The hype surrounding Pokemon GO when it was first released was very real, so much so that people just couldn’t stop playing the game, resulting in some playing while driving. This has caused a fair number of accidents, including the death of a 9-year old boy. Fast forward about a year or so later, the impact of these accidents is said to have amounted in the billions.
This is according to a study conducted by researchers at Purdue University where they found that nation-wide damage caused by drivers who played while driving amounted to $2-$7.3 billion in the first 148 days since the game was launched. This also takes into account two fatalities. However it should be pointed out that the number the researchers got was based on detailed accident reports for Tippecanoe County, Indiana.
The losses reported was $5.2 million to $25.5 million, but were then extrapolated to include the entire US, which means that the actual figure could be less, could be more, or could within the range of what the researchers found. We suppose it might not necessarily be the most accurate, but it is a rather telling figure all the same.
However it does seem to be in line with reports we’ve heard from other parts of the world, such as in Taiwan where since the game launched, it saw a spike in traffic ticket summons. Niantic has since implemented various features in the game designed to prevent or discourage gamers from playing while driving.