Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game that that is now played by millions of users. The game uses a phone’s GPS to track players and the camera to spawn Pokémon in what appears to be real life. This means seeing dozens of people walking down the street and staring at their phones in order to try and catch one of these little “pocket monsters.” While the game is getting people outdoors and bringing communities together, it is easy to see why it has drawn speculation about the risks associated with Pokémon Go.
There have been alarming reports of users playing Pokémon Go while driving. Pedestrians accidents have been reported where people tripped over surfaces, bumped into objects and had close encounters with cars. There is even a report that two men required rescuing after falling from a 90-foot cliff. That said, here are some safety tips for drivers and pedestrians to adjust to this new gaming phenomenon.
How to Stay Safe With Pokémon Go
As tempting as it may be to have the game on and just swipe at Pokémon stops conveniently on their route, drivers must put the phone down or have a passenger swipe for them. Additionally, drivers must be aware that pedestrians who are on their phone are more likely to be playing Pokémon Go and less likely to be paying attention to where they are walking. Be extra careful when driving past crosswalks, and do not assume pedestrians are aware of the cars in the area.
On the other hand, pedestrians must take care when Pokémon hunting in high-traffic areas and look up when crossing the street. The loading screen in the game with the warning that says “Remember to be alert at all times” and “Stay aware of your surroundings” is not to be taken lightly. There have been reports of players who are lured to a location with the promise of rare Pokémon only to be mugged.
While it’s true Pokémon Go may have just changed the face of gaming technology, it is important for both drivers and pedestrians to take the risks associated with it seriously. Whether you are a Pokémon master, driver or pedestrian, it is important to use common sense.
Targan Pender & Strickland, P.C. is a New Jersey personal injury law firm that helps victims of pedestrian accidents in the Atlantic City, Cape May and Somers Point areas.