The mobile game known as Pokémon Go has become an almost instantaneous
sensation since its launch. Less than a week later, the app is already
rivaling the social media giant Twitter’s mobile platform for data
usage levels on mobile devices. One of the biggest appeals to the game
is its ability to use your phone’s GPS and make the popular monsters
appear around you in real-world locations. This gives players an incentive
to get out of the house and move about to explore for new and rarer breeds.
However, this also tends to make players dedicate their entire focus and
attention to the screen of their smartphone, and as a result there has
been a sharp spike in the number of distracted drivers who attempt to
play the game while moving around on our roads. While no studies have
been officially conducted in such a short amount of time, this is still
an alarming trend since playing the game has demonstrated early effects
on drivers similar to that of reading or sending text messages.
Pennsylvania Laws Regarding Cell Phone Use and Driving
Pennsylvania is one of the few states in the nation which does not prohibit
the use of a cell-phone without a hands-free device while driving. However,
this only applies to talking on the phone; Pennsylvania has placed a ban
on texting and driving.
Specifically, the law prohibits the use of an “Interactive Wireless
Communication Device” to “send, read, or write a text-based
message.” This is important because it could include using your
car’s in-dash screen to read text messages if you have a vehicle
equipped with this option. The reason for this specific ban is the amount
of drivers who are involved in an accident while texting is far higher
than simply talking on the phone like normal, and has been blamed for
a greater number of injuries and fatalities.
While Pokémon Go is not texting and driving, it can be just as dangerous.
There have already been reported instances of drivers playing the popular
game causing accidents by not paying attention to the road ahead of them.
Likewise, pedestrians have been witnessed crossing roads and darting into
crosswalks without looking up to make sure traffic is clear.
What to Do if You are In an Accident
If you are involved in an accident with a distracted driver, whether they
were playing Pokémon Go or had their attention pulled away by any
number of other diversions, it is important to know your rights as a victim.
Always seek medical treatment for your injuries immediately, and then
call a skilled Altoona personal injury attorney as soon as possible to
begin reviewing your legal options.
The experienced team at
Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt & Smith may be able to help you if you have been injured by a distracted driver.
Our firm has assisted Pennsylvania residents with securing compensation
for their expenses incurred from injuries for over 100 years. Our high
level of professionalism and ethical standards have made us a top choice
for injury representation in Blair County.
Call our firm and schedule a consultation today by dialing (814) 705-4741
and get the representation assistance you need after your car accident.