Forget walking around and looking down at your smart phone to respond to a text or check your Facebook feed. The new craze is Pokemon Go – a game centered on capturing, training and fighting Pokemon located in the real world. The trend hasn’t just settled here in the United States, it has become a worldwide phenomenon. However, what happens when over 75 million people walk with their heads down or their brains are completely distracted by a single game?
Eventually, disaster strikes and lives become at risk. The number of accidents and assaults are still climbing as the frenzy continues to be downloaded. Take for example the number of incidents that have already made national news:
- Alabama: someone was robbed at gunpoint
- Arizona: robbery and assault
- California: a man accidently walked off a bluff and plunged fifty feet and an attempted murder suspect harasses children as they played Pokemon Go
- Florida: a man shoots teens who he mistakes for robbers while they were on his lawn
- Georgia: a player was sexually assaulted
- Maine: a driver is accused of intentionally hitting a pedestrian who was also playing the game at the same time
- Maryland: a driver crashes into a police carwhile playing Pokemon Go (the police said that this is the newest form of distracted driving)
- New York: a driver crashes and breaks their leg while playing
- Pennsylvania: a teenage player was hit by a car
- Vermont: a drunk driver was playing during the time of crash
- Wisconsin: two drunk teenagers crash into a tree while playing
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The fear for public safety is at an all-time high. Whether it is a pedestrian, cyclist or driver, the level of distraction is extremely dangerous. While it may seem far-fetched or silly to others, this epidemic is real. As both drivers and pedestrians, keep your eyes up and focused—you never know when a Pikachu hunter is on the loose.