A new smartphone application has become a global sensation. Pokemon Go, an app that simulates augmented reality as a part of a virtual game, poses several risks. These virtual risks can carry over IRL*.
To play the game, Pokemon Go requires the user to hold their phone camera lens up to different places in their environment. For pedestrians, this takes their focus off walkways and roadways and funnels it into the game. This requires both their mental and physical attention. For drivers, vehicle operators face the same risks as pedestrian users. Although drivers should not be accessing their cell phones while operating a vehicle (North Carolina law bans cell phone use while driving), drivers in violation could speed, veer off the road, or drift into oncoming traffic if they are focused on a smartphone app and not focused on the road.
In less than a week since Pokemon Go has been released, several accidents have already been reported globally and allegedly attributed to its use. Violations and vehicle accidents involving Pokemon Go have been reported in places such as Australia, the United Kingdom, and domestically.
Leave phone applications for times when you are not walking or driving a vehicle. Help educate friends and family members that pedestrian accidents and distracted driving can be prevented. Share this with your loved ones on Facebook and Twitter and let us know if you have questions about North Carolina accident law.
*IRL is a modern acronym for 'in real life.'