For a city as large as Sacramento, auto accidents can be quite commonplace, and tend to happen on a daily basis. There are typically many contributing factors to auto accidents including, but not limited to, drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding and breaking the rules of the road. But, there is a new factor in play not just in our state capital, but nationwide, that’s putting everyone on our roadways at serious risk. It’s the new Nintendo-based smart phone game called Pokemon GO.
The danger is so significant that police and safety officials nationwide are warning the public about “Death by Pokemon.” Pokemon GO is a free augmented reality game that allows players to capture digital creatures at real locations using their smart phones. These Pokemon “creatures” can be found at so-called ‘PokeStops,’ which are often located at real landmarks.
Why is This Game Dangerous?
The recently introduced Pokemon GO has already caused major safety issues, largely due to the way it is played as well as the requirements of the game. Recently, two men playing the game had to be rescued after falling off a 90-foot ocean bluff in the San Diego area. Several police departments including the Sacramento Police Department have issued public safety alerts about the hazards this seemingly innocent game may pose. Nationwide, there have been reports of individuals luring players to isolated areas using some of the game’s features and robbing or assaulting them.
There have also been instances where people have crashed their vehicles while playing the game and cases of pedestrians, who have walked into traffic, getting hit by vehicles while playing Pokemon GO. There have been numerous reports of rear-end collisions where distracted drivers trying to catch Pokemon creatures slammed into other vehicles.
AAA is warning drivers not to play Pokemon GO while driving and also that motorists and pedestrians need to be aware of others playing the game who might enter an intersection or cross the street at an inopportune time. Driving requires our complete attention.
Any activity that causes your to take your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or attention away from the act of driving is a distraction. A 2009 study sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimated that at highway speeds just five seconds of distraction represents covering the length of an entire football field, during which the car is essentially driving itself.
If you are driving, it is best to put away your phone until you reach a destination. It may save a life, including your own. Drivers playing Pokemon GO may also face jail time. California has distracted driving laws. Motorists may be pulled over by law enforcement if they pose a threat on the road.
If you drive while distracted by a smart phone game, there is no question that it amounts to negligence. Drivers who cause accidents while playing Pokemon GO can be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses caused to victims. Injured victims can seek compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the experienced Sacramento car accident lawyers at the Demas Law Group, P.C., can help you better understand your legal rights and options. We will help you secure maximum compensation for your losses. Call us at (916) 444-0100 for a free and comprehensive consultation.