By on July 27, 2018

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 #InMyFeelings challenge. #Distraction in any mode is dangerous & can be deadly,” the board tweeted on Monday. “Whether you are a #driver, #pilot, or #operator, 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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27 Comments on “Here’s the Dumbest Thing People Are Doing (With Cars) Right Now...”


  • avatar
    TDIandThen....

    Is it as idiotic as a writer AND an editor who don’t know the difference between less risk and fewer risks?

    Countable nouns. It’s a whole thing.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    “Super-Charger Heaven” by White Zombie would make this activity a lot less lame. While I don’t condone ‘Ghost Riding’, it has made for some awesome YouTube videos.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      I personally love the one where the guy gets out of his jacked up brodozer to surf the hood, immediately realizes he is drifting to the curb, grazes the curb which in turn pulls his truck up on to residential lawns, running over a fire hydrant and finally ending his ordeal at the hands of a telephone pole.

      Priceless.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    If you listen to Drake, I don’t brake

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Whatever happened to “Chinese Fire Drills?” (Though I’d never initiate one, since I trust nobody to drive my car! The driver yells “Chinese Fire Drill,” stops the car, and all occupants switch seats, the mobile equivalent of musical chairs. Yeah, dumb! But at least the CAR was STOPPED! SMH!)

      Comment below this states that Darwin awards are forthcoming for these! We can only hope!

  • avatar
    thegamper

    As follow up investigation, please post links to videos of people running themselves over to perform this stunt. I do love Darwin at work.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The real irony is that the nanny state has to warn us not to jump out of moving cars, yet they’re cool with exposing the public to imperfect autonomous vehicle technology.

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      Imperfect maybe, but the machines rising up to kill us all will never be able to match human stupidity. It may end up saving our race from the computers. No amount of machine learning can predict an idiot’s next move.

    • 0 avatar
      CarnotCycle

      People randomly exiting the vehicle – voluntarily – while moving is just kind of edge case autonomous car would have hard time with. That eventually will be a real missing-persons Nancy Grace fodder scenario: the car that shows up at destination…without any people.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @carnot: “People randomly exiting the vehicle – voluntarily – while moving is just kind of edge case autonomous car would have hard time with.”

        No, they wouldn’t. Even the crude stuff that’s out there today. For the future, there is an entire sub-field of autonomous vehicle engineering devoted to behavior prediction. It’s mostly there to anticipate the moves of anything that might be on the road, but would be smart enough to understand there was a person outside of their vehicle etc. The stuff I already have working can do stuff like analyze the head positions of other drivers and figure out where they are looking. It can recognize humans, animals, birds etc.

      • 0 avatar
        Willyam

        Ok, now I kind of want this to happen, just for the modern Mary Celeste weirdness…

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Are they also munching on Tide Pods?

    I just watched the Code Black where two pre-teen kids drank boiling water through a straw “because they saw it on Youtube”.

    Darwin was right.

    Oh–and using the same rationale, let’s discuss this “election hacking” which is nothing more than “some people put stupid stuff out on the internet and millions of REALLY STUPID people believed it” (well, let’s not discuss it, but still).

    The more I see thanks to the internet, the less I want anything to do with society.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    Same dumb thing, just a different generation. We used to do something called a “Chinese fire drill”. That’s when, at a red light, everybody gets out, does a lap around the car, and hops back in, hopefully before the light changes to green.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      We were smart enough to stop the car before jumping out of it though. Something is seriously wrong with kids these days, and the little [email protected]@ds need to stay off my lawn!

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      My argument exactly, up-thread. Few times I participated, it was on a lightly traveled street after midnight, not even at a red light!

      Though nowadays, with the ridiculously long cycle times, you could damn near get out, do a conga-line around the car, invite other drivers to join in, then all return to your cars and buckle in, then you’d still be sitting there for several more seconds! (At any light with a cycle of two minutes+, I shut the car off! I’m doing that more and more, or even taking little detours, where possible, to avoid them if I see the light ahead is green; adding insult to injury, the green-yellow cycle is, at most, 15 seconds, enough to get five cars through — if the driver at the front of the line isn’t yakking on their phone!)

      • 0 avatar
        Sanman111

        I remember when I was younger and the big thing was kids lying the middle of the road trying to imitate the movie “The program” where the football team did it (jeez, 25 yrs ago now; Halle Berry has held up). There will always be stupid.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “Socrates (469–399 B.C.)
    The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

    And we (Boomers) thought it was just a Millennial thing!

  • avatar
    road_pizza

    WTF is a “Drake”?

  • avatar
    tsoden

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Yea, people only started doing stupid things when this song came out. Everyone in your generation was smart and perfect, which is why they raised the kids doing this.

      • 0 avatar
        tsoden

        OK… so my comment was a tad harsh…I get where you are coming from. But, I was not implying that my generation was perfect… far from it. I am sure tons of stupid stuff occurred when I was growing up. However, unlike today’s social media… back then there wasn’t many outlets to expose these stories. The media today, however is all over them.


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