It is not uncommon, while driving down a busy thoroughfare, to see someone dancing madly at the side of the road, brandishing a colorful arrow or sign urging you to visit a business for the latest blowout sale. If you should feel either irritation or pity at the sometimes-costumed performer, blame the clowns.
In 1958, a gas station in Alabama had clowns performing on the side of the highway, presumably to lure unsuspecting drivers onto its premises. When one car rear-ended another, the driver claimed to have been distracted by the performers’ antics.
Fast-forward five years, and the Alabama Supreme Court said, in effect, “pay attention to your driving anyway.” Clowns performing by the side of the highway, without more, do not make the sponsoring business responsible for a car accident. So if clowns are fine, no doubt the bunny-costumed teenager doing the Harlem Shake for 99-cent tacos is safe too.