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Pokémon Go increases crash risk among drivers

Though Pokémon Go is starting to fade as a gaming phenomenon, that doesn’t mean that it has stopped posing safety concerns. Residents of Oklahoma and across the U.S. probably remember the reports of players being injured because they were so engrossed in the game. Two professors from Purdue University have conducted a study that shows how distracted driving has created a worrisome trend among Pokémon Go players.

The authors studied the reports of nearly 12,000 accidents in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, which took place both before and after the game’s launch on July 6, 2016. They cross-referenced these with the locations of Pokéstops, where players must go to receive in-game items. Their conclusion was that, combined with the rise in traffic accidents after the game’s launch, 26.5 percent more accidents occurred in intersections within 100 meters of a Pokéstop than anywhere else.

The authors estimate that 134 more accidents and 31 more injuries took place at these Pokéstops than before the Pokéstops existed. They have also speculated that the game indirectly caused over 145,000 crashes, 29,000 injuries and 250 deaths nationwide in the first five months after its launch. There was a disproportionate rise in distracted driving as a cause of accidents, though the small sample size and the fact that many were self-reported causes keeps the data from being entirely accurate.

Whether it’s texting, playing a game, adjusting the stereo, or eating, there are many ways that drivers can become distracted. When distractions lead to car accidents, the victims have a right to pursue an injury claim so that they can be compensated for vehicle damage, medical bills and any lost wages. An attorney can estimate a settlement, bring in accident reconstruction experts and investigators to strengthen the case and proceed to negotiations or litigation.