Police in the US city of Layton, Utah, have reminded drivers not to take part in the so-called Bird Box challenge after a 17-year-old girl caused a two-car crash.
She had allegedly pulled a beanie over her eyes as part of the challenge, before losing control of her car and smashing into another driver, a light pole and a sound barrier.
Named after a Netflix horror movie, the challenge involves participants blindfolding themselves while trying to perform everyday tasks — the latest in a long line of dangerous social media phenomena.
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
In the movie, monsters cause people who look at them to immediately take their own lives – hence the need for constant blindfolds.
The girl, a 16-year-old passenger and the other driver were uninjured in the crash, Lieutenant Travis Lyman told local media.
He said police had recommended the driver face a charge of reckless driving.
“Luckily nobody was hurt but there was quite a bit of damage,” he said.
“It could have been a lot more serious.”
Bird Box Challenge while driving…predictable result. This happened on Monday as a result of the driver covering her eyes while driving on Layton Parkway. Luckily no injuries. pic.twitter.com/4DvYzrmDA2
— Layton Police (@laytonpolice) January 11, 2019
Lieutenant Lyman said the crash happened on Monday (local time) but the driver originally claimed she had become distracted by her passenger.
Police only began suspecting the Bird Box challenge after the driver she hit investigated the crash further and asked locals for any possible surveillance footage and shared his findings with officers, Lieutenant Lyman said.
“Unfortunately, this isn’t the only case we’ve seen in the media of someone trying to drive like this,” he said.
Bird Box gaining traction on social media
Earlier this week, popular YouTuber Jake Paul released a video showing himself trying to drive blindfolded before hitting garbage bins, and then later walking through traffic.
YouTube pulled the original video but it has been re-uploaded on other platforms.
Earlier this month Netflix released a statement urging fans not to be so stupid.
While the company called for people not to hurt themselves, it kicked off its own Bird Box challenge of sorts — partnering with popular Australian Twitch streamers to play their games blindfolded.
The movie promotion involved blindfolds and video games, but no dangerous real-world stunts.
Tide pods, condoms and fire in 2018
Bird Box capped off a year of challenges that included swallowing liquid detergent Tide pods, snorting condoms and even the continuation of the deadly #FireChallenge — which involves setting yourself on fire in front of a camera.
A 12-year-old US girl gave herself burns to about 50 per cent of her body last year. The Detroit teen was in hospital for months before recovering and about $8000 was raised for her surgeries via GoFundMe.
Dangerous stunts made popular on social media have been taking lives for years.
Even the relatively tame planking stunt led to the death of a Brisbane man in 2011 when he attempted to lie on a seventh storey balcony railing and fell.