Gotta Catch ‘Em All — On Your Smart Phone
Pokemon Go, the new smart phone app from Nintendo, was released last month. You wouldn’t have to read the headlines to see that this game has smashed previous records for downloads and users in the App Store. The location-based, augmented reality game is everywhere, and Central Florida is no exception. Try walking a block in downtown Melbourne without crossing paths with a gang of pokeball-hurling gamers. You can’t. In fact, my law office in Melbourne is conveniently located right across the street from a “PokeStop.” A “PokeGym” is just a few doors down.
On the face of things, the impact of Pokemon Go seems largely positive. It gets people outside, active, and mingling with one another. The game has also been embraced by local restauranteurs and business owners. Customers are flocking to storefronts in pursuit of their next catch, and business owners love it. However, Pokemon Go craze is not without its downsides. Most apparent of which is the distraction it imposes on individuals who are simultaneously interacting in the real world. As a practicing personal injury lawyer in Melbourne, FL, this trend is particularly unsettling.
The Dangers of Pokemon Go
There’s been countless headlines relating to Pokemon Go related accidents since the game launched in July. Reportedly, pedestrian players have unwittingly walked directly into traffic; bicyclists have smacked into concrete siding; one driver smashed into a parked cop car; another driver rammed into a tree. While playing this game, people’s eyes are locked onto their smart phones, and they are often oblivious to their real-world surroundings. This creates a significant safety hazard not just for the individual players, but the people around them.
Pokemon Go Car Accidents
The dangers of distracted driving are a greater threat than ever. It was bad enough when drivers distracted themselves with text messages. Now, instead of focusing on the road and surroundings, some drivers’ attention is locked on the Pikachu or Charmander that they’re trying to catch. Believe it or not, people are playing this game while driving, and the result is unsurprising: car accidents. Plain and simple, this is total negligence, and the driver is 100% responsible for any subsequent damage. If you have been injured in an automobile accident and suspect the driver was playing Pokemon Go, call a Melbourne car accident attorney for a free consultation.
Pokemon Go Pedestrian Accidents
The streets in downtown Melbourne, FL, often draw a crowd. If it’s lunch time, a Friday night, or any time on the weekend, you can expect lots of people. When people are moving every which way, over cross walks, in and out of local establishments, carelessness of a single individual can easily result in injury to nearby pedestrians. With dozens of Pokemon Go players scattered about, an accident is bound to occur. If you have been injured by a pedestrian or bicyclist playing Pokemon Go, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Collingsworth Law for a free consultation by calling (321) 222-0234.
Safety tips for Pokemon Go Players
If you are yourself a Pokemon Player, have no shame. I personally am a licensed attorney and confess that I’ve logged quite a few hours into the game. Plus, I’m pretty proud of my Blastoise. The point is, if you play, do it safely. Most importantly, DO NOT attempt to play while driving an automobile, bicycle, or any other moving vehicle. Always try and be aware of your surroundings, and do not walk with your face locked down on your phone. Be safe and happy hunting!