Teen blames Pokémon Go for her traffic accident
As popularity spreads for Pokémon Go, the count for traffic accidents related to the game goes up as drivers and pedestrians try to catch ’em all.
A 15-year-old girl was playing the game and crossed an intersection about 20 miles outside of Pittsburgh when she was hit by a vehicle. Autumn Deiseroth blames Pokémon Go for the crash. “To where it is set up, we have to cross roads to go get it,” the teen told WTAE. “I do blame it.”
Deiseroth says she was forced to cross a four-lane road to catch Pokémon on Tuesday. “Kids don’t just cross the highway for no reason,” her mom Tracy Nolan shared with reporters. While her statement is true, it’s also true that kids, teens, and adults cross busy roadways all the time without getting hit.
Teaching your kids to pay attention and remain alerted of their surroundings is incredibly important – especially with crashes involving distracted drivers on the rise. More than eight people are killed and 1,161 are injured every day in the United States in crashes involving a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Police are already investigating crashes where the driver was allegedly playing Pokémon Go.
And according to safety experts, more than 10,000 people in the U.S. have been injured because of “distracted walking” in the last decade. As for as Deiseroth, she says she wasn’t playing the game when she crossed the intersection. News reports from the crash area showed a well-marked crosswalk, but it’s unclear if the teen used it or crossed in a nearby area. “When she called and said she got hit by a car, I blamed the game,” her mom said. “She would not have been out of the house. My daughter is a hermit.”
It is one of the main reasons parents love the game – their children are getting outside more. But the game is also incredibly engaging, which leaves many users – adults and kids – distracted. A Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC spokesperson told reporters Deiseroth wasn’t the first patient they had seen because of Pokémon Go. Pennsylvania police released a statement over a week ago alerting the community about the game. Officials said they’d already had reports of some users tripping, falling, and walking into roadways.
While the game is great, we have to make sure our kids know to stay aware of their surroundings – regardless of what’s happening on their phone.