You gotta catch ’em all, they say – wherever, whenever. Yes, it’s fun to play this new Pokemon Go mobile game that’s a hit around the world but not to the extent of endangering your life. One has to exercise extreme caution particularly when hunting for those Pokemon characters outdoors.
Several accidents have already been reported in relation to this Pokemon Go craze but perhaps one of the most deadly was the one that took place in Japan. The accident was Japan’s first death linked to the mobile game launched by Nintendo.
In late August this year, a driver was playing the game using his smartphone on a Tuesday night and without knowing it, hit two female pedestrians. One woman got killed at an intersection as the collision broke her neck while the other woman was seriously injured with a broken hip. Police said the two women were crossing the street when they were hit by the car. The driver failed to see them crossing when he passed through that street because he was playing Pokemon Go. Nintendo and Niantic, the companies that launched the game, have already expressed their sympathies to the families of the two Japanese women.
Police in Japan have, so far, noted 79 accidents due to Pokemon Go with 22 of them involving injuries. This Nintendo game was released in the country on July 22.
Driving while using a mobile phone is never a good idea. Whether you’re using it for voice or video calls, sending text messages or playing a game, the act is a distraction and will endanger lives and properties. Law enforcement authorities and car accident lawyers around the world have confirmed that this can cause very reckless behavior on the road resulting in accidents in many cases.
One study done by the Liberty Insurance and Students Against Desctructive Decisions found that using apps while driving could be more dangerous for teen drivers than texting. In the U.S., 38 states ban the use of cell phone by novice drivers while 20 states prohibit it for school bus drivers. Additionally, 46 states ban texting for all drivers.
On the other hand, this Pokemon Go mania has caused other adverse effects. For example, it has affected family members including couples. Reports have noted that playing the game at the wrong time can lead to marital problems such as arguments and misunderstandings. A player’s health can also worsen especially if he or she suffers from sore legs, sprained ankles and too much sun exposure when hunting Pokemons outdoors.
The Pokemon Go Craze
Since its launch early this year, the Pokemon Go mobile game has attracted millions of people young and old alike. In fact just a few weeks after its release, the game had more active users than Twitter and was reportedly making more than $1.6 billion per day. Safety warnings were also issue afterwards telling users to “be alert at all times and stay aware of your surroundings.” The app has since been released in 38 countries.
But while it’s fun to play it, many unfortunate things have happened to players seriously giving full attention to their smartphones. There are reports of people ending up in awkward and even dangerous situations while engrossed in the game. Some have suffered from sprained ankles while the others experienced being mugged and robbed while hunting for their favorite pocket monsters.