Recently, the new mobile game “Pokémon Go” has taken the gaming world by storm. In little more than a week after its debut, the smash-hit app became one of the most popular mobile games of all time.
The main reason “Pokémon Go” has been so successful is the nature of the game itself. “Pokémon Go” is one of a new breed of mobile games known as augmented reality games. A core aspect of their gameplay is interactivity with the real world. The game spawns creatures known as Pokémon in real locations that players must explore to find. The goal of the game is to capture these digital creatures, which can then be used against other players in battles.
Although the interactivity of “Pokémon Go” has led to its astounding success, it has also brought with it some areas of very real concern. Many gamers become so engrossed in the game that they lose awareness of their surroundings, resulting in a variety of problems such as injuries, trespassing, and destruction of property.
The use of “Pokémon Go” has been especially problematic with motorists. Since Pokémon can spawn anywhere, being able to get around and reach them quickly in order to capture them is a major advantage. This, however, has had a negative side effect: Many motorists have begun playing “Pokémon Go” while driving.
Pokémon and Driving Comparable to Texting and Driving
Playing the app while behind the wheel has become so common that it has reached the point where many have been making comparisons to texting while driving. Indeed, a compelling argument can be made that playing “Pokémon Go” while driving is just as distracting as texting while driving—possibly more so. Police departments across the country are warning players to avoid breaking the law and accidentally injuring themselves and others while playing the game.
A number of instances have demonstrated the dangers of playing “Pokémon Go” while driving. In Auburn, New York, a man playing “Pokémon Go” while driving smashed his car into a tree. Afterward, he admitted to playing the game when he crashed. His was only the first case, however. Many more were to follow.
In another case, a man in Baltimore sideswiped a parked police cruiser with his SUV. Upon exiting his vehicle, the man blamed the accident on “Pokémon Go.”
Not just U.S. motorists have been getting into trouble with “Pokémon Go.” The game has become a phenomenon worldwide. In Toowoomba, Australia, a woman backed her car into another at an intersection. She was reportedly playing “Pokémon Go” at the time.
Injuries Inevitable . . . but Who’s at Fault?
As demonstrated by these distracted driving accidents, there is clearly a danger posed by drivers using “Pokémon Go” while behind the wheel. Miraculously, in none of these cases did the people involved receive more than minor injuries. However, it is certainly only a matter of time before another accident occurs where those involved aren’t so fortunate.
When an injury occurs as a result of playing “Pokémon Go,” who is liable? When registering for the app, users must accept the game’s terms and conditions, which relieve Niantic, the game’s developer, of any responsibility to the user for harm or legal wrongdoing caused during gameplay. It is obvious that if a gamer is playing while driving and causes an accident or injury, he or she is at fault. It remains to be seen if Niantic will be able to avoid responsibility concerning non-users hurt during an accident caused by Pokémon hunters, however.
Experienced California Car Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured by a distracted driver in a car accident, the capable lawyers at Dickson, Kohan & Bablove can help you seek compensation for your injuries. Please contact us at 1-844-404-2400 for a free consultation. Trust us to help you recover the maximum compensation possible for your case.