Pokémon Go Accidents Fueling Public Safety Fears

Pokémon Go- the popular augmented reality game has been taking the world by storm. After launching in 26 new countries this past weekend, the phenomenally successful augmented reality game has been fueling public safety fears. From car accidents to distracted pedestrians and trespassing, players are doing whatever it takes to capture these Pokémon for their deck.

Two men apparently playing the game had to be rescued after falling off a 90-foot cliff in California Wednesday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The men allegedly broke through a fence, despite the warning signs that the cliff’s bluffs were unstable, to catch a Pokémon.

Recently, a man crashed his car into a tree while reportedly playing Pokémon Go in upstate New York.

Last weekend hundreds of players found themselves stampeding through Central Park when a rare Pokémon, Vaporeon, spawned in the game’s version of the park. One bystander even caught footage of the madness.

The individual, username Woodzys, who caught this stampede on Vimeo explained, “I didn’t catch the front of the pack that was sprinting into the park like a herd of wildebeest. Special shout out to the guy at the start of the video that jumped out of his car, left the engine running, and darted off to claim the grand prize.”

A 15 year old girl was hit by a car in western Pennsylvania while playing the game and crossing a busy highway. The girl was reportedly hospitalized with an injured collarbone and foot, as well as cuts and bruises.

According to the report in USA Today, two teenagers aged 16 and 19 were shot at while sitting in their car and playing Pokémon Go. A man walked out of his house in Florida with a gun and shot at the car.

Moments before the shooting, one asked, “did you catch him?”

The other replied, “yeah, did you?”

That’s when they heard several shots fired, according to the sheriff’s office.

Despite the warning that pops up every time the app is opened, players have been getting themselves into life threatening incidents. Some police forces are using the hashtag #DontCatchAndDrive to help promote accident prevention.

The Red Cross and the National Safety Council have also been issuing warnings to players urging them to stay aware of their surroundings while playing the augmented reality game.

Screen captures from Pokemon Go

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