When Pokemon Go came out in July 2016, it caused a universal craze. People were driving suspiciously slowly in their cars just to catch a Pokemon on the way to work, faces glued to their screens. Technology has and still continues to hinder people from engaging in social activities, and results in many children sitting for hours in front of the TV as opposed to playing outside. The Pokemon Go app was viewed as a technological savior from inactivity. In less than a month, 100 million people had downloaded the app and created a shift towards young people walking instead of driving and discovering new places within their city, and even making new friends. There were communities of Pokemon Go players that would organize walks for a group of players to find new Pokemon.
The problem came about when people were walking without looking where they were actually going – which meant many people were walking in front of moving cars. Due to an increasing amount of reported car accidents, two men, McConnell and Faccio, decided to conduct a study to measure exactly how much the incidences had increased. They chose one specific area in Indiana, USA, that players often went to catch Pokemon and collected data from 1 March 2017 to 30 November 2016, giving Pokemon Go a 4 month trial run. Once they compared the data, they found that the possibility of having an accident in this specific area had increased by 26.5% and when the Pokemon Go craze faded out, the statistic reduced significantly.
Getting more specific with the statistics, they recorded that crashes had INCREASED by 145 632, injuries increased by 29 370 and deaths increased by 256. While the creators of Pokemon Go were raking in the cash, the economic cost of these accidents was an incredible $2 billion within the first 148 days that the app was available on the app store.
A man in the US actually drove his car into a tree and many other accidents of a similar nature were reported due to the app.
There is no denying that the app has promoted a healthier way of socializing, meeting people and exercise but caused dangerous and even fatal side effects. Accidents were also called by passengers who were playing Pokemon Go and instructing the driver to stop, slow down or turn into a restricted area, increasing the likelihood of a collision due to the unpredictable nature of the driving. People even went so far as to trespass on railway lines to catch Pokemon. Criminals and pickpocketers used the distraction to their advantage as distracted players were an easy target.
As they say, everything in moderation with an extra dash of concentration for everything that is going on around you, particularly moving vehicles!
Check out the video below for 6 accidents caused by Pokemon Go.
*Please note that while the study by McConnell and Faccio was conducted professionally, it has not been peer–reviewed*