The driver of an MBTA bus who was involved in a collision in May claimed that the accident occurred because of a sneezing fit. According to Boston Magazine, the bus slammed into a guard rail, leaving its front wheels hanging off an overpass above the Massachusetts Turnpike. The driver claimed that her allergies caused her to sneeze with such excessive force that it caused her to lose control of the bus and hit the guardrail. She also indicated that her eyes were closed at the time of the collision.
Unfortunately, the driver’s story about sneezing may be untrue in this particular case because surveillance cameras on the vehicle show that she had an item in her left hand that looked like a cellular phone. An investigation is still being conducted to determine if holding the phone contributed to the crash.
Those who are injured by a driver who loses control may be able to make a claim for compensation. A Boston car accident lawyer can help you to understand your rights after a collision.
Sneezing and Motor Vehicle Accidents
Boston Magazine reports that crashes due to sneezing fits have happened across the country. In 2012, for example, a driver claimed that the reason he hit 10 parked vehicles was because his car veered right when he had a “sneezing episode.” Police believed his story in that case. The driver of a semi-truck involved in a fiery crash also blamed sneezing and said that the accident happened when he reached for a tissue after he sneezed.
The Daily Mail published an article last year about the possible dangers that sneezing drivers can present to other motorists. When a driver sneezes, he may have his eyes closed for long enough to travel at least 50 feet while effectively blind. This makes for a very dangerous situation, and sneezing may cause as many as 2,500 collisions per week over the course of the winter.
Because of the risks that sneezing while driving can present, it may be advisable for people suffering from a severe cold or from bad allergies to avoid driving while they are feeling under-the-weather. This is especially true if they find themselves sneezing frequently.
If a motorist takes cold medicine, even over-the-counter, then he should almost definitely refrain from driving as the medicine could make him drowsy and thus lead to an impaired driving crash.
Accidents due to sneezing can also be prevented by leaving sufficient space between your car and the vehicle in front. Drivers are advised to leave at least four car lengths between their vehicle and the car in front if they have the sniffles or a cold. Driving a safe distance away means that the motorist is less likely to crash in the event that a sneezing attack comes on when he is behind the wheel.
Contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call (617) 777-7777 today.
More Blog Entries:
Drivers Acknowledge Speeding Dangers, But Are They Slowing Down? Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, January 9, 2014