Driving Instructors Describe The Most Outrageous Things Their Students Have Done On The Road
Photo by why kei on Unsplash

Driving a vehicle is serious business––and everyone seems to think they're the best driver out there. What is it with all the crappy drivers out on the roads? Didn't they pay attention in driving school?

Only just enough, according to these driving instructors, who responded once Redditor Pennachini19 asked the online community, "Driving school teachers, what are the most outrageous things student drivers have done while with you?"

After you read some of these, you might feel a bit more confident about your own experience behind the wheel.

"I taught mostly foreign students..."

I taught mostly foreign students studying in the US. I have lots of stories. The first is about a mid 30s woman from Bangladesh. We are driving around a suburban neighborhood getting acclimated to making 90-degree turns. Pretty low key not scary stuff. Her phone rings so she stops in the middle of the road to reach her purse in the back seat to answer her call. I informed her she must first pull to the side of the road as you cannot just stop in the middle of the street. She told me I could not tell her what to do.

The second one was a woman in her late 20s from Saudi Arabia. She was graduating college in 3 weeks and wanted to go home with a DL as women could not drive in her country. I go to pick her up and I ask the standard, " Have you ever driven before." She replied she knew what she was doing. 3 minutes in I ask her again because she was performing like this was her first time behind the wheel. She then stated that she had watched her family driver many times from her vantage point in the back seat. I made her pull over and I drove her to an empty parking lot. She was just not getting it after about 4 actual hours in the car with me on multiple days but she insisted I take her to the licensing bureau for her driving test. I had no choice but to take her even though I knew she would fail. They call her name and off she goes with the testing person. 7 minutes later the tester walks through the door and straight up to me. She said the woman had about taken out a school bus and that she (the tester) had to grab the wheel to keep them out of the ditch. I was asked for advance warning if I ever returned with such a bad driver.


"He had multiple stories..."

I know a guy who used to give the final exams for people contesting suspensions of their driver's license with the DMV. He had horror stories to tell me about how bad drivers were. He had multiple stories about students not even making it out of the parking lot before failing and losing their licenses permanently. But the best was when a woman was backing out of the parking space took quickly and hit a car behind her. He turns to the driver, and tells her to park back in the space, she guns it and hits the DMV building itself! She then turns to him and asks "Did I pass?" He said it was the shortest test of his career.


Of course it was.

How could it not be?

"The girl who got in an accident..."

I used to work as a receptionist at a driving school and got to see the before and after for students and their parents. So many stories but the two that come to mind that always flabbergast me were:

  1. A mom telling her daughter to always go 10 miles under the speed limit no matter what right before her driving test. So if the speed limit is 25, she should go 15 and so on. I had to explain that unless conditions required her to go slower than speed limit (weather, traffic, etc.) she becomes more of a hazard if she is going under speed limit all the time. I'm all for driving safe but there are better ways to go about it.
  2. The girl who got in an accident on her driving test that she caused (I believe she ran a red that had been red for a while and hit a car that had right of way), in front of a cop. She didn't understand why she failed and tried to argue about it and schedule an appointment for the same day to retake.

"Had a student run three red lights..."

Had a student run three red lights in a row. She said, "I thought I could make it through the yellow in time." THREE TIMES. We had a discussion about unnecessary risk...

Had another student get into a road rage situation with the driver of a large pickup, actually rolled down the window and screaming at the guy in the lane next to us. The pickup guy ran him off the road into a ditch. Student had trouble understanding why I ended the lesson early.

Another student asked if I had any pot, or if I could buy booze for him. Ummm, no...



People could have very easily been killed. I have to tip my hat to the instructor for not having a major freakout.

"I once had an intermediate student..."

A little different but I'm a high-performance driving instructor, essentially I teach people how to drive on a race track. It's not racing, rather it starts out as car control and situational awareness and then gets more performance-related as a student progresses through the levels. I also teach the classroom and on-track portions of the race license school, but that's another thing altogether.

I once had an intermediate student drive off the track 3 laps in a row in the same low-speed corner. We're talking about a track with 17 turns and he couldn't remember that this particular turn was much sharper than he thought. Didn't matter if I reminded him as we approached, he still went off. After the 3rd time, I had him pull into pit lane so we could talk about it. He didn't even remember going off. That's enough for me to not get back in the car!

Another student was a first-time novice in a new Subaru WRX. He is a Military helicopter pilot and told me upfront that he's used to being the best at everything but was nervous about this because he had never done it before. I asked him what if he had done anything to prepare, like study a track map, watch videos, played with Forza or a simulator, or any number of other things a student can do to get ready...he said no. He was intent on driving as fast as possible but couldn't get close to the driving line so we got passed by literally every car in our run group, some more than once a session. All the electronic wizardry in that car saved us from spinning or crashing, but it was a sobering experience for him to get passed by an old guy in a NA 1.6 Miata.


"Once I had a trainee..."

I train people to get their commercial driver's licenses for a bus company. Once I had a trainee who was trying to turn right onto a major road. He started inching forward but there was a car coming so I said: "Wait." He then pulled out completely cutting off the car that was going 50 miles per hour. I was like dude what are you doing you almost caused a horrible accident and he said: "I thought you said wave!" He thought I was telling him to take his giant bus, cut off the driver, and then just give them the old "hehehe sorry" wave. It was scary at the time but now I just laugh.


Scary, indeed.

Your brain can jump to some silly conclusions when you're under some stress.

"I had a student..."

I had a student so excited to drive that when he opened the door to get in he hit himself in the forehead with the door and cut himself so bad I had to drive him to the hospital to get stitches.


"When she did finally return..."

My instructor told me of a story of a teenage girl he was teaching last year.

She got into the car and mentioned that she didn't feel very well, so could they cut the lesson shorter that day. He was cool with that and they carried on. Halfway through the lesson she pulled up and starts throwing up.... and is literally foaming at the mouth. He calls an ambulance and her mum and off she goes to hospital.

A few days later he calls the mum to see how she is doing and the mum is a bit evasive and said her daughter was very ill and wouldn't be having any more lessons for some time.

When she did finally return, he asked her what was up and she wouldn't really answer so he playfully pushed the matter (they got on well), and then yeah... she eventually told him that she'd vomited lots of foam because she had taken a massive paracetamol overdose before the lesson.



That's probably not something you should do let alone admit.

"One student..."

One student had some chronic masturbation disease...I kicked him out of the car...



I was a trainer for a bus company. Granted, people came in with their licenses and I had the job of training people how to drive the small buses (I wasn't qualified to train on the CDL vehicles). The kid I trained would either be overly anxious and would barely move the vehicle or would get too comfortable and blow through crosswalks while people were crossing and hit sidewalks and crap. There was absolutely no in-between. After 2 sessions I passed him on to my supervisor and he ultimately made the decision to let this person go after they couldn't get the kid to drive normal either.


We don't know whether...

...to admire these driving instructors for staying calm under pressure or to wonder what must have been wrong with them for them not to freak the hell out. Driving is a huge responsibility––some people will never be ready for it.

Have your own stories? Feel free to share them in the comments section below!