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