People Share Their Most Embarrassing Stories Of Getting A Driver's License[rebelmouse-image 18356349 is_animated_gif=
There are over 222,000,000 licensed driver's in the United States, but at some point every one of them was just a learner. Automobiles of all shapes and sizes are complicated pieces of machinery. Learning to master one doesn't happen over night. Sometimes the process can get a little dicey.
Reddit user TeeWrecksArms asked "DMV employees and driving instructors who've gone out on new driver tests. What are your best stories?"
Driving teachers and driving learners shared their adventures behind the wheel.
Multi-Tasking[rebelmouse-image 18356350 is_animated_gif=
Not an employee or instructor but when I was 15 I took driver's ed at my high school. The instructor they had looked almost like a thinner version of Dr. Phil, but with glasses and thick Chicago accent. I remember one day when he was taking us out to do practice driving he made us stop by the dry cleaners so he could pick something up. I asked other people who had him before and apparently it was pretty common for him to use students to help him run errands which I thought was hilarious.
Awkward[rebelmouse-image 18356351 is_animated_gif=
At 16 getting my first license and the woman in front of me was my girlfriend's mom. I go out for the driving test right after her. I back out of the parking spot and there she is failing to back her car out of the angled parking spot. We wait patiently and the tester looks at me and says I'm glad I'm not in that car. She failed.
Red Means Go[rebelmouse-image 18356352 is_animated_gif=
When I took my preliminary driving test (was taking a course to get credit for my learners permit) I was driving with the instructor in the passenger seat and another student in the back seat. We are coming up on a red light and the instructor tells me "keep going through this red light and you'll turn left after that". So I ran the red light. Still got my permit too somehow.
Surprise[rebelmouse-image 18356353 is_animated_gif=
Was the observer for a girl who barely knew how to drive. I think her parents sent her there to learn to drive not fine tune it. She couldn't put the car in gear, she pumped the breaks to stop, she forgot cars had momentum and coasted and she almost hit a car in a parking lot when a car backed up ahead of her, she sped on the highway and not just a little bit, but 10 over, and this was Virginia so speeding is kind of a big deal here, and she when doing her 3 point turn she didn't know you had to turn the wheel, somehow though after 2 weeks she passed the test.
Kneecapped[rebelmouse-image 18356354 is_animated_gif=
I drove my ditsy girlfriend to the DMV to take her driving test when we were in high school. He came out to start the exam and stood in front of her car to check the blinkers before setting off. I drove her there in her mom's old Volvo and was watching from the waiting room.
He told her to turn on the blinkers, and she was trying, flipping the lever up and down, but they wouldn't work. So he said "Honey, you have to turn on the key to turn on the lights to use the blinkers"
She turned on the key too far, without her foot on the clutch, and the car jumped forward and hit him hard in the knees and knocked him down.
He just got up, and shook his head, and walked back inside. Didn't even pick up his clipboard. I just went back out and drove her home.
Bit of Excitement[rebelmouse-image 18356355 is_animated_gif=
Not a DMV employee but I passed my road test on a closed course and as I'm walking inside an older gentleman blows a stop sign and hits a van with a kid and an instructor. Continued to go forward and went over the curb into the grass. Must've thought he slammed his brakes but accelerated instead. Instructor side was hit and the kid was okay, just freaked out. The parent ran over and was bewildered (more worried about the car and insurance than their own kid it looked like) The people in the DMV as I'm paying the fee for my license said the instructor had an injured arm and the old guy who hit him was there to renew his license. Needless to say I doubt he's getting his license. Probably the one and only time I'll ever see such lively DMV employees. I do not envy what they deal with.
First and Last[rebelmouse-image 18356356 is_animated_gif=
I took my first road test with my driving instructor that taught me how to drive and a man who worked for the DMV and that day just happened to be his first day and I was his first student. First of all the test starts off horribly, 30 seconds into it I back out of my parking spot and almost back straight into a car not paying attention and zipping through the parking lot. At this point I think the new guy has completely given up on me even though this incident wasn't even my fault. I parallel park the way I was taught, nope not good enough for him. I stop at the stop sign for 3 seconds instead 5, more points coming off. Finally I pull back into a parking spot and of course am not parked straight enough for his liking so he proceeds to get out of the car and fail me. My driving instructor who taught me proceeds to get out of the car and lay into this guy. They get into a screaming match in the parking lot. After this screaming match the DMV driving instructor proceeds to walk up to the office and quit on the spot.
Jump Scare[rebelmouse-image 18356357 is_animated_gif=
As a 15 year old driving student, on my first road training session, I pulled right out into traffic pretty swiftly and scared my instructor so badly his legs flew up into the air. He didn't know I had been driving for a while already and probably thought I was going to kill us both.
Road Hazards[rebelmouse-image 18356359 is_animated_gif=
The one that caused my friend at the DMV to retire: he was doing a driver's test for a teenage girl and they went through a road work section with a narrow road because the shoulders were blocked for construction.
The girl couldn't keep the car steady and was driving way too fast and lost control, taking the car off the road into the construction area where they crashed into a backhoe tractor. The shovel went through the windshield and cracked his skull open.
He ended up with severe memory problems and some brain damage and had to retire. He's since recovered very well. This was over 20 years ago and he's fine now, but has some memory problems still.
Compassion[rebelmouse-image 18356361 is_animated_gif=
I was in a driving school where you went out and drove twice, one time for 4 hours and one time for 2, the 2nd time being your test. The school itself is all ex cops and when you drive it's 1 on 1. My parents didn't take me out driving at all, so all of my experience was wrapped up in that first 4 hour, nerve wracking drive. I had just been on the freeway in heavy traffic and I had attempted to merge when a huge pickup blared it's horn at me. I swerved back into my lane but was clearly shook. We exited the freeway and pulled over. We got out of the car, I was crying, shaken. My 60 year old teacher felt so bad, he said, "Do you need a hug?" I nodded and he hugged me. It was so simple but so necessary. I still think about it every once in a while 6 years later; my parents weren't the best at that time in my life so that bit of care was awesome.
Roll On[rebelmouse-image 18356362 is_animated_gif=
Not an instructor but the girl taking the test before me failed because she forgot to turn on the car. She was parked on a slight angle and I'm guessing she took the car's parking break off. Not sure. All he said was that she managed to crash into the next row of cars without turning it on.
Them's the Brakes[rebelmouse-image 18356363 is_animated_gif=
Sorta funny story, when I took my driving test I was nervous as anyone would be. So I start the test no problem following all instructions and traffic laws. No problem until the tester told me to parallel park. The side of the road was completely empty so I essentially hit the jackpot. I pull along side the sidewalk and park the car and reach for the parking break and instantly realize that I'm f'd!
I had left the brake on for the entire test, so I pretend to lift up the brake and the guy doesn't notice! Passed my test with no deductions.
Off-Roading[rebelmouse-image 18345358 is_animated_gif=
Not me but a friend was in the DMV for 30 years so he has some good ones.
One time, he was testing this Indian lady who was in her 40s. She was doing not so great, so he decided she wasn't going to pass and asked her to take the next right so they could turn around in a parking lot.
The next right was after a large and busy rail yard with several train track crossings. The woman reached the first crossing, stopped, looked both ways, then proceeded to turn right onto the rail road tracks.
He immediately slammed the emergency brake and yelled at her to get out. He jumped into the drivers seat and reversed as quick as he could as a train began approaching and got them off the tracks.
They got back to the DMV and the lady asked him with a bright smile, "Did I pass?"
Snooze Button[rebelmouse-image 18356364 is_animated_gif=
I fell asleep during driving lessons. I hit the curb and woke up and the instructor just thought I had a problem keeping the car straight. I was so tired because I was doing a program in school that required me to be at my work placement by like 5:30am and it was after school at this point.
Objects In Mirror[rebelmouse-image 18356365 is_animated_gif=
Currently a driving instructor at a DMV in Hartford, CT. During license tests I've experienced collisions with other vehicles, collisions with stationary objects, vehicles not starting due to mechanical failure, and keys locked inside of the vehicle. Luckily nothing catastrophic or life-threatening yet, though there's still plenty of time for that before retirement.
My favorite story was a license test with a 16-year-old girl who was very confident for the majority of her test. We pulled into a side street and I asked her to perform a three-point turn. Halfway through the maneuver, she froze and her face went pale as a ghost. She muttered "Uhhh..." a few times as she stared at her rearview mirror. I turned around to see for myself what was bothering her. It was a homeless person exposing himself in broad daylight.
Hands On[rebelmouse-image 18356367 is_animated_gif=
As a 15-year-old female, I was doing my practice driving with my male mid-50's instructor. Understand that I learned on (and was more comfortable driving) a stick shift, but we were in the driving school's car, which was an automatic. We were driving along, having a nice conversation, when I signaled to make a right turn, and attempted to downshift only to grab my instructor's thigh... I was MORTALLY embarrassed! I was completely innocent at that time, I'd only ever been kissed, so this was extra embarrassing for me. He jumped, I let out a startled screech, and I had to pull over because I got the nervous giggles!
Hazardous Duty[rebelmouse-image 18356369 is_animated_gif=
My dad's friend managed to run over his examiner during his test.
Back In the 60s my dad's friend was on his exam for his motorbike license. The instructor told him to drive up and down the street and he (the instructor) would step out in front of the bike so my dad's friend could perform an emergency stop.
He didn't stop in time.
Nap Time[rebelmouse-image 18356370 is_animated_gif=
My examiner fell asleep. I was supposed to merge onto the freeway, go down a couple exits, and then exit. Well 22 miles later, I was afraid to wake him up. I tried coughing loud, clearing my throat, nothing.
He just woke up and said "that's good son, let's exit here and turn around on the service road." So I did, and we drove back to the office, not saying a damn word.
Blue Lights in the Rear View[rebelmouse-image 18356371 is_animated_gif=
Not an instructor, but I got pulled over (by the police) on my driving test. The examiner said that was a first.
I was approaching a "4-way stop" and stopped before a cop car that was approaching on the right. Since I stopped first I proceeded, very confidently, forward. Except it wasn't a 4-way stop- there was no stop sign on their side. The cop almost hit me and then, of course, turned around and pulled me over. When he realized I was on my driving test he was kinda speechless, and you could tell he felt bad for me. This was like right after we made it out of the parking lot of the DMV too.
In case you were wondering, that is an automatic failure!
Merge Left[rebelmouse-image 18356373 is_animated_gif=
When I took my driving test, they did them two at a time. I had finished my test, and I was sitting in the back seat while this girl was doing her test.
We were in the right lane on a busy two-lane street approaching an intersection, and instructor told her, "Turn here." For some reason instead of turning right, she turned left through three lanes of traffic, causing people to slam on their brakes.
Then the instructor just says, "Oh, I meant for you to turn right" completely ignoring the fact that she just cut off three lanes of traffic with an illegal left turn. She passed.
As the years go by, it's harder to imagine what life was like before the invention of the things we take for granted today. Things like cell phones that boast professional camera functions, ordering food online, and of course, social media.
Ask any 18-year-old what the world was like before social media came along, and they won't be able to answer. I barely remember that world!
Some people are worried about the way social media has overtaken the lives of children and wonder if we should place age restrictions on social media. Currently, most social media sites stipulate that users must be at least 13 years of age to register for an account.
Wondering if we should Redditor aussieredditooor asked:
"Would the world be a better place if we put a minimum age of 18 on social media, why/why not?"
The responses were quite mixed. Some people definitely thought the idea of placing an age restriction on social media was a winner.
"Facebook should go back to being just for college students. Once they opened up to everyone the world collectively became more dumb than it already was. There's that tweet that talks about parents warning children about the dangers of the internet, only to be the ones who should have taken heed of those words."
"Yes I’ve been suggesting this for a while. Social media is damaging for children. They should have a right to be kids and not worry about sh*tty insta posts. They also deserve to have some solitude after school and not be bullied through social media at home."
"There’s more than just one problem and some of them absolutely involve kids. Cyberbullying, for example, is absolutely a kids problem just as much as an adult problem."
"It's ridiculously hard enough for adults to navigate the complexities of online communication, let alone children, adolescents, and teens... Whose BRAINS are still developing."
"Studies have shown for years that a rise in online communication is detrimental to interpersonal skills."
"Yes 10 year olds don't need to see all the garbage people be posting. Kids don't need to know all the drama and hate. They need to learn to be nice and respectful before coming to social media. Social media made me see thing that I will never forget."
Others think the age restriction should go the other way. Instead of having a minimum age requirement, social media sites should institute a maximum age requirement.
"I think a maximum age would have a better effect honestly"
"Kids aren't the problem, they just laugh at memes and make dumb jokes the same as the rest of us."
"Put a maximum age like 65. Kick all the senior citizens off. They're the ones who promote violence, hate, etc."
"It would be a better place if we put a maximum age of 40 on social media."
"Only if we do a maximum age limit too. Both extremes of the age spectrum seem to make it a habit of posting the first vile thing that comes to their mind without a second thought as to whether it is factual or will cause hurt to others."
Some people think social media should be done away with altogether.
"Getting rid of social media will make the world a better place."
– Deleted User
"Just get rid of social media all together and things would be a lot better in this world"
"No. I think we should get rid of social media entirely, at least in its current forms. We need to get rid of all kinds of internet points, infinite scrolling, suggested content algorithms, targeted ads, and everything else that makes social media as addictive and divisive as it is. We need international laws about misinformation, hate speech, and encouraging violence, and if we can't make that happen then we should segregate it by country to lessen the chances of the real world being influenced by foreign trolls and the kind of memey BS that got Trump elected."
"We're better off interacting with the people in our local communities, and trying to change things in real life instead of complaining about them online and drawing validation from echo chambers on the internet. We can't live in a fantasy world forever, and we'll only dig ourselves into deeper holes if we try."
Most people agree that implementing an age restriction won't stop kids from using social media.
"Is that going to stop teens from going on their adults account? Not really. So it won’t help"
"People won't magically understand how to use the internet safely once they become of age. Blocking children won't work. We need to be educating children on how to engage with the internet safely, how to set boundaries and how to follow them."
"I signed up for MySpace at 11 or 12 when I think you had to be 13, most of my friends did the same. Same with Facebook when it had age limits back in the day. Hard to actually verify unless you have to put in your social security number or whatever equivalent other countries use for background checks which is a kinda dangerous slope."
"I mean, adult-only sites say "You can only view this content if youre 18+", do kids just be like "Oh ok I'll come back when Im 18"?"
However, it seems most people think an age restriction is a bad idea.
"I have only been over 18 for less than a year, so I’ll have to say no. I think that sheltering is one of the worst ways to teach safety. Also, I have learned about so many topics that I never would have without the internet."
A World Of Knowledge
"Blocking kids from social media would negatively impact minorities, disproportionately to non minorities. Many queer youth rely on the internet for support and advice to navigate the world safely."
"As I used internet as a form of escapism as well, and it also helped me learn about my bisexuality and my ADHD."
"I definitely found a lot of good help from online subgroups when I was younger. It’s tough bc there definitely is a lot of bad out there and it’s important we teach good Internet guidelines as a precautionary to avoid issues. I know my family was quite spoken on how I shouldn’t ever share any private info"
And that's the answer. Social media in and of itself isn't evil. In fact, sometimes, it's necessary. Between helping kids deal with their loneliness and depression, passing along important and truthful information, and just allowing ease of communication and teamwork, social media is a very good thing.
While the public's concerns are valid, getting rid of social media, or restricting who can and can't use it isn't the answer. Educating people on internet safety and what counts as helpful on social media, and what only causes harm, is the way to go.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
It's all our deepest fear to fall flat on our faces when there's a bunch of people around. No one wants to look the fool, and no one wants to look the fool especially when it happens before a group of people you're going to see every day for the forseeable future.
Embarrassing moments can come out of nowhere, but how you handle yourself in the aftermath is what matters. Laugh it off, shake it off, go with the chuckles, and let the people know you can't be hurt by it.
Well, unless you're any of the people in the stories below. Then I'd consider getting a new address and name.
Reddit user, Konke420xd, wanted to know when the shame was too much to handle when they asked:
"What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever witnessed?"
School seems like a good place to slip up and make a fool of yourself. Surely, everyone will treat it with care and kindness right?
"Oral," Not "Oral"
"I was a sophomore in HS (so around 16) taking the last leg of my county's sex ed class. It was a co-ed day, so our full gym class of about 30 kids was in the room. Topic was STD's. The teacher mentioned oral sex a few times and I guess which diseases can be spread through it. One guy who was always pretty quiet and shy raised his hand and said "I just don't really understand how you can get an STD from talking about sex..."
"It took everyone, including the teacher, a few seconds to understand, but some quiet laughter came from a few students. the teacher then of course had to explain as simply as she could that oral sex did not in fact mean talking about sex (I think the stupid bylaws of the program in our county didn't allow her to fully disclose what it was)."
"Anyway, we thought he was joking but as he heard the laughter from everyone after getting this explained to him, he slowly put his head down and covered his face for the next few minutes. Poor guy. I felt bad, but it was hard not to laugh. At least no one directly gave him sh-t for it afterward"
Keep Your Preferences At Home
"Community college in Tampa, 2009. Spanish class. Shy goth girl walks to the front of the class and plugs in her USB drive to boot up her PPT and begin her presentation like the rest of us did. Except when she pluged it in, a file opened up and the most vile anime porn started playing. Everyone was mortified for her. It took her maybe 3-4 seconds to turn it off but the moment felt like forever. She said, "THIS IS MY BOYFRIEND'S DRIVE!" and ran out of the room crying. The teacher just moved on. The girl didn't show her face for a week. Just an absolutely insane moment."
Triumph, Glory, Embarrassment
"At a pep rally to celebrate a sporting victory, a student insisted that he carry the school flag and run laps around the team. He tripped and fell onto the newly displayed trophy, immediately breaking it. This was on the front page of Reddit for a bit and I’m glad I witnessed it as my school’s claim to fame."
When You Want To Stand Up To A Bully But Fail
"There was this kid in my high school that was taking karate classes. He decided he wanted to fight a kid that was bullying him after school in the town park. A sh-t ton of people went. He got all pumped up before the fight. Instantly, once the fight started, he began doing karate moves at the air. Once he reached the bully, the first thing he decided to do was a very flashy "spinning backhand"(?). He missed by a mile and was knocked out immediately. I felt really bad for him. He was always known for not being able to read situations very well and that, being his first normal fight, was just the absolute worst time to try that move out. Bullies suck. It was embarrassing for both of them."
Public places seem like the perfect spot to get into all sorts of chicanery. After all, nobody is going to judge you for it on the internet.
Except, of course, that's exactly what we'll do.
To Be Fair, He Made The Right Call About His Idiocy
"Alright, so my husband and I were driving around the city and it was pouring outside. Absolutely pouring. We were about to pass the lightrail train tracks (going in both directions) when the crossing gates came down because the lightrail was approaching."
"One idiot in a van decided he could make it across before the gates came all the way down. He kept on driving, but he did not make it. Instead, his vehicle was now trapped between the gates."
"We could see from our car that this person was PANICKING. His life was flashing before his eyes. In his movie mind, the lightrail was about to crash into the van and drag it for dozens of yards before finally stopping... so he did what anyone would do. He violently pushed the door open and RAN in the pouring rain for his life."
"He was halfway down the street before he stopped, turned around, and noticed that the lightrail was patiently waiting for him to move the vehicle. The door was still open. My husband and I just about pissed ourselves laughing."
Keep Your Passions At Home
"I was watching a symphony orchestra concert at the Sydney Opera House one evening. The concert hall foyer has these huge glass windows beneath the sails that overlook the harbourside. The sun hadn't quite set yet, and every audience member that was exiting the hall could see this incredibly drunk middle aged couple having sex on a bench outside the hall."
When It's Not Just A Towel
"Was in a pool at a Euro beach resort. We’d been chatting with an old brit tourist, he got out of the pool and went to get changed poolside, using his towel to do the discrete swimming tog shuffle."
"Suddenly up steps an angry Frenchmam wanting HIS towel back..."
"Turns out our poor retired gent had grabbed the wrong towel. There ensued a desperate tug-of-towel as a very stroppy Frenchman attempted to rip his towel from this poor old guy who was butt naked and frantically trying to save his modesty."
"The old guy’s grandson saved the day, with an emergency towel transfer, but not before the whole pool complex had seen way too much hairy old British grandpa scrote."
We're Not As Cool As We Think
"I was at a food court and I got the brilliant idea to jump over a row of those plastic chairs and tables.. You know, the ones that are fixed to the floor."
"Foot got caught and I fell flat on my face. I stood up to 30 people clapping. One guy yelled asking for my autograph."
Perhaps the lesson best learned from these following stories is to make sure you use the bathroom before you leave the house.
Take It To The Dance Floor?
"I was on a high end cruise line at dinner. An older lady got up to go to the bathroom but missed and pooped herself in the dining room entrance. She left her panties there and continued on to the bathroom."
Maybe We Should All Only Poop At Home...
"I used to work in nightclubs. I once witnessed a girl leaning against a wall, casually flirting with a guy and as she laughed she actually sh-t herself. She was wearing a white dress and there was no hiding what had happened. The smell actually cleared the whole level of the club. She ran out crying. We had to clean poo off the floor where she had been standing. I often wonder what she is doing now..."
I think the lesson we can take from all of these is anything you would normally do in private that, in the moment, feels right to do in public, don't. Just, don't.
Have you ever seen something so embarrassing you felt bad from the person? Tell us about it in the comments.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again.
Not everyone is capable of mastering the art of conversation.
It takes skill to perpetuate a lively discussion while also being a respectful listener.
Some people are naturals at this.
Others, however, make up for their self-aware verbal shortcomings by overcompensating. Unfortunately, the ruse ends up exposing their insecurity, much to the delight of their amused audience.
Curious to hear examples of this, Redditor TheArchitect_7 asked:
"What’s a thing dumb people say that makes them think they sound smart?"
Some people just want reactions more than a back-and-forth interaction.
"'You wouldn't understand.' Yeah, that's why I asked you for an explanation."
"I sometimes use big words that I don't really understand to make myself sound more ambidextrous."
Looking At The Score
"The more someone emphasizes their IQ, the less smart I think they actually are."
"Everything happens for a reason, nothing is actually 'free' as someone has to pay for it, both parties are the same, you may have book smarts, but I have street smarts, common sense isn't so common anymore, but that's how we've always done it!"
"An addition to the previous: 'We will send 40 billion to Ukraine, but we won't spend 40 billion to secure our schools!'"
Things can get wacky when dealing with someone who is cantankerous.
"Something along the lines of 'You can’t prove it didn’t happen.'"
"A guy at work tried to pull this one on me. He believed one of those Animal Planet mockumentaries about a giant killer shark was real. When I told him it was all fiction and that there was no real proof of this kind of stuff, he tried to argue back about while he couldn’t prove it, I couldn’t disprove it either."
"There’s a saying about getting into an argument with a stupid person. This was my real world experience with it."
"Do you know who I am?"
The Equivalent Of Winning
"Thinking that getting a reaction out of someone is the same thing as winning an argument."
"My friend once used the phrase 'By its very definition' while we were arguing about something...so I asked him what the definition actually was, while he fumbled with that a bit I told him to stop using weasel words."
"'it all depends on how you look at it.' yeah thats f'king obvious."
We all love a good malaprop.
"For all intensive purposes"
It's Moot, Really
"Cracks me up every time."
Sometimes, editing yourself a bit in discourse with those who are intellectually out of your league is better than trying to keep up with them in an attempt to win their favor by articulating something you know nothing about.
I would explain better, but you wouldn't understand.
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
Positive memories stay with us forever that we can always revisit with a smile.
Witnessing a loved one receiving their diploma after years of dedicated studying, celebrating a sports victory with other teammates, or traveling to a dream destination with your significant other after months–even years–of careful planning.
But in addition to reveling in nostalgia, there are other life experiences we'd like to soon forget but have a difficult time shaking off.
Curious to hear about some of the more ominous events experienced by strangers online, Redditor IM_Not_A_Robot_10110 asked:
"What have you witnessed that will haunt you forever?"
What happens inside hospitals are full of trauma and heartache, even medical professionals have a hard time processing what they encounter.
The Pediatric Patient
"X-ray tech here, but I was a student at the time. Called to ER for trauma code. Only know it's a pediatric patient. The terror as I walk around the corner and see it's a little boy, same size as my son. We go to take an x-ray and he's making this high pitched shrill wheezing noise. They couldn't intubate enroute so we were doing a chest/neck to see what was going on. His neck was full of air."
"Come to find out the story later, he had tripped and fallen in school and his neck went square on a desk and he had broken his trachea. Believe he was stabilized & flown out. Never found out what happened after."
Calling Time Of Death
"ER nurse. This won’t haunt me in a bad way, but it’ll stick with me for sure. We were coding a middle aged lady we knew was going to die. We were pulling out the last ditch stuff hoping we’d get lucky, but everyone knew which way it was going."
"Family was there and in the room. When it was clear we had run through all the Hail Marys and it was time to call it, the husband spoke up for the first time. He had apparently been an EMT for a long time so he knew what he was looking at. He said he was going to do the final round of compressions."
"It was very respectfully done. He got up to do his 2 minutes, the nurses quietly started turning things off so there wouldn’t be continuous alarms, we called for a pulse check which the husband did, then we called time of death. He was thankful we let him do that and I was thankful to be a part of it."
"Not me, but my roommates fiancé is a flight nurse. She told me this story around Easter."
"They showed up to a scene being told beforehand that there was a patient with a gun shot wound and bleeding bad but that’s all they were told. When they got there they found a woman who was sitting on the ambulance gurney completely lucid and looking around, completely missing her lower jaw. She said you could see down her throat and she looked like a zombie. Her lower jaw was hanging to the side by some tissue and when she looked about it swung around and dangled. She said the woman seemed relatively calm and when she tried to speak what was left of her tongue kinda moved but nothing but gurgles came out."
"It was not a suicide, her boyfriend accidentally discharged his firearm while they were in his car."
AIDS Epidemic Era
"Retired RN. I was working in the PACU and helped another nurse take her patient to his room. As I was adjusting something by his head, he grabbed my hand and started crying. He kept saying I don’t want to die. He was barely 20. In an isolation room. I looked into his eyes and tried to comfort him as he sobbed. This was in the early days of the 'AIDS epidemic.' He died within a week. To this day I still see his eyes and hear him sobbing."
Traffic accidents can be some of the most gruesome scenes no one should ever have to witness.
"I live next to a busy street, inbetween lanes is a tram station. Teenager wanted to cross and got run over by a tram. Well, partly run over, he ended up with his body squeezed in between the tram and the tram station wall, with his legs stuck under the tram. It took about 1,5 hours until they had the equipment to lift the tram to get him out of there. They managed to reanimate what was left of him but he died in the hospital."
"It was Easter Sunday about 5 in the afternoon. I was driving home from the lake with a friend of mine on a country highway that’s pretty well traveled. It’s one of those single lane coming and single lane going where the speed limit is 70 roads. The intersections are far and few between so instead of an overpass it’s just a blinking yellow caution light. In what literally felt like the blink of an eye the car driving in front of me is struck on the drivers side door."
"The impact pushes both cars off to the road and onto the shoulder. I hit my brakes and was able to stop to help render aid. My friend and I get out of the car and run over to help. The drivers side door is crushed inward, driver has been pushed into the passenger side. It was a younger lady, maybe mid 30s. The impact pushed her out of her seat and into her daughter."
"You ever see movies where a dead body jump scares someone and it just stares at the with wide eyes and mouth agape….. yeah. The girl is ok but very confused. She has no visible injuries and is freely looking around so we unbuckled her and pulled her out of the car so she didn’t realize her mom was laying on her. As we do it I look at the mom and I can see a little life is left in her, so I said the only thing we could say. 'She’s alright.'”
"You could see the light in her eyes fade and she passes away. More cars stop and help out. As more people are here to help I start to realize that someone has been screaming, at me. In the back seat is her son. He must have been knocked unconscious and he’s now yelling, not out in pain but asking 'Is mom okay, is she okay?' I had no words for him, he was maybe 6. His sister was about 9. Thankfully about 4 of the cars that stopped were off duty first responders so they quickly took over for me. This was about 20 years ago, I was 17 at the time and I just saw a mom die in front of her 2 kids. I’m crying now thinking back on it and to this day I still refuse to ever take that road again."
"They finally build an actual stop light a couple years back. The area isn’t more crowded so I can only imagine what the motivation to improve that intersection was."
"I was designated driver at my friend's 30th birthday party. Had just dropped off my last friend and I was heading home. Little blue car zipped by me going maybe 10 over. Maybe a block ahead of me I see the speeding car hit two 20 yr olds who were running across the street. They were running to McDonald's across from the nightclub they were partying at and didn't wait for a red light. I'll never forget the girls blond hair in the bright headlights as she got hit. One thing that isn't ever correct in tv shows when people get hit by cars is how much damage it does to a human body. I distinctly remember his legs laying like 2m from his body. Both died right when paramedics got there."
"Getting hit by a car really is ugly. My girlfriend accidentally stepped on the street while we were having a minor disagreement and bam she was gone in a moment. I have ptsd, I can still see all the blood, her trying to breathe and the moment she gave up."
You never know when a friend or acquaintance is going through an extremely rough time–even though they present themselves differently in public.
All we could ever be as fellow humans is to always be compassionate.
"I found my roommates body in our apartment when I was in college. He had suffocated himself with a helium tank and a plastic bag over his head. That fucked me up pretty good, especially because I knew he was struggling with his mental health. He was cutting himself too, he tried to hide it but I noticed. And I didn’t say a word, i didn’t offer a helping hand. I could have done something to help him, but I didn’t. That guilt is still there, 10 years down the line."
What The Taxi Driver Witnessed
"I was driving Taxi once and I picked up someone who said he thinks he just saw a dead body. Said someone had jumped from the top of the parking garage. There was already an ambulance and what not on the scene. I remember briefly thinking of my friend Willzo, but dismissed it, I didn’t even think he was depressed like that. I found it odd that I would even consider such a thing out of nowhere. But I dismissed the thought and went about my work night. Couple days later I got a call from a mutual friend. 'Hey buddy, did you hear about Will? He jumped off the parking garage a few days ago.'”
These Redditors' stories are a lot to take in.
However, they are good reminders about the brevity of life and how we should always strive towards being the best versions of ourselves while we're still alive.
Because you never know when you or someone close to you will have their last breath.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.