Have you ever sneezed while driving? You can't see a thing. Two or three sneezes in a row can mean utter blindness for what seems like an eternity. That's what happened to Antonio Zamora as he drove a three-axle truck through a town near Oakland, Calif. on Thursday.
Unfortunately for Zamora — and the used car dealership he happened to be driving past — his sneeze-blindness caused him to veer off the road and crash through a metal fence onto the dealership's lot. When the dust had settled, ten cars had sustained body damage, including a Mitsubishi and a handful of Ford trucks. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
Zamora's accident got me wondering why people seem to lose control of their senses for the moments a sneeze or a series of sneezes are going down. One of my friends crashed his car into a median strip and popped his front tires when a sneeze grabbed him mid-turn. It turns out that your eyes' closing during a sneeze is reflexive; something researchers believe is your body's attempt to protect your eyes from popping out when there's added pressure behind them. Not that they ever would. There's not enough pressure.
So what are you gonna do? Zamora wasn't drunk, he was only going about 30 mph, and he couldn't control his body's sternutatory reflex, so no one's pinning the blame on him. It was a simple matter of the hand of fate and its tendency to strike indiscriminately.
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