Pokémon Go has come under fire recently due to several accidents that have been caused by people who are playing the game. For those who don’t know, Pokémon Go is a location based augmented reality game for mobile devices. The game, which is available on both Android and iOS devices, works by using the GPS in a user’s phone to determine that user’s location. Based on the user’s location, the game then causes Pokémon appear around the player's character which the player can try to catch. In the past, people who played other Pokémon games were able to catch Pokémon only within the game, on the devices screen, but Pokémon Go lets users try to “catch ‘em all” in real life, which has been appealing to millions of users.
For those who don’t know what Pokémon is, it started off originally as a video game for the Game Boy device. The name Pokémon is believed to translate roughly to Pocket Monsters. Basically, Pokémon are virtual creatures that the player, or "Pokémon Trainer" attempts to catch by throwing a "pokeball" at it. Once caught, the Pokémon then belongs to the Trainer who caught it.
The reason Trainers want to catch Pokémon is so that they can train them to become more powerful, with the intent of battling other Trainers. Originally, there were two main goals or premises of the game. One was to travel around the virtual Pokémon world to defeat all eight Gym Leaders, who were very skilled Trainers. After defeating the Gym Leaders, Trainers would face off against the four best Pokémon Trainers in the game, known as the Elite Four. Once the Elite Four were defeated, there were no real goals left to achieve, except to complete the Pokédex, by catching one of every single Pokémon in the game.This was the second main goal of the game.
Pokémon Go takes the same basic premise as the original video games, except it allows players to feel like they are actually catching these Pokémon in real life, because they only appear based on the player's location and surroundings. The application also allows players to take pictures to show the Pokémon actually appearing in their surroundings.
While this game has been enjoyed by millions of people since it's release, it has also been causing dangerous car accidents. Since Pokémon only appear the GPS location is moving in real life, and certain Pokémon only appear in certain locations, some users are playing Pokémon Go while driving. This dangerous distracted driving has led to many accidents due to users not paying attention to the road. These accidents have ranged from single-car accidents, to multiple-car accidents, to pedestrian acciddents, and have caused a lot of people to be upset with Niantic, the company that created Pokémon Go.
In response to the complaints, Niantic has tried to put out measures in to prevent users playing Pokémon Go while driving, such as displaying an alert message whenever a user opens the app, which says “Do not play Pokémon Go while driving.” More recently, Niantic also has created a pop up message which appears when the application believes a player is going to fast, and which blocks the user from playing unless they agree that they are a passenger in the vehicle.
In addition to the safety reasons for not playing Pokémon Go while driving, Click On Detroit reports that drivers playing Pokémon Go could also face jail time and fines if caught catching and driving. Michigan has laws against reckless driving. Motorists are likely to be pulled over by law enforcement if they are a threat to themselves or others on the road.
Using Pokémon while driving is very dangerous and may result in motor vehicle collisions. If you or anyone you know has been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, call The Michigan Law Firm. Whether you were hit by a driver playing Pokemon Go or any type of distracted driver, our attorneys can help you. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation.