Sneezing while driving, how dangerous could it be?

After reading the news about a lorry driver found guilty of causing another motorist’s death by dangerous driving after he sneezed, we started looking to find out how dangerous it could be if you sneezed while driving.

Some interesting facts about sneezing:

  • Sneezing can be triggered through sudden exposure to bright light, a particularly full stomach, or viral infection.
  • People sneeze on average 3 times a day.
  • People sneeze at a stratospheric speed of 650 mph – roughly 85% the speed of sound!
  • In some Eastern Asia countries such as Japan and Vietnam, it is a cultural belief that if you sneeze, it means somebody is talking behind your back.
Sneezing in slow motion

Coming back our main discussion, while sneezing in general is not a dangerous activity (well it can be a fiasco in some rare cases like sneezing on a wedding altar), sneezing while driving can be fatal. According to a research commissioned by a car insurance company, sneezing fits cause about 2 million incidents of dangerous driving on UK roads.

And it’s not just the drivers who need to worry about sneezing, in-car passengers were found to contribute to an estimated 670,000 incidents, with sudden sneezing distracting those behind the wheel.

Sneezing while driving can be very dangerous

Imagine how a person sneezes and you will sure understand why it is so dangerous when drivers sneeze while on the road. Let’s say if you sneeze while driving at 70mph (a normal speed on UK motorways), it means travelling almost 300ft with your eyes closed, which can potentially lead to a fatal accident.

To reduce the chance of sneezing while driving, these are the top tips you can use:

  • Wear wrap-around sunglasses or glasses when driving.
  • If possible, avoid going out in the early evening when the pollen count is usually at its highest.
  • Regularly check your vehicle’s ventilation system to ensure a clean air flow.
  • Vacuum your car frequently, especially in summer months and clean all surfaces with a damp cloth to reduce the amount of dust.
  • Don’t travel pets in the car as exposure to allergens such as animal hairs can exacerbate sneezing.

Have you ever sneezed while driving? Do you have any tips to share with others? We are sure everybody will be very interested to know.

4 comments on “Sneezing while driving, how dangerous could it be?

  • Myths damn myths.

    300 feet with your eyes closed? At 70mph your car is doing around 37000 feet an hour. To travel 300 feet will take just short of 3 seconds.
    Who has their eyes closed for 3 seconds when sneezing?

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