A new study published by two researchers at Purdue University revealed that the total vehicle damage caused by the Pokemon GO players who participated in the game while driving amounted to $ 7.3 billion in $ 2 billion. the United States during the first 148 days after the release of the title. Only in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, which is the scope of the investigation, was it found that the total cost of vehicle accidents due to the augmented reality (AR) game was between $ 5.2 million and $ 25.5 million during the same period.
Mara Faccio and John J. McConnell conducted the study using information from 12,000 police accident reports for Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Those incidents occurred during the period from March 1, 2015 to November 30, 2016. The investigators documented the increase in vehicle accidents and related damages and losses in the areas called PokeStops where the game was played while the coaches drove. Also according to the study, the increase in accidents that can be attributed to Pokemon GO accounts for 47 percent of the increase in general vehicular accidents throughout Tippecanoe County during the observed period. More specifically, 134 out of 286 additional accidents that occurred in the county during the first 148 days since Pokemon GO was introduced took place in locations close to PokeStops, with an additional vehicle loss amount in the county of $ 498,567.
While most investigators attributed the vehicular accidents that occurred near PokeStops in the county to drivers playing the AR game. The researchers also acknowledged the possibility that the increase in the number of car accidents near PokeStops could be due to the growth of traffic in those areas. Other accident cases attributed to Pokemon GO also took place in other parts of the United States because the popularity of the mobile game increased in 2016, which meant that many players, including drivers, paid less attention to their surroundings while they were stuck to their mobile phones and looking for pocket monsters. For example, an 18-year-old pregnant Pokémon GO from Missouri was hit by a van while playing in July 2016. Around the same time, a man driving in Auburn, New York, almost hit a tree and endangered him to both himself and other traffic participants.