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"Pokemon Go" Raises Distracted Driving Concerns

Amidst the Pokemon Go phenomenon that is sweeping the nation, many safety advocates have voiced concerns over driver and pedestrian distraction.

Almost as fast as Pokemon Go permeated the cultural landscape did safety officials begin issuing warnings citing safety concerns. The free application is available to anyone with a smart phone. To succeed at the game, players travel around their city catching virtual creatures. Already, there have been a number of reports of drivers and pedestrians alike getting into hazardous situations because their eyes are glued to their phone.

DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner and GTSC Acting Chair Terri Egan announced in a press release that the game could have “tragic real-world consequences if you’re playing it while driving or crossing the street.[1]

Already in New Jersey, nearly half of all motor vehicle accidents involve some form of driver inattention[2]. In 2014, the last year for which data is available, 1,758 crashes in New Jersey involved some form of cellphone use[3]. Pokemon Go threatens to increase the already burgeoning distracted driving accident rates.

One safety feature Pokemon Go comes equipped with is a bar on hatching digital eggs (one component of the game) while traveling at speeds faster than 20mph. This, however, doesn’t prevent someone from attempting to use the app while driving, in slow-moving traffic, or while stopped at an intersection.

The attorneys at Levinson Axelrod represent individuals throughout the state of New Jersey who have been involved in serious motor vehicle collisions. We see far too many cases caused by distracted drivers, so we encourage everyone to exercise extreme caution, never drive while distracted, and contact us in the event that you become a victim of distracted driving. We are here for you at eight convenient office locations – call us today for a free review of your legal rights and options.

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