Distracted ‘Pokémon Go’ Players May Have Caused Billions In Damages

For a brief period of time last summer, Pokémon Go brought the Pokémon franchise a level of popularity and media attention it had not seen since its debut in the 1990s. A new study, titled Death by Pokémon Go, shows that the popular augmented reality game was partially responsible for an increase in traffic accidents and traffic-related deaths. Economists at Purdue University analyzed traffic accident reports from Tippecanoe County, Indiana during the game’s first 148 days and found an increase in traffic accidents related to the game. The team found that high-speed restrictions were not in place for some Pokéstops and they noticed that accidents were much higher in areas close proximity to Pokéstops. This is how the researchers determined that Pokémon Go was, in fact, contributing to traffic accidents. If you apply this data to the U.S. as a whole, you’d find that the country lost between $2 billion to $7.3 billion.


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