Pokemon Go Players Caused Billions in Driving Damages

From PC Mag: Don't Pokemon Go and drive. That's perhaps more obvious now than during last year's Pokemon Go heyday, when I saw plenty of drivers in Silicon Valley awkwardly flicking Pokeballs on smartphones mounted to their dashboards.

According to a working paper from two researchers at Purdue University, cleverly titled "Death by Pokémon GO," misuse of the mobile game caused millions in damages in just one Indiana county the researchers tracked.

"We document a disproportionate increase in vehicular crashes and associated vehicular damage, personal injuries, and fatalities in the vicinity of locations, called PokéStops, where users can play the game while driving. The results are robust to using points of play, called Gyms, that cannot be used to play the game while driving as a placebo," the paper's abstract reads.

"We estimate the total incremental county-wide cost of users playing Pokémon GO while driving, including the value of the two incremental human lives lost, to be in the range of $5.2 million to $25.5 million over only the 148 days following the introduction of the game. Extrapolation of these estimates to nation-wide levels yields a total ranging from $2 to $7.3 billion for the same period."

Mara Faccio and John McConnell looked at approximately 12,000 accident reports in the county between March 1, 2015 and November 30, 2016. (Pokemon Go launched in the US on July 6, 2016.)

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