Pokemon GO: 3 Tips for Staying Safe

Just weeks after its release, Pokemon GO has become the most popular mobile game ever. Though data shows its popularity is trending down, there’s no doubt that it has made its mark in history. Every day, millions of people around the world are picking up their phones and traveling all over their neighborhoods and beyond, trying to catch Pokemon via augmented reality. Though the game may seem childish, it has been proven to have its benefits.

Here’s how it works: Pokemon GO, developed by Niantic Labs, uses your phone’s GPS, pedometer, gyroscope and camera to bring the world of Pokemon into the palm of your hand. When you run into a Pokemon, your camera activates, showing what is right in front of you, and the creature is overlaid onto the live image. Different Pokemon are available in different regions, and certain rewards are only available after you walk a certain distance.

Requiring users to be active is one of the many benefits of Pokemon GO. And the game is not easily cheated. If you are traveling too fast, your steps no longer count. That means you can’t drive around to avoid the physical aspect of Pokemon GO. Plus, with new features like trading between players, the game encourages users to also be social. However, Pokemon GO also has its drawbacks.

For one, when players are focused on the game, they are concentrating on their phones — not their surroundings. This has led to all sorts of injuries, from car wrecks to people walking off of cliffs. Niantic Labs planned for this reality by including in their Terms of Service a section about “playing at your own risk.” You are responsible for staying safe while out trying to catch ‘em all.

Here at Steinger, Greene & Feiner, we have already received numerous calls regarding personal injuries due to people not paying attention while playing Pokemon GO. While not every injury can be prevented, most of them can. Keep these safety tips in mind:

  1. Don’t play Pokemon GO and drive
  2. Be aware of your surroundings
  3. Never go out alone — use the buddy system

The last tip is especially important if your children are playing Pokemon. Never let them go out alone. Rather, make Pokemon GO a family activity! If you are an adult, never go into an unfamiliar place alone, especially at night. At the very least, you could find yourself lost. However, there is always the risk of being robbed — or worse.

If you or someone you know was injured while playing Pokemon GO in Miami, or by someone else who was playing, make sure you get a police report of the situation. Get the medical attention you need, then contact the skilled personal injury attorneys at Steinger, Greene & Feiner. Your initial consultation is free. Call today.