Pennsylvania was hit by the motor vehicle when she tried to cross the busy intersection of Ross Street and East Ninth Avenue. She suffered injuries to her foot and collarbone, in addition to cuts and bruises, as a result of the accident.
Tracy Nolan, her mother, told Channel 11 News that the popular mobile game took her to that major intersection at around 5 in the afternoon, a busy time for that area where the accident ultimately occurred. An unidentified spokesman for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UMPC said that Diesroth was not the first victim they have taken care of because of Pokemon GO. Nolan warned other parents not to let their children play the game.
“Parents, don’t let your kids play this game because you don’t want to go through what I went through last night. I really thought I was losing my daughter,” Nolan advised. “The Pokemon game took her across a major highway at 5 o’clock in the evening, which is rush hour,” she added.
According to Nolan, the driver that hit her daughter stopped and held the victim’s hand until she was taken to the hospital.
Pokemon GO is a smartphone game that uses your phone’s GPS and clock data to pinpoint when and where you are in the virtual game and make monsters appear around your map that will be shown in the screen. The goal is to catch these monsters in order for you to progress in the game. Different types of monsters or Pokemon will appear around you (or your virtual character) depending on your current location and time, thus combining the digital world and reality. However, the monsters themselves can prove to be difficult to catch, sometimes running away from your character, which can become highly dangerous if you do not exercise caution.
Despite the relatively new age of the game, it has become very popular, although some accidents have already been associated with the game much like the example of Autumn Diesroth.
Previously in New York City, a car crash was attributed to distracted driving – because the driver was playing Pokemon GO while driving his vehicle. The local government released a safety warning to players to use common sense while enjoying the game and to be mindful of their surroundings. Thankfully for the New York incident, no one was seriously hurt (including the driver), but the authorities’ point is clear – why wait for someone to get hurt and risk explaining before police and a personal injury lawyer the details of what transpired?
In Missouri, just four days after Pokemon GO was officially released in the United States, four teenagers were charged with crimes for allegedly using the game and its popularity to rob victims. According to the police, the suspects “baited” their victims by enticing them to go into isolated areas where they were able to gang up and rob them.
People have reported that pedestrians and cyclists were seen wandering across streets, roads, and parks seemingly unmindful of their surroundings because their eyes were glued to their phones. A Reddit user said that he went to the emergency room because of the game. His post stated that he fractured his foot because he fell into a ditch while playing the game. He said he is facing 6 to 8 weeks of recovery as a result. His post ended with a warning, telling people to watch where they are going.
The game developers have issued safety warnings with the game, also in effect telling the same thing.