It's common knowledge that cell phones have led to an increase in distracted drivers. People staring at their phones from behind the wheel have become a sore spot in regards to traffic accidents and inspired ire from other drivers. But a pair of researchers from Purdue University, Mara Faccio and John J. McConnell, have uncovered an even-more insidious culprit preying on those poor souls who just can't put their phones down, Pokemon GO.
Faccio and McConnell's study studied car accidents from Tippecanoe County, Indiana, in the months leading up to and following the release of Pokemon GO. The pair found a marked increase in accidents surrounding "PokeStops," places where players would use their phones to catch Pokemon, in the county. More importantly, as the success of Pokemon GO faded, so did the frequency of accidents. Because correlation doesn't always equal causation, the study is awaiting peer-review to validate the findings.
However, if true, the results would be frightening on a national level. The researchers speculate that if the data were scaled to the entire U.S. the:
"increase in crashes attributable to the introduction of Pokémon GO is 145,632 with an associated increase in the number of injuries of 29,370 and an associated increase in the number of fatalities of 256."
More like Pokemon NO, am I right? No? I'll show myself out.
H/T: Rhett Jones