Thousands of people are playing Pokemon Go behind the wheel, according to a new study that analysed tweets and news items related to the augmented reality game and driving.
The study found over 100,000 incidents of driving while playing Pokemon Go were reported on Twitter. As many as 14 crashes were attributed to the game in the same period, with one user driving into a tree.
Researchers from San Diego State University in the US analysed Twitter postings containing the terms “Pokemon” and “driving,” “drives,” “drive” or “car” between July 10 to 19.
A random sample of 4,000 tweets was then reviewed by four human investigators.
A third of tweets indicated that a driver, passenger or pedestrian had their head in Pokemon world, which “suggested there were 113,993 total incidences reported on Twitter in just 10 days,” researchers said.
About 18 per cent of the tweets showed a person was playing and driving, 11 per cent indicated that they were a passenger and four per cent a pedestrian, ‘Mashable’ reported.
The study also analysed Google News reports containing the words “Pokemon” and “driving” for the period, finding 321 traffic incidents and 14 separate crashes attributed to the game.
Researchers hope that developers will consider the risks of in-car gameplay for future titles.
The study was published in the journal JAMA Network.