Picture this: You’re cruising down the road with the windows down when you suddenly feel a tickle on your arm. You glance down to brush it away, and that’s when you realize…yikes! It’s a bee!

It can be easy to panic in this situation, but the truth is that crashes can (and do) happen for this reason. One ERIE claims adjuster saw an accident with more than $17,000 in damage after a driver, who was allergic to bees, panicked at the unwelcome visitor and swerved into a light pole. She ended up  totaling her car and yanking down the wiring on a nearby house.

It can happen to anyone. While driving in Los Angeles, actor Seth Rogen crashed his car when a bee flew in through his window.

And then there’s this guy in Montana who drove with thousands of bees that escaped from a cardboard box in his backseat. (That one’s on him, though… and it’s no surprise he got a careless driving citation.)

Summer’s here, and with it comes all sorts of insects that can buzz or crawl their way into your car. We’ve got a real bee in our bonnet about reducing distracted driving–so here’s how to stay safe if you’re surprised by a creepy-crawly copilot:

  • If you’re allergic, be prepared. Make sure to have allergy medication or an EpiPen handy in your car’s emergency kit.
  • Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. If you’re in heavy traffic, fight the urge to swat the insect away–you could swerve and put other drivers at risk.
  • Slow down gradually. Don’t slam on the brakes. Consider putting your four-ways (hazard lights) on to alert other drivers that you’ll be going below the speed limit.
  • If you can, pull over. Once you’ve come to a complete stop, go ahead and give your complete attention to shooing the bug out of your car.

Of course, if the idea of a bee in your car really bugs you, there’s a simple way to protect yourself: drive with the windows up.

Speaking of protection, having the right auto insurance is another way to give you peace of mind on the road. An Erie Insurance agent in your community can tell you more about the right coverage at the right price and get you a free quote.