Study: Pokemon Go linked to 14 car crashes in 10 days

San Diego State researchers found 14 car crashes associated with the game between July 10th and 19th.

Pokemon Go is displayed on a cell phone in Los Angeles on Friday, July 8, 2016. Just days after being made available in the U.S., the mobile game Pokemon Go has jumped to become the top-grossing app in the App Store. And players have reported wiping out in a variety of ways as they wander the real world, eyes glued to their smartphone screens, in search of digital monsters. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
(AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A new study has linked the mobile device game Pokemon Go with car crashes involving distracted driving. Pokemon Go uses people’s smartphones with GPS to take players through a virtual map that includes real world locations.

San Diego State researchers found 14 car crashes associated with the game between July 10th and 19th, including one player drove his car into a tree. They also found 4,000 tweets referred to driving while being distracted by playing the game. Some people were even taking screenshots of themselves playing the game while driving.

“If you’re not paying attention to the road, to the vehicle you’re driving, there’s a delayed reaction if you have to stop the car quickly,” Northampton Police Capt. John Cartledge explained. “And certainly texting being on the internet or playing games is not advised.”

Cartledge also told 22News that Northampton officers were pulling over more drivers playing Pokemon Go when it first came out in July, but these incidents have decreased in recent weeks.

Researchers found four thousand tweets referred to driving and being distracted while playing the game.

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