More like Pokemon GO-ing to make my insurance rates go up, amirite?

According to a new academic paper that was recently published called Death by Pokémon GO, last year's massively successful mobile gaming app was supposedly responsible for an insane amount of damage due to drivers trying to play said game while they were behind the wheel. Authored by Purdue University economists Mara Faccio and John McConnell, the nearly 50-page read comes to this conclusion using data gleaned from accident reports in Indiana's Tippecanoe County. Faccio and McConnell determined that, in the 148 days following the game's July 2016 release in North American app stores, the county suffered auto-related damages that total between $5.2 million and $25.5 million. Two people also died from Pokemon GO-related car crashes.

In addition to that, the report also says that there were 286 more accidents within the county during that 148 day period than the previous year. Almost 50 percent of the accidents occurred at Pokéstops, which is crazy because the developers did their best to make the game unplayable at certain speeds. An abnormally high number of crashes, damages, and injuries were uncovered by the researchers near Pokéstops and Gyms in Tippecanoe County areas.

If this data were extrapolated to consider the entire population of the United States, the amount of money in damages across the country would be astronomical. Faccio and McConnell put forth the notion that, if the rate of injury remains relatively the same in every city and state, the dollar figure that would be put vehicular crashes and related incidents could be pegged between $2 billion and $7.3 billion. 

This kind of data discovery confirms the suspicions of many that the rash of horrific physical injuries that stemmed from playing the game reached epidemic proportions during the height of its popularity. Though not nearly as many are partaking in the hunt for Pokemon on their smartphones, it still seems appropriate to point out the obvious and say that, if you are, don't behave recklessly while engrossed in your game. It could have dire consequences.