Stifle that sneeze to stay safe

There I was stuck with nothing to write about when I was seized by the most violent sneezing fit I have ever experienced.

The whole office was silenced to an awed-standstill as my body became uncontrollably wracked by a staccato series of convulsive sneezes.

When it was over, as well as being left with a huge feeling of relief and release I was also left wondering what would have happened if the sneezing fit had occurred only half an hour earlier, as I was driving to work.

How, I wondered, would I have remained in control of my car?

The answer is that I probably wouldn’t. Because on being moved to Google my curiosity, I found that sneezing fits do indeed cause accidents and even add to the overall cost of car insurance.

Only this week a Welsh woman was cleared of causing an accident as a result of dangerous driving after her solicitor successfully argued that she had succumbed to an involuntary fit of sneezing – legally this is known as a defence of “automatism”.

The solicitor commented, "There are other cases where motorists have been cleared of driving offences when the driver had a bout of sneezing."

From now on I’ll think twice about getting behind the wheel when I’ve got the sneezes.

Image by djcmackay via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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