Nothing to Sneeze at: Motor Vehicle Accidents and Sneezing

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Motor Vehicle Accident on Monday, November 19, 2012

A Kansas City woman was killed and her one-year old son was in the hospital after an accident near Smithville Lake, MO, that was apparently triggered by a violent sneezing attack on the part of the driver of the other vehicle.

The Missouri Highway Patrol (MHP) reported that the car accident occurred after the one woman began “sneezing violently,” she lost control of her vehicle, crossed the centerline and hit the other woman’s car head on.

The Highway Patrol cited the woman for careless and imprudent driving and lack of insurance. They were still investigating, but noted that the woman who died was not wearing her seatbelt, and they hadn’t been able to determine yet if the infant car seat carrying the one-year old had been properly attached to the seat.

While motor vehicle crashes that can be directly attributed to a driver sneezing are unusual, the story mentions two other recent examples of fatal accidents caused by sneezing attacks.

They also note that a British insurance company has found that drivers suffering from colds and the flu had only 50 percent of driving skills of unaffected drivers.
While no one should operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, there are many other “impairments” that can degrade our ability to drive a car or truck. Cell phones and texting, driving when we are drowsy, use of various prescription medications can all result in an unsafe driver.

As the MHP suggests, we should also always wear a seatbelt, as we cannot control other drivers.

Source: The Kansas City Star, “Missouri tragedy shows sneezing can cause a fatal crash,” Brian Burnes, November 17, 2012

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