July 27, 2016
Pokemon Go, a game that lets players catch Pokemon in the real world, is causing huge safety issues. Teens and young adults are wandering the streets staring at their phones, not watching where they are going, and they are getting injured. They are running into things, getting robbed, being hit by cars, and even finding dead bodies while trying to catch all of the Pokemon. Some are even Pokemon Go and driving.
“Not even 30 minutes after the release last night, I slipped and fell down a ditch,” a Reddit user posted the day after it was released. People have been running into everything causing a range of injuries from minor sprains to broken bones. However, some injuries have been more severe. A 15 year old girl playing the game in Pennsylvania was hit by a car while crossing a busy highway during rush hour. She injured her collarbone and foot in the crash, but luckily she survived. Two men also fell off a sea cliff in Encinitas, California and suffered non life threatening injuries.
In San Diego, three women looking for Pokemon instead found a dead body near a creek. This man was found to have died of natural causes, but the game has also led to the findings of two more dead bodies and an attempted murder suspect.
Some are taking advantage of the game to commit crimes. In Anaheim, there have been Pokemon Go related stabbings at Pokestops, or places where Pokemon are usually found. San Francisco has reported robberies at Pokestops, and there have been multiple reports of near kidnappings.
The game is also being taken to the wheel as drivers play while on the road. It is comparable to texting and driving and has caused multiple car crashes. People have run into trees and other people while playing the game. Amazingly, people are very open about their dangerous behavior. There are many tweets containing pictures of Pokemon on steering wheels on the road. Arizona has even taken to posting signs on freeways saying “Driving and Pokemon Go is a no-go.”
While Pokemon Go is fun and addicting, it is causing huge safety risks. For the players out there, stay safe and don’t Pokemon and drive.