The popular mobile game Pokémon Go has become an almost instant cultural phenomenon that has generated tons of positive news headlines. However, it hasn’t been without its negative side effects. One of the more worrying trends this game has created is motorists playing while behind the wheel of their vehicle.
Playing the popular game while driving has already led to several car accidents. Most recently, a young man in Baltimore collided with a police cruiser while playing, fortunately avoiding any serious injuries to the occupants of his vehicle or the officers. A man in New York collided with a tree after losing control of his vehicle while playing the game. And a man playing the game Washington rear-ended a car that he did not see had stopped in front of him because his attention was on his phone.
These are just a few of the instances that have occurred so far, and it once again brings to light the danger of driving while distracted by a cell phone. Now is as good as time as any to remember that driving while using the phone is not only dangerous to you, but to those around you.
The Facts of Cell Phone Usage While Driving
Florida is one of just eight US states that has no restrictions on using your cell phone while driving, making it one of the last few to hold out. However, if the statistics have any sort of an influence, it probably won’t be that way for long. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that distracted drivers kill over 8 people, and injure 1,161 more every single day. Cell phone use, including text messaging and making phone calls, is unquestionably the most prevalent distraction for drivers, and responsible for the vast majority of these incidents.
It is estimated that the average text message takes at minimum five seconds to send, thus taking your eyes and attention away from the road for that long. At 55 miles per hour, that is enough time to drive the length of a football field. This makes sending a text message up to 23 times more likely to cause a crash than driving normally.
Early indications point to playing Pokémon Go while behind the wheel taking your attention away from the road in front of you for a period of time even longer than that, thus exponentially increasing the chances of a crash even higher. It’s no wonder that in such a short amount of time a number of accidents have already happened.
Upon opening the app, the game does give all players a warning that reminds them to be alert to their surroundings at all times. Therefore, it is important to stay alert while driving and avoid those showing signs of distraction at all times. And for those who choose to participate in the game, by all means continue to do so to the fullest extent, but be sure to respect the safety of other drivers on the road and don’t drive while playing Pokémon Go.
Brian Caulfield Esq. has served as a Clearwater car accident lawyer since 1988, providing Florida residents with top-rated and knowledgeable legal representation after they have suffered from injuries due to the negligence of another. His dedication to his clients and his practice through more than 4,800 cases has earned him distinct honors, including being named a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, a title bestowed upon fewer than 2% of all lawyers in the state.
Don’t delay! If you have been injured in a car accident by a distracted driver, request a free case evaluation from Brian Caulfield, Esq. by calling 727.308.6060.