Oh, it’s not all Charlotte’s Web out there. I admit it: some spiders are bad to the bone(less), dangerous characters. Here’s where I atone for excess spider hugginess.
The real threat spiders pose to us, however, is not venomous bites. They do not devour hot-tubbing heavy metal guitarists. They do not munch prison inmates. They will not molest Mythbusters. The number one threat from spiders is . . .
They are terrible drivers!
Spider causes rollover accident in Ark City
June 10, 2013, Newscow (“Your nose for news in Cowley County”)
(I am not making that up)
(Ark City is somehow a real place, too)
(No! I don’t know if Noah was involved)
A local driver told authorities he was using a cup to kill a spider crawling in his vehicle when he lost control and rolled it Sunday morning.
Ark City police were called to the scene for a report of an injury accident. They arrived at the east Madison underpass to find a vehicle overturned with someone trapped inside it.
23-year-old Trevor Chaparro was freed from the vehicle and had blood on his head and face. He was treated for minor injuries and declined transport to the hospital.
Chaparro was cited for no proof of insurance, no valid license plate and inattentive driving.
He told officers he saw the spider crawling near the driver side door and attempted to kill it. Chaparro looked up to see he was driving toward the center columns of the bridge and maneuvered to avoid hitting them head on.
He struck the edge of the bridge and that caused the vehicle to overturn.
Then there are the Brits, who get all silly when it comes to spider scares but who never fail to write a good headline:
WOMAN CRASHES INTO POLICE CAR AFTER BEING SPOOKED BY SPIDER
“I’m a complete idiot”
Daily Star, June 6, 2013
MOTORIST Mia Vamplew veered into the path of a police car after being spooked by a spider.
The police driver narrowly avoided a crash by braking hard before Vamplew, 28, swerved back on to her side of the road.
She told officers: “I’m a complete idiot. I freaked because a spider was above my head and I thought it may land on me.”
Vamplew, of Mullion, Cornwall, admitted careless driving and was fined £160 by Truro JPs.
This next spider caused the driver to veer “on to the wrong side of the road.” Well, of course. It’s England. She still gets “six penalty points on her licence” not for misspelling “license” but for mishandling her cricket bat in the first sentence, tut tut, bad show:
Arachnophobic driver caused car crash when spider dropped from sun visor
The Telegraph, April 4, 2012
Farmworker Lucille Ellis – who has a phobia of spiders – had been trying to bat away the arachnid when she drove her Nissan pick up on to the wrong side of the road and into the path of an oncoming car.
Ellis, 40, of North Petherwin, Cornwall, admitted careless driving last October on the A3072 road when she appeared at Bodmin magistrates court.
The other driver, Diane Martin, suffered back and leg wounds which needed skin grafts.
Ellis told police: “I was driving when a large spider dropped down in front of my face and I was just trying to bat it out of the way. I continued straight instead of taking the left hand bend and ended up on the other side of the road.”
She said she braked when she saw the oncoming car and swerved towards a verge to try and get out of the way.
She said: “I didn’t take my hands off the wheel or anything like that.”
Chris Andrews, defending, said she told police about her phobia of spiders and said it was not a “deliberate piece of bad driving”.
Magistrates fined her £325 with £100 costs and gave her six penalty points on her licence.
Note the use of the verb to show intention. The spider “made” poor Sara crash into a parked lorry, undoubtedly soiling her tea things and upsetting the Queen:
Woman causes £300 damage when she crashes car after spider lands on her lap
Daily Mirror, March 20, 2011
A TINY spider landing in her lap made driver Sara Mills, 22, crash into a parked lorry in Benfleet, Essex, causing £300 damage.
Now let’s go Dutch:
Woman crashes car while swatting at spider
UPI.com, Nov. 21, 2008
THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Nov. 21 (UPI) — Police in the Netherlands said a woman crashed her car near The Hague while she was attempting to kill a spider inside the vehicle.
Authorities said the woman lost control of her car while attempting to kill the spider and the vehicle flipped over on the A4 motorway, Radio Netherlands/Expatica reported Friday.
Traffic was backed up on the A4 as a result of the crash and two lanes of the road were closed. The woman was treated for injuries at a hospital.
Whitey Bulger, make room for a real crime spree on the mean streets of Boston:
Driver blames spider inside car for crash
WHDH (Boston), September 18, 2009
WEYMOUTH, Mass. — An “itsy bitsy spider” caused a big crash in Weymouth.
Amber Buckner, 26, was at the corner of Princeton and Bridge streets when she was distracted by a spider inside her car.
She rear-ended the car in front of her, which went straight up onto two wheels and collapsed on top of her car.
Buckner, her passenger and Danielle Evju, the driver of the car she struck, were all taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
“She’s like ‘Oh my God, is everybody all right? I was just paying attention to the spider, the spider that was on my windshield.’ And that’s all that she was paying attention to,” Evju said.
Buckner is being charged with following too closely and with driving an unregistered vehicle.
“I think that it’s absolutely ridiculous, that she should have pulled over, I think paying attention on the road, I mean these are people’s lives.”
Firefighters told Evju that the way her gas tank was hit, she could have been killed.
Look, twice it’s Weymouth! Do they breed the motorists especially jumpy there? Fun! I’m off to Boston with my satchel of rubber spiders!
Driver who caused Weymouth crash was startled by spider
The Patriot Ledger, September 19, 2012
WEYMOUTH: A woman who began a chain-reaction car crash on a busy street Tuesday morning was distracted by a spider, police said.
The 23-year-old Weymouth woman was heading north on Route 18 near Hunter Terrace when the spider crawled onto her at about 9:12 a.m., police Lt. Thomas Farrell said. The woman tried to swat the spider away and accidentally hit the gas pedal, causing her to strike the car in front of her and beginning a four-car crash.
No one was injured or charged following the crash. Three of the four vehicles were towed.
In California, a grizzly account from Officer Baer:
Wildomar woman crashes after spider drops down behind her
City News Service, August 23, 2011
A woman lost control of her vehicle, which crashed Tuesday on Interstate 15 in Wildomar, after a spider dropped down on the car seat.
The accident happened around 10 a.m. on southbound I-15, near Clinton Keith Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Maria Perez of Fallbrook told CHP officers that she was traveling around 65 mph when she noticed the spider. Afraid the creepy crawler might touch her, Perez tried to get away, losing control of the box truck she was driving in the process.
“She swerved onto the west dirt shoulder,” said CHP Officer Nathan Baer, adding that the vehicle spun back onto the freeway, where it overturned on its left side.
Perez walked away from the crash, which completely smashed the truck’s front windshield. No other vehicles were involved.
Two of the freeway’s three lanes were blocked for more than an hour. Perez declined medical attention, Baer said.
Finally, no serious injuries you say? Yeah, air bags are just another roller-coaster ride when you’re a hitchhiking spider. Peel it off the headliner, it’ll be fine.
Girl trying to shoo spider crashes car
Injuries do not appear serious
Associated Press, October 10, 2011
CONSTANTINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a 16-year-old girl was injured after losing control of the car she was driving in southwestern Michigan while trying to get a spider out of the vehicle.
The Kalamazoo Gazette reports the girl had minor injuries from Sunday night’s crash in St. Joseph County’s Constantine Township. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The sheriff’s department says the car ran off the road and its air bag deployed.