US

Police: Driver Who Crashed While Blindfolded Was Doing ‘Bird Box Challenge’

By Zack Stieber

Police officials said that a teenager who was driving blindfolded when she crashed her car was participating in the so-called “Bird Box Challenge.”

The name derives from a hit movie in which characters must remain blindfolded.

The Layton Police Department shared two pictures of the vehicle that the teen crashed, showing significant damage.

“Bird Box Challenge while driving… predictable result,” the department stated. “This happened on Monday as a result of the driver covering her eyes while driving on Layton Parkway.”

While the crash took place on Jan. 7, police said they didn’t learn of the story behind the crash until Jan. 11.

bird box challenge car crash
A 17-year-old girl veered into oncoming traffic and slammed into another vehicle when she chose to do the so-called “Birdbox Challenge” and drive blindfolded, the Layton Police Department said on Jan. 11, 2019. (Layton City Police Department)

Layton Police Department Lt. Travis Lyman said that the teen, a 17-year-old girl, was driving with a 16-year-old boy in the passenger seat when she decided to use a beanie as a blindfold and drive that way.

She veered into oncoming traffic and hit another car.

She was driving about 35 miles per hour and swerving back and forth before the crash, Lyman told Deseret News. “It didn’t take long for her to lose control,” he said.

sandra bullock in bird box
Sandra Bullock in a scene from the film, “Bird Box.” (Merrick Morton/Netflix via AP, File)

Police officers are recommending reckless driving charges.

“It’s just outrageous that somebody would think to do that. This one, luckily, didn’t end in any injuries but easily could have. The stakes are just way too high to do something like that while you’re driving,” Lyman said.

“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,” Lyman added to Fox 13. “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.”

The crash appears to be the first stemming from the challenge.

Challenges Include Walking, Hitting Baseballs

The so-called “Birdbox Challenge” involves people doing anything they’d normally do, but while wearing a blindfold.

Los Angeles Dodgers infielder filmed a video where he tried hitting baseballs while blindfolded.

And YouTuber Jake Paul made a video showing him running through traffic while blindfolded.

He also claimed to stay blindfolded for 24 hours straight.

In the clip, Paul also drives a car while blindfolded and smashes through some trash and recycling and trash cans.

Paul finally ends the challenge when he walks into a pond. “That’s way too far,” he said. “Literally, I’m done. I’m done. That’s not even cool. It’s freezing bro, I’m literally going to get hypothermia. I’m going home. End the video. I’m pissed, I’m leaving.” The video was later taken off YouTube.

The challenge is tough, and even “Bird Box” star Sandra Bullock, 54, struggled on the set.

“We did have Sandy hitting the camera,” director Bier told People magazine. “The camera was sort of moving and she was moving, and we had such a great operator who most of the time had this weird dance with her where she was blindfolded and they were both moving around each other. And one time he just got too close.”

He said he wants people not to engage in the challenge.

“I don’t want anyone to hurt themselves,” Bier added after admitting that she gets nervous watching videos of people attempting the blindfold challenge. “On set, when the actors were blindfolded, there would be like an army of people keeping a watch on them ready to grab them.”

Netflix Says Don’t do Challenge

The challenge has gotten so popular that Netflix, on which the movie airs, weighed in and tried to get people not to do the challenge.

“Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE,” an employee wrote on the official Netflix US account.

“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.”

One reason the challenge has gotten so popular: Nearly one-third of Netflix subscribers, or more than 45 million people, watched the movie in its first week of release, according to the company.

Police officials across the nation are also issuing similar warnings, including Captain John Mehling of the Fishers Fire Department in Indiana.

He told Fox 59 that the viral videos only show the funny parts.

“You don’t get to see that these people are missing work because they’re injured, the cost of going to the hospital or the ER,” he said.