Pokemon Go has quickly become a mobile sensation.
The game, which is played on a smartphone and combines real-world neighborhoods and structures with artificial reality, had 15 million downloads within a single week of being released, according to BBC News.
The game encourages users to catch Pokemon in their real-world neighborhoods. As such, it encourages a lot of moving.
If you have noticed an increase in the number of people walking around with their eyes glued to their phones, there is a good chance they are in the midst of a Pokemon Go game.
You can watch a trailer detailing the game on YouTube.
While Pokemon Go seems like a relatively harmless way to pass time, it does present a danger – an increase in distracted driving and walking.
While tripping over one’s own feet or running into a door because eyes are captivated by the game may seem relatively harmless, some injuries can be serious.
The Washington Post reports about users who have suffered fractures, gone to the emergency room and even reported “mishaps” while driving.
It is obvious that using a cell phone while engaging in other activities is not safe. When playing any game, but especially Pokemon Go, caution should be exercised.
Here are a few tips for staying safe with Pokemon Go:
1. Do not play near traffic.
A tip that you surely heard when you were a child now must be repeated to you as an adult: Do not play near traffic.
The game requires a user to frequently look down at a mobile device. This activity may be extremely dangerous if motor vehicles are around – especially if these motor vehicles are traveling at high speeds.
Do not play Pokemon Go in an area where cars are sure to be around. Instead, you should head to a park or open space. You will greatly reduce your risk of suffering an injury.
2. Take your headphones out.
Many people love to walk around while listening to music. However, you should always retain at least one of your two vital senses: Sight and hearing.
If your eyes are going to be on your phone, leave headphones or earbuds at home. This way, if there are any approaching dangers – like a vehicle or train – you can hear it coming. If you block off your hearing and impair your sight, your risk of injury is much greater when walking around with Pokemon Go.
3. Do not even think about driving.
The fact that some people have attempted to play Pokemon Go while driving seems absurd. Still, it has happened.
Do not get behind the wheel while you are playing this game. If you choose to do so, then you are putting yourself at risk of injury and increasing the chances that you will be in a crash that harms others. In other words, you will be putting everyone else at risk, as well, including pedestrians who may be on the road.
4. Stop when it is time to catch your Pokemon.
A huge part of the Pokemon Go game requires movement such as walking around to actually find the Pokemon. This is actually pretty easy. In fact, your eyes do not even need to be on your screen as you are doing this.
However, once you find a Pokemon, the eyes-on-screen requirement becomes more intense. You will need to locate the Pokemon on your screen. A fair amount of flicking and tapping on the screen can be involved.
This is the part where you need to stop moving. Plant your feet and focus on the task at hand. Once you have caught your Pokemon, continue on your way again.
If you try to catch a Pokemon while walking, you will increase the risk that you will run into a tree – or do something much, much worse.
5. Use sunscreen and drink lots of water.
Walking around outside is really good for you. There is nothing wrong with getting a little exercise. But remember: It is summertime. It can be sunny and hot out there.
If you plan to spend hours outdoors, be smart by packing some water, wearing sunscreen or protective clothing and wearing a hat that protects your eyes and face from harsh rays.
Dehydration, sunburn and fatigue can all set in quickly. Take action to prevent all three.
If you plan to be out for more than a couple of hours, be sure to bring a snack, too, and consider stopping to rest in the shade and refuel at some point.
Distracted Driving Accidents and Distracted Walking Accidents
Distracted driving and distracted walking can lead to accidents. Whether walking or driving, the safety of yourself and all others on or near the road should be a top priority for you.
When you use a mobile device while walking or driving, you are distracted. As a result, you are creating a hazard for yourself and potentially for others, too.
It is important to note that if your own distraction leads to an accident, even if you are acting as a pedestrian, you could be held liable for damages.
Pokemon Go may be fun, but it is certainly a play-at-your-own-risk type of game. If you are behind the wheel of a car, remember that you are jeopardizing the safety of others, too. In other words, you are behaving very careless.
If you are involved in an accident that is caused by a distracted walker or driver in New Jersey, our accident attorneys can help you.
When you call the law offices of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., we will provide you with a free consultation. We can review the details of your accident, provide you with an overview of your options and inform you about the claims process.
To set up your initial consultation with our experienced lawyers today, contact us online or by phone now.