You have all no doubt heard of the latest gaming craze bringing old and young to the great outdoors in pursuit of catching Pokémon, cute little creatures with special powers that you can “collect” by taking screenshots with your smartphone.
The world has sung praises over the ability of the game to overcome sedentary habits by forcing its users into the great outdoors and forcing players to have to walk certain distances not only to catch the Pokémon, but also having to walk further distances in order to unleash them.
Whilst this characteristic is helpful, there has also been a rise in incidences which tell a cautionary tale. Accounts have emerged of major traffic jams and accidents/pile-ups due to players using their mobile phones whilst driving to “catch” Pokémon as they pass by them, a frenzy in Central Park, a woman being found dead in a large water mass having drowned trying to catch her Pokémon, several people being robbed at gunpoint after being “lured” to a “hotspot” by two thieves who posted the “lure”, hundreds of reports of broken bones, bruises and abrasions due to players not paying attention to surroundings and at least one person that we know of almost falling off a cliff.
If you are a fan of the app, keep your head up, be aware of your surroundings, “collect” in groups for safety, and for goodness sakes put your phone away while you are driving! The possibility of you being liable for the death or serious injury of another human being should be enough for you to put it down. If that’s not enough there is also the fact that it is illegal to use your phone whilst driving. You could face some serious fines and possible suspension if you are in breach.
When you are walking around collecting your Pokémon please be mindful of your surroundings. Not just for your own safety but for others as well. I very strongly doubt you could successfully attempt a public liability claim for any injury you incur following tripping over a rock you did not see because you were playing a game. If you could make a claim successful your contributory negligence would mean a significant difference in any outcome of same. Let’s not also forget that you could be personally liable for injury to others and have action brought against you if you cause injury to someone whilst “catching” your Pokémon, whether you are driving, riding, skateboarding or walking.
Play safe and be aware of your surroundings.