If you have turned on the news or been on social media it is likely that you have heard of the newest app that has taken the U.S. by storm – Pokémon Go.  It’s a game that can be played on any smartphone and it involves traveling in your local areas looking for virtual monsters (“Pokémon”) and as you navigate through any area, your smartphone will vibrate to alert you that you’re close to a Pokémon.

According to Forbes, Pokémon Go has had the most downloads the first week of being released than any other app since Apple launched their iOS app store eight years ago.  And only 2 days after the game’s release, it was already installed on 5.16% of all Android devises in the U.S.

As the insanely popular game continues to gain popularity and take over the digital community, more reports of car accidents, injury, and even death have surfaced.  Pokémon Go has caused many safety concerns as people play the game while operating a motor vehicle, bicycle, or while on foot and unaware of their surroundings because they are too focused on trying to catch their next Charmander.  Like driving and texting, Pokémon Go is causing drivers to become distracted and resulting in some serious accidents.

For example, a man in NY was driving while playing the game when he became distracted, drove off the road and crashed into a tree.  Luckily, the 28-year-old driver only suffered minor injuries.  And recently, a girl was struck by a car when she walk onto a busy highway while looking at her phone playing the game instead of looking at oncoming traffic.  The 15-year old girl suffered an injured collarbone and foot.

We are not discouraging people from playing the game. Pokémon Go has its advantages as its bringing people together and influencing people to get outside and be more active.  However, it is important to be aware of the risks and educate other players on how to play the game safely so as not to put themselves or others at risk.  Here are some safety tips to practice while playing the game:

  • Don’t play the game while operating a motor vehicle or bicycle. It’s best to turn your sound         and vibrate off when you get in the car so you are not distracted by the alerts.
  • Do not trespass on private property.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and don’t cross roadways while looking at your smartphone in pursuit the for next Pokémon.
  • Use caution while sharing your location as strangers can see your location.

Whether you’re behind the wheel, operating a bicycle or walking on foot it’s important to be aware of your surrounds as to avoid causing injury to yourself and others.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident as the result of a distracted driver using their smart phone, call the Chicago accident attorneys of Stein & Shulman, LLC for a FREE consultation. Our attorneys have over forty-five years of experience in representing victims who have been injured in an auto accident due to the negligence of a distracted driver. There is no charge for speaking with one of our experienced attorneys so call us for a consultation at (312) 422-0506.