Sneezing Attack Kills Mom & Injures Toddler Out for a Drive

Heartbreaking 20

We hear a lot about the dangers of drinking while driving and texting while driving, but little about another cause of accidents when a driver is impaired -- sneezing while driving. Last week, 30-year-old mother Laura McClendon was killed and her 1-year-old son was left injured and motherless after another driver crossed the median line and ran into Laura -- because, she says, she was having a sneezing attack.

Friends are "trying to wrap [their] heads around" what happened to Laura. They say that she was "just getting her act together as a single mom" and had taken a new job and was doing well in her career when tragedy struck. Unfortunately, Laura wasn't wearing a seatbelt, which could have saved her life. Her son survived but is in serious condition in the hospital -- and, of course, lost his mother at a horribly young age.

Police say they are looking into whether there could have been another cause for the accident -- such as texting -- and the driver, 44-year-old Kathryn Brady, was charged with careless and imprudent driving. She also had no insurance.

Believe it or not, cops say that deadly sneezing car accidents aren't that uncommon. Last year, a man in Maryland says he began sneezing and ran off the road into a tree. His passenger died. In England, a man rammed into the back of another car and killed the driver. He also said he'd been sneezing. One study even says that people with a cold drive 50 percent worse than healthy drivers.

Sneezing attacks can come on all of a sudden, but it's imperative if you begin to feel one coming in that you slow down the car and begin to move towards the breakdown lane so you don't veer into traffic. And, of course, everyone should wear seatbelts.

This is really one of those random freak accidents that makes you never want to leave your house again. But, since we can't do that, it's best to take as many precautions as you can.

Do you ever sneeze while driving?

Image via Mcfarlandmo/Flickr

accidents, death


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

cmjaz cmjaz

I think it happens a lot more than we think. I work with a girl that sneezes all day long. I'm concerned about her driving

sstri... sstripedmonkey

I believe it could happen, sneezing while driving is kinda scary.

nonmember avatar fyrefly39

How do they know she was sneezing if she died? Tragic none the less!

Jennifer B Kinghorn

I so completely believe this.I have to pull over to sneeze because I sneeze so violently. I cant see or hear when I do and I get light headed. 

lhiannan lhiannan

@fyrefly39:  The woman who hit her car was the one sneezing...

color... colormekimmy

my mom has crazy sneezing fits.

i've seen her go nonstop for a minute+, like ridiculously loud && hard sneezes.

we always joke about it, but it never crossed my mind about how dangerous it could possibly be..

nonmember avatar Jess

@fyrefly39 The woman that survived the crash was the one that was sneezing. She killed someone in the oncoming lane.

nonmember avatar singer825

This is actually a big fear of mine because I've got super horrible allergies and when they are bad, they are baaaad. I've thrown my back out during one of my sneezing fits. When I'm driving I've learned to bite my tongue when I feel a sneeze coming on and that seems to stop it. If that doesn't work I hold my sneezes in, keep my eyes open (yes it is possible), and take my foot off the gas. But I still worry that one day my sneezes will cause me to do something horrible. What a terrible tragedy.

Rebec... Rebecca75

I got sick this last June in my car. I was visiting my Hometown and my family (it's 45 minutes from where I live) I was driving with my Mom and daughter and started puking. I got off the road as soon as I could for fear of causing a crash. Had to have my hubby leave work (like an hour away from where I was.) To come drive us home. Had to leave one car at my Brothers house. We picked up several days later after I got over the horrible illness. I was puking like every 10 minutes for two days straight!! Scary to be behind the wheel when any kinda of attack comes on.

Kali Wilson

Has anyone ever heard of slowing down...I mean if your sneezing so bad that you can't see the cars around you then stop the car or slow down and pull over.

1-10 of 20 comments 12 Last