A New Era of Pedestrian Distraction: ‘Pokemon Go’

Pedestrian safety is a major issue in New York City and across the United States. More often than not pedestrian knockdowns occur when drivers fail to abide by traffic laws, but sometimes pedestrians create unsafe conditions by engaging in dangerous activities, like texting and walking. In recent years thousands of pedestrians have sustained preventable injuries or injured others due to distraction. Distracted walking is a serious problem that appears to be getting worse instead of better. 

In July, Pokemon, a phenomenon that seemed to have died out years ago, made a colossal comeback. The Pokemon brand released a free new mobile app, ‘Pokemon Go’, which became an overnight sensation. Users begin playing by creating an avatar to represent themselves in the game, which syncs with the gamer’s real life location (via their phone’s camera and GPS) to create the game’s surroundings. The avatar’s movements are dependent on the users, when a user begins physically moving their avatar does as well, propelling the gamer into a half virtual, half real life journey to find and capture ‘wild Pokemon.’ 

While the game is rapidly gaining popularity, safety advocates fear the new craze adds a whole new dimension to pedestrian distraction. Users playing on busy streets and in densely populated areas risk becoming a victim of a pedestrian knockdown, falling, or seriously hurting others around. 

Before gaming users should carefully consider where they are playing and who they are playing with. There has already been a reported instance of criminals using the app to lure unsuspecting gamers to particular locations, where they later were robbed. 

For more information on distracted walking click here

Dear friends and clients,

In furtherance of our firms culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can. 

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP