Driving while distracted is a major cause of car accidents. Distractions can include texting, talking on a cell phone, applying make-up, anything that takes your attention off the road. Sometimes drivers do the oddest things while they drive, and it can be extremely dangerous. Take a look at this accident that took place in the Florida Keys this past March.
Megan Mariah Barnes, 37, was behind the wheel when she was involved in a two-vehicle crash. Actually, even though she was in the driver’s seat, it seems her ex-husband, Charles Judy, was the one actually holding the wheel from the passenger’s seat. Apparently, Ms. Barnes had decided this was an appropriate time to shave. Many of the articles about the accident tactfully refer to it as shaving her “bikini area.”
While Ms. Barnes was “grooming” herself, the car she was “driving” hit another car containing two men and two women. Ms. Barnes and Mr. Judy continued down the road about a half mile, according to police spokesperson Alex Annunziato, where they then switched seats. Of course, as KTLA News points out, “the burns on Judy’s chest from the passenger-side airbag deploying told another story.” The troopers figured out what they were up to and “charged Barnes with driving with a revoked license, reckless driving, leaving the scene of a wreck with injuries and driving with no insurance.”
To complicate things, Ms. Barnes was not even supposed to be on the road, as citizen staffer Adam Linhardt of KeysNews.com reports:
The day before the wreck, Barnes was convicted in an Upper Keys court of DUI with a prior and driving with a suspended license, said Monroe County Assistant State Attorney Colleen Dunne. Barnes was ordered to impound her car, and her driver’s license was revoked for five years, after which time she must have a Breathalyzer ignition interlock device on any vehicle she drives, Dunne said. Barnes also was sentenced to nine months’ probation.
Here’s a quote from one of the officers on the scene that really caught my attention, as reported by Lester Haines of The Register UK:
Trooper Gary Dunick, who attended the scene, gasped: ‘If I wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have believed it. About 10 years ago I stopped a guy in the exact same spot … who had three or four syringes sticking out of his arm. It was just surreal and I thought, ‘Nothing will ever beat this.’ Well, this takes it.’
On a final note, if you’re curious why Ms. Barnes was doing her personal grooming while driving a car with her ex-husband, she told the officers that she was on her way to a rendezvous with her boyfriend and wanted “to be ready.”
While this case is extremely wacky, multitasking behind the wheel in any capacity can have serious consequences for drivers, passengers and anyone else on the road. So, drivers, please keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road!