For anyone who has to drive on a regular basis, it's no secret that there are some terrible drivers out there. That seems to be even more true for student drivers. Seriously, trusting a 15-year-old with a 4000 lb piece of machinery can be truly terrifying, as the following people know all too well.
We took to Reddit to find the worst of the worst when it came to student drivers, and these people definitely take the cake. The fact that some of them might be on the roads right now is a truly harrowing thought. (Stories have been edited for clarity.)
Quick, Pull Over!
“When I was taking driving lessons I asked my driving instructor who his worst student was.
He said he once had a girl who, when driving straight on the highway in the left lane, suddenly and inexplicably swerved across four lanes of traffic and pulled into the breakdown lane in the right shoulder (miraculously managing not to hit anyone or cause an accident).
After checking that he was indeed still alive, he turned to her and demanded an explanation for her sudden death wish.
She explained that she had pulled over because ‘there was an ambulance coming in the opposite direction!’
Yes. On the highway going the other direction separated by a barrier wall.”
“Turn Toward The Grapes”
“I got into the car for one of my first lessons and there was plastic fruit taped to the dashboard. My instructor saw me glance at them and it was like the floodgates opened and all those months of pent up frustration just came pouring out.
Apparently, he had been teaching this middle-aged woman for almost a year at that point. She kept failing the test, once because she tried to turn left onto a roundabout, another time she was told to drive towards a certain town, so she stopped in the middle of the road to carefully read the sign in front of her. I was like, ‘why not just tell her to turn left or right if you already know she’s kinda incompetent?’
Well, she also had huge problems telling apart left and right. That week, my instructor had finally given up on debating the difference with her and taped his kid’s toy fruit to the dash, so he could go ‘turn towards the grapes/banana, please,’ which seemed to work much better.”
Daddy’s Princess Needed Some Serious Help
“In my Driver’s Ed class in high school over half of the girls claimed they had no clue how to fill a car with gas, so my teacher said at the beginning of the semester that everyone would have to fill up the car at least once. The next day we stopped at the gas station and he instructed one of the girls (who was 17 and had been driving since 16 — she was taking the class for the insurance help) to fill up the thank. She openly admitted every time she needed gas in her car, she would call her dad and he would drive to wherever she was and fill the car. The instructor had to stifle a laugh and walked her through it. Despite this, she ended up spraying gas all over our teacher because she didn’t understand that the gas came out after applying pressure to the handle.”
What’s That Smell?
“My instructor told me this one:
Apparently, it was this poor kids first time on the highway. He was extremely nervous, but the instructor tried to keep him calm and say it would be fine. They go onto the highway, and my instructor said she began to smell something really bad. She thought, ‘Maybe he had nervous gas,’ or something. No big deal. After a while, the smell should have dissipated, but instead became stronger and more concentrated. She opened the window on the highway, trying not to gag the whole time. She couldn’t figure out if it was from him or the car was broken or something, but the smell was hair-burning bad as she said.
A bit after that the smell did not go away, so she took the kid home. The smell was worse than ever, and she tried to figure out what it was. As the kid got out of the car, she noticed something on the back of his neck – poop. Liquid poop. And not only that, it was everywhere: on the seat, on his shirt, on the instructor’s mat – everywhere! It must have been explosive because it got onto his neck! His back was soaked from the poo, and his pants looked like a kindergarten kid learning to paint. When he stood up, it pooled in the seat, in the mat, and it was bad. He asked if he could help, but she told him no, it was alright, just get the HECK outta here (she didn’t say that, she thought it).
So now she had to get the car cleaned – there was a puddle of crud in her car! She sat on the only clean part of the seat, performing an acrobatic feat to just drive. Every bump forced the poo puddle to pop up, and she got it on her pants and everything.
She finally got it to the place and started washing out the car. One of the attendants came over to ask if she needed help, and half crying said, ‘Yes, please help me.’ The guy took one look inside, took one whiff of the putrid crud, and said, ‘Nope, I don’t get paid enough for that,’ and walked off.”
“WE CAN MAKE IT”
“This was during my sister’s G2 driving test (we’re Canadian). She’s always been a bad driver and this was her second try – out of three.
As she was approaching a yellow light going the speed limit of 50kph, she saw her chance to strike and makes a jump for the light going 15kph over the limit and catching the yellow light. While doing this she yells at the instructor ‘WE CAN MAKE IT!’ Like she came from some movie training and zooms through. She was actually surprised to find out she didn’t pass when she completed the course.”
Steering Isn’t That Hard…
“My mom owned a driving school for years. My dad and brother drove some students too in their off time. They’ve got some funny stories, but the absolute worst driver was one of my mom’s students.
This girl would just drive without correcting her steering at all and would start to go off the street unless my mom reached over and corrected the wheel for her. No matter what my mom did or said, she would constantly just drift off the road. So my mom took her out to an old wide open dirt road where she could just let the lady drive and see how far off the road she would go before she realized what she was doing. The lady just drifted off the road a good 20 feet and would have kept going into the fields if my mom hadn’t stopped the car and asked her, ‘Look where we are. Look where the road is. What the heck are you doing?’
After that, my mom finally gave up on her and told her husband and son that she cannot drive a vehicle and she cannot learn how to drive a vehicle. It’s amazing how some people just can’t adjust. Most people just do it automatically, ‘Oh I didn’t turn the wheel enough, better turn it some more’ but I guess some people just don’t get it. She was the only student my mom ever gave up on.”
“My gym teacher in high school was the driver’s ed instructor for the school as well.
I was pretty tight with him for a bit and he told me that while he was out with a student, he stopped early behind a car at a red light and because of this, the back of the car was ever so slightly on a set of train tracks.
Normally this would be an automatic failure if he was giving a test, but they were just out practicing so no harm no foul.
It should also be noted that people in my town do this quite frequently as trains quite sparingly come through as often as they did in the past.
However, it just so happened that today at this exact moment there was a train coming through. The teacher noticed this and mentioned to the kid that he should probably pull up closer to the car in front of them because there was a train passing through.
For some unknown reason, the kid just kinda froze for a bit and didn’t do anything. After the teacher began to raise concern over the now approaching train, the kid threw it in reverse and floored in backward, narrowly missing the train by no more than a few yards.
To this day he has no clue why.”
Well, What Else Can You Say?
“A former driving teacher told us a story about a girl, first time driving, flipped the car on its back during the road practice with another student in the car in the back seat. The car was on a low rise bridge and she hit the guard rail and the car came crashing down and landed on its back. The first thing my driver instructor heard immediately after the crash was the kid in the back saying ‘Well I’m guessing I’m not driving today…'”
The Saga Of Bob The Instructor And The Quest For A Driver’s License
“When I was 16 years old, my parents hired a driving instructor to teach me how to drive. His name was Bob.
My first interaction with Bob would come to set the tone for all of our adventures together. He pulled into my driveway with his red Camry and told me to get in. Now, for those of you who don’t know– and I, at the time, did not– driving instructors have a second brake pedal installed on the passenger’s side in case of emergencies. I didn’t even know that was possible. To me, it just seemed like a weird footrest.
For the next few minutes, Bob tried desperately to get the car to move. It wouldn’t budge. He stepped on the gas. He adjusted every possible gear and lever he had at his disposal. He cursed loudly. And, finally, he widened his eyes and snapped his gaze onto me.
‘Are you pressing the brake?’
‘No!… Yes. Yes, I am, Bob. I don’t know why I said no. In my defense–‘
‘Get your foot off the pedal.’
And then we drove away.
For the first time, I looked into the back and I noticed a quivering fat boy sitting there quietly. Naturally, I asked, ‘Hey, Bob, why is there a kid in the back of your car?’
‘That’s William. He’s a student.’
And then we dropped William off at home. In spite of the fact that I always had my lesson at the same time on the same day every week, I never saw William again. To his credit, William was a master of stealth and camouflage and I often imagine that he went on to be a super spy.
Regardless, Bob eventually let me drive the car. I remember my first time driving with Bob very clearly. I remember it clearly because of one very specific moment. A moment that went something like this:
‘Keep going. Nice and easy.’
‘Check your mirrors every five to eight–‘
‘–Seconds and brake before you turn–‘
‘There’s a squirrel in the center of the road, Bob. What should I do?’
‘Just keep going. He’ll move.’
‘He’s not moving, Bob!’
‘He will! Just keep–‘
‘BOB! HE DIDN’T MOVE AND NOW HE’LL NEVER MOVE AGAIN!’
And that’s how I killed a squirrel the first time I drove a car. I never trusted Bob again after that.
Bob taught me for a couple months and, honestly, I wasn’t too terrible a driver. We had our disagreements on how certain things should be done. For example, there was that one time I was driving on the highway and Bob caught me sidling up to an eighteen wheeler and he asked me what I was doing and I replied ‘the fast and the furious’ and he yelled at me. And there was also the fact that every week he asked me if I watched hockey and every week he was unreasonably upset that I told him I wasn’t some maple-syrup-drinking Canadian. But, generally speaking, things were going well.
I took the driving test 3 times and failed twice. The first time I failed, it was for no apparent reason. I did everything perfectly. I even managed to parallel park with the utmost precision in spite of the fact that my tester was a whale of a woman whose girth completely blocked both windows on the passenger side of the car. But she failed me. Her reasoning? ‘You looked back when you reversed. You’re supposed to use the rear view mirror.’ To which I mumbled ‘you were supposed to eat the salad not the bakery next door.’
The second time I failed with the exact same tester. This time I was ‘too close to the cone.’ Did I hit the cone? No. But I was within 6 inches of the cone and that was apparently ‘too close.’ I tried to reason with the behemoth, saying ‘but, ma’am, the cone is supposed to represent the curb and, even if I did hit the curb– which you admit I did not– that wouldn’t actually damage my vehicle or the curb!’
But she was unswayed by my words, as I imagine she was also unswayed by most things that sway people of average proportions.
The third time I asked for a new tester. I’ll admit that I wasn’t having the best day. I nudged one of the cones. And guess what? He didn’t even bat an eye. He just looked at me and said ‘You passed and I gotta go to the bathroom.’ And then he was gone…like some ethereal sprite that needed to pinch a loaf…
Which left me with Bob. I looked at him and held up the sheet that said I passed.
‘We are equals now, Bob.’
We went to the DMV and I got my provisional license. Two days later, while driving back from the mall on my own at night, an idiot with no headlights on swerved into my lane as I was turning onto the road and I ended up driving onto the divider. Where I stayed for five minutes as I yelled ‘fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudge!’ and other drivers probably said ‘what’s that dude doing on the divider?’
And that’s the story of how I got my license.”
“When I was in Driver’s Ed on the first day, the owner of the driving school went up and told a story about a girl who he had been instructing a couple years prior. They were on their first highway drive behind a semi who was going the posted 55 or 60 mph, so she asked if she could pass. He said that would be fine, but he grabs her hand when she immediately reaches for the gear shift. He asked what the heck she was doing and she said, ‘I was putting in in ‘P’ for ‘Pass’!’
Talk About Awkward
“So this happened years ago to some friends of mine…
Friend A, who recently got his license, was driving over to see Friend B one evening when in the darkness he knew he had hit something. Upon further looking on this residential street, he could not find the source of the accident and carried on with his plans.
A day or two later, these two friends take part in drivers ed with Friend B behind the wheel. The instructor, who lives down the block from Friend B, begins explaining how her dog was recently hit by a car and will require multiple costly surgeries to recover, if not just to be put down. After a few minutes of discussion and condolences, the backseat Friend A realizes that it had been he who had caused this terrible incidence. After being silent for a few minutes, he said, ‘Ms. __, I think I hit your dog.’ She, of course, was shocked and flustered by hearing this. This also shocked Friend B, who exclaimed ‘WHAT!?!’ and managed to run the driver’s ed car right into a guard rail. They then had to wait together, I’m sure with quite a bit of awkwardness, with the wrecked car while things got taken care of.”
“I’ve Should Have Known Better”
“For this story, I will tell you about my younger brother. We’ll call him Dude. Dude is 23 and has never had a job but my family felt it was time he got a license and a car for whenever he did get a job.
Of course, that responsibility fell onto me, which I guess I was okay with. I took Dude to all of his written tests, of which he took 11, and only passed because the tests started to repeat themselves.
This is over the course of many months and a lot of back and forth which ate up my gas, but I never complained. I was helping out my brother and it’s what big brothers are for.
Fast forward to his driving test and guess what? He fails it. Why did that happen? Well, apparently because he ran through stop signs, red lights, failed to yield, drove in the bike lane, did illegal turns, failed to signal, and was speeding or going under the speed limit everywhere.
Rinse and repeat this outcome three more times and then he finally gets his license, only because I feel that at this point they just want to be done with him and to never see his face again. Dude says they were just out to get him and he really wasn’t that bad. Yeah…right.
So, it’s a little bit of time later and I figure I should let him practice driving my car in an empty parking lot since I am going to be selling it to him. Well, that was a mistake. Wanting to stop after only a few minutes, I tell him to park it and I’ll drive us home. So, there Dude is, in the driver’s seat, approaching the white lines. He pulls into the spot at an angle and without actually putting the car in park, lets go of the brake. This, of course, causes the car to roll forward (it’s an automatic) and in his panic he slams on the gas, hops the curb and drives through a chain link fence, completely destroying the front end of my car.
Really, I should have known better.”
He Was Just Following Directions
“A kid in my sister’s school was learning how to drive and since we live in Massachusetts, there are lots of rotaries (or as other people call them, roundabouts). Anyway, the kid comes up to a rotary and the driving instructor says ‘Go straight,’ indicating that he should take the second exit that was across the way. NOPE. This kid just starts driving completely straight onto the island in the middle of the rotary on top of the freaking grass. Like, has this kid never been in a car before? In what world would this make any sense whatsoever??? Hilarious.”
“Fire, What Fire?!”
“A cub reporter gets his first assignment covering real news (as opposed to kids parties and obits). His editor tells him to hightail it to the local general aviation airport where a pilot in a Cessna is waiting for him. They are to overfly a brushfire currently burning out of control and threatening homes a few miles outside of town.
The reporter grabs his gear, hops in his car and drives like a madman to get to the airport. He parks his car and rushes into the airport office, which happens to be empty. Near panic, thinking he had missed his flight, the reporter looked out the window toward the flight line. He sees an aircraft sitting just outside the door, a pilot in the seat, with the prop turning. He runs out to the ramp, around to the passenger side of the plane. He opens the door, tosses his gear in the back seat and hops in. As he’s buckling his seat belt he glances at the pilot and says, ‘Let’s go!’
The pilot taxis the plane to the end of the runway and executes a perfect takeoff. They climb out into a clear blue sky. The weather is beautiful, and visibility is easily 30-40 miles. As they continue upward the reporter notices they are heading away from the smoke. He looks at the pilot and asks, ‘Where are you going?’
The pilot says, ‘Uh, I don’t know.’
The reporter says, ‘What do you mean you don’t know. Didn’t they tell you I was covering the fire?’
The pilot says, ‘Fire? What fire? Aren’t you my instructor?’
Both Of These Are Terrifying
“My driver’s ed instructor told me about 2 different people:
The first asked what the big circle thing was. He assumed she meant the speedometer and other gauges, so he started to explain what they all meant. She stopped him and said, ‘No, this!’ And pointed at the steering wheel.
The second student was super nervous and when merging onto the freeway, she fainted.”
Failing Before Even Leaving The Lot
“Two students come to mind immediately:
One did fine pulling into the parking space (four cones). When she backed out, she backed into a car. We weren’t supposed to immediately say they failed, so we’d calmly say ‘ok, go straight here and find any available space.’ She started pulling into a parking space and hit the car parked next to it. To recap, hit two cars without even leaving the parking lot.
The second was an elderly woman who was trying to keep her license. She was driving a small car but acted like she was driving a Hummer getting into the parking spot. She pulled out wide enough that she was driving through the spaces on the opposite side and said: ‘the space is too small.’ I told her to go ahead, so she tried and hit a cone. I told her to find an empty spot and pull in. She parked. When I told her that she failed, she put the car in reverse and started backing out again. I’m not sure if she was going to kidnap me or try the test again. I said something like ‘ma’am, you’ll get another chance. Let’s go inside and talk about it.’ As soon as the shifter hit park again, I jumped out of the car and went inside.
I only last 8 months at that job.”