The roads are a battlefield. The truth is, any fool can obtain a license. I can prove this because I was given one after I failed my test eight times. I finally passed on my ninth swing. I don't even want to get into the decade that followed. Let's just say a local traffic judge knew me by name when we met at a local restaurant. Later I became a teacher for a comedy traffic school for people who got tickets.... the novel I could write. Buckle up out there people.
Redditor u/imnotinsane13 wanted driving instructors to help us out and let us know just how dangerous the road is today because the truth is... anybody can get a license.... they asked.... Driving Instructors of Reddit; who was the worst student you had or the craziest drive you had?
NOW you want a license?!driving ferris buellers day off GIFGiphy
My instructor told me about a little old lady (LOL for short) who some reason had decided that retirement would be a great time to her license.
So they're coming up to a roundabout and this being a RHT country you're supposed to go to the right. Instructor tells her to take the third exit, and comments that you can signal this by signaling left going through the roundabout. LOL. She misunderstands, signals left and goes freaking left!
Luckily nothing happened and the instructor understood that this particular student had a very low cognitive load threshold and would not be able to smalltalk.
He remembered her fondly and even helped her pick out her new car. As he said, that was the least he could do, it was the most anybody had ever spent on license training at that school... By something like a factor of 4.
Driving as a Weapon
Class A CDL instructor.
Not my drive, but another of our trucks was heading southbound. Student driving, instructor in passenger seat. We are located in mostly suburbs/inner city. Lots of traffic.
Student in the left lane while a car heading northbound swerved into their lane. They hit a Ford Focus head on. I arrived on scene before police (we were 5 minutes behind them) and found the guy in the focus still in his car.
I'll never forget how he looked. No injuries, just sad. And when I asked if he was okay he said "I wish I wasn't."
They took him to be evaluated by psychiatrists. The Student and instructor were both fine but the student ended up dropping from the program.
I'm Turning Boss
I'm a driving instructor but I teach people to drive semi's. The worst student I ever had already had four years of driving experience; with what's called a Rocky set, (45' trailer with a 28' trailer behind it.).
This person couldn't turn for crap, I still wonder how they never hit anyone. So, when I train it's two 28's, that's all they pull for two weeks. So, we take our second turn, a left onto a pretty wide street and they're turning like they're in a car. Like, not even into the intersection and they've already started to turn.
I tell them no, straighten out and go forward until I tell you to turn. They keep turning, I say no! Straighten out and go forward until you pass the double yellow lines! They keep turning and if they keep turning like this we're going to clip another car turning left. At this point I say No! Straight! Just go straight! Thankfully he does.
I tell them to pull over and they do. At this point, I turn to them and scream, "What the hell was that?!"
Give me the keys, I'm driving. I take them back to an intersection, make a right and tell them " That's how you turn, wide." Pull over at a gas station and switch back out. Same thing, crap turns.
I ask them what they're doing? "I'm turning boss!" I say, " No, go deeper, you're going to hit someone."
I took me 5 days just get them to turn. He's a good driver though, just needed some edges worked off.
What Did I Miss?Fear Bugs GIF by Digimate.ioGiphy
I'm a driving instructor, I had a low confidence 16 yo driver on the highway for the first time.
Got her in the middle lane doing 65 when she states... " I think I'm gonna fall asleep " As my mind is processing, WTF did she just say, I look over at her and her head goes clunk up against the drivers window and her eyes are closed and she looked passed out. Her hands are still on the wheel but she turned to the left. Now we are in the left lane heading toward the median.
Her foot went to the floor. I tried to get the car back onto the pavement and I had to switch hands because I needed to get her foot off the accelerator, and get the steering back under control. I got the car back onto the roadway, under control and headed for the breakdown lane on the right side.
With my heart thumping I got the car stopped. At this point, the drivers sits up alertly, laughs and says ha-ha. What did I miss??? She had narcolepsy and she nor her parents ever told anyone. I was obligated to notify DMV, and her permit was revoked, until she was certified by her doctor. Her parents were pissed, but you and I are alive because we got her off the road.
Former instructor here. I was also the office manager for the driver's ed. I mostly did office work but was certified to make extra cash on weekends and to fill in in an emergency. My personal worst was a very sweet, very timid girl who was terrified to go anywhere near the speed limit if it were anything over 30. On back roads in the country that was terrifying.
The worst one I can think of nearly caused an accident while on his driver's license test by just pulling out of the parking lot. That's obviously an automatic fail. So the kid and instructor come back and then the dad comes storming in pissed that his kid failed. He's screaming at me and the instructor while the poor kid is sitting there head in hands obviously mortified by his dad's behavior. I ended up threatening to call the police to finally get him to leave.
The absolute worst drive was after I left the company because I moved but it ended up in the news so I found out. A kid and an instructor were on a drive, great kid by all accounts. Another driver, a dude in his truck was distracted on his phone and hit the driver's ed car. It wasn't a terrible accident but bc of health problems the instructor had he ended up dying later at the hospital. RIP, Paul.
When in Driver's Ed
Not an instructor, but when I was in driver's ed there's was a guy in his third year of the class, second semester. He was a senior, and this was a 1 semester class, so his 6th time. We would be on the driving course, he would go into a different student's zone, I was on the figure 8 and he joined me going the wrong direction (I almost hit a different kid trying to avoid him hitting me), crashed a car through the fence at the end of the course and into the ditch in the field by the course, ended up going the wrong way on the freeway at 70 (no idea how, there was a median barrier), and crashed a car into the auto shop at the school. No idea how he was allowed to take the class in the first place, because he was apparently this bad every time he took the class. Also not sure how he survived his 5 previous times in the class.
My Swan Drive
This is the opposite but I'll never have the chance to share this story otherwise.
I was doing my 2nd "behind the wheel" with a driving instructor. I was already really nervous before I got in the car and she said "You're my last student I'll ever have! They fired me."
After an awkward pause where she stared at me, she laughed and said "No, actually I'm moving to Chicago to work for a local news station."
I didn't find it nearly as funny as she did lol.
Just too MuchDriving The Goldbergs GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
Obligatory not a driving instructor but mine told me about all the worst drivers he's had.
He told me about a girl I went to school with (idk why he shared names) and how she refused to get close to the speed limit and he was worried she'd fail because she was too careful.
I asked if he's ever felt like he was in danger and he talked about a guy a long time ago that went way too fast and refused to slow down, blew a stop light, and eventually got pulled over by a cop during his driving lesson.
Small Town Tales
Not an instructor but when I was in driver's ed we had a girl that was terrifying. She was alway over the middle line and hit every pot hole. One especially exciting day she put us in a ditch the car had to be towed out of then on the next lesson side swiped a car in the on coming lane. All while the instructor told us about his second job as a security guard at a popular camping area where he caught my step dad screwing a family friend before he was my step dad.
I asked step father about it he laughed and admitted to it while telling me about said instructor getting caught with my best friend's aunt at the same place. Wild times. My uncle also fought the co-instructor when he was younger gotta love small towns.
Two Wheel Troublecrash fail GIFGiphy
Motorcycle instructor. I had one student blow a turn wobble around back onto the course.
I'm frantically blowing my whistle to "blow the exercise dead." Everyone is stopped but the wayward rider who then slow mo fixated on another student and ran into them. Didn't finish the class.
Not an instructor but this was while I was doing my driving test along with two other people in the car.
Driver one: almost rammed into a group of kids using the cross walk.
Driver two: she was driving and the teacher said to her "do you see anything wrong with what you're doing right now" she then said she didn't and she was DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD.
He then hit his brakes and said "you failed the test. Now get out!" looks and me and said "your up kid" it didn't help me by starting my drivers test while having two kids in the back crying. But I did pass my test though.
Deathangry he man GIFGiphy
Not an instructor, but someone I know had his instructor scream "we're gonna die!"
I knew an adult woman who said she had lost the right to have a drivers license. When she was sixteen she took the road test, failed it, and hit the instructor with the car after learning she failed. He got a broken leg and she was banned for life from driving.
My first time ever driving a car was with my driving instructor, and I got really confused between the brakes and the gas all the time, I'm sure he thought he was going to die that day. Anyways, the lesson is over and we pull back into the parking lot, and I know that I have to hit the brakes down all the way before putting it in park. But, I forgot which pedal was which and hit the gas all the way down when we were right in front of the building. Thank goodness he was already on edge with me, so he immediately hit the brakes on his side. He practically leaped out of the car lol.
"I have to potty!"
I was the student, and I doubt I was this dude's wildest lesson.
He spent the whole time ranting about his ex-wife and how he "had to" take low-paying jobs so that he would pay less in alimony and child support. Then we get to this park, he tells me to turn into it, and then to park the car. I'm a pretty new driver, so I am inching my way into a spot, trying to get it right even in the empty lot, but then he SLAMS on his instructor brake. He brings the car to a stop in the middle of four spots, blurts out, "I have to potty!" and bolts out of the car into the park's visitor center. I was absolutely flummoxed.
A Bumpdriving slow down GIF by Super SimpleGiphy
My drivers ed teacher when I was 15 told me I was "The only student in all his years of doing this that got stuck on a speed bump."
I was so scared I was going so slow I was not able to make it over the speed bump and got stuck right on the top of it. He was laughing in exasperation.
Not an instructor.
Girl I went to school with was banned from driving her sophomore year when the teacher noticed she was creeping up too fast and instead of hitting the break she hit the gas and drove onto a curb and into a yard and almost hit a house within 6 seconds.
They were excellent instructors too. Best testers I think I ever had.
Taught following distance, stopping distance, not to tailgate, and just tons of information that most people I know that took Drivers Ed didn't even know about.
Really cool people.
How she did that was unmistakably not due to the teachers.
Not a driver's ed instructor but my classmate crashed head on into a huge snowbank during a drive once, I was in the back, instructor in the front. We were in an empty parking lot, I have NO idea how she ended up hitting it but the car was totaled and we had to walk back.
Also the "classroom" was a double wide trailer in another empty parking lot with a 2x4 in the center of the room holding the sagging ceiling up, which my other classmate and friend decided to karate kick out one day.
Edit: Thankfully nothing terrible happened when he kicked the 2x4 out BUT the instructor used to put one of those terrible anti-drunk driving videos on and just go snooze in his office. The video would end and we would wait and wait. Someone would eventually go wake him up. It was kind of a shit show now that I think about it. I'm not a good driver.
Obligatory not an instructor, but my dad once dated a woman who flapped her jaws so much that she couldn't do anything else while talking. She couldn't even eat and talk.
So she gets hired at the local bus company, who would train new hires to get them their CDL if they didn't already have one. My dad also worked there and warned the instructor. "She's going to be too worried about talking to pay attention to what she's doing."
He called it. She talked all the way through training, wouldn't shut up to listen to instruction, would not focus on the training course, and was eventually let go after nearly crashing the training bus into the garage. The instructor told my dad the she was the worst student he'd ever had.
The WitnessHappy New Car GIF by HondaGiphy
Not a instructor, more a witness to two people who were.
Driver's ED in high school was held in a portable room that was located next to the little test track they made (just a closed off portion of student parking) the first incident was someone who confused gas and break and drove the car into a nearby lake, the second was someone who hit reverse and ended up slamming the car into the classroom.
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It must be super nerve-racking being a driving instructor and relinquishing control to some kid. These stories prove it, but one glaring question emerges: why do they students keep hitting cows?
OnTheList-YouTube asked driving instructors of Reddit: What's the most insane thing you've seen a student do?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.