A 17-year-old has caused a highway collision after driving blindfolded as part of the Bird Box challenge.
Based on the hit Netflix horror starring Sandra Bullock, the social media challenge involves participants taking part in tasks while wearing a blindfold, emulating characters in the film who must evade sight-targeting monsters.
On Monday afternoon, the unnamed teen drove on the highway with her beanie hat pulled over her eyes. According to KUTV and the Layton police department, she soon careered into the other lane and hit another car, a light pole and a sound wall. Police are recommending charges of reckless driving.
“Honestly, I’m almost embarrassed to have to say ‘Don’t drive with your eyes covered’, but you know apparently we do have to say that,” Travis Lyman of the Layton police said. “The stakes are just so high and it’s just such a potentially dangerous thing as it is: to try and do it in that way is inexcusable. It really puts everybody at risk.”
No one was injured in the crash – a relief to Netflix, which earlier this month issued a warning to fans of the film to lay off the blindfold stunts.
“Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE,” Netflix tweeted from its primary account. “We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl” – a reference to the two unnamed children of Bullock’s character – “have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.”
Despite largely mediocre reviews, Bird Box has become one of Netflix’s biggest hits with an outsized impact on social media. The streaming platform claims that 45m accounts watched Bird Box in its first seven days – the biggest first week for an original film to date.
Though Netflix’s streaming numbers cannot be independently verified, Variety reports that according to the ratings measurement company Nielsen, Bird Box had 26 unduplicated streams in the US during its first week, making it second only to Stranger Things 2 in reach among Netflix originals.