Drake’s new album Scorpion is all over YouTube and Instagram right now, in part thanks to a challenge issued by Instagrammer TheShiggyShow, which has people dancing to “In My Feelings.” The song mentions a character named Keke, and the “Keke Challenge” meme has become a viral sensation. While it can be performed anywhere, some of the biggest videos have people stepping out of moving cars to boogie in the streets. That particular version of the meme — an echo of an earlier viral fad referred to as “ghost-riding the whip” — has gotten bad enough that a government agency has put out an official notice reminding people that they shouldn’t break the law just to make a funny video.
As Jalopnik reports, The National Transportation Safety Board, a committee that investigates transportation accidents and advocates for better safety measures, took to Facebook earlier this week to warn people about the dangers of the “In My Feelings challenge.”
“#Distraction in any mode is dangerous & can be deadly,” NTSB warned. “Whether you are a #driver, #pilot, or #operator, focus on safely operating your vehicle.”
bottom line: don’t break the law and risk your life for a video
Maybe this seems like obvious advice, much like when the American Association of Poison Control Centers warned the public that Tide Pods are poisonous and should not be eaten for an online challenge. But some videos floating around of failed attempts to get out of moving cars show that people don’t always use their best judgment about things like this. Real people have gotten hurt trying the challenge, while others have narrowly missed getting into accidents.
“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the U.S.,” Nicholas Worrell, chief of safety advocacy at the National Transportation Safety Board, told The Blast. “Hopping out of a moving vehicle or jumping into lanes of traffic to show your dance moves is foolish and dangerous — to you and those around you.”
Part of the problem is that the danger is a part of the “fun” — celebrities like Will Smith have made a point to go to out-of-the-way places to make impressive videos while expanding on the Keke Challenge meme. While in cases like these, influencers often tell fans to not copy them, impressive footage of people doing seemingly cool stuff isn’t doing much to dissuade people from assuming these stunts are safe, and emulating them.