Study shows link between Pokemon Go and high rate of traffic accidents

During the time period covered, PokeStops were the only way that Pokemon Go players could collect items, and many players would attempt to "spin" the PokeStops while driving. The researchers acquired their data by analyzing the cases of misuse of the app in Tippecanoe County, Indiana where the damage caused by playing Pokemon Go was estimated to reach $25.5 million. If the game is played while a player is driving and if playing the game while driving increases the likelihood of crashes occurring, locations near PokéStops should experience a disproportionate increase in crashes following introduction of the game. A new study from the University of Purdue suggests that damages to life and property could have exceeded billions of dollars, based on a look at just one IN county within the first 148 days of the game's launch.

It is reported the accidents may have caused $7 billion in damages.

McConnell based the study on some 12,0000 detailed police accident reports from Tippecanoe County, Indiana between March 1, 2015 and November 30, 2016. The report, titled " Death by Pokemon GO", blames the game for a 47% increase in automobile crashes that took place in Tippecanoe County, Indiana.

With this information at hand, Purdue discovered the following: in the 148 days after the game debuted on app stores across the world, 286 additional vehicle crashes were recorded. The authors of the report admit that the increase in accidents near PokeStops might have been due to increased traffic in the area due to the popularity of the game, and could have nothing to do with those playing the game while driving. Keep in mind that is just within the first five months of the game's release.The game lost more than 15 million users in the first month, and my October, developer Niantic was already trying to implement changes that would not allow players to use the game while driving.

If you'd like to see more of the attendant numbers and other statistical and research data, you can head to the SSRN site to download the full 49-page paper or view it online as a PDF.

Since there are significantly less Pokemon GO players now compared to a year ago, and developer Niantic added a "speed cap" that shuts down the game when traveling about 30 miles-per-hour, the results of the study probably don't apply now.