Death by Pokémon GO: The Economic and Human Cost of Using Apps While Driving
56 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2017 Last revised: 9 Oct 2019
Date Written: February 2, 2018
Using police accident reports for Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and exploiting the introduction of the augmented reality game Pokémon GO as a natural experiment, we document a disproportionate increase in crashes and associated vehicular damage, injuries, and fatalities in the vicinity of locations where users can play the game while driving. We estimate the incremental county-wide cost of users playing Pokémon GO while driving to be in the range of $5.2 to $25.5 million over the 148 days following the introduction of the game. Extrapolating these estimates to nation-wide levels yields a total ranging from $2.0 to $7.3 billion.
Keywords: Vehicular Crashes, Cost of Users Playing Pokémon GO While Driving
JEL Classification: D60, K32, R40, R41, O33
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