Pokémon Go and Bike Safety
Augmented Reality is quickly making itself a centerpiece in our already technologically advanced world. The recent release of Pokémon Go has made big waves in our social and gaming culture. What makes the game so enticing to people is the fact that it bridges the gap between our world and a digital one. People are able to blend their surroundings with a fantasy world, interacting with other players in the process.
As Pokémon Go requires users to focus on both their surroundings and their phone screen, it can be easily understood how the game could cause distractions. Bumping into someone walking down the sidewalk is one thing, but unfortunately misuse of the game can cause more dangerous situations. Some users have attempted to play the game while riding bicycles, which can carry serious consequences.
In New Jersey, as in many other states, bicycles are considered vehicles. This implies that riders must follow traffic laws, and ride safely. Trying to ride while playing a game like Pokémon Go could put pedestrians and other cyclists in danger. A bicycle accident caused by a person playing this game would be considered negligence. Negligence occurs when a person fails to take care and seek safety measures. If damages or injuries are caused by negligence, monetary compensation can be lawfully paid to the victims.
Bicycles make commuting and exercising fun, but that doesn’t take responsibility away from riders. Although most cycling accidents are caused by motor vehicles, it is still important that cyclists obey all pertinent traffic laws. Because bicycles are considered vehicles, title 39 of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle and Traffic Regulation Laws dictate that “Every person riding a bicycle on a roadway is granted all the rights and subject to all of the duties of the motor vehicle driver,” and also says, “A parent may be held responsible for the child’s violation of any traffic law.”
Because of the implied dangers, it is important that adults and children alike ride safely, and avoid danger whenever possible. Augmented Reality games like Pokémon Go can be exciting, but must be used with caution. It is important to the citizens of New Jersey that the roadways, sidewalks, and bike paths stay as safe as possible. If you, or someone you know has any questions about bicycle accidents, or personal injuries, please contact the qualified New Jersey bicycle accident attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. We can be reached at (609) 240-0040.
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