“Pokémon Go” Meant for Walking, Not Driving
The new augmented reality game “Pokémon Go” has been a huge hit, but it’s also brought up some very real worries about a different kind of hit, and one that’s a lot more dangerous: motor vehicle collisions. Just as with all smartphone apps, it’s not meant to be used while driving. Yet despite several warning screens, including one that explicitly tells players not to use it while driving, some users have chosen to play “Pokémon Go” while behind the wheel, contributing to the danger of distracted driving.
Predictably, players who have ignored these warnings have already caused a number of car crashes, including one here in Texas.
Distracted Driving Risks Are Real
The creatures that players aim to catch in “Pokémon Go” aren’t real, but the risks of distracted driving are. In 2014, more than 430,000 people were injured and over 3,100 killed in crashes that were blamed on distracted driving. Using smartphones and other devices behind the wheel was a known cause in about 13 percent of those crashes, and the number is believed to be increasing rapidly.
Public safety officials have warned about the risks of distracted driving—especially cell phone use and texting—for years now. Those warnings have increased in the wake of the release of “Pokémon Go,” with many state and local agencies cautioning players against it. A somewhat comical warning that attracted attention online was released by the Irving, Texas, police department.
Pile-Ups Piling Up
So far, drivers who made the poor decision to play “Pokémon Go” while on the road are known to have caused crashes in New York, Wisconsin, Vermont, California, and Washington. One of the first recorded crashes actually took place here in Texas when a man left his car illegally parked in the street to pursue one of the game’s digital characters. Another driver struck that car while it sat unattended. No one was injured in that crash, and up to this point, no one has been seriously injured or killed in any of the other incidents.
Minor Injuries, Charges Accumulating
But this might just be simple luck so far, and more serious problems could be inevitable. Besides the distracted driving problem, players have caused numerous small injuries to themselves by walking into objects or into traffic. Two California men fell off an unstable cliff and had to be rescued and hospitalized. Some have been either warned off from or arrested for trespassing, on both private and public property. One of the more unusual incidents also happened here in Texas when a teen in Flower Mound, his attention buried in the game, stepped on and was bitten by a poisonous snake. Fortunately, the snake did not inject him with enough venom for the bite to become a problem, and the teen received immediate medical attention.
Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys in Texas
At Colley & Colley, LLP, we’ve been helping clients recover from car crashes for many years. We have a great deal of experience with automobile and truck accidents, and our lawyers know what’s involved in properly preparing a lawsuit against a distracted driver. If you’ve been the victim of a crash involving a suspected distracted driving incident, whether related to “Pokémon Go,” texting while driving, or any other reason, give us a call at 512-477-2001 to discuss your situation. We offer a free consultation to all new clients that helps us understand the unique details of each case. You can also complete the form below to have someone from our office reach out to you at your convenience.