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There Was No Time to Panic': Woman Bit by Snake While Driving, Then Tosses It Out the Window


"...it's very difficult for them to get inside a car."

Jan Smith with a bite scar below the knee. (Photo: Geelong Adviser)

Jan Smith, a lab technician from Ocean Grove, Australia, will most likely be taking a look toward her gas and break pedals next time she slips into the driver's seat. While most drivers can get in their car and go with confidence that they don't have any unwanted passengers, Smith didn't realize on one of her recent car trips that she had a visitor until it bit her in the shin.

According to the Geelong Adviser, Smith described her visitor as a "skinny, dark" perhaps black or brown snake. As soon as the reptile coiled on her floor mat bit her, Smith grabbed it and tossed it out the window. She told the Adviser "there was no time to panic" and noted that it happened so fast she didn't have time to register the exact color of the snake.

The Adviser reports that Smith began experiencing symptoms from the venom within minutes:

[...] Ms. Smith was suffering severe headaches and pains in her leg and, using her son's football jumper, tied a makeshift tourniquet around the wound a move she later conceded was the wrong way to treat a snake bite.

From there, Smith drove home where she called the paramedics and was taken to the hospital. Luckily, she didn't experience any long-term effects from the bite aside from a permanent scar below her knee.

The Adviser reports Geelong snake catcher Jay Barnes saying it was unusual to find the snake inside a car:

"It's bizarre circumstances ... it's very difficult for them to get inside a car. Really the only way for them to get in a car is if the door was left open or there was a hole in the firewall that separates the engine from the electrics," Mr. Barnes said.

Even still, odds are Smith will be looking toward her floor mat more often these days. If a person did find a snake in an unusual place, Barnes said the best thing to do is try to remain calm and not make any sudden movements that it could see as threatening.

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