Pokémon Go linked to worrying number of road accidents

According to a study carried out by American researchers from the University of Perdue, Pokémon Go has been the cause of hundreds of road accidents during its four years of existence. The damage runs into billions of dollars according to these experts.

pokemon go crash
Credits: Paintimpact.com via Flickr

After alcohol, drugs or fatigue, Pokémon Go could well join the list of causes of mortality on the roads. In any case, this is what reveals an edifying study, and it must be said alarming, American researchers from the University of Perdue, in the state of Indiana.

As a reminder, Pokémon Go was a real hit when it launched in July 2016. The game developed by the Niantic teams is based on augmented reality and invites players to capture pokémons while walking around. This innovative concept quickly became successful, with the game grossing $ 600 million in just three months of operation.

The disturbing relationship between Pokéstops and road accidents

With 600 million downloads and $ 3.3 billion in revenue, Pokémon Go is today a mobile gaming monster. However, he is also responsible for a very high number of road accidents. In this study called “Death by Pokémon Go: the economic and human consequences of the game behind the wheel“, The researchers observed a marked increase in traffic accidents near Pokéstops before and after July 6, 2016, when the game was launched.

As a reminder, Pokéstops are points of interest that allow you to obtain in-game items such as eggs, pokéball or healing elixirs. After looking at more than 12,000 accident reports from Tippecanoe County (Indiana), the researchers concluded that 134 accidents moreover happened near a pokéstop during the 148 days which followed the launch of the game. According to their calculations, these accidents potentially caused by Pokémon Go caused 410,188 euros in material damage.

This represents a 22% increase in the total amount of damage caused by road accidents in the United States. In addition, these 134 accidents recorded 31 injuries. To property damage, the researchers added the cost of hospitalizations and the increase in the price of driver insurance. They then extrapolated those numbers nationwide. Thus, the researchers estimate the total cost of accidents caused by Pokémon Go between 2 and 7.3 billion dollars in the United States, in just 148 career days.

Also read: Pokémon Go Рguide and tips to catch everything and be the best trainer

Niantic has taken steps to prevent these practices

Very quickly, Niantic was forced to take action to prevent players from playing behind the wheel. Since an update published in October 2016, playing in the car even as a passenger is prohibited. In addition, Niantic has set a new speed limit for hatching Pokémon eggs. From now on, do not exceed 10.5 km / h.

On its official website, Niantic also recalls that ‚ÄúPok√©mon GO should not be used while driving a vehicle. This directive is reinforced by warnings and behaviors within the application ‚ÄĚ. Finally, it should be remembered that a decree entered into force in May 2020 in France. Now, using your smartphone while driving is punishable by a six-month license suspension.

Source: University of Perdue