Texas A&M University Police Blame Car Accident on Pokémon GO
A recent accident on the Texas A&M University campus offers further evidence that the Pokémon GO craze can be risky business for players and bystanders. On July 12, 2016, campus police tweeted a report of a suspicious vehicle on campus after one a.m. It turned out the occupants of the vehicle were playing Pokémon GO. A second tweet eight minutes later reported that a car had rear-ended an illegally parked car hard enough for its air bags to deploy. It was later determined that the driver of the illegally parked car had exited to catch a Pokémon.
The game, played with a Smartphone app, uses GPS to create a virtual hunting ground where players can apprehend cartoon creatures by going to various locations. The game has, however, lured inattentive players in cars and on foot into dangerous circumstances with predictable results:
- Steven Cary drove his car into a tree in upstate New York, totaling the vehicle and breaking his ankle.
- Autumn Diesroth, 15, walked across a Pennsylvania highway during rush hour and was struck by a car. injuring her collarbone and foot.
- In North Texas, a boy walking while staring down at his phone missed the small, venomous snake he stepped on and was rushed to the emergency room.
- In Southern California, two men stepped off a bluff and fell about 80 feet to the beach below.
- Two teenagers followed a fleeing Pokémon onto private property and were shot as trespassers. One died and the other was severely injured.
- A young man in Baltimore sideswiped a parked police cruiser while staring at his phone, playing the game.
- A motorcyclist, steering with one hand and following his cellphone with the other, hit a pothole and fell, suffering bruises all over his body.
- An Israeli man walked into a pane of glass, breaking his leg and suffering a deep gash.
- An Israeli teenager fell off her bike, fracturing her skull and sustaining an intracranial hemorrhage.
But no country seems to have been as hard hit by Pokémon GO as its country of origin, Japan. Since the game was released, on July 22, there have been 79 car and bicycle accidents linked to it. In Aichi, a car hit a bicyclist in her 20s. She was hospitalized for two weeks before she died. In the meantime, in rural Tokushima Prefecture, a 39-year-old farmer driving a small cargo van struck and killed two pedestrians, ages 72 and 60, at an intersection.
Fortunately, we are now putting the summer behind us. With the onset of colder weather, perhaps the obsession with Pokémon GO will wane, leaving our streets a good bit safer.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone’s negligent behavior, an experienced Houston attorney at Cire Law Firm can help. Call us today at 713.532.6206 or contact us online to learn more about your legal options.