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Driver blames sneeze for Athens rear-end collision

When is a sneeze more than a sneeze? Answer: When it causes an accident on Georgia roads.

That's the question one driver may be pondering lately, as a fit of sneezing was the alleged cause of an auto accident between a woman driving an SUV and the driver of a minivan.

The SUV driver, a 43-year-old Mississippi resident, told police officers who responded to the July 31 wreck in Athens that she was sneezing violently as she approached a traffic signal.

According to the police report from Athens-Clarke County, when the light turned yellow, the driver of the minivan ahead of her slowed down. In the midst of her sneezing fit, the Mississippi woman plowed into the back of the minivan in front of her.

Fortunately, neither driver reported being injured.

Reports from the Athens Banner-Herald stated indicate that the woman told police that in the midst of her sneeze attack, "the next thing she knew the air bag hit her in her face."

She received a citation for following the minivan too closely. It's important that drivers who get into auto accidents understand that in order to file claims for damages, it's not necessary for either driver to be ticketed or charged with any criminal offense.

In cases where neither driver gets a ticket, the official police report acts as a sort of blueprint for any future claims of injuries or damages by the drivers or their passengers.

A Georgia civil court can later determine whether the allegedly at-fault driver bears liability for injuries to others involved in the accident.

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