Pokémon Go is responsible for many road accidents in the United States

Pokémon Go is responsible for many road accidents in the United States

Violet Field inHigh TechJan 20, 2021 2 min read1 views

Perdue University researchers say mobile video game crashes cost billions of dollars

It's not just wild boars and badgers that can cause car crashes: Pokémon have their share of responsibility too, or at least their trainers. In any case, this is what an American study concludes which looked at the correlation between road accidents and the practice of the game Pokémon Go, reports Korii.

Researchers at Purdue University (Indiana) noted that accidents "disproportionately" increase when they occur near PokéStops. These can be defined as places of interest allowing to acquire bonuses in the game developed by Niantic.

134 more accidents in a single county

Pokémon Go has been downloaded over 600 million times since its launch in July 2016. The app allows fans of the franchise to capture Pokémon while walking around. It has already generated more than 3.3 billion euros in turnover.

But it would have cost much more, according to American researchers, who examined nearly 12,000 accident reports in Tippecanoe County. According to their calculations, 134 additional accidents were recorded near PokéStops within 148 days of the game's creation.

31 injuries could have been avoided

According to them, these accidents which they attribute to the use of Pokémon Go while driving caused 498,567 dollars (410,188 euros) in damages. At the national level, the total cost would be between 2 and 7.3 billion dollars (1.6 and 6 billion euros) over the same period.

In particular, the researchers took into account the lives lost and the increase in insurance premiums to reach this conclusion. Extrapolating, Korri estimates that accidents related to mobile video games have cost 22 billion dollars (18.14 billion euros) in the space of four years in the United States.

Measures already in place

Niantic has long introduced speed limits in Pokémon Go to prevent its users from playing while driving. Accessories even allow you to locate Pokéstops without having to look at your cell phone.

In France, it is a decree that came into force last May that could well encourage Pokémon trainers to abandon their cars. A motorist who has committed a traffic violation while holding his phone can now have his driving license suspended for up to six months.