Hooniverse Asks: Do You Know Someone Who’s Just a Shit Driver?

Not that long ago I had a coworker whose husband owned a livery service, and among his client’s were the parents of former child actress Amanda Bynes. Ms. Bynes needed to be driven from the Valley to Orange County with frequency so that she could attend classes at a beauty school which was apparently going to be her new advocation. She had to be driven because she had lost her driving privileges after a series of minor and not so minor hit and run accidents. This was actually the least of her troubles but I bring it up as it plays into today’s topic. On a positive note, she was apparently a very respectful and courteous passenger, whose only request was to detour through the Micky Dee’s drive-thru so she could get a McFlurry, please and thank you. 
I have never met Ms. Bynes, but I’ve met a LOT of drivers like her. I won’t mention any of their names as a few of them are friends and I don’t want to cause them any embarrassment nor myself any black eyes. It’s just a simple fact that many of us end up knowing at least one person for whom driving capability is not a polished skill set. What we’d like to hear today are your tales of woe: do you know someone who is just a terrible driver? How has that affected your relationship?
Image: AcidCow

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16 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: Do You Know Someone Who’s Just a Shit Driver?”

  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    Unfortunately, my MIL is a horrific driver. On narrow, winding roads – which, if you can describe Norwegian infrastructure in three words only, is spot on – she is afraid to fall off the right hand side. Her solution? She drives on the wrong side. That also happens in left turns which usually are blind because of rocks, trees, sloped fields – whatever. One time, we went on Norway’s only road regulated to 100kph, and I followed her in our car, while she had other people in hers en route to some family happening. When her speed fell to 50kph, I just had to pass her, and ask my wife to text her aunt that this is becoming outright dangerous, because traffic obviously flows at around 110-130kph.
    This is a real problem, and there are countless “incidents” that affect our relationship. But there’s no opening to help or educate her…and part of the problem is that she’s always been that way, and wasn’t really driving herself as long as her husband was alive.

  2. crank_case Avatar

    My brother in law, who despite learning to drive in the wilds of Kerry, never really mastered the art of driving on rural roads. One of those people who only looks at what’s on the end of his nose rather than further ahead, drives like he’s wearing cast iron boots, hard on the gas, hard on the brakes. He managed to roll his Passat and was in several minor accidents since. When were housemates briefly, the road to the house was a small winding lane that was barely big enough for two cars, high hedgerows on either side. I drove up and down it without incident, he managed to hit pretty much every mammal and bird species in the area – thank goodness he never hit a human and we didn’t live somewhere with fauna bigger than a badger.
    He was also spectacularly unlucky. I was no saint on the roads, but I was what you’d call a “responsible hooligan” ..I’d hoon down B-roads at well over their posted limit in my 205 GTi, but would always leave myself a factor of safety, especially as I knew the roads well, using limit point monitoring for blind bends, always adjusting my speed/line to stay safe. There was a particularly fast stretch of tarmac that I regularly used to hit naughty speeds on, I must have been up and down it hundreds of times, never got a ticket. His first time on it, gets followed by the cops and book thrown at him.
    I can see why his hobby is cycling…

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Wow. Lol.

    2. Luxury Lexus Land-yacht Avatar
      Luxury Lexus Land-yacht

      One of those people who only looks at what’s on the end of his nose rather than further ahead…
      This is, far and away, the largest single problem with U.S. drivers.

  3. mdharrell Avatar

    “…do you know someone who is just a terrible driver? How has that affected your relationship?”
    I remain generally at ease with myself despite this.

    1. Lokki Avatar

      Dare I say that your choice of vehicles generally serves as fair warning to other drivers?

  4. Ted Avatar

    I’ve always felt really lucky that I think my girlfriend is an excellent driver. Attentive, smooth, fast but not reckless… frankly she’s a better driver than I am. She races in the 24HoursOfLemons with me, so her car control is pretty spot on at this point too. It would be really frustrating to have a SO that couldn’t drive.

  5. dukeisduke Avatar

    Somewhat OT, I hope that Amanda Bynes is doing okay now. I remember her in Big Fat Liar (my kids and I loved it), and as the father of three girls, I was heartbroken to read about her mental health problems, and thinking about what her parents had to deal with. I hope I never have to experience that, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

  6. dukeisduke Avatar

    My wife is an okay driver, but not smooth in keeping her foot on the gas in steady state driving. She’s also not too good about remembering to use her turn signals. Fortunately, my 16yo is a very good driver, and she’s just as anal about using turn signals as I am!

  7. ConstantReader Avatar

    Yes…a guy my age is terrible! Not a car guy at all and drives like your Grandma only worse. Bravely asserts that he hasn’t been in an accident in over 30 years. I told him that ‘dumb luck shouldn’t be a factor in driving’. My daughter is an excellent driver; my ex, not so much. Had a GF who was a great driver and drove herself out of my life, literally. None like her since *sigh*

    1. crank_case Avatar

      Whenever my Dad uses the “never had an accident in X years of driving” defense when something daft he’s done is pointed out, my response is “yep, and that’s why I believe in God”. 😀

  8. Wayward David Avatar
    Wayward David

    I have two friends who could be in competition for Worst Driver Ever. Between them, they have totaled 22 cars. In case you’re wondering, they are both male. Did I mention that the older of the two is a ripe old 35? I haven’t ridden with the older one (who accounts for 9 of the 22 and has been a reluctant user of public transport since I’ve known him), but I have with the younger member of this Disastrous Duo. It was on the occasion of his acquisition of a tidy little Ford Focus that had been a rental car in its previous life. Nice little car. We went maybe 3 blocks and the maximum speed was no more than 30 mph. I was terrified. It was like he had no concept of traffic lanes or intersection protocol. In those 3 blocks he also changed the radio station and replied to a text message. He had bought the Focus about a week before. Two weeks later it was gone.
    Amazingly, each of these gentlemen is in posession of a current, valid drivers license from the State of California. All I can figure is that maybe if you total your car in a single vehicle accident you don’t get cited and it doesn’t go on your record. Or something. Needless to say, I’m always happy to be the driver whenever I go anywhere with either one of these guys.

  9. Hatchtopia Avatar

    My wife and I have an agreement that there is one driver whom our daughter will never ride with. This person is inattentive, timid and cannot back down a straight 30′ driveway without multiple attempts, corrections, forward movements, etc. She could be the last driver in the world, and my kid will walk.

  10. outback_ute Avatar

    First example I can think of is a guy my sister got a ride with to a country town. On the way he overtook a car over solid lines going up a hill on a two-lane road. When my sister pointed out that was pretty dangerous (apart from breaking traffic laws) he asked “why?”
    Within months he had written off his car by trying to drive around a roundabout at about roughly twice the possible speed, hitting a tree about a metre off the ground. I can only guess what he has done since.

  11. cap'n fast Avatar
    cap’n fast

    i am in that class but i do not drive distractedly. having given up all pretense of higher performance vehicle operation, i now operate(really can’t say “drive”) a three and one half ton-9K lbs GVW- diesel pickup truck. i try to stay out of the way and not anger others. they do tend to bounce off the bumpers. as the sniper responded when asked what he felt when firing,”just the recoil, ma’am”. so, if i could find decent rear bumper replacement crash parts not from china that didn’t rust out in a year, all would be well in the world.
    i wonder when insurance companies will increase rates for those drivers who have a cell phone in their possession while driving. the last two people that ran into my rear bumper were texting. i mean seriously, how else is it possible to miss the three an one half tons of blue painted dodge with brake lights lit and a turn signal flashing right in front of them????
    russian dash cam video is hilarious and sad at the same time. when the same scenarios play out in front of you later on, it is hard not to laugh.

  12. Lokki Avatar

    Mrs Lokki, sadly, fits into this pigeonhole. She grew up in Tokyo where, for her, there were only two kinds of cars: taxis and not-taxis. She never touched a steering wheel until age 29 when my company moved me back to the states. I sent her to a driving school and she passed her test, but it exhausted her. She drives, after a fashion, but with as little thought about what’s happening as you have about the municipal water system when you turn on the tap. It’s the little things that are most frightening though. For example we were looking for a parking space in a shopping mall one day and she was driving. I saw a car with back-up lights on and said, “He’s leaving; let’s wait and take his spot”. She asked, “how do you know he’s leaving. Her instructor had never mentioned back-up lights. Now I keep wondering what else I don’t know that she doesn’t know….