General Question

SamIAm's avatar

Does having a deceased person in your vehicle count as a passenger in the carpool lane?

Asked by SamIAm (8703points) May 27th, 2010

The family was just talking and we were wondering if a car driving in the carpool lane (such as the HOV in NY, which requires 2 passengers to be in the car during carpooling hours) could count a dead person (whether a body in a casket or a persons ashes) as the additional passenger? Hmmm….

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44 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

Nope. deceased people and blowup dummies do not count. they have to be breathing.

dpworkin's avatar

I believe the Constitution specifies that a corpse is 3/5ths of a person, so you really need two corpses for the HOV lane, which leaves you with an additional 1/5th as wiggle room.

JLeslie's avatar

I think @john65pennington is right. You can’t count a fetus in a pregnant woman either.

dpworkin's avatar

You mean I might be in error?

perspicacious's avatar

A corpse is not a passenger; it is cargo.

Buttonstc's avatar

And we are supposed to take this question seriously just because it’s in General?

Oh, come on now. How gullible am I expected to be here ? So, you actually think someone will go to the trouble of putting a corpse in the front seat just so they get someplace 10 mins. quicker if the answer turned out to be “yes”.

I was born at night but it wasn’t last night :)

dpworkin's avatar

@Buttonstc maybe it was a lil tiny joke.

Coloma's avatar

I just get a kick out the imaginative questions some people pose.

What about those with multiple personality disorders?

There could be 5 or more drivers AND passengers in the vehicle at any one time. lol

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Weekend at Bernie’s, eh?

cockswain's avatar

Based on @dpworkin‘s statement, I think if you had two dead people in your car they should let you slide.

shadling21's avatar

Or Little Miss Sunshine.

Ashes – no. Corpse – maybe. I mean, maybe you are carpooling to a funeral? Surely, letting that body sit in the hot air trapped in a vehicle would not be very healthy for the other passengers. Go ahead! Use that carpool lane.

I imagine, also, someone who is caught with a dead body instead of a live one and the arguments they would make to allow them to continue on. They could say that the dead person was a part of their carpool during their life and that this is a tribute to their life. They could argue that there is a religious aspect to it.

They could also argue that the body is still a person, as you’ve pointed out in this question. I think, though, that most people would agree that a corpse is not a person, as all that person-li-ness is gone from them.

Coloma's avatar

What about a goat?

I once had to drive my friends giant goat to the vet in the backseat of my car…lots of looks on the freeway with a 150 lb. bearded goat hanging his head out of an Audi! lolol

cockswain's avatar

I think I’m going to put some ashes in a can in my car and start riding in the HOV lane. And argue they are the ashes of several people.

Jeremycw1's avatar

Haha you are my hero for asking this question.

zenele's avatar

Best Question in Months!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I love civil disobedience. :^)

WestRiverrat's avatar

I know some people that brought their grandad back from Canada in their car. He died while they were at a family reunion. Getting the corpse back through customs legally was more than they wanted to take on.

So they propped grandad up in the middle of the back seat with his head ‘resting’ on granma’s shoulder. Still don’t know how it would have worked if the custom’s agent had decided to wake grandpa up. .

SamIAm's avatar

@Buttonstc : this was a serious question… and i didn’t mean that someone would put a dead persons body or ashes in their car, i was wondering if a hearse could drive in the HOV type deal.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Samantha_Rae Not unless there was a special provision in the law to allow it.

Buttonstc's avatar

Well the question was asked about a hypothetical “your vehicle”.

My vehicle isn’t a hearse and I can safely assume that is true for the vast majority of people responding to this question.

Pardon me for being confused~~

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Buttonstc What, you mean you don’t have a hearse stashed away?

Buttonstc's avatar

Sadly, no. But I’ve always admired the combo hearse/coupe cooked up by the prop dept. for Bud Cort’s character in “Harold and Maude” cruising down the highway to a Cat Steven’s soundtrack. Now, that’s the life.


I wonder if they ever sold it to someone or whether it’s sitting in a dingy warehouse somewhere ?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How about if the driver had multiple personality disorder and the corpse was still 3/5’s of a person?

Coloma's avatar



What about conjoined twins? If they were sharing one seat belt would that make them technically one or still two? lol

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Coloma I have to think that over. Do they buy two tickets for the movies? Sporting events? Airline tickets? We need to see the other rulings for the conjoined.

Coloma's avatar

Two heads are better than one! lol

Coloma's avatar

Another twist might be, identical conjoined twins.

Even as separate identical twins, technically they are one, just manifesting as two.

To complicate things even more, what about conjoined identical multiple personality disordered twins?

This question could be history in the making, all thats needed are test subjects that are willing to spend the rest of their lives in litigation. haha

Buttonstc's avatar

Conjoined twins are always identical. Fraternal twins come from separate eggs. But the entire reason why conjoined twins exist is because of the failure to completely split in two. Hence, identical :)

SamIAm's avatar

Can conjoined twins drive?

Coloma's avatar


Good question! lol

The plot thickens.

Sooo…hmmm…I guess it would depend on which twin controlled the right leg and if they could synchronize each arm belonging to each half in a harmonious flow of driving skill. lololol

dpworkin's avatar

They can always get a Toyota ChangEng.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Would a corpse count if they were alive when they got into the car. Say your lame carpooler was so boring, you didn’t notice he died part way to your destination. Are you grandfathered in?

Coloma's avatar


hahahaha…Yes…if one’s passenger was alive at boarding that would be all that counts as far as I am concerned. Being alive at ‘departure’ would trump being dead on arrival. lolol

janbb's avatar

There is a Renault model called a Twingo.

Coloma's avatar

@janbb lol

I saw a car in Taiwan that was called a ‘Freeka’...haha

cockswain's avatar

@dpworkin just so you know, I get the reference

dpworkin's avatar

one would hope so

ava's avatar

If Larry David can use a whore to get into the carpool lane, I would feel justified using a corpse…especially if I was on my way to the Dodger game in LA traffic.

Coloma's avatar



Well, we sure have managed to spice up this little discourse, I can’t even begin to top that one! haha

Buttonstc's avatar

Someone asked about conjoined twins driving. I remember a documentary and a follow-up several years later on the Hensel twins.

They had just turned old enough to drive and there was some filming done at the DMVand I believe they did qualify for a driver’s license (or perhaps learners permit, not sure).

They were pretty remarkable in their coordination and they did all sorts of activities including softball and swimming.

Their parents general philosophy was to encourage them to take full part in all activities which interested them and to focus more on their abilities rather than limitations.

Very interesting family.

Buttonstc's avatar

I can’t do links from iPhone, but there are several clips from the documentary showing them driving and taking their license exam for anyone interested.

Evidently that were required to take the test twice, once for each girl. And they both passed. Watching them coordinate and negotiate which functions each will take care of is really an interesting process to hear them talk about.

Since it was such a well done and dignified documentary, they re-run it from time to time on Discovery Health Channel.

The title is “Joined For Life”

Coloma's avatar


That sounds really heartwarming and interesting…wow…what some have to sope with, really makes you think about how petty most of our stuff really is.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Suppose that the person was alive when you began driving, and you were legally in the HOV lane. But then they died between exits.

Are you breaking the HOV law after that point?

kritiper's avatar

No. Because the dead person doesn’t have to be anyplace special, so, no hurry.

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