Monday, August 1, 2016

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Play Pokémon Go While Driving

Pokemon Distracted Driving | Auto Accident Lawyer in Clearwater
By Jordan Puckett

"Please don't catch and drive, it's more dangerous than texting while driving," says Washington State Police [1]. And that’s good advice. It’s wrong on multiple levels and could end up costing you in a personal injury claim. 

What is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go is a video game app that allows players to catch Pokémon—imaginary, digital monsters—on their phone, which are located out in the real-world (sort of). Once a player has the free download, they start walking around a real, GPS-created map of the area around them. As they do, Pokémon will pop up on their screen, ready to be caught. The player must then focus as they throw what’s called a Pokéball at the creature, attempting to trap it within. The more you move around, the more Pokémon you will encounter. Thus why it’s so tempting to drive while playing.

Incidents So Far
Recently, two people crashed into police cars while playing the popular new app. And that’s just a drop in the bucket. Multiple other incidents, including a shooting, have been linked to Pokémon Go; it is possible that many more have not been correlated [2]. In Baltimore, Maryland, the police reported that a man, who admitted to playing the game while driving, smashed into a parked patrol car [3]. In Quebec City, Canada, a Pokémon chaser collided with a police cruiser, again, driving while distracted by the game [4]. Luckily, nobody sustained major injuries, but things could have been far worse.

Who’s playing it?
Pokémon Go currently has an estimated 9.5 million active users, a number that is rising every hour [5]. That’s a lot of people out there using the app. Not only should you watch out for these potentially distracted drivers, you should consciously decide that you will not be one of them. Follow the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s advice from Twitter: "Eyes up, Poké Balls down, people. Stay safe on the roads, don't #PokemonGo and drive. #justdrive." [6]
Driving while playing Pokémon Go is exactly like driving while texting, and we all know how dangerous that can be. As of 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. That number has surely increased since then, especially with this new app taking the nation by storm [7].

Besides the legal action that could be brought against you, no person wants to be responsible for the guilt that comes along with hurting—or killing—a loved one or fellow citizen.

Here is 10 reasons why you shouldn't Pokémon Go and Drive:

1. It’s probably illegal. As of February 2015, 44 States, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers [8]. If a police officer sees you holding up your phone behind the wheel, eyes locked, he is most likely going to cite you for the offense. “Actually officer, I was playing game” is no excuse.

2. Your insurance could go up. If you are in an accident in which distracted driving is cited as part of the reason, your insurance premium could skyrocket, costing you even more money.

3. You’re taking a huge risk. You are putting yourself, whom people love and depend on, and your passengers (like your spouse, kids, or parents) in mortal danger over a videogame.

4. You could hurt someone else. Not only could you injure those in your car, but you could injure another motorist or pedestrian, leading to life changing circumstances, like litigation against you, or worse, the guilt of having taken someone's life.

5. It's super easy to play safely. There are plenty of places to park and play Pokémon Go. Plus, the game works better if you are walking around in a grassy area, rather than zooming down I-275. So find a nice place to play, like a park, and get out and get some sunshine...and Pokémon.

6. It’s like driving drunk. Actually, driving while distracted is twice as dangerous as driving while drunk, according to a study by the University of Utah. [9].

7. You think you can, but you can't. Teens who were driving while texting—a similar task to playing Pokémon Go—spent 10% of their time driving not in their lane [10]. That’s a lot of crossing into other people’s lanes.

8. You already know it’s wrong. Listen to that voice in your head telling you, ‘you shouldn’t be doing this’. It’s probably right.

9. You’re moving faster than you think. Taking your eyes off the road for just 5 seconds at 55 MPH is long enough for your vehicle to travel the distance of an entire football field [11]. That’s plenty of room for catastrophic error.

10. It could cost you big time. Distracted drivers are liable for any damages they may cause in an accident, including those to the vehicle, medical bills, and pain and suffering. (I thought this statement might be best for an attorney to look over/add to/replace. Thank you)
The fact is, playing a fun game is not worth your money or someone else’s life. Stop the car. Get out. And then, Pokémon Go.

Have you been injured in an auto accident due to the negligence of another? Whether you were injured by someone playing Pokémon Go, or by some other distracted driver, you may be eligible for compensation. Don’t settle for what the insurance companies are telling you. Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney from the Dolman Law Group today at (727) 451-6900.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 451-6900