Here's the Dumbest Thing People Are Doing (With Cars) Right Now
This week, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a statement urging people to stop jumping out of moving vehicles in order to dance. That’s the kind of folksy wisdom we appreciate from the government, but we were curious as to what spurred it.
Apparently, youths everywhere are engaging in a social media challenge where they film themselves dancing to Drake’s new song “In My Feelings” next to their automobile. Hoping to seek some clarity as to why this is happening, we hunted down the music video for the track. This revealed two important things: Drake’s portrayal of a love-fueled killing machine is totally implausible, and the song is not nearly good enough to warrant such behavior.
The new cultural phenomenon is highly reminiscent of — and no less idiotic than — “ Ghost Riding,” which peaked in popularity roughly a decade ago. The only appreciable difference is that the present-day participants actually seem to be taking slightly less risk and aren’t actually required to exit a moving vehicle. Some just just decided to keep the car in motion for the hell of it.
Obviously, this has resulted in numerous videos of people eating pavement while attempting to complete the challenge and impress their friends. You’ve probably already seen at least one of them online, but may not have been aware that it was part of some social epidemic that’s opposed by the NTSB. We weren’t either, frankly. It wasn’t until media outlets started commenting on the dangers that we realized the federal government weighed in.
“We have some thoughts about the challenge. in any mode is dangerous & can be deadly,” the board tweeted on Monday. “Whether you are a or focus on safely operating your vehicle.”
There is something very funny about a government agency whose job it is to determine the cause of accidents using a slew of hashtags to ask people not to purposefully endanger themselves in order to participate in a fad. We also wonder if the board was taken in by the countless number of phony videos where people pretend to fall off overpasses, get into fights, have their vehicle stolen, or get hit by oncoming traffic. A few of those were definitely real — not necessarily because they weren’t staged, but because the participants definitely got hurt.
But we agree with the NTSB on the whole. This is probably the stupidest thing we’ve seen relating to automobiles in quite a while. Not only is the activity risky, it’s also the least interesting and exciting variant of the ghost riding craze we’ve ever seen. It’s as if everyone on the planet simultaneously came up with something that could endanger themselves in the most boring way possible.
The National Transportation Safety Board isn’t the only governmental group to issue a warning. According to CBS Boston, Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon called the trend “super dangerous,” especially in the videos where the driver exits the vehicle.
“It’s only a matter of time before someone gets sucked into the wheels of the car or dragged or the driver who is recording it with their phone, hits somebody crossing the street,” he said. “It’s all about perception. One, your depth perception is off, the car is moving so you’re not sure how fast it is and then they all look so excited, so you’re not paying so much attention.”
The Mossos d’Esquadra police in Spain issued similar warnings, saying anyone caught in the act would face criminal charges. Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities have warned that anyone disrupting traffic could get a year in prison and a $167 fine. The United Arab Emirates announced it would likewise be imposing penalties.
Abu Dhabi has already arrested three social media influencers for taking part in the challenge, which “endangered their lives, offended public morals and violated the traffic law,” according to reports from Gulf News. Saudi police also arrested a girl who posted a video of herself taking the challenge. Still, the official charge against her related to her being “indecently dressed” in a manner that violated public order.
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WTF is a "Drake"?
After reading this story, I really wonder where society is heading.... This really is a whole new breed of stupid. Time to clean up the gene pool... obviously the Tide Pod challenge did not totally clean things up...oy.