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New Study: Pokemon Go Coincides With Spike In Traffic Accidents

Pokemon GO in Bloomington. Dunn Meadow is a Poke Stop, where players can pick up Pokeballs.

Photo: Jessica Yarvin

Pokemon GO as seen in Bloomington.

A new study from Purdue University says one Indiana county experienced an increase in car crashes, personal injuries and even fatalities after the release of the popular phone game Pokemon Go.

Purdue professors Mara Faccio and John McConnell used data from Tippecanoe County police departments to track accidents near so-called “PokéStops,” which are public places where people can play the game.

“And we see a sharp jump in the number of crashes really at the time of the introduction,” Faccio. “And this sharp jump is really concentrated around these PokéStops.”

The study says in the five months after Pokemon Go came out, there was a 25 percent increase in personal injuries near Pokestops. Researchers say two deaths may also be linked to the game.

While the study connects the app’s release to the increase in accidents, it stops short of saying Pokemon Go caused them.

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