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Study demonstrates hazards of Pokemon GO on the road

What started as a video game years ago has recently had a renaissance as an interactive phone app. Pokemon has actually appeared in a variety of formats, such as TV shows and trading cards, but it is the app, Pokemon GO that has swept the nation of late. This mobile incarnation of the game requires players to actually travel to specific real-world locations. Upon arriving at these locations, players will see Pokemon characters appear on the screens of their smartphones. The object of the game is to then "capture" these characters.

So what could go wrong with such a fun activity? Plenty, when someone chooses to play the game while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. While it may seem incomprehensible that anyone would do something so distracting while driving, the fact is that Pokemon GO has become a genuine road hazard.

In a recent study conducted at San Diego State University, researchers examined posts found on the Twitter social media platform and stories appearing on the Google News site. The study took its sample from a 10-day span in July. They searched for tweets containing words that related to driving and Pokemon. They then randomly chose 4000 of those tweets.

Perhaps the key finding was that 33 percent of these random tweets contained information indicating that pedestrians, passengers or drivers were giving focus to Pokemon GO. This percentage correlated to 113,993 incidents that were posted on Twitter during the 10-day period. And according to news reports, 14 crashes occurred that are attributable to Pokemon GO.

Pokemon GO is only the latest cause of distracted driving. Sadly, it is not unusual to see people driving while texting, talking on cell phones, eating and even putting on makeup. Distracted drivers pose a genuine threat on our roads, and their negligence is the cause of far too many serious accidents.

If you have been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, a California personal injury attorney could act on your behalf by working with insurance companies or filing a civil suit aimed at getting you appropriate compensation.

Source: Science Daily, "Popular reality game Pokémon GO is distracting," Sept. 19, 2016

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