It’s always said that you shouldn’t use your phone while you’re driving and always be aware of where you’re walking, even when on your phone. Unfortunately, the size of the Pokemon Go damage from people playing the game instead of paying attention is rather extensive, even a year later.
Pokemon Go first released in the summer of 2016, and immediately became tremendously popular. However, at the same time, news stories began to pop up about people discovering dead bodies, going into places where they shouldn’t, and in general paying more attention to the Pokemon they could catch than their surroundings.
Apparently, the Pokemon Go damage includes over 100,000 car accidents, which coupled with other things adds up to around $2 billion. According to the study, done by Purdue University, even in one area alone, the area of Tippecanoe County in Indiana in the United States, around $500,000 in damages, 37 different injuries, and two fatal accidents were all apparently caused due to people playing Pokemon Go on the road.
Niantic had taken steps to try and prevent this, keeping people from playing if they were driving, but the ability to say that you were a passenger meant that many people just ignored the warnings.
This evidence was further strengthened when, as the game’s appeal wore off and people stopped playing it, these statistics actually went down. Pokemon Go lost a lot of players soon after release due to a lack of new Pokemon and various mechanical issues, such as the servers being down almost constantly. While new Pokemon and new mechanics have been added, it’s likely that Pokemon Go won’t return to the same user numbers it was at previously.
Either way, with all of this Pokemon Go damage now tallied up, hopefully other mobile games that involve the use of augmented reality (such as Niantic’s upcoming Harry Potter game) will put more thought into keeping their players from playing the game while driving.