The augmented reality game ‘Pokémon Go” became wildly popular in South Carolina and around the country following its July 2016 release. However, a recent study from Purdue University suggests that the nationwide passion for the free-to-play game could have led to as many as 250 additional road deaths. Purdue researchers studied crash statistics compiled in the months prior to and following the game’s release, and they discovered that accidents rates soared near Pokéstop locations.
Players visit Pokéstops, which are usually monuments, statues or other historic markers, to download items onto their Android or iOS devices that are needed to play ‘Pokémon Go.” The Purdue researchers noticed that the number of crashes involving distracted drivers increased significantly near Pokéstop locations in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, in the 148 days following the game’s July 6 release. They estimate that the same kind of accident surge near Pokéstops nationwide would have led to 145,000 accidents, 29,000 injuries and 250 deaths.
The research, which was published online on Nov. 23, also indicates that car accident rates got progressively worse as the game’s popularity increased and peaked in July when 45 million people were active players. The researchers say that they took factors such as the weather and school schedules into consideration when they studied the figures.
An individual who has been hurt by a reckless or negligent driver may wish to retain a lawyer who can help negotiate a settlement. Attorneys could investigate an accident and examine the electronic data stored by modern vehicles to determine whether or not any evasive driving action was taken prior to a crash.