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Beware Distracted Drivers Playing Pokémon Go!

Goldstein Heslop Steele Clapper Oswalt & Smith Dec. 10, 2021

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.

Contact our firm and schedule a consultation today and get the representation assistance you need after your car accident.