Distracted Walking
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Pokémon: Staying safe and avoiding distraction.

It seems everyone has heard of Pokémon Go, and although I have never played the game myself, I am concerned about what it means for the safety of our community. For those who have not heard, this is a smartphone game which uses the phone’s camera and GPS to allow players to search the real world and find characters and other elements needed to play the game. While this is meant to be a fun on-line game, it can have real-world consequences if people play while driving, crossing the street or doing any other dangerous activity that requires your full attention.

Already, we have begun to see accidents directly caused by distracted drivers playing the game while driving. That includes an accident right here in New York in which a driver crashed into a tree while playing the game.

Playing games while driving is illegal

According to a press release issued by the NYS DMV, New York State prohibits all drivers from using portable electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. Illegal activity includes:

  • Holding a portable electronic device.
  • Talking on a handheld mobile telephone.
  • Composing, sending, reading, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving, or retrieving electronic data such as e-mail, text messages, or websites.
  • Viewing, taking, or transmitting images.
  • Playing games.

Learn about the dangers of distracted driving

During Distracted Driving Awareness Month, I dedicated a section of my website to providing facts and safety tips. At the time, many of the statistics were focused on the dangers of texting, which can take your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. Pokémon can be even more dangerous, and we are unfortunately seeing a lot of Social Media activity, in which people are bragging about “capturing” Pokémon while driving.

Take a second to learn more about distracted driving, this information could just save your life.

Distracted walking is dangerous too

Playing a game while walking may seem innocent enough, but it also can come with tragic consequences. It can mean more than just bumping into other people on the sidewalk. You could accidentally step off the curb into the street or particularly when crossing the street, you may come across an equally distracted driver who doesn’t see you. In that case, neither one of you will get the Pokémon, but your life will be changed forever.

You’re at risk even if you’re not playing

Unfortunately, when we’re on the road, we are not isolated from others. It may be another driver or a pedestrian who is not paying attention to where he is going, but it could be you that suffers the consequences. As long as this fad continues, I urge everyone to be extra careful when driving or walking where there are motor vehicles present. Be extra careful and don’t assume the other car will stop, just because he has a stop sign or you are in a cross-walk.

What if you are the victim of an accident and suffer serious injuries?

If you or a loved one is an accident victim and suffered serious injuries, give Greg Bagen a call and take advantage of a free confidential consultation. Once he knows what happened, he can give you the facts about the law that you need to make an informed decision about how to proceed. If you do have a case, he’ll fight to get you the compensation you need to move past this terrible tragedy.

Remember, there are NO UPFRONT FEES and you PAY NOTHING unless you receive compensation.

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