the Impact of Pokémon GO
Researchers collected the data for their study by mining social media and professional news reports for any discussion about accidents related to the game. The study looked at Twitter from July 10 to 19, 2016 when the game was still new. The investigators looked for key phrases that indicated a car accident.
Using a random sample of 4,000 Pokémon GO-related tweets, the researchers categorized each tweet in three groups; if the poster mentioned the:
- Driver was playing
- Passenger was playing
- Pedestrian was playing
Thirty-three percent of all tweets analyzed indicated one of these three events occurred. Eighteen percent of tweets mentioned the driver was playing, 11 percent indicated a passenger was playing, and four percent were regarding pedestrians playing the game. When these amounts are adjusted to reflect population-level estimates, the researchers estimate 113,993 instances of drivers, passengers, or pedestrians distracted by the game.
The study looked at news reports aggregated from Google News from July 10 to July 20 and identified 321 stories about 14 unique crashes related to Pokémon GO accidents.
What do I do if I am in an accident with a driver playing Pokémon GO?
When a driver causes a crash by playing Pokémon GO, it is handled the same way as any other distracted driving case. Cordisco & Saile LLC have the resources and know-how to identify the distraction and prove the driver was acting recklessly.
Additionally, a pedestrian walking into the middle of the road to catch a Pokémon and subsequently causing an accident is also considered a distraction-related case. Pokémon GO is fast becoming one of the common distractions for pedestrians.
For a free case evaluation and the answers to your questions contact us at 215-642-2335.