The most popular mobile app in recent memory, Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm. As thousands of people continue to download the free game every day, safety organizations and law enforcement groups are growing concerned.
There have been several reports already of car accidents caused by drivers looking for a nearby pocket monster instead of looking at the street ahead of them. One driver in New York plowed his vehicle straight into a tree, demolishing the car but suffering only minor injuries. There are also stories of pedestrians meandering into the road, eyes glued to the screen and the friendly face of Pikachu instead of their surroundings. Only days after its North American release, two San Diego gamers walked right off a cliff while following the in-game radar to another Pokémon.
Yes, there certainly seems to be great potential for personal injury if Pokémon Go is played while distracted. But there is also a high chance you can land in serious legal trouble as well.
Distracted & Reckless Driving Charges
Most states have laws against using a smartphone while behind the wheel, and every state prohibits reckless driving. Using an entertainment app, such as Pokémon Go, would constitute a distraction at least or reckless driving at most. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a Go’er could find themselves in a jail cell and paying high fines as a result.
As the AAA has urged many times already, the best bet is to put away the game until you are on your feet and out of your car. Players are also reminded to heed the game’s own advice and stay constantly aware of their surroundings, a message that is put on the screen in large font when it boots up. With a little bit of caution, there should be no more Pokémon Go car accidents and arrests in the news.
If you have been charged with distracted or reckless driving but do not believe the charges are just, contact our Dayton criminal defense attorneys from Gounaris Abboud, LPA. We have more than 50 years of combined legal experience protecting drivers from all manners of criminal charges, including DUIs. We can even help you file an injury claim if you were struck by someone distracted by Pokémon Go. Contact us online now to learn more.