Before You “Catch ‘Em All,” Take Note of These Safety Tips
Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm. In fact, it has been released in over 30 countries, including the United States. To play, users “catch” Pokémon in their surrounding environments by viewing different locations through their smartphone cameras. A Pokémon may pop up in someone’s backyard, at a local grocery store, or at the library. To catch a Pokémon, a Poké ball is required. If a player runs out of Poké balls, more may be acquired at a PokéStop, which is a special location noted on the map in the game.
In a time where many kids are glued to their iPads and iPhones, wasting many a beautiful day indoors, Pokémon Go has encouraged thousands of kids and their families to get outside and run around. New friendships have been formed as well, as individuals join to hunt Pokémon together. However, many players, caught up in the excitement of the game, have been injured while playing.
Some injuries were relatively minor. One Reddit user commented, “Not even 30 minutes after the release last night, I slipped and fell down a ditch. Fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in my foot, 6-8 weeks for recovery…Watch where you’re going, folks!”
Others engage in riskier behavior. Twitter user John Frankl tweeted, “I probably shouldn’t be playing Pokémon Go while driving, but it’s too addicting and I mean look at this,” he said, sharing a photo of a Pokémon relaxing on his steering wheel. One would think that, with all of the warnings about texting and driving in the United States, users would not risk causing a serious accident to chase a Pokémon, but, unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case. Roughly a week after the game was released, a driver in Auburn, New York lost control of his car and slammed into a tree, causing minor injuries. In Knoxville, Tennessee, two were killed when an SUV veered into a truck’s lane as the driver of the SUV played the game. Both the driver of the truck and the driver of the SUV were killed. The truck was transporting a flammable chemical, and, when the SUV hit the truck, the truck exploded. Many fear that this dangerous trend is just beginning.
Of course, the bad behavior of a few individuals should not ruin the fun for everyone. With a few simple safety precautions, kids and their families can continue to play Pokémon Go.
First, be aware of your surroundings. Never, ever play the game while you are driving. Turn your phone off if you are tempted. As you walk around your neighborhood, watch out for oncoming cars and cyclists. Never walk around with your head down as you stare at your screen. Similarly, do not venture into areas that you feel may be unsafe, and do not trespass onto someone else’s property.
Remember, there is safety in numbers: play the game with a group to ensure safety.
Talk to your kids about “stranger danger.” Groups of strangers are often drawn to PokéStops. While most individuals are there to have fun, some may have bad intentions, such as robbing other players. Again, safety in numbers!
Watch out for any third party apps that state they will enhance your playing experience. Many of these apps will provide access to the personal data on your phone.
If you have been injured in an accident by someone who was distracted by Pokémon Go, call our office to discuss your potential claim
At Leonard Legal Group, our New Jersey accident attorneys are experienced in pursuing claims against negligent individuals. If you suffered an injury due to the negligence of another person, contact our office to discuss the possibility of recovering monetary damages during a free consultation. To set up your free consultation, call our 24-hour call center at 973-984-1414 or contact us online.