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Fined for sneezing? It can happen

Did you know a sneeze can cost you? First Vehicle Leasing has reminded Aussie drivers they can cop a hefty fine for sneezing while on the road.

First Vehicle Leasing motoring expert Dominic Watt said Australian road laws require drivers to have full control of the vehicle at all times.

“Under the Australian Road Rules, which are consistent across states with slight variations, maintaining control of the vehicle is mandatory,” he said.
“This includes managing any distractions or physical impairments, including sneezing.”

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It might seem silly, but a bout of sneezes can alter someone’s ability to drive, according to Dominic.

“The issue with sneezing is its ability to impair your vision and physical control momentarily,” he said.
“For example, at 60 km/h, a few seconds of closed eyes can mean covering a significant distance without visual input, which is inherently dangerous.”

Fines for drivers deemed not in full control of their vehicle can range between $150-$1,000 depending on which state or territory they’re in.
“The exact fine amount is determined by the severity of the loss of control and whether it resulted in an accident or near miss,” Dominic noted.
“Being out of control of a vehicle due to sneezing could fall under ‘careless driving’ categories in some jurisdictions.
“Fines can escalate if the sneeze causes an accident or contributes to other traffic offences.”

Tips to avoid getting a fine for sneezing:

  • Awareness: If you’re feeling unwell or are prone to sneezing, reconsider driving if possible.
  • Control: Always strive to maintain control of your vehicle, and if you feel a sneeze coming, try to mitigate the risk by slowing down or stopping if safe.
  • Safe stop: If necessary, pull over safely to manage your sneezing without endangering road safety.