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When Pokémon Go can get you, or others, killed

Distracted driving has been an issue for some time, and although laws have continually been passed in an effort to lessen the instances of distracted driving, as technology improves the temptation to drive while doing something else only gets stronger. One of these distractions is the new game for iOS and Android called Pokémon Go.

What is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is like the traditional Pokémon video games in many ways. Players take on the identity of a character and go searching the playing field for virtual pocket monsters (Pokémon) to collect.

In the traditional versions of the game, the monsters exist within the world of the game which is played on a portable gaming device. With Pokémon Go, the game is played on iPhones, iPads, or Android devices, and the playing field is the same world that people live in.

Rather than being glued to a device, Pokémon Go is supposed to be more social because players are required to leave and move around their community in order to catch their Pokémon. As they move around, their phones tell them when they are near a spot where a Pokémon can be found.

Since players don't know if they are near one of these virtual monsters until they are there, some find themselves mentally and even visually focused on the game even when they are on the move, and this is potentially very dangerous.

A reminder about distractions

In today's world we are constantly multitasking. At work we might be responsible for answering phones while organizing paperwork or inventory. At home we might be making dinner while watching a movie. Even these distractions can prove to hurt our focus. We might make mistakes on the paperwork, or not understand the needs of callers. We might not fully understand what's happening in a movie-- or may even burn the dinner.

Distracted driving brings more serious consequences. Just taking your eyes off the road for two seconds will double your chances on being in a crash. This is no surprise since just five seconds of distracted driving at 55 mph will blindly carry you the length of a football field -- unless something gets in the way. Teens are more vulnerable to distractions than most, and 60 percent of moderate to severe teen crashes involve an unnecessary distraction.

While distracted driving is certainly a danger, distracted walking is becoming more and more of a concern. More pedestrians are looking down at their phones while they are walking -- including when they are crossing intersections. They might not always be mindful of their own safety, and may walk at an inconsistent speed making it more difficult for drivers to judge the most appropriate time to turn.

If you do play Pokémon Go, it is best to check the area while you not actively traveling. If you're not playing, it's still a good idea to stay alert. Over time the appeal of the game may fade, but distractions are likely here to stay.

Fighting back after a distracted driver injury

If you are injured by a distracted driver, you will need to be compensated for your injuries due to medical expenses and the variety of obstacles that you've begun to face since your accident. It's even worse when the accident is so serious that your loved ones are actually killed by a distracted driver.

If you do need to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, it's good to have an attorney on your side that has experience dealing with distracted driver cases. The right attorney can often assess the scene and reenact the crash to help build a strong case, and in some cases they can even look at phone histories in order to determine if the driver let themselves drive distracted.

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