A newly-licensed Utah teen is facing reckless driving charges after she blindfolded herself while driving and crashed into oncoming traffic in an attempt to perform the “Bird Box Challenge,” a viral stunt inspired by the Netflix hit where people attempt to do everyday tasks without the handy help of vision. Key word: Attempt.
According to the Layton City Police Department, the unnamed 17-year-old and her 16-year-old passenger were driving down a major thoroughfare in town when the older teen decided it was the perfect time to play-act Bird Box. If you haven’t seen the movie, the gist is the world is plagued by supernatural beings that will compel anyone who sees them to kill themselves. Hence, the blindfolds.
Following star Sandra Bullock’s lead, the teen intentionally blindfolded herself on Monday afternoon while driving by pulling her beanie down over her eyes. ABC 4 News reports she “immediately” lost control of her pickup, crossed over the center line, and struck a glancing blow on a Honda HR-V before spinning off the road.
Amazingly, no one was injured—though this story could have had a much darker tone had she struck the innocent driver head-on. There is a blind-driving scene in the movie, though it involves a new Jeep Grand Cherokee and some unrealistically-powerful parking sensors. For what it’s worth, Car & Driver attempted to accurately replicate that bit on a closed course and found it impossible.
Police are reportedly weighing reckless driving charges against the teen. We’d go much farther than that. Driving is one of the most inherently dangerous things we do, and this kind of willful disregard for the safety of others should be grounds for an immediate and long-lasting suspension, just like a DUI.
Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE. We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.
— Netflix US (@netflix) January 2, 2019
Age and inexperience are poor excuses; this person purposefully blinded themselves at the controls of a two-ton metal missile and put innocent lives at risk. For its part, Netflix has pleaded with people to be safe and avoid hurting themselves with the Bird Box Challenge. Might want to add an “or others” to the tweet.