A Drivers Education movie from the 1940s


#1

…appears to indicate that drivers were just as bad, 70 years ago, as they are today.
Enjoy this little time capsule!


#2

This needs the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment so badly…

Cool post!

BTW, it’s fun to tally up how many times the camera car drives badly. Crossing the double yellow, following the car passing on a curve by getting into the oncoming lane itself, etc.


#3

I’m sure most of those segments were staged.
So the chase vehicle wasn’t doing those things on an open public road.


#4

I’d pretty much guarantee they were. But they wanted the audience to think the segments were not staged – “We saw people doing the dumb things we’re showing you on the screen right now” means they want you to think this was just a roving camera that caught people doing dumb things on open roads.


#5

So it is culture after all, not education, design, or traffic laws.


#6

I see a driver like that 2 or 3 times a week. Nothing has changed.


#7

^
Yup!
The only thing that has changed is that we can now add “smart phones” into the equation.
However, it is obvious that bad, reckless, and oblivious drivers have always been with us.


#8

Imagine the occupants of those cars back in the day when two of them met head-on at a combined speed of say 60 MPH.

I would imagine there were some pretty gruesome scenes to be cleaned up.


#9

^
Yup!
With no restraint devices, no padded surfaces, and no crumple zones, it couldn’t have been pretty.

Damn those government bureaucrats for mandating features that save lives and help to prevent maiming!


#10

Since all the incidents are the same car, and since monitoring cameras weren’t commonplace… or even available… in that era, these were all clearly staged. But they’re fun to watch anyway. And they do remind me of drivers I’ve seen. :smile:


#11

Yeah saw a couple of those. When we were kids there were a couple bad curves about a mile away. When we’d see the commotion we’d hop on our bikes and go investigate. One was a MB down in the ravine. It didn’t look that bad but the guy never made it. Another one in a 51 Chevy didn’t look like he even tried to make the curve and splattered himself against the dash and windshield. The cemetery was only about 100 yards away though.


#12

There was a nasty wreck right in front of me yesterday evening on the way home. A 4 lane road with me stopped in the inside lane to make a left and an elderly woman in the opposing inside lane stopped to allow me to make that turn. I balked because of oncoming traffic in the opposite outside lane.

Two young (20 maybe) ladies in a Kia Sorento pulled out from my left and stopped between me and the elderly woman while straddling the center line. I was thinking WTH are you doing? Both girls were laughing it up and the driver had a cell in her hand but was not talking on it.
A second later she pulls on out to finish a left turn. Both my window and hers were down with a 20 foot separation.
I started screaming out the window NO, NO, NO but it was too late. An oncoming Dodge Ram broadsided them in the passenger door on the third NO. I clearly saw the lady in the Kia and the lady in the Dodge slam forward and then get slammed by the bags going off. The Dodge driver was slumped over not moving and the Kia rambled another 100 feet down the road before stopping against a curb.

I pulled around the corner and jumped out to see if I could help but a cop was already there. He was on a side street and saw the whole thing. He also said his dash cam caught every bit of it plainly.

The lady in the Dodge is going to be ok. The condition of the two in the Kia are unknown because by this time the fire dept. arrived and everyone got out of the way.

On this forum a number of times questions and comments about whether or not transmissions can be damaged by collision comes up. In this case there was a trail of trans fluid from the intersection clean up to where the Kia stopped rolling.
The right front halfshaft was in the middle of the intersection with a carrrier bearing and small hunk of the trans case still attached to it so the answer to that question would be yes.
I booted the shaft up against the curb to keep other motorists from hitting it and headed on home.


#13

I understand the reference to “culture” in driving habits. I’m sure Italian, French, German and British drivers all get good training.

When driving in Europe I find German and Brits are the best drivers, mostly since they obey the rules, and have good skills. In other words, their behavior is predictable and inspires confidence on the road. Driving in Italy will age the average American instantly.

And I don’t even want to drive in Mexico.

So, the culture, whether it is paying taxes on time, keeping public washrooms clean, forming proper lineups for tickets, obeying parking regulations and driving all reflect the respect or disrespect for rules.

Italian drivers have unique skills in stopping at the last possible moment!!


#14

I didn’t see a,single car in the movie that was newer than a 1939. I think most of the cars were from the md 1930s. It was fun to see Lowell Thomas. I remember listening to him give the news on CBS radio. His news broadcast was sponsored by Pontiac and later by Ivory soap.


#15

I remember our tour group was visiting the Radio Free Europe building in Prague and we needed to cross a busy street to get there. We were emphatically warned by our leader that the drivers here do not stop for pedestrians, at all, period. Cars. buses. cycles, mind your behind while crossing the street.

Yeah I really liked seeing those old cars too. My grandfather had one of those old Pontiacs.


#16

36,000 casualties the previous year!


#17

@RandomTroll Considering that figure was 52,000 in the mid fifties with only 1/16 the number of miles driven., we’ve made a lot of improvement.

However, this improvement is mostly due to better and safer car design and better roads. Driver skills and habits have not improved much!!