Strange things/behavior you have seen on the road

I saw something last night that had me shaking my head in disbelief.

The weather has been very nice and dry allowing for open window commutes lately. Driving home from work on a 4 lane highway that passes lots of malls etc so there are plenty of stop lights. I catch the smell of what I know to be overheated brake pads. I’m not too far behind a dump truck so I assume it’s him. This goes on for about a mile. Finally, I roll up to a stop light an lo and behold, two cars ahead of me is a Jeep Cherokee with smoke billowing out from the left front. It’s getting worse by the moment and they must be on fire by now. People are gawking at this guy’s car, waving for him to check it out. He finally leans out the window and looks at the copius amounts of smoke. He’s several cars back from the light which changes to green.

I figure, great, this guy is going to have to fight several lanes of cars to get over to the right. Nope. He continues forward like nothing is wrong. Not only that, he is tailgating the car in front of him! 3 miles later, I’m still well back from him and he merges onto the expressway in front of me. Once on the expressway I took the opportunity to shoot past him and get well in front of this guy. Last I looked he was still going 5 miles later. What possesses some people to ignore such things? I mean, I can understand trying to limp home under certain situations but this guy’s brakes were roasting down and he wasn’t even slowing down or riding in the breakdown lane.

Seen anything that had you questioning if that person should really be allowed to drive on public roads??

I starting passing a guy with an old Ford vehicle on the interstate and noticed his wheels were all jumping up and down. I rolled down my passenger window and the noise was deafening. It sounded like a dozen basketballs being dribbled. The man was also having a very hard time controlling the vehicle.

He saw that I was looking at him and pulled over on the shoulder and I followed him. I asked him what was wrong with his car and he said that he had just bought it and had no idea what was happening. I looked under the car and determined that all the shocks had been removed from the vehicle. He said he was over 100 miles from home and needed to continue his trip. I convinced him that he needed to put shocks on the car because it was too dangerous to drive.

I followed him a few miles at a reduced speed to the next exit. We stopped at a Walmart and he bought 4 new shocks. I helped him install them right there in the parking lot because he had no tools. I followed him back to the interstate and the wheels had stopped bouncing. He called me back later in the evening and told me he made it home safely. I talked him into taking the car in to a mechanic to have it completely checked out. I really hope he did.

Not quite as alarming, but still perplexing, is the following practice that I see occasionally:

A car merges onto an interstate highway and IMMEDIATELY moves over 3 lanes in order to ride in the left lane. More often than not, this is done when there is very little traffic in the other lanes, but may involve cutting-off other drivers in order to carry out this bizarre manuever.

Almost always, once they are in the left lane, these doofuses then proceed to drive slower than the prevailing traffic speed.

I see stupid moves every singe day. If I didn;t watch for them I’d have gotten killed many, many years ago.

Occasionally I see a junk car that’s clearly unsafe, with bent rims, wobbling or hopping wheels, or even an obviously broken shackle/spring/whatever. I just give him/her plenty of room. Sometimes they have the whole family in them, including young kids, and it upsets me, but the people driving them don’t care.

The Merritt parkway in CT is a pretty road, two lanes coming and going with strips of green in the center. Lots of trees everywhere. No emergency lane.
It was designed in the 30s to be scenic highway, for speeds up to maybe 40 so you can imagine that, when an accident occurs, you’re parked for a while. It is part of living here. Just enjoy the view because that, along with you, will not be going anywhere for a bit.

Anyway, a couple of years ago, in a huge traffic jam with a couple of thousand of my other best friends, some guy tries to pass every one by off roading his car in the grass divider.
In some spots the strip narrows to where it isn’t wide enough to pass a bicycle so he’d merge back in to try it again another hundred yards later, where it would widen again. People would honk and yell but he apparently didn’t care about his car so you wouldn’t want to find out what he may do to yours, if you blocked him.
Well, he eventually got stuck in the muck, bottoming out his car and couldn’t get out.

I tell ya, there’s nothing that bonds perfect strangers together more than laughing at a clown like this. We all honked, laughed, yelled out - a great time to be had by all minus one. It ended up being a great day after all.

There’s been a number of things but one in particular always comes to mind.
While headed into town one morning not too long after daybreak I’m doing the posted 55 on the arrow straight county highway leading from my house. A few miles out I see headlights gaining on me and assumed it might be a state trooper so I watched my speed carefully.
As the vehicle gets close I see it’s a late model Dodge pickup and the RF wheel has something out from it. At first I thought it was the shadow from the sun and as he got closer thought it was the plastic inner fender coming loose. Nope, it was the RF wheel with about 7 degrees of camber and toed out badly.

This guy is doing about 65 and as he pulls out to pass me I rolled the window down. When he was beside me I could see that he had both hands on the wheel in a death grip trying to keep the truck on the road. He looks over and as he does I start furiously pointing down at his RF wheel.
He nods, gives me a thumb up, and keeps on motoring.

At that point I hit the brakes because I did not want to be anywhere near him when he rolled. I tucked in about a block behind him and kept cellphone in hand because I just knew an accident was about to happen.

A few miles later the entire RF suspension snapped off, wheel and all, and bounced through the ditch into a barbed wire fence where it then ricocheted back across the highway into fence on the opposite side of the road. The truck dug in and started skidding through the asphalt and then on into the weeds where there was a huge cloud of dust and debris.
By some miracle this truck did not roll. I slowed down and just drove by slowly with no intention of giving this fool a ride.

That truck sat there for several weeks before disappearing. My rough estimate was that he left a roughly 125 foot long gouge in the asphalt before even careening into the ditch.

What steamed me about this more than anything was that my daughter was on her way out to my house and passed by about 10 minutes later. If she had just happened to be meeting this guy when the airborne suspension and wheel went flying across the highway she would likely have caught it right in the windshield of her car.

Almost every day there are people that won’t let others merge onto the highway. They speed up as they approach an on ramp if they see someone getting ready to merge and cut them off. I also see people try to prevent others from changing lanes. It’s as if they own the road and everyone else has to stay out of their way.

Two recent ones come to mind:

A Volkswagen Passat with what was most likely a failing (almost completely failed) front wheel bearing. The guy was driving down the interstate at 80 in a 65 with the entire tire wobbling terribly all over the place. Not just a little bit - we’re talking 15-20 degrees out of plane. There is NO way he couldn’t feel that.

Then there’s the 2010+ Ford Fusion I saw recently with a guy behind the wheel weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, on his cellphone, speeding, AND USING A LAPTOP COMPUTER ON HIS DASH at the same time!


A cheap GPS system with a huge screen, if you own the laptop already. Hey, even us old geezers can see the routes on the laptop. :wink:

I love the people driving on flat tires, but seen too many police chases of people driving on rims to be surprised Before the internet I loved a readers digest article about accident reports, such as he did not know which way to turn so I hit him.

This happened to me on a wintry night on a trip to Montreal, Canada. I had a downtown hotel reservation and took a cab there from the airport. About 3 miles onto the expressway the front wheel comes off the cab and merrily rolls down the road. The Haitian driver seemed totally unperturbed, pulled the car, a rear drive Chevy Caprice, over to the shoulder, phones one of his buddies and a few minutes later I was on my way in the second cab.

The driver apologized in that wonderful lilting French they speak in Haiti.

While going to work one morning on my Harley (and a light rain starting to fall of course) I was doing the posted speed of 45 on a 4 lane while traveling on the inside lane. A gentleman pulls a Lincoln or Grand Marquis out and takes the outside lane in the same direction I’m going.

As I overtake him I look over and note that he has a cup of coffee in one hand, a doughnut in the other, and has the morning paper opened up on the steering wheel. He would glance up now and then, peer over the top of the paper, and near as I could tell was making steering corrections with his knees.
This was also approaching a rush hour heavy traffic area too.

That’s when I backed off and stayed half a block behind him.

I was driving a two lane between Chillicothe and Henry IL and I notice a bob tail semi coming the opposite direction. The truck is slowing down and slowly drifts onto the shoulder. WHERES THE DRIVER? I thought as I looked intlo the cab. Just then I saw him walk back into the cab from the sleeper, in no hurry, sat back down and brought it back into his lane and continue on as happy as a clam.

Vehicles that drive themselves aren’t going to be introduced as a novelty, but as a necessity

Re: People who drive on flat tires…

A few years ago, in the office parking lot, just before exiting my car, a woman pulled in next to me. It was impossible not to notice that her right front tire had lost almost all of its air. Certainly the driver should have noted very poor handling and unusual happenings when braking, but…just to make sure…I waited for the driver to exit the car, and then I beckoned her over to look at her tire.

I stated that she should call for assistance in changing/repairing the tire before she left the parking lot. She then asked me…Why do you think it’s flat? (Duh!)

I replied that there could be a nail in the tread, or it could have been cut by glass, or…since the sidewall of the tire had been jammed against curbs so often that the entire sidewall of the tire was a mass of gouges and scars, it was also possible that sidewall damage was the reason for air loss.

Her response was to SCREAM at me, saying something along the lines of…How dare you accuse me of jamming the tire into curbs! I then made the common-sense statement that it could have been anyone who had driven the car who had caused the very obvious damage to the tire’s sidewall. She then screamed at me again, informing me that she is the only person who ever drove the car, that she is a wonderful driver, and that she has never hit a curb with her tires.

Realizing at that point that I was dealing with a totally irrational person, I just turned on my heel and mumbled…Have a nice day.

Needless to say, this “wonderful” driver had not noticed that her car was handling and braking erraticly before I tried to help her. As to whether she drove out of the parking lot with the tire in the same condition, I have no idea, as her car was gone within a few hours. But…I think that there was a fair chance that she did continue to drive on that flat tire.

God help anyone else who tried to help her!

@VDCdriver–The woman probably thought that the tire would be o.k. since it was flat on the bottom and not on the top.

I was on I-65 and was drivng in a terrible downpour. I was hoping to get off at an exit. Traffic was moving about 35 mils per hour. I didn’t want to pull onto the break-down lane for fear of getting hit. Well, as I was trying my best to see, a motorcycle came along at 70 mph passing everything. The best I could see, the cyclist was not wearing a helmet.

Another time we were coming up I-75 between Lexington, KY and Cincinnati, Ohio. We were going a little over 70 mph and moving with traffic when a young woman in an old VW Beetle came flying around everyone. She had to be travelling about 85. The VW had a big muffler and tailpipe on the back, so it must have been hopped up. However, the body was in such bad shape that the fenders were literally flapping in the breeze. About 2 miles up the road, a state policeman had her pulled over. I made some comment about her getting a ticket. Mrs. Triedaq spoke up and said that if she could make that old heap go that fast she should be given a medal.

"Vehicles that drive themselves aren't going to be introduced as a novelty, but as a necessity"

I don’t think they could do much worse than the some of the drivers we have out there.

Regarding the low tire pressure incident mentioned by VDCdriver, I had a similar one a few years back. While stopping at a grocery store on the way home one evening I parked as per the usual way out on the edge of the lot. There was a very late model SUV a space or two over and as I got out I noted that the sidewalls on both passenger side tires were being scrubbed off due to very apparent severe underinflation. A look at the other side showed the same, just not as severe.

When I came back out there was a lady loading groceries in the back end and trying to be a Good Samaritan I politely offered the advice that she needed to check the tire pressure due to the sidewall scrubbing and the inherent danger.

All I got was an icy, “I just checked the tire pressure and it’s fine. I know how to take care of my car, thank you very much”.
All of the PTA and My child is an honor student stickers on the back window made me cringe at the thought of this lady barrelling down the highway at speed with children in the back.
Killing herself with stupidity is one thing but endangering others is a different matter altogether.

I’m getting older and poorer so driving miles are way down. Do a lot of walking though and what’s most cringe worthy these days are the number of brakes I hear that are just metal on metal. Pity the driver in front who has to make a panic stop and ends up with this guy in the back seat or any other number of scenarios too unpleasant to think about. On driving incidents, about ten years ago we were heading south from Lubbock to Corpus Christi during monsoon season. I’m pulling a 32 foot trailer doing about 45 because it’s raining so hard I can barely see with the wipers on high. There’s probably half an inch of rain on the highway and some guy goes by me in the passing lane doing about seventy. Suddenly he’s hydroplaning right into the ditch doing I don’t know how many 360s, great clumps of mud and grass flying everywhere. Lucky for us and anyone in opposing traffic he stayed there…

“There’s probably half an inch of rain on the highway and some guy goes by me in the passing lane doing about seventy. Suddenly he’s hydroplaning right into the ditch doing I don’t know how many 360s, great clumps of mud and grass flying everywhere.”

Let me guess: he had 4WD.