"Where'd you learn how to steer? You do eighty in second gear When you drive, I can't relax Got your license from Cracker Jacks You just hit another tree These fender benders are killin' me She drives like crazy Like no one else She drives like crazy And I'm afraid for myself"
After her first ride with Yukari, Chiyo-chan takes measures to avoid becoming Yukari's passenger again, including placing herself in Nyamo's car the very instant she found out that Yukari was the other driver during the third-year trip. In the manga, it's implied that the ride scared the poor girl off riding in vehicles altogether. Tomo even uses this to make her bluescreen at one point when, during a particularly bad thunderstorm, she asks Chiyo if she thinks lightning or cars are worse.
Kaorin also seems to be scared of Yukari's driving the one time she actually rides with Yukari. Not to mention that before then, unlike Tomo, she seemed to be concerned about Chiyo's fear of Yukari's driving, too.
Hyoma Aoi from Combattler V. He is not a lousy driver but a Badass Biker, but he likes a bit too much having fun as he drives. In his first appearance he caused a traffic accident because he broke the limit speed and several patrol cars were trying to catch him. All of his chasers crashed into each other, but of course, he avoided to crash.
Yui in Lucky Star... despite working as a traffic cop! (She was obeying the speed limit, despite the stunts she pulled!) Considering the entire first time we see her drive is an Initial DShout Out, that is saying something. It's also worth noting that despite driving like a maniac, she proves herself to be extremely skilled in driving, pulling off some truly amazing stunts.
Koji Kabuto from Mazinger Z. He is a not a bad driver. Oh, no. In fact, when he drives he is the only person on the road is absolutely safe. He is a Badass Biker who believes traffic regulations are mere suggestions, limit speed is a myth and bikes were made to pull crazy stunts with them.
She also did it at the start of Rebuild 2.0 when the ice-Angel (more like a water skimmer) attacked (drifting at high-speed on the overpass). To a lesser extent, Mari also fits this trope while using Unit 05 (remember, it has wheels instead of legs).
Haruko from FLCL has caused more than her share of accidents — on a motor scooter, no less. In one episode, she pulls out in front of traffic which causes the entire lane of cars behind her to spontaneously begin flipping end over end◊ (presumably from slamming on the brakes so hard).
Her Vespa is also her means of FTL Travel, so obviously she can go at supersonic speed on it through the town. No problem!
Rally in Gunsmith Cats. She's not incompetent, indeed far from it, she's just... enthusiastic. As in does-180-degree-skid-into-parking-space-on-other-side-of-the-road-level enthusiastic.
Rally: <innocently as she leaves perfectly parked car> "What's wrong?"
May: <staggering out of the passanger seat> "C-carsick...."
Seta in Love Hina. Never merely parks, instead emerges bloody, battered, and totally oblivious from the twisted wreckage of his van.
In the manga, when Keitaro returns from his time overseas, he's learned to drive — from Seta. Predictably enough he takes after his master, right down to parking his van on its roof. The very first place he crashes, unsurprisingly, is smack dab in the middle of the girls' hot spring interrupting the girls' climactic confrontation with Kanako. Their driving styles are so identical that they just assume it's Seta till he steps out of the car.
Haruko from Air terrorizes the neighborhood on her motorbike.
Rosette from Chrono Crusade. One of the first things she does after we're introduced to her is completely total her car. In the anime she destroys several.
Taeko from Ai Yori Aoshi is praised as a good driver, by the proprietor of an arcade. Tina, Kaoru, and Chika are just relieved to be alive.
Bunta, Takumi's father from Initial D. Especially when he calmly pulls out and lights a cigarette in the middle of a drift. When that happens, Takumi's boss looks horrified.
Subverted by Hiyori in Sketchbook, who intends to demonstrate some wild driving to her students, but forgets to disengage the handbrake, resulting in travel down main roads at approximately ten miles an hour at best. She doesn't even realise why they were going so slowly until the group are on the way back.
Goku from Dragon Ball Z. Just watch the episode where he and Piccolo try to learn how to drive.
For that matter, Piccolo's driving instructor. She not only manages to scare Piccolo, who wonders aloud if she even knows what she's doing, but encourages him to race against Goku over bad terrain.
Chi-Chi , if episode 8 and this ending to GT will prove. And she's the one who told Goku to get a license.
Nurse Youko from Mai-HiME. Hearing one single, high-pitched, utterly terrified scream from Midori as Youko drives away should clue you in.
In Axis Powers Hetalia, North Italy terrified Japan once when giving him a car ride. Hence, why Japanese cars are so safety-oriented now.
Exemplified with Straight Cougar of S-CRY-ed. Not only does he drive like a maniac, his "special ability" is to essentially transform the car into the most over-the-top dragster in the world. His crazy driving is more the result of him always pushing his driving abilities to as far as they go than him being a bad driver. He's actually a very talented driver. Nonetheless this often leaves Minori Mimori sick to her stomach, if not puking.
In the 2001 novel, Maiza of all people is accused of this by his passengers. Bear in mind that said passengers are immortal, and are therefore not likely to be all that upset about run-of-the-mill crazy driving.
Mihoshi from the No Need for Tenchi! manga tried to learn how to drive. It did not go well. Then she got in a Chase Scene, and all was forgiven, somehow.
Satou Miwako in Detective Conan. An entire case focuses on her insane driving skills, and Movie 11 opens up with her at the wheel in a high-speed car chase that has Takagi clutching the "Oh Shit" handle for dear life.
Aldo Yukiko Kudo, Shinichi's mother, serfing her car through the big apple in The Golden Apple part one.
Professor Birch Everyone who can get their hands on a vehicle in the Pokémon anime.
Pretty much every named character in the manga version of AKIRA. Then again, aside from intentionally reckless motorcycle hoodlum Kaneda, we mostly see them trying to control military vehicles they weren't trained for. Special mention goes to Kaneda, Kei and Chiyoko for pulling off an honest-to-goodness tank rampage.
Tomoe from Sasameki Koto. We don't actually see her driving, but afterwards the car looks like it's been in a warzone. And then it explodes.
Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu has a female cop who decides to chase Sousuke and Kaname (who are riding on a bicycle) down in her police car. Her car literally flies off edges of the street, rams into barriers and signs, and she is laughing maniacally as her partner is panicking.
This scene is just a one long Shout Out to the Natsumi Tsujimoto being Late for Work in the first You're Under Arrest! OVA. Doubly ironic due to the fact that there it was only Natsumi who drove that way, but here it is for BOTH parties.
In every instance of Sousuke driving, he's been shown to blatantly ignore rules or almost get into accidents. Most of his driving skills seem to be designed for dangerous car chase missions. Hell, even riding a bicycle is crazy when it involves him.
Of course, most of the times we have seen him drive really were dangerous situations.
Eudial from Sailor Moon S. Her preferred way to show up in front of the Victim Of The Week is pulling an epic Car Fu. She was so bad that it was a very easy thing for Mimete to tamper with her car and get her killed at the end of her mini-arc.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Maj. Motoko Kusanagi. Although most of the time she remains at the level of Badass Driver with a Cool Car, the time when she plowed her vehicle straight through the front doors of a hotel and up a flight of stairs before screeching to a halt where the lounge's coffee table used to be, among other incidents, pushes her into this territory. And that's without getting into the fact that she dives the 'net while driving.
A totally unrelated Yukari in the manga Family Compo manages this little trick while out practicing for the first time in fifteen years. She'd managed to turn into the wrong lane and drove against traffic for a while. Also has a poor grasp of what speed is appropriate.
Irisviel in Fate/Zero is not as good a driver as she thinks she is. Since Saber can't really be harmed by physical means and is fast enough to save her if there's an accident, both of them get to enjoy going around 65-90 miles an hour through winding terrain at midnight without ever stopping for petty concerns like traffic lights or being on the correct side of the road. Even Saber has a better grasp of traffic laws and car operations than her, and she's a Knight in Shining Armor from the medieval era. Saber also qualifies in that she has the ability to pilot absolutely anything, including a jetliner, and likes taking potholes and coastal roads at upwards of 60 miles per hour.
Not only did Agon of Eyeshield 21 hijack a car, but by using his God-speed impulse reflexes, he knows exactly when and where to make sharp turns to avoid the sane drivers. Did we mention he hijacked an American car?
Pani Poni Dash! has Old Geezer, who Becky is lead to believe is the owner of the shiny green MGB parked out on the school grounds. Old Geezer tricks her into taking her for a ride with the car, only for Miss Igarashi to come out and ask who just drove off with her car. The following scenes afterward show Old Geezer driving so fast over Antarctica and nearly hitting a frozen woolly mammoths. Becky's scream could be heard from space, and she understandably develops a fear of cars.
Aforementioned chase in the first You're Under Arrest! OVA. Worth noting that Natsumi is really a genius when it comes to anything on the two wheels, but she was really late that morning. And she just couldn't drive a car, where she plays this trope dead straight, to the point that her inability to get a four-wheeled license (and she's a traffic cop, dammit) is a major source of comedy in a couple of episodes.
Her partner and best friend Miyuki Kobayakawa, on the other hand, is with the cars what Natsumi is with the bikes, but have a tendency to the Let's Get Dangerous situations, and loves to push the pedal to the metal — too bad that she has a little chance to do it.
In the Trinity Blood anime, Sister Esther attempts to drive, and nearly gives Abel a heart attack.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Jim Crocodile Cook does this — in a fossilized truck. Season 4 gives us Saiou saving Juudai by running over the Trueman clones with a van' and then escaping on a motorcycle.
Kanbara from Saki, as revealed in the manga. Leads to a fun scene with Momo clinging to Yumi in fear as Kanbara takes turns at full speed while driving the team's van.
From Air Gear, the character Tomita, the homeroom teacher for the protagonists, drives so poorly that they end up knotted together when they exit. How that's possible, nobody knows.
In episode 119 of Ranma ½, the main cast (and a one-off character) take part in a kart race for a full-course dinner. The results are exactly as expected as the majority keep crashing and bashing into one-another, causing a complete pile up. The only two not like this? Nabiki and Kasumi, who took their time.
Touko Aozaki from Kara no Kyoukai proves to be a mild example of this in the third movie, judging by Mikiya's reaction to her careening around corners, and in the fifth it's revealed that she never went to driving school. It's also implied that this may be a trait of mages in the Nasuverse in general since most of them are rather odd and many of them abhor modern technology.
Top 10 has a Zen taxi driver that wears a blindfold: "I don't drive the cab, the universe does." He doesn't take you where you're going, he takes you where you need to be. And he always gets there, though not as tidily as he thinks: there are crashes and swerves all around him.
It may all work out for the best- there are a couple of implications that the crashes work out to avert worse catastrophes in the end. It's... Very ambiguous, however.
Delirium from The Sandman comics is, apparently, a very good driver. (Well, she says so.) She is an Anthropomorphic Personification, however, so perhaps mortal traffic laws and her passengers might not understand the fact.
In the Tintin book Tintin The Calculus Affair, the eponymous boy reporter enlists the aid of a local Italian in pursuit of ne'erdowellery. The Italian overturns the local bazaar in his enthusiasm (as well as displacing Captain Haddock between the front and back seats at every bump) before being pulled over by a police officer... who lets him off with a warning because his name is too long to fit on the ticket.
And don't forget Prof. Calculus himself in Tintin Destination Moon... okay, he was very angry at that time, so it may not be his normal state.
He also says that one of these days, he'll learn how to drive.
This was probably a mistranslation, as he originally said "get a driving license". So, he can have learned to drive, but never bothered to pass the license exam.
Probably not, as he follows it up with "In this day and age, a man owes it to himself to know how to drive!"
Elsa Bloodstone in Nextwave drives on the left in America and taunts the "colonials" to drive on the "proper side", before smashing her jeep into a gigantic cyborg.
A large part of Ghost Rider's shtick is taking 90-180 degree gradesnote (that's vertical walls and upside down in Layman's Terms, respectively) at speed among other supernaturally enhanced motorcycle stunts.
The Joker. Vehicular is his 11th favorite form of homicide!
In some early issues of Justice Society of America, Dr. Mid Nite was sometimes shown to drive the car. The problem here is that Dr. Mid Nite is blind, and while it was never really addressed most fans assume this was the result. One assumes that the artist simply didn't think it through.
In the Sin City story A Dame to Kill For, Marv is shown driving this way as he engages police officers in a car chase while Dwight McCarthy, who he's trying to take to Old Town following his betrayal by the title dame, is bleeding to death in the backseat. Marv spends the entire time talking about country music and doesn't even notice the carnage around him.
It is a good thing that Gaston Lagaffe's Fiat 509, being The Alleged Car, is so slow that it can be outrun by pedestrians... because otherwise, he'd be a very dangerous driver. In one unfortunate attempt to speed up, he managed to overturn the car, which kept rolling on the couple bicycles that were tied to the roof.
Gaston also once managed to get into a front-front collision... With a boat (The river had frozen over).
The National Lampoon did a comic-book format PSA "Heading for Trouble" where two sane-looking middle-aged men drive like lunatics while guzzling liquor, causing accidents, throwing road flares into the forest, one steering while the other works the pedals...
In the 616 comics Spider-Man didn't really see the point of getting a driver's license since he lives in New York already had a cool way to get around. When he finially did get a normal vechile it was a motorcycle, not a car. And then the Spider-Mobile came into existence. Despite being the worst case of The Alleged Car ever and being completly unnessary the really awful thing was how much Peter sucked at driving. REALLY sucked at driving. Johnny "Does Stupid Reckless Stuff all Time" Storm was afraid of his driving. The Spider-Mobile was ditched and he's since gotten an actual license, but he still really isn't someone you'd want driving you back from the airport.
The new Archer and Armstrong series casts Armstrong as an insanely reckless driver. To be fair, he he's immortal, so personal safety isn't a concern for him. When he drives Archer around Rome on a scooter, the normally stone-faced stoic Archer is holding onto him for dear life and refusing to open his eyes.
In "Baby You Can Drive My Car," one of the fics of the Mass EffectKink Meme, Commander Shepard proves herself to be fond of this during the Shadow Broker chase (see below), and poor Thane, who has never experienced Shepard's driving before, learns just how much of a maniac his siha is behind the wheel.
As soon as Deanna backed out of the garage, the rampage began. She drove extremely erratically almost hitting several things like a bus, a fire hydrant, a dog and a police officer. As said police officer got into his police car and started chasing after them, and the dog began his chase too, barking madly, Deanna's driving got even crazier, with the car leaving the ground at some points. "Deanna Wilson, slow this vehicle down now! You're going to kill us both! I want to live to train the next Air Keeper you know!" Akari screamed even louder and her eyes got even wider as the car somehow managed to fly straight into the air right over another car and began doing mid-air twirls. "IN YOUR FACE! HA! HA! HA!" Deanna laughed at the driver of the car, who sat there looking stunned. The car somehow managed to land without any damage to it and Deanna continued on her rampage. By this time, at least a dozen police cars were chasing them...
Kyon's father in Kyon: Big Damn Hero is regarded as a very good and fast driver. However, when he learns his daughter was recently rescued from a kidnapping and sent to the hospital for a check-up he's told to have driven "efficiently", to the point to take 15 minutes for a run which usually takes 30.
Death Note fanfic Xanatos has one instance of Matt (who is fourteen at the time) driving a stolen Lamborghini. He drives like a complete maniac, though it's somewhat justified since he's trying to lose a cop.
In Tales Of Flame, we have Officer Jenny of Saffron city. Who scares even her close friend Sabrina. Her Pokemon, however, can sleep through her driving, having been with her that long.
Judging from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, all Toons are lousy drivers. The weasels can't slow the Toon Patrol wagon to a stop, crashing through walls instead, and Roger himself totals Eddie's car while going on a joyride. The worst offender is perhaps Bennie the Cab, who is first seen locked inside the Toon Patrol wagon for driving on the sidewalk. ("It was just a couple of miles!")
101 Dalmatians' Cruella de Vil. Both the animation and the live-action.
Horace and Jasper also does this near the end when chasing after the puppies.
Kiina from BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn intentionally when evading an attacking Skopio. She combines this with Badass Driver.
Lisa in Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea. Note, though, that for all her near-misses and frightening speed, she has superhuman control of her subcompact. It's almost like watching Parkour. She even has the nerve to bite a bit off her son's ice cream, while racing over a narrow cliff road.
And she was able to outrun supernatural waves without injuring herself or her son.
Invoked in Toy Story and Toy Story 2, both involving the Pizza Planet Truck. The first was with actual driver of the truck (which also made Buzz's decision to risk getting caught by the driver to put on proper restraining devices (a seat belt, more specifically) very wise on his part), enough to send Woody flying and eventually crushed by the packages in the way back (as he decided to keep away from the risk of being caught by the driver by going into the back), though luckily he survived. The second time was with the toys themselves when they ended up hijacking the truck to give chase to Al's car while the latter was heading towards the airport and rescue Woody.
Besides the Pizza Planet Truck examples, in Toy Story 2 the toys ended up invoking the trope: In order to get to the other side of the road (which had Al's Toy Barn), they had to disguise themselves as traffic cones to evade being run over by the cars. When given the cue to disguise themselves (which is with Buzz shouting "drop!"), the cars end up going crazy to avoid the cones and crashed into a no entry zone (complete with tire-proof spikes), crashing into each other, and causing a truck carrying a large pipe to swerve with enough force to cause the giant cylinder to break free and eventually cause a street lamp to collapse (the last bit nearly got Mr. Potato Head killed because one of his shoes got stuck on gum on the road, which he just barely managed to get his shoe off the gum and evade the cylinder at the last second). Something similar happened in the previous film, where, while RC is picking up Buzz under Woody's control to save him from Scud (and the chaos that ensues when the toys, believing him to be trying to get rid of another toy), Scud chases them, and Scud, while chasing them, ends up causing a car pileup forming a neat square with him in the center of it, with various people shouting "Get out of the goddamned car!"
In the second movie, Mr. Potato Head was shown to be somewhat of a terrible driver. When Hamm arrives in a toy convertable in order to pick the toys up while searching Al's Toy Barn to find Woody, Mr. Potato Head shoves Hamm aside and says they should let someone with hands do the driving. What he does is crash into one shelf, back up into another shelf, and then turn and knock some toy soldier buckets on the floor.
In The Little Mermaid, Ariel is given the reins to a carriage, and ends up driving Eric's carriage over a ravine, which they ended up going over the ravine. However, after jumping the ravine, she seems to ease up a bit.
The Taxi drivers in New York are also implied to be terrible drivers. When the ambassadors arrive at dinner for negotiations and what ultimately turned out to be their last meal, the short ambassador apologizes for his lateness and explains that the taxi drivers in the city are terrible.
James Bond does drive insanely once in a while. Usually justified by his needing to get somewhere in a really, really big hurry.
The bus driver played by the Late Great Ray Charles (yes, the blind guy) in Spy Hard. Tends to say "Next stop, X... I think," on one occasion ending with an Offscreen Crash.
Another Leslie Nielsen flick, The Naked Gun, has Frank Drebin. He's competent behind the wheel, but he sucks at parking.
Hightower in Police Academy. Mahoney from the same movie parked a car in a two-foot space between two other cars, and taught Hightower a refresher course.
The Commandant always crashes his golf cart when parking.
The entire point of the Taxi series of action-comedy movies written by Luc Besson. In the second movie, he actually upgraded his cab for limited flight (well, increased jump-length, but still, it had WINGS...), and installed automatic barf-bags for the passengers.
The Doris Day film Julie. Doris Day's husband tries to kill them both with his awful driving. Also an egregious example of Hollywood Driving.
The Kurgan has a scene like this in Highlander, where he terrorizes the Damsel in Distress by driving on the wrong side of the road. Of course, his immortality makes this much safer for him.
Truth in Television: Hunter S. Thompson was notorious for driving at lunatic speeds - before, after, or while drinking - and scaring the crap out of his passengers. By all accounts he was also extremely competent behind the wheel.
Annie from Speed 2: Cruise Control. What made this egregious is that she was a perfectly capable driver in the first film who just simply lost her license for "speeding", but she then mutated into a completely incompetent driver incapable of handling a motor vehicle.
Batman's scene in Batman Begins with the Batmobile definitely deserves mention considering the chase that ensues. One officer radios in and is asked for a description of the car, and all he can come up with is "It's a black... tank."
"... on the roof."
Also, Jim Gordon, later in the movie. If he didn't have the excuse that he was driving the goddamn Batman's tumbler, he, as a police officer, would probably have been fired for gross incompetence.
Stuntman Mike in Grindhouse: Death Proof, who literally drives "crazy" while trying to murder various women on the road.
Alan Parrish in Jumanji. Justified (sort of) because he's been stuck inside a board game for about 26 years and never actually learned how to drive.
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. "Like a glove." In both movies, the driving is made even worse by cracked windshields that forces Ace to drive with his head out the window.
Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars, even when he's not in an extreme sports race or space battle — and on Coruscant, driving is a three-dimensional affair.
Obi-Wan: I don't mind flying — (has to duck) — but what you're doing is suicide!
Anakin's piloting: Crazy? Yes. Bad? Anything but. He's one of if not the best pilot in the entire series based on the ridiculous lengths he's willing to go to.
The irreverent old Maude in Harold and Maude. Donuts in an intersection is the closest she comes to a stop, lanes (and indeed roads) are only a suggestion, and she has no compunction about stealing all her rides... and telling the cops!
In Jackie Chan's Who Am I?, the female lead that isn't a CIA operative has this as her one redeeming feature. She Drives Like Crazy... with amazing skill. She gets through an alley by essentially driving over something to tip the car on it's side. After she's through the narrow passage, she... somehow... manages to get the car right-side up again and zooms off. In the final part of the chase scene, she's driving through what is largely a parking lot/road in Amsterdam and sees a spot. Without hardly breaking her at least 50 mph speed, she turns and backs into the spot, stopping on a dime, and everyone in the car ducks down as the pursuers drive by. Other than that, she's The Ditz.
She was a race car tester. I assumed her brother let her drive on their rallies.
In the French film series Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez and its sequels, there is a recurring character (and running gag), Sœur Clotilde, a nun who drives like crazy. Once a movie, the eponymous Gendarme is forced (each time more reluctantly) to enlist her help for a Chase Scene, and then all betsare off. Thankfully, most of the time she's driving a 2CV, a not-too-powerful car... which certainly isn't supposed to do some of the things Sœur Clotilde manages to do with it. In a later movie, it's a younger nun at the wheel... unfortunately:
Sœur Clotilde: I taught her everything!
Alisa in Day Watch. She even at one point drives along the side of a building (basically, automotive Parkour), which is probably only possible because she's not exactly a normal human.
Semyon in Night Watch avoids running over Zavulon by somersaulting the truck over him.
Elwood Blues from The Blues Brothers. From the bridge jump at the beginning to his awesome parking skills (he flips the car around instead of backing up), Elwood is Crazy Awesome. But no mention of Elwood's driving would be complete without the mall scene.
In The Replacements (the football movie, not the animated series), Annabelle does her share of crazy driving while taking Shane back to his house-boat.
In Bandslam, when Charlotte pulls up with Will in the passenger seat, he timidly suggests she might want to use her turn signals. Her response? "They don't need to know my business!"
A Clockwork Orange: Alex and his droogs have a game they like to play, called "Hogs of the Road".
In Raising Arizona, when she has to pick up H.I. following a robbery, Ed's police training kicks in, and she immediately turns into Bullitt.
In Mr. Holland's Opus, Mr. Holland takes a summer job as an instructor of student drivers. Ironically, one scene has him doing the crazy driving with two of his visibly worried students as passengers. He ignores traffic signs and signals, passes other cars on the right side, and even traverses a one-way street in the wrong direction, all while going well above the speed limit. The reason for this insane driving is revealed when Mr. Holland reaches his destination: it's the local hospital, where his wife had given birth to their son shortly before he got there.
In Ali G Indahouse, Sacha Cohen's character (Ali G)'s gang is outraged at the "crazy" driving of a rival gang that drove through a yellow light instead of stopping. This after a "street race" that consisted of both gangs going exactly the speed limit.
In L.A. Story the main character once, because of traffic reasons, decides to take what is probably one of the most ridiculous shortcuts EVER. Even MORE comic than that is the fact that no one reacts like "OMG!! WHAT THE FUCK is that crazy idiot doing!?", instead actually WAVING to him as he passes by, as if he does this OFTEN. For a straighter example, Sara, who is from England, doesn't understand that you're supposed to drive on the RIGHT side of the road in the US.
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World - four parties of normal, law-abiding types get word of a buried fortune and promptly turn into a mass highway menace. Everyone else who gets involved later acts the same way.
Father Thomas in Sister Act 2 is a menace on the road. How he got the job when he doesn't have a driver's license and his passengers do is unknown.
In The Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner and Dr. Betty Ross went to New York City, and decided on taking a taxi cab after deciding the subway would be too cramped for his comfort. It then cuts to them riding in a taxi with the taxi driver driving extremely recklessly, with Bruce Banner attempting to calm himself so he won't transform inside the cab, and just barely managed to keep calm when they arrived at the university. Upon arrival, Betty Ross also screamed at the driver at the top of her lungs about his recklessness.
In Get Smart, there is a scene in which Max drives through a golf course, entirely oblivious both to his surroundings and to the Chief's concern for his life.
In Transformers: Dark of The Moon, Bumblebee shows off his rather poor flying skills when he and the other Autobots head into battle. Wheelie and Brains don't fare much better when they stumble across the same ship.
Vince Ricardo (Peter Falk) in The In Laws is a crazy driver in one scene during a chase; he actually backs down the wrong way on a highway. Of course, he doesn't think he's crazy:
"You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away."
Beauregard in The Great Muppet Caper might qualify. He gets his directions mixed up, such as making an abrupt U-turn when told to go straight. The fact he does this in open traffic, causing all others cars to take evasive action. After arriving at the intended destination (by driving through the front door, no less) he is told to make a U-turn to leave. What does he do? Drives straight through!
W.C. Fields as The Bank Dick is made to drive a getaway car for a bank robber - this proves to be a bad idea. Knowing him, it's probably drunk driving...
Earth Girls Are Easy - alien Jim Carrey goes joy riding. As he's not familiar with Earth cars, maybe he thinks you're supposed to sit on the window sill and steer with your feet.
In the Laurel and Hardy short County Hospital, Stanley drives patient Ollie home, having earlier sat on a hypodermic sedative - he's driving very recklessly to Ollie's horror, depicted by the most laughingly bad rear-projection effects ever.
The subject of the MST3KedScare 'Em Straight short X Marks The Spot is a truly extreme example, speeding through school zones (though he gets better on that), turns in the wrong lane, and literally runs people off the road whilst passing. On hills. In the face of oncoming traffic, all while it never being his fault.
Several in The Gumball Rally. Lapchick The Mad Hungarian, literally. Franco, to a lesser extent. Also Ace "Mr. Guts" Preston in the Camaro Z-28, toward the end, as he tries to get through a traffic jam by going up on two wheels (while giving a rebel yell).
Unlicensed driver Withnail in Withnail And I. When Marwood (AKA "I") wakes up in the back seat of his Jaguar to find Withnail at the wheel rapidly weaving in and out of early morning traffic on the M25, Withnail simply explains, "I'm making time."
Interestingly, she's signed to do a movie called Over The Wall, set in the world of... car racing. See also her Star-Making Role in the Live-Action TV folder.
Kevin Flynn doesn't really know how to fly a Recognizer, and it shows. He bounces off canyon walls, takes out a bridge span, and ends up crashing it in the middle of town.
Flynn: Pretty good drivin', huh?
Flynn: Who asked you?
Bruce Willis's character Korben Dallas in The Fifth Element is introduced as such even before he gets behind the wheel via a phone call with his mechanic. In his first scene. Fittingly, he's an ex-Starfighter pilot turned cab driver - in New York city. Of course, there is a Chase Scene that show cases his driving "skills". And, like the Star Wars example above, driving in the future is a 3-d experience.
There's a joke about the New York cabdriver who went speeding through every red light. "My five brothers and I have always driven like this." Come to a green light? Slam on the brakes, because one of his brothers might be coming through....
Another joke involved the Pope, a popular televangelist, and a cabbie headed the Gates of Heaven, only to find a long line. St. Peter asks the Pope and preacher to wait while the cabbie is allowed to jump the queue. When the two clergymen protest, St. Peter pointed out that folks slept through their sermons, but passengers in his cab were praying through the entire trip.
Another joke with the Pope involves His Sanctity asking to the Popemobile's driver to try the car. The Pope proceeds to break as many traffic laws as he can. A cop pulls them over... and then calls the HQ: "We have an important lawbreaker here. I don't know who he is, but his driver is the Pope!"
It's said that in America, they drive on the right side of the road; in England, they drive on the left; and in Naples, they drive on the shady side of the road.
Also been said of many countries' drivers that the traffic code is as follows: "As long as you don't crash into anything, and as long as the Law doesn't see it, it's A-OK".
So one nun says to the other nun, "You drive, I'll pray." The other nun replies, "What's the matter, you don't trust my praying?"
In Philadelphia, when you see a yellow light, you can slow down and stop if you want to, but the guy behind you isn't expecting you to.
Then there's the one about the guy who gets a call from his wife on his way home from work, warning him that she heard in the traffic report about some crazy guy who's driving on the wrong side of the road. His reply: "It's not just one guy. Everyone on this highway is driving on the wrong side!"
New legislation is passed in the United Kingdom in order to bring it up to speed with the rest of the world, including driving on the right. In order to facilitate the transition, it is decided that the new rules of the road will at first apply only to trucks and buses.
Miss Havisham in the Thursday Next books is fond of driving at full pelt through a city, nearly running over, well, everything.
Possibly justified by the fact that, although she leaves Bookworld on occasion, she's a fictional character whose story takes place before the advent of the automobile. She's about as good with an automobile as you or I would be with an antigravity craft.
She does drag races on a fairly regular basis, and some of the stunts she pulls off in the real world would be impressive for NASCAR drivers. Lack of skill is not the issue here.
Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby states that she trusts other drivers to get out of her way. Daisy Buchanan also has an episode when she drives while emotionally distraught and kills Myrtle Wilson.Women Drivers, huh?
Stephanie Plum, of Janet Evanovich's eponymous series, might be a decent driver, but she is death on cars. Hers get destroyed almost once a book, albeit usually for reasons beyond her control such as bombs and fires. On the other hand, Grandma Mazur, once she finally learned to drive, managed to rack up enough moving violations to lose her license. In five days. The few who've ridden with her frequently complain about problems like whiplash from abrupt stops, etc.
Valentine Michael Smith of Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land appears to drive like this. It's actually perfectly controlled, because he's stretching his sense of time so that he sees everything in slow motion. It's mentioned to be very scary to watch, but perfectly safe.
Amelia Peabody Emerson and her husband Professor Radcliffe Emerson, in Elizabeth Peters' mystery novels. To be fair, cars were a novelty at the time, and neither ever had any formal driver's training, but Amelia's daughter-in-law tried to give her a lesson — and later made excuses never to ride with her again. As for the Professor, his style of driving is basically "floor it and hit the horn a lot" (not a quote from the books, but accurate).
David Drake's RCN series has a standing joke that nobody can drive an aircar. By some count, seven named characters and a couple of redshirts have claimed this ability and at best they get there with severe dents. Rather makes you wonder why a spaceship that hasn't always got room for the guns bothers to carry one.
Jurgen, the aide of Warhammer 40000's Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!), Drives Like Crazy... And his vehicle of choice is an upgunned Salamander, a 33 tonne heavy tracked scout tank. Road signs, telephone poles, parked vehicles and just about anything else that is unfortunate enough to occupy the shortest route between Jurgen and his current goal has a nasty habit of getting flattened, although he stops short of actual vehicular homicide (at least to Cain's knowledge). The only person in the grim future of the 41st millennium capable of coaxing a vehicle the size of a small bus down back alleys or parallel parking it, the effects of his driving to his passengers are best left unchronicled.
The Traitor's Hand does actually feature Jurgen demonstrating vehicular homicide with a 33-ton tank. Of course, it was against heretics, so nobody really minds... heretics who happened to be inside a house at the time.
Well, nobody minds except for the heretics, anyway. Oh wait, they were masochists. So no, nobody minded.
This trait comes in handy a lot, as Jurgen WILL get you where you need to go very quickly. And if the vehicle you are in is ambushed, there is no better man to have behind the wheel. He also takes warnings that the upcoming road in a post-urban-warfare region is impassable as a challenge, and when told to "get onto the shuttle now" he takes it quite literally, driving up into said shuttle's bay at full speed. And stopping the tank on a dime.
A testament to Cain's competence is that he's used to Jurgen's driving enough to stand on the back and man the heavy bolter, which is a heavier weapon than standard.
While nowhere near Jurgen's standards (or lack thereof), Mari Magot seems to have developed a reputation for this - if Cain identifying her as the driver of an APC by it running over a Tyranid Lictor is any indication.
Doctor Plemponi, principal of the Colonial School in James H. Schmitz' Trigger Argee novel Legacy, is a classic example of this trope. Only the fact that all aircars in the setting are equipped with computerized safety overrides and collision-avoidance autopilots keeps him from committing mass murder every time he gets behind the controls. Even with the best technology can manage, "Plemp" still managed to land his aircar in front of the targets on the outdoor firing range during a live-fire drill. He then proceeded to fly the wrong way at full speed down a one-way traffic airlane, and when this fact was pointed out to him deliberately forced the oncoming aircar to veer off rather than correct his course. God only knows how much carnage would have ensued if he'd had more than one scene in the novel.
In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel Ghostmaker, Ortiz has a tank driven into headquarters, scattering drilling soldiers and knocking all sorts of things astray. Then, he was inspired: a superior officer had ordered to him fire where Gaunt's Ghosts were, killing hundreds of them; Gaunt had attacked him; and the superior officer was looking to courtmartial and shoot Gaunt. Having gotten there quickly, Ortiz filed a report claiming that his injuries sprung from his own guns' recoil.
The Knight Bus from Harry Potter. Granted, obstacles (including houses) jump out of its way, but even so.
Twilight: The only thing about Edward Cullen that scares Bella is his driving.
Or any of the Cullens, actually. They all have Super Speed, so driving at human speeds would seem "slow" to them.
Max the Silent, in the books about outlaw private eye Burke by Andrew Vachss. The problem is that Max, who has a reputation as a major Bad Ass, thinks that people will move aside for him on the road as well as on the sidewalk.
I recall a scene in Harry Turtledove's Colonization Series where Nessereff is terrified by a Polish taxi ride. This is made worse by the fact that she's an alien whose species has self-driving computer cars while the Poles do not know what a seatbelt is. And funnier when you recall that she's a spacecraft pilot.
Driver: You wish to get to your apartment quickly, yes? (crashes through a market and nearly kills an old guy in a wagon) Nessereff: I would also like to get there alive!
In Maximum Ride, narrator Max drives a van into a sedan at 60 mph the second time she gets behind a wheel — with her family, including an eight-year-old, aboard. To be fair, she was attempting to teach herself how to drive. It just didn't turn out well.
Nudge: I didn't know a van could go up on two wheels like that. For so long.
Lensman. Rigellians are Blind Seers (in place of sight and hearing, they have extra-sensory perception and telepathy) with tough hides that muffle their sense of touch. One minute in a Rigellian automobile (read: extremely powerful but also extremely loud) has been known to drive normal humans insane. A specially-armored and screened protagonist manages to survive the ride, but comes out at the other end severely traumatized. The alien driver is later surprised at this, because he was driving "with the utmost possible care and restraint" (for his species). Meanwhile, he (note: the following text is a direct quote from First Lensman):
Swung around a steel-sheathed concrete pillar at a speed of at least sixty miles per hour, grazing it so closely that he removed one layer of protective coating from the metal.
Braked so savagely to miss a wildly careening truck that the restraining straps almost cut Samms' body, spacesuit and all, into slices.
Darted into a hole in the traffic so narrow that only tiny fractions of inches separated his hurtling Juggernaut from an enormous steel column on one side and another speeding vehicle on the other.
Executed a double-right-angle reverse curve, thus missing by hair's breadths two vehicles traveling in the opposite direction and one in his own.
As a grand climax to this spectacular exhibition of insane driving, he plunged at full speed into a traffic artery which seemed so full already that it could not hold even one more car. But it could—just barely could. However, instead of near misses or grazing hits, this time there were bumps, dents—little ones, nothing at all, really, only an inch or so deep—and an utterly hellish concatenation and concentration of noise.
Crowley of Good Omens has generally little regard for speed limits, being able to use his demonic powers to dissuade traffic cops and keep his car dent-free.
He attempts to maintain traffic laws once and gets locked in Apocalyptic gridlock before reverting and pulling up on the sidewalk.
Perry Mason. It's a Running Joke that he breaks a bunch of traffic laws just to get to places (normally crime scenes). Apparently, Della Street can be just as bad when the urgency arises.
Doodah Day from Artemis Fowl. A pixie who nearly kills Holly Short with a construction vehicle, temporarily reduces Mulch Diggums into a quivering pile of nerves with his piloting of a LEP transport pod, and gets a toy car up to sixty miles per hour — indoors?
Fitz, from the Doctor Who Expanded Universe books, sometimes seems to be a decent driver, and sometimes "crunche[s] the gear stick", crushes azaleas, "let[s] the car shoot backward", skids, and drops a Cluster F-Bomb for half the drive before stalling rather than parking. This particular frightening exhibition was in a car built around when he was born, and he was making a getaway from someone who'd just been holding the Doctor at gunpoint, but still. He never seems to be able to get behind the wheel of a car without incident.
In Kingdom Keepers, Wayne is described as such, noting that a short drive nearly ended with a wreck several times.
In 30 Seconds Over Tokyo when the downed airmen are smuggled out of China, they are driven part way by a driver they call Charlie. He writes that in Charlie's mind, the brakes come third in importance. First comes the horn, then the steering wheel, and only then come the brakes.
In the Aubrey Maturin series of novels, Diana drives like this in her horse-drawn carriage. It's universally considered terrifying, even by Aubrey himself, although she is an exceptionally good driver. When the sailors try driving, on the other hand...
John Thorpe in Northanger Abbey is a particularly reckless driver, terrifying poor Catherine Morland out of her wits when he takes her for what is supposed to be an enjoyable carriage ride. Granted, we only see the incident from the viewpoint of a genteel English girl, but she does comment that other drivers are much, much more sensible.
Ellie Linton from The Tomorrow Series. Of course, she learned her driving on her station's back paddocks, using Land Rovers and "paddock bashers" (unlicensable beaters) but still...
It's a Running Gag in the VI Warshawski novels that Vic's best friend Lotty is a holy terror as a driver; Vic even says at one point no sane person would let Lotty behind the wheel.
Granny Weatherwax, in the Discworld novels, believes it's everything else's job to move out of the way of her Flying Broomstick. This philosophy extends to birds, other witches, trees, tall buildings, clacks towers and mountains.
In Kate Daniels, this is one of the defining characteristics of Dali Harimau. As she has a shapeshifter's Healing Factor, she considers crashing to be merely inconvenient. Her passengers and nearby pedestrians disagree.
Jim: You're legally blind, you can't pass the exam to get a license, and you drive like shit. You're a menace.
Gregor: So, Lord Mark, what do you think of Vorbarr Sultana so far?
Mark: It went by pretty fast.
Gregor: Dear God, don't tell me you let Ivan drive.
Augustus of The Fault In Our Stars, due in part to his having a prosthetic leg that prevents him from feeling the subtleties in pressure needed for non-jerky driving experiences.
1632 has Hans Richter, whose approach to defensive driving can be summed up in the maxim "the best defense is a good offense".
John Bankes, in the Father Brown story "The Man with Two Beards".
Phryne Fisher. Her maid and companion Dot takes to routinely screwing her eyes shut and keeping them shut whenever she has to drive somewhere with Phryne.
In John W. Campbell's story "The Brain Pirates", Terruns and all the residents of the tenth world's satellite come off as crazy drivers to the Terrestrial heroes. It's mentioned that their vehicles only go about twenty miles an hour, but thanks to the high gravity there's a lot of traction, and stopping can be very abrupt.
In Tanya Huff's The Enchantment Emporium, it alludes to Auntie Catherine driving like crazy due to the fact she charmed her car to act like something from NASCAR. Charlie also drives like crazy in one instance, but that was more of an result of driving said car and an improptu interrogation from her.
The sequel The Wild Ways confirms that all the Aunties drive like crazy.
In the October Daye series, Toby's fetch May is a terrible driver. In One Salt Sea, Toby has to ask May to drive Toby's car somewhere, and May demands to know if she's a doppleganger, since the real Toby would never trust her with the car.
The Dukes of Hazzard was basically "let's see what crazy stunt the Duke boys can pull off this week". Jumps (mostly on makeshift dirt ramps), high-speed turns, you name it and Bo and Luke probably did it in the General Lee. It makes sense, since they used to run moonshine for Uncle Jesse before they got caught prior to the start of the series. Even Uncle Jesse and Boss Hogg (who used to be moonshine runners themselves) will get in on the act.
Ray Barone's dad. Although he does manage to rein it in just long enough to get his license renewed.
His mother Marie, in one of the show's most famous moments, drove the car through the front of Ray and Debra's house.
Ziva David in NCIS. Even Tony, himself an example of the trope earlier in the series, is terrified of her driving.
Gibbs: She almost killed my entire team yesterday.
Gibbs: Driving home from a crime scene.
Jenny: I should have warned you. I think she was an Eastern European cab driver in a past life.
Ziva claims that driving fast and making abrupt turns "is the best way to avoid IEDs and ambushes," and brushes off attempts to point out that neither are exactly common in the US.
In "Aliyah" we find that even in Israel Ziva is regarded as a crazy driver.
Eli: With traffic, I wasn't expecting you for another hour. Ziva: I drove. Eli: Enough said.
It's not remarked on as often, but Gibbs is just as scary. He spends most of his time looking away from the road while weaving through oncoming traffic. He has no apparent excuse. Not surprisingly, Gibbs is the only person in the series who doesn't have a problem letting Ziva drive.
Kate: Gibbs is driving. Abby: I'm saying a prayer in many languages.
JAG: One episode had a guest character, a young ensign from Jersey played by Sarah Silverman, who absolutely tears across base in a Humvee, hardly ever looking at the road, rambling on about whatever comes to mind, and generally terrifying poor Bud and even making Harm nervous. Bud is forced to have her drive him somewhere on the other side of base because he's in a hurry, and finds her driving much less terrifying if he takes his contacts out first.
Hilariously, Captain Kirk in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "A Piece of the Action". He may be able to do things with a massive, hyperspeed starship that will blow your mind, but he cannot drive a 1920s Ford without knocking over everything in sight. Spock's reaction pretty much sums it up: "Captain, you are an excellent starship commander, but as a taxi driver you leave much to be desired."
Richie & Eddie from Bottom: Richie doesn't know how to drive and so asks Eddie — who presumably has more experience. Eddie's idea of "How to Drive" is... "Well, you get the wires from underneath the dashboard and jam 'em together until the engine fires up. Then, you drink another can of special brew, aim it at the post-office and put a brick on the accelerator." Richie decides to "stick the key in and see what happens." With a clear road ahead he ram-raids an off-licence, in reverse.
Gene Hunt from Life On Mars. A 1970's Ford Cortina should not be able to speed in reverse. (And he's a police officer.)
In Ashes to Ashes, Alex makes good use of the Oh Shit Bar every episode.
Calleigh Duquesne on CSI: Miami drives a Humvee in a manner usually reserved for mid-war Iraq:
Wolfe: Do you realize you drive like a madwoman?
In an episode of CSI: New York, Stella Bonasera drives in such a manner that poor Hawkes in the passenger seat looks like he's afraid to be flung out of the window.
Cracker. When Fitz pulls one of his usual Jerk Ass stunts on his Love Interest WDC Penhaligan, she likes to get back at him by driving extremely fast, while enjoying the expression on Fitz's face instead of looking at the road.
Lucille from Arrested Development tries to run over a man on a Segway (who she thinks is her son). She's one of the World's Worst Drivers. Really. She was featured on that show, parked horizontally across three parking spaces.
A recent episode of The Mentalist has a scene in which Lisbon let Van Pelt drive to persue a suspect. Cue Dukes of Hazzard chase sequence, ending with Van Pelt stopping the biker suspect with the side of the SUV.
Lisbon: I gotta get you out of the office more often!
In Tin Man, it's implied that DG makes a habit of this on her motorcycle.
In Waiting For God, Diana Trent drives on the wrong side of the road, on the off chance some idiot is doing it the other way.
Tom: Mind the old people! Diana: We are the old people! Tom: Exactly!
From The Sentinel, Jim is infamous for the number of trucks he's wrecked, to the point that it's almost impossible for him to get good insurance. Every Car Chase involves gratuitous Fruit Cart destruction, numerous "orange"-light runs, and any passengers cowering in their seats.
Blair Sandburg: Jim, that's a red light. Jim, there are pedestrians in the road! Jim, slow down!Jim!!
Top Gear: The Stig normally drives like this, even with a tractor. Justified most of the time in that as the show's test driver, he is expected to make the cars go as fast as they can in order to compare performance.
Jeremy Clarkson also indulges in this occasionally on the show. His bout with a Reliant Robin? Well...Herr Clarkson is an exuberant driver, and Reliant Robins are very light and, thanks to having a single front wheel, not very well balanced. That said, rolling a car 7+ times in fourteen miles is still just a bit excessive. It should be noted according to co-presenter James May, Clarkson averts this trope when not filming and is actually quite a courteous driver.
Top Gear US features Adam Ferrara as one of the presenters. In the first season he quickly became notorious for breaking cars during challenges, to the point that he's subtitled "The Wrecker" from season 2 onward. He's a perfectly fine driver outside of challenges and on regular roads, but he tends to push his cars past their limits when asked to perform.
Parker: Who knew a sedan could hit 140? Sophie: Parker, you are never to get behind the wheel of a car again, okay?
From another episode there was this:
Eliot: Parker, where'd you learn to drive? Parker: Before I stole cars I was a getaway driver.
Hardison: Before? You stole cars when you were 12.
Doctor Who. Good grief, the Doctor. Pretty much in every incarnation, and although the TARDIS was designed for six pilots, he has shown himself quite capable of flying it straight... but apparently he just can't be bothered.
When a passenger corrected him on the controls to level out flying and minimize sounds (largely by taking off the parking brake), he complained that he liked it better the original way.
Of course, as noted in The Doctor's Wife, its an uphill struggle trying to get the TARDIS where he wants to go rather than where she wants to go.
Amy as well.
Amy: Is he helping you fly the TARDIS? Why do you let him have a go? You never let me have a go!
Rory: Uh, Doctor, don't. Seriously, don't. I let her drive my car once.
Amy: To the end of the road.
Rory: Where, according to Amy, "there was an unexpected house."
Rory: Have you ever seen Amy drive, Doctor?
The Doctor: No.
Rory: Neither did her driving-examiner...
A bit of this is seen in Torchwood, with Jack, in his own words; "I'm going to need to break the speed limit. Big time." Admittedly he warns the police in advance.
Owen plays this trope straight:
Gwen: What I am saying is that you are speeding and there are children!
Owen: Well if kids are out at midnight, they've got it coming to them!
And a little after that in the same chase scene...
Owen: Hold the wheel.
Gwen: (catches on) don't you dare Owen!
Owen: Hold the wheel!
[Cue Gwen taking the wheel and Owen leaning out the window to shoot the sports car's wheels.]
In the Home Improvement episode Tanks for the Memories, Tim Taylor was given control of a tank in the Marines division, and he ended up plowing the tank through a golf course, which resulted in him being banned from ever driving a tank again.
One of Phil's clients on Modern Family, much to Claire's frustration, in "Slow Down Your Neighbors."
In the Monk episode "Mr Monk and the End Part 2", Stottlemeyer and Disher, when attempting to rush towards Judge Rickover's house to stop Monk from attempting to exact revenge on Rickover for the latter arranging for Trudy Monk's assassination via car bomb, were driving extremely recklessly for the road (the fact that they couldn't even use a portable siren due to Disher selling it in a yard sale and it was pouring heavily outside only made matters worse.)
In Heroes Claire Bennet intentionally drives a guy's car into a wall at a fast speed after he murdered her. She is unharmed as usual.
In The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon is a terrible driver, once managing to miss the Pasadena Freeway exit he was supposed to go over, managing to fly off the highway at high speeds, and then somehow end up on the second floor of the Glendale Galleria before crashing into a pet store... and that was on a driving simulator that Howard Wolowitz developed.
Ironically, the one time he had to be behind the wheel of an actual car, he actually drove somewhat well... sluggish driving and overly cautious methods aside. Unfortunately, that also landed him with a speeding ticket (and it's not even his fault, but Penny's).
Penny herself is often accused of the trope, but actually more in line with someone who has been driving a very long time and will bypass "normal behavior" for a quicker route every now and then. Of course, that doesn't stop the fact she frequently ignores her (constantly blinking) check engine light from being a running gag. Also Wolowitz is a bit of a nut when driving on his Vespa (at least according to Sheldon whom once spent a ride home with him screaming over every speed bump like a mad man-which granted, he is).
It should come as no surprise that a lot of people like this turn up in the various Worst Driver programs around the world.
Warehouse 13: According to Claudia, Artie is this. This is an interesting variation, because in this case it's the energetic, younger character making the comment toward the less-energetic, older character instead of the vice-versa that normally happens.
In the Ice Road Truckers spinoff IRT: Deadliest Roads, the sheer cliffs, dirt roads, and rigs of questionable quality that liter India, Bolivia, and Peru all pale in comparison with the suicidal drivers that appear to be trying to push the several ton trucks off the road.
In Ellery Queen, Ellery's distractedness causes him to ignore minor details like red lights.
There was one Dave Allen sketch showing an older Irish guy (played by Allen) driving like this, ending with him passing a big truck and cutting in-front of it just before reaching an intersection. Now if you want to see the punchline for that gag, you'll have to watch the sketch yourself. Starts at about 6:58 here.
"Speedball Tucker" by Jim Croce, and also "Rapid Roy".
Murdoc Niccals is a notoriously crazy driver, as seen in the Stylo and 19-2000 music videos. To be fair, he pulls some ridiculously cool stunts in the latter; wheelies, jumps, skids, missile launches etc.
"Road Man" by Smash Mouth, the tale of a roadie who Drives Like Crazy to get a touring band's sound equipment from Point A to Point B as fast as possible (and also just because he wants to be "king of the road"). His monomaniacal focus on speed eventually gets him killed when he doesn't notice a train until it's too late.
"Switzerland" by the comedy band Dead Cat Bounce is a song told from the perspective of one:
Such was the expression of the child as he bounced across my windscreen and off the other side. I got the strong impression for a second that he wasn't so much angry as incredibly surprised. And as I watched him in my rear view mirror slowly slip away, I turned to my instructor and I felt I had to say... "Do you think we should reschedule the test? 'Cause I'm starting now to think it might be best. Either way, I'm pretty sure You could have taught me clutch control In a playground that was emptier than this."
"Jesus Take the Wheel" is metaphorical, but that doesn't keep satirists from pointing out that Jesus' blood has a high alcohol content and that he shouldn't know how to drive.
Vanessa Carlton has a rather grim song called "The Wreckage", where she dreams of either being the cause of a gruesome traffic accident, or one of the victims. Either way, this trope seems to be the cause.
Dr Bombay's Calcutta (Taxi Taxi Taxi) is about a song about a taxi driver in Calcutta (duh). Granted, the inference in the song to this fact is him saying he's almost blind and has no license (but he always finds the clutch). Played straighter in the video, however, which shows him, among other things, driving from ''outside'' his driver side window.
Anthrax's "Metal Thrashing Mad" - considering some of the lyrics
The first (and third) verse:
Racing down the road In a street machine of steel Gears are jammed in full I'm a madman at the wheel
And the second:
Driving like a maniac I can't go any faster Buring up the road And headed for disaster
Myths & Religion
Surprisingly, Older Than Feudalism. In The Bible, King Joram's watchmen recognize Jehu as he approaches the palace in his chariot, because "The driving is like that of Jehu, son of Nimshi, for he drives like a madman."
An old term for someone who fits this trope is actually that "they drive like a Jehu."
An example from Greek Mythology, first told by Hyginus (2nd century CE): Phaeton, son of the sun god Helios, once took his dad's sun chariot out in an attempt to be recognized by others as the child of such a great deity. He completely lost control and nearly toasted the entire world.
The story's a lot older than that; Euripides wrote a play on it.
There's a South Korean internet meme called "Kim Yo-sa," or "Madam Kim," where pictures of bizarre car accidents and bad road behavior are attributed to a single middle-aged Korean woman via amusing captions.
A common occurrence in the comic strip Zits when Jeremy drives, resulting in the "invisible brake pedal" from his mother. Though it's at least partially that she's just paranoid, Jeremy has managed to do things like get the car on top of the garage on at least one occasion.
Joe's mother Dot in Jump Start. Dot even runs her own driving school despite her apparently horrible skills behind the wheel.
Dot's daughter-in-law Marcy once rode in a taxi with an abysmally bad driver. Then she noticed he had a picture of Dot mounted on his dashboard. When Marcy commented on this, he exclaimed, "You're related to Dot Cobb? Can I have your autograph?"
Peter Fox from Foxtrot. He's such a bad driver, he can make a station wagon go much faster than usual. Once he even somehow manages to exceed the speed limit while parallel parking.
"Hang on, that light three blocks away just turned yellow..."
"I've tried to explain to her the effect near-relativistic speeds have on your eyes."
Calvin: We avoided the tree, didn't we? Hobbes: By going down the gulley and into the pond, yes.
Calvin: You know, Dad, it disturbs me that this wagon has no safety belts and wouldn't survive a 30 mph collision with a stationary object. Calvin's Dad: Why do you bring this up? Calvin: No reason.
In one strip from the newspaper comic Bloom County, Opus somehow gets a car to use on a date. Milo's reaction upon learning this? "Alert Civil Defense!!"
Loretta Lockhorn is not seen in a car as often as she's seen with steering wheel in hand.
Ed Crankshaft drives like crazy — and he drives a schoolbus. The strip has running gags about him destroying George Keesterman's mailbox on a regular basis, and him making kids (and their mothers) chase the bus for blocks if they weren't at the bus stop on time.
Lady Penelope from Thunderbirds. Amazingly she managed to drive FAB1 to the Bank of England without a scratch to the car, although the same can't be said about various hedges and another car she encountered on the road. Her driving improves in a later episode though.
She normally leaves the driving to her many-talented butler Aloysius "Nosy" Parker, to the relief of all.
Car Talk: The Car Brothers always sign off with "Don't drive like my brother".
Worra the minicab driver (Catch Phrase: "As the Pink Floyd say: Set the controls for the heart of the suuun!") in Linda Smith's A Brief History Of Timewasting:
Linda: Worra, I never thought I'd say this, but drive as fast as you can! Worra: Hahahah! Linda, do you want me to lose my licence? Hypothetically speaking...
Hollow Earth Expedition. Any character with the Reckless Driver skill in the Secrets of the Surface World supplement.
In Warhammer 40000's Apocalypse expansion, an OrkTrukk Konvoy is a squadron of light transports racing each other to the front line. Their "Oops, Da Wheels Slipped" rule gives a Trukk a speed boost if it sideswipes one of its squadmates, potentially destroying it.
Speed Freaks are orks considered insane by other orks, having no regard for safety as they only seek to go fasta.
This is the whole point of any Vehicular Combat game you care to name, and a lot of racing ones as well.
The Italian driver, M. Rossi, in Forza Motorsport 3. He'll mash other racers off the starting line, floors the gas constantly, and will pass in zones that no sane driver would try to pass in.
This is the premise of the Crazy Taxi series of video games. The driving style of the Crazy Taxi Delivery Service was once described by Tips and Tricks as "record time without road maps, speed limits, or a regard for anyone's personal safety".
This is also part of the premise of the Burnout series; it even gives you points for traffic checks (however, you can never win at a game of chicken). The more dangerous the driving, the better.
Heck, from Burnout 3 onward most game modes in the series encourage you to run the other drivers off the road (often quite literally). Road Rage is still my personal favorite game type.
Then there's the modes where you have to cause as much carnage as possible. Oh you'll die in the crash, no danger of that, how many innocent people can you take with you?
The old racing game Whiplash (or Fatal Racing in Europe) was based around this as well, rewarding you for totalling your rivals' cars.
Maya Amano, from Persona 2. Apparently, anyway. Her driving is so bad that its infamy persists across the Alternate Universe in the sequel, where Ulala tells her, "Oh no, you don't! I've had enough of your driving!"
It's not quite an Informed Ability: in Innocent Sin the party lets Maya drive the blimp from the Air Museum and she crashes it. She did so badly that in Eternal Punishment, Tatsuya insists that Jun drive the blimp instead. When the time came for someone to drive a minisub, Tatsuya immediately volunteers so Maya won't even try. This is, apparently, due to Maya thinking her driving license applies to any vehicle, and her belief she's good enough to pull it off. The screams say otherwise.
Maya also tries to drive a boat in the last dungeon in Innocent Sin, and crashes into every rock along the way before the party asks Tatsuya to take over for her.
Plus most of the missions you take involve trying to either kill someone or get away from someone by any means necessary.
The GTA-driving style is even lampshaded by Ryder in San Andreas:
I'm saying that the East Coast made you drive like a idiot, fool! Man, you always crashing cars and shit. And for some reason, now you back, all it is is, "CJ, drive" here, "CJ, drive" there. Bullshit!
Dangerous Dave in SSX 3. Though he's never seen in person, he's mentioned often by DJ Atomika on RADIO BIG. Among other things, plans to build an airport in Big Mountain were cancelled when it was learned that the only local with the qualifications to pilot any of the planes was Dangerous Dave. Oh, and his wrecked planes litter the backcountry; there are literally dozens. In fact, he crashes right into the Peak 3 backcountry just as you near the first checkpoint.
The Boss in Saints Row 2 can also acknowledge his/her terrifying driving in a random quip during the "Thank you and Goodnight" mission. Everybody else does, too. That said, most of the motorists in Stillwater come under this trope, and the Boss will call other Saints on it if hitching a ride on a homie's vehicle.
The first two were enhanced with the 'Prat Cam', a cutaway view of drivers Max Damage and Die Anna laughing, cussing, howling and screaming like lunatics.
From the Call of Duty series we have Private MacGregor. Despite his total lack of anything approaching driving skills in the African theatre, Captain Price still lets him drive a lorry full of prisoners in France. Much to everyone's horror.
The first game has Sgt. Moody who manages to blast through half the German army in a clapped out old peugeot by virtue of being completely insane.
To say driving in the F-Zero games is like driving in Aspen in the winter during a salt shortage is putting it lightly. Of course, one of the challenges of the games is trying to get used to the fact that you're driving near-frictionless hovercrafts near the speed of sound, however the people over at Amusement Vision had a field day with GX.
Mass Effect, though somewhat unintentionally. The Mako APC handles superbly on flat terrain and in combat; however, there are very, very few sections of the game where flat terrain is present. The jagged mountains and very inhospitable terrain combined with little acceleration control results in somewhat... uneven driving. It's amazing permanent whiplash doesn't result. In addition, there is no such thing as fall damage while driving the Mako. This naturally leads to most players driving in straight lines towards their destination, regardless of what may lie in their way, i.e. canyons, mountains, buildings, geth armatures, very high cliffs...you can all buthearthepassengersscreaming.
And that's when it's working properly. When it's glitched...well...
The car chase in Lair of the Shadow Broker in the second game. For all of Liara's complaining whenever you almost-crash, she'll admit it's stillbetter than the Mako. Since Shepard is the common variable between the two situations, it may be that s/he is a personal example of this trope.
Liara: "Truck!" Shepard: "I know." Liara:"Truck!" Shepard:"I know!" Liara: "Yaaah!" Shepard: "Heh. There we go!" Liara: "You're enjoying this!"
It should be noted that Shepard has only officially crashed the Mako once... after driving it through a Mass Relay!
In Mass Effect 3, no-one lets James Vega forget about the incident on Mars, where his ingenious plan to take down an escaping enemy shuttle, was to crash their own shuttle into it. Even Shepard, who's own track record with vehicles isn't particularly spotless, gets in on it.
Similarly, vehicles in Unreal Tournament 2004 don't suffer damage from falling. This results in behavior like driving a tank off a bridge to get to the bottom of a canyon quickly. And since Car Fu is a favorite tactic and Friendly Fireproof is in effect, there's no reason not to drive like crazy and run over anything that moves. There's even a Daredevil award for pulling aerial stunts with ground vehicles.
An early mission in Elite Beat Agents centers around a taxi driver who compulsively rockets around town. He's threatened to have his license revoked, but a pregnant woman in labor hops in and demands he step on it. Unable to decide between rocketing to the hospital or obeying the law, he screams for help. That's where the EBA come in.
Gene Petromolla, one of the possible Love Interests in Mitsumete Knight, is a stagecoach driver who drives like this. Your first meet her when she almost runs over you.
Max: Mind if I drive? Sam: Not if you don't mind me clawing at the dash and shrieking like a cheerleader.
Not very surprising, considering he's too short to see over the dashboard.
And given Sam's own driving skills, the fact that Max behind the wheels scares him should speak volumes.
It's heavily implied that Ratchet isn't a particularly skilled pilot (pre-Tools of Destruction, at least), given the fact that he's managed to perform a crash landing in most every (if not every) ship he's handled. Including the sentient one. This is lampshaded on the first page in the first issue of the comic, too:
Ratchet: She's ready, I stake my pilot's license on it! [Gets glared at by Clank] Okay, I stake my theoretical pilot's license on it.
Emmy Altava from the Professor Layton series doesn't give a crap about road laws. One wonders how she convinced Hershel to let her behind the wheel of the Laytonmobile in the movie.
Deadly Premonition introduced the protagonist York while he's riving down a road in a heavy storm, smoking, typing on a laptop with one hand, and on the phone to his superiors discussing the sadomasochistic relationship of Tom and Jerry. He's the poster child for distracted driving, and yet he only loses control of the car after someone darts in front of him.
Mac Hall has a comic about this after one of the artist's friends turned off the street and drove over a curb just to get into a parking space.
"I'm an excellent city driver! Hell I'm a car NINJA! See that parking space?! I'M THERE!! The driver next to us?!DEAD! YOU DIDN'T HEAR ANYTHING!! NO ONE DID!!!"
It's heavily implied that Virus of Exterminatus Now is this. Despite never seeing him drive or pilot anything in the comic itself, he's managed to work himself a reputation for it, and there is nobody who will let him near a steering wheel.
A Game of Fools: Joey, who doesn't really comprehend the purposes of speed limits and seems to hit multiple people and cause horrible accidents every time he drives. It's stated in one strip the only reason he got his licence is because the instructor was so terrified she gave it to him so he would stop.
Police Officer: Do you have any idea how fast you were going? Joey: Not really, the speedo only goes up to 180. Police Officer: This is a school zone! Joey: I figure the less time I spend in the school zone, the less chance I have of hitting someone.
Flintlocke manages to completely invert a dirigible as well as bank it while perpendicular to the ground, which is somewhere between 'not recommended' and 'physically impossible.' His flying is summed up pithily by their Dirty Coward priest:
Liberation Member: "Sir, for the love of god, open your eyes!"
Tohdoh: "I won't lie: I've been drinking again."
SCP Foundation: There's a joke entry for "Dr. Gerald's Driving Skills". Apparently, Dr. Gerald is a supernaturally dangerous driver, to the extent that letting him get behind the wheel of any vehicle for any length of time (even mere seconds) will result in a hail of explosions, blood, and twisted metal right out of a Michael Bay chase sequence.
To they point the scientists decided to test their hypothesis that roller skates technically count as vehicles by making him skate into their Iranian counterpart's headquarters. They blew up.
Shadowhunter Peril has Veronica Carter, who drives like a total maniac...not to mention her vehicle of choice is a TANK. She enjoys blowing stuff up with it as well as driving, although it did come in handy during the Assault on Alicante arc, where she distracted a horde of demons, by shooting tank shells at them. Still, Ethan is scared of driving with her, and Umbra manages to find an excuse not to go with her.
The Hire: The Driver is usually some variant of this during chase scenes, but he spends almost the entirety of Star this way, much to the chagrin of the verbally abusive prima donna who failed to put on her seatbelt when she was asked to. He is very obviously enjoying himself too.
When Game Chap tries the latest Need for Speed game, Bertie is behind the wheel. True to his character, he manages to plow through everything possible, crash spectacularly, become chased by the police almost instantly, and terrify Gamechap at the thought of him driving in real life. Also, again true to his character, Bertie blames everybody but him, including the police, for the crashes and mayhem.
Bertie: "He's a useless driver, he shouldn't even be a police officer! Quickly, let's go!"
Gamechap: "He's trying to stop you, you know!"
Bertie: "We've got to get away from him, he's obviously a rogue!"
Though a very skilled driver, Brock Samson, of The Venture Brothers, when renewing his license to kill, totaled every car but his own on the driving range.
Hank drove this way in a more conventional sense (swerving from one side of the road to the other, going far too fast, etc.) when Dr. Girlfriends forced him to drive Brock's car to the Monarch's flying cocoon.
Coop from Megas XLR. When he had to renew his driver's license, the instructor passed him more out of fear than approval. He also operates his Humongous Mecha this way...
Max actually plays clips from this short in an episode of House of Mouse, to get even with his dad for not letting him get a car.
Goofy gets to be a bad driver again in the feature film A Goofy Movie, with one notable instance where he is reading the road map while driving, causing Max to tell him to put the map away after he nearly had a head-on collision with a truck.
He also appeared in a couple of educational shorts in the 1960s, playing various types of bad drivers seen in the then newly constructed freeway system.
Otto, the school bus driver, is frequently portrayed this way. The fact that he's almost always baked probably has something to do with it.
Homer also has his moments. Once, while driving down the road, covered his chest with nacho makings... then, needing to make room for the last ingredient, leaned his seat back so far that he couldn't see out the windshield at all. He has also been observed making fondue while driving, he once had an an oven in his car that he also used while driving and he also tried to drive with a bucket stuck in his head with only two tiny eye-holes. He also once had a smoke machine operating in the car. Then he said something to the effect of "Even I think this is stupid." Or "This is stupid, even for me."
Homer's ability to get frequently distracted behind the wheel, has sometime lead to Lisa being forced to take the wheel instead. Her lack of reaction seems to suggest that this has long since become a normal thing for her.
And Marge of all people develops a streak of this when she gets the a super-sized SUV called the Canyonero, to the point of having to take classes for road rage.
Mr. Burns drives a 19th-century automobile in the manner of early motorists (i.e. with complete disregard of any traffic rules) in one episode, exlaiming "Watch out, I'm motorized!" while pedestrians scramble out of the way of his wildly-swerving car.
Spongebob Squarepants can never pass his driving (boating) test properly. Once his teacher passes him just to get him out of her class, but becomes overwhelmed by guilt and fear thanks to a Imagine Spot of SpongeBob running over pedestrians.
In "Mrs. Puff, You're Fired", said teacher gets fired, resulting in SpongeBob receiving a Drill Sergeant Nastyshark for an instructor. After the whole regiment of Training from Hell, including crawling throuh the street, acid pit and the like, SpongeBob became an excellent driver... when and only if his eyes are closed.
Also, his talents in driving is limited to only a boat, where he can drive just about anything except it, even a sandwich.
Colleen in Road Rovers. Thankfully, the car does have airbags.
Ling Ling in Drawn Together is shown to be a horrible driver until he gets surgery to be less Asian. Yeah.
Stinkmeaner from The Boondocks. Of course, this is probably because he's blind and has a seething hatred for humanity as a whole.
An Animaniacs short titled "Little Old Slappy From Pasadena" is essentially a music video for the song "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena", with Slappy Squirrel in the title role, racing around town as the song plays.
Camp Lazlo: Slinkman of all people turned into this when he had the Idiot Ball. First he nearly wrecked a bus full of children due to the horrible shock of Lazlo agreeing to sit next to a girl. Later on, he was mocking and deliberately crashing through every sign he saw — still in a bus full of children — because he was disappointed with their latest field trip.
Bloo in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. After hijacking the Foster's Bus, he takes Mac all over the place, getting part time jobs as delivery boys in the process, and by the end of the episode, has the entire police force waiting outside the front door when they get back home. Oh yeah, did I mention that Mac was the one driving at one point, completely hopped up on sugar?
Interestingly enough, the Autobots in Transformers Animated. In "Human Error", they are seemingly turned into humans, and have to drive the vehicles their altmodes are based on. What an APC was doing in downtown, who knows? Optimus trails hoses everywhere, Ratchet drives backwards, and Bulkhead smashes into stuff (oh wait, he does that normally). Of course, they're used to being cars, not driving them.
Optimus: I have to hand it to the humans, driving is much more difficult than it looks.
Ratchet might actually be the dark horse of the Automen when it comes to driving skills — he may have been driving backwards, but he was doing so at highway speeds and not having as much trouble as anyone else!
Sentinel Prime displays poor driving skills in "Where Is Thy Sting", and has no such excuse.
In Adventures Of The Galaxy Rangers, Shane Gooseman considers "any landing you can walk away from" an example of perfectly valid piloting skills. Seeing as he is a genetically-engineered super soldier, his definition is a bit on the broad side.
Clerks: "Oh, no! Bear is driving? How can this be?!!"
Where's my pants?!?
Whatever you do, don't let Bonkers get behind the wheel of any vehicle.
Danny Phantom: Jack Fenton's driving ignores all speed limits, red lights, and certain laws of physics.
Tucker: Couldn't you have just flown us? Danny: The way my Dad drives, this is faster.
One of the Batman Rogues in the Batman/ Superman crossover episode "World's Finest" is a very bad driver, and surprisingly, it's notThe Joker, it's Harley Quinn. Just watch the scene where she impersonates Mercy and drives Lex Luthor's limo to the Joker, and it will become extremely apparent how bad she is at driving.
The TV version of Donkey Kong Country turns Funky Kong into one of these, airplane-style. He's a fair pilot, but tends to do a lot of loops and flips whenever he's flying, at one point flying upside-down without realizing it.
The Legend of Korra: Korra "parks" Asami's car by smashing it into a lamppost near the docks and netting about ten parking tickets in the process. When critiqued, she immediately points out that she does not know how to drive and was left alone to take the car home. Bolin compliments her on doing that well, given the circumstances.
This is a running gag on and off in episodes of the series Jem When the character Pizzazz drives anything cries of "Pizzazz look out" are usually heard as a common occurrence no matter what vehicle it is.
Launchpad McQuack of DuckTales and Darkwing Duck is of the Flies Like Crazy variety. He's actually a very skilled pilot and capable of some rather insane feats of aerobatics, but it's the landings you really have to watch out for.
Fairly OddParents: Wanda' is definetly this. She caused fires, down power lines, construction workers to take shelter in a sewer, etc. just because of her driving. Cosmo replies to her driving with this:
Cosmo: Hey look you made some new friends!
Okay maybe not.
In Motorcity, Mike Chilton is this, as far as Chuck is concerned. Although Mike's actually a very skilled driver at that.
Grunkle Stan from Gravity Falls can hardly put his hands on the steering wheel before he ends up crashing into something.
As these examples should well demonstrate, simply put, if the area has a way to get a driver's licence, chances are there's quite a few nuts out there that drive like they didn't take the test for that licence AT ALL. Or if they did they instantly forgot all the rules.
Want to know why the Chilean "Sol del Pacífico" ("Pacific Ocean's Sun") interurban buses are nicknamed "Terror del Pacífico" ("Terror of the Pacific Ocean")? This trope.
There is a reason why the TV news feature MANY car or bus crashes every day. Chileans are horrendous drivers that often go drive drunk like it's nothing, never pay attention to signals and often love driving over the legal speed limits. If you're driving in the big streets of Santiago... good luck.
There seems to be a cultural battle royal between several states of the US vying for the title of 'Worst Drivers in the Country' between California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. According to GMAC Insurance's annual study Washington DC stole the title from the reining champions of New York in 2011, while New Jersey is perpetually the runner-up.
Boston is the only city in the country known for drinking coffee and beer by the gallon, so chances are any driver you see is either really drunk or really wired.
In Boston, using turn signals is considered giving information to the enemy.
And then there's all the lovely rotaries throughout the state.
Some areas of the state actually have mandated dubious driving, just to make things better (and by "better", I mean "worse"). Mainly highway exits which require fast double or even triple lane changes to be able to make the exit if you're coming from certain directions. Also some roads which are two or three cars wide yet have no lane markings.
Californians are infamous for our bad driving habits. There's a reason why we coined the term "Rush Hour". How bad is it on other states? Montana, a state that made do without speed limits, had to put them back in to deal with the damn Californian yuppie tourists.
Yellow light? Challenge accepted.
Stop signs are treated more like Yield signs, Yield signs are kind of like 'Suggestions' but everyone shapes up the second they see a cop...and go right back to shenanigans once he turns the corner. There's a reason that slowing up for a stop sign then continuing through the intersection without actually stopping is known across the US as a "California Roll".
There is a blog out specifically to capture daily occurrences of bad driving in Los Angeles known as L.A. Can't Drive. Firsthand accounts can be found in bushels here.
"Never use your turn signal. That gives them warning of your intentions!" — a California uncle, on his car phone, while driving, to his Alaskan relatives, sometime in the mid-1990s
Colorado has fairly reasonable traffic laws, but nobody seems to ever follow them (Speed limits are a minimum, a yellow light means "floor it," red light means "floor it harder," and "no left-turn" or "no-U-turn" signs are used to inform drivers that such actions can be performed there). There are... rumors... that California has been invading Colorado in earnest for several years now.
There is a reputation among those from New York and New Jersey are some of the worst drivers in the country. While both of these states have their fair share of crazy drivers, some of the worst have to be from Connecticut. Anyone who moves from New Jersey, who is used to the jughandles to connect to roads and intersections will not be used to the quadro-stop sign intersections.
There's a joke that there are no "high speed chases" in Houston. Everyone drives like that.
Minnesota pales in comparison, but it's a general belief among the natives that the only way to combat the terrible road conditions is to drive like the road were intact. This, obviously, can cause problems.
New Hampshire drivers insult "Massholes" and "Connecticunts" with relish, but the truth is that they're pretty horrible themselves. In the summer, everyone either drives infuriatingly slow or fast enough to scare the shit out of a Tel Aviv taxi driver; in the winter, people will drive as recklessly as the conditions will allow their car to tolerate. Also, mud season means that you cannot go anywhere near a backroad without a beaten-up pickup or a Jeep barreling out at you like a bat outta hell. Also, above all else, they're friggin' RUDE. Seriously, the middle finger is the NH state bird, not the NJ one, and "fuck you, faggot" is pretty much the official state slogan once you're on the road. And then there's the joke than the reason the roads are so terrible is to provide at least some level of speed control.
People who live in the more rural areas of the east coast further from the over crowded cities and roads often joke about driving in them
In Maryland, the joke goes that you can always tell who's from out of town by noting which ones use their turn signals, as no God-fearing Maryland native would use turn signals.
In the Outer Banks of North Carolina, at least, Pennsylvania drivers are the bane of local residents' existence. It's to the point where one popular bumper sticker there says "LAPD: Locals Against Pennsylvania Drivers." Outside of tourist season, those in the northern part just make fun of Virginians.
Meanwhile, no one in Texas knows how to drive in the rain.
Any Mexican metropolis. Good luck trying to stick to the 50 km/h avenue speed limit: in Guadalajara, if the stretch is long enough, everybody will do 100 km/h. This is even worked in the laws, where U-turns and right turns are always legal unless noted. The larger, heavier and more difficult to handle is the vehicle, the higher the speed — especially if they're driving a bus or a luxury SUV.
Speed bumps in Mexico City are used as thrill devices by young people there. That is, they accelerate when approaching a speed bump to get their cars to leap into the air and land with a jolt. In response, speed bumps became huge there—so huge that older cars cannot gain the momentum to get over them, leading to more problems.
Cancun, Mexico. They have a bus nicknamed the Rambo Bus for a reason. And it gets so packed that people have been known to just hang on to the outside.
Montreal has a nonstandard relationship between drivers and pedestrians: the pedestrians cross the street at whatever point they feel like using, and the drivers do not make any particular effort to stop for them (at least, not unless they're backed up by a red light, insofar as Montreal drivers are willing to stop for red lights in the first place). Crossing the road in Montreal therefore requires that you pay attention to the traffic and have nerves of steel.
Montreal cab drivers in particular, if the stand-up at the Just for Laughs festival is to be believed.
For each of the past three seasons (5, 6, and 7) of Canada's Worst Driver, there has has been one contestant from Montreal with speed/road rage issues.
Ever want to vacation in Nova Scotia? Four words: idiots on their phones. They also have a tendency to speed, cut people off without blinkers and almost hit other cars. Also, if you come to a crosswalk, make sure to run.
This also well describes Sacramento, California, if you also add the "charming" habit of making turns across several lanes (e.g. left turn from far right lane).
Panama City has the reputation of begetting the worst drivers of Central America, and it's not unjustified. Public transportation is awful, buses are known for conducting races or "regatas" through the city's major arteries at night, often make stops where no vehicle is supposed to, and are a significant cause of traffic accidents, to the extent that they're known as Diablos Rojos (red devils). No, it's not an affectionate nickname. Because of this, most of the population that can afford it prefers to move through the city via taxi or scrounge up the money to get their own car. Not that taxis and personal vehicles are any better than the buses — apparently traffic lines are optional for these drivers, as are red lights, stop signs, speed limits, yield signs, no-U-turn signs and other traffic signals. Road shoulders are just another lane to drive on, and in a 15-minute drive you might find around 10 cars that drive down the right-turn-only lane but then make a left turn at the intersection. Car honks are so overused that they've almost become an accepted dialect. Traffic accidents are the second leading cause of death in the country.
In Argentina, crossing the road is basically Russian Roulette for pedestrians. Road markings (within cities, anyway) only exist so that there are some nice lines on the street as nobody stays within their lane. Nobody cares about speed limits, either.
Jeremy Clarkson once described the Barbados Highway Code as "you can do whatever you like, at whatever speed takes your fancy, so long as you are leaning on the horn at the time."
Canadian pianist Glenn Gould was famously a terrifying person with whom to drive. "It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion," he once remarked, "but on the other hand, I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it."
Detroit is known as the 'motor city', to that extent we're also known as one of the states with the worst cases of road rage in the whole US. The examples above pale in comparison to the crazy stunts pulled by Michigan drivers on the road. This includes but is not limited to:
Putting makeup on while driving.
Driving with a dog in your lap.
Driving while texting or talking on a cell phone.
Driving over or under the speed limit or cutting across two lanes of traffic because you nearly missed that driveway you wanted to turn in.
cutting off other drivers or speeding up to ensure another driver doesn't pass you.
Cutting or giving the bird to other drivers for honking their horns when it's your fault they're doing that.
Using a product that requires both hands to use and needs your full attention, this includes books, road maps, training manuals, etc.
Oh and we can't forget about the person who forgot to set their parking brake so the car was pulling reverse donuts next to a gas station with no one inside of it!
Traffic laws exist to be ignored throughout much of the Middle East.
Drivers in Beirut are famous for just going as fast as they can, sidewalks, intersections, and hills (Beirut has a lot of hills) be damned.
Cairo is, if anything, even worse: though there aren't any real hills in Cairo, Cairenes make up for it by actively refusing to obey traffic lights (and paying only casual attention to traffic police) and barreling down the city's narrow alleys in at speeds usually reserved for surface streets in most countries.
It is rumored that there are traffic regulations in Damascus, but tourists are warned not to expect, say, adherence.
In South Korea no-one uses turn signals, the motorcyclists are all out to kill you, and no one goes under 60 kph, even on tiny little side streets.
China. Right turn on red is legal in almost any circumstance, making crossing the road a dangerous proposition. Most license plates with red on it (red letter(s) at the beginning denoting military vehicles) are above traffic law. Literally. They only answer to their direct superiors. A few streets become impromptu racetracks at night. In short, every tourist to China is strongly recommended to take the local public transport unless they're experts.
Filipino drivers are known for having no idea what a "speed limit" is, that the turn signal should be used when overtaking and/or switching lanes, and for the idea that it's not good to stop in the middle of the road being completely alien to them.
There's actually a joke in the Philippines about it. Many in the Western world say Filipino drivers don't know how to drive on the road. The Filipinos say those Western drivers don't know how to survive on the [Philippines'] road.
Another has it, saying that if you could drive in the Philippines (especially Manila), you could drive anywhere. A Cracked entry even compared it to living out Death Race 2000.
A more exaggerated version of this is that You can take any Jeepney driver off the road, put him into a World Rally Championship Racecar and pretty much guarantee that he will win time and time again.
Most of the driving schools in Metro Manila do not have their own test courses. That's because the entire city itself is the test course.
Almost no matter where you go (possible exceptions being the more-recently-built tollways), roads in the Philippines can be treacherous. Urban roads tend to have confusing routes and few if any markings. Then there are the improvised barriers and even bridges used to redirect traffic bottlenecks. This is one reason driving in Metro Manila and most other cities is nerve-wracking as without the markings traffic enforcement is quite lax. Meanwhile, mountain roads tend to twist and turn wildly, usually without much between the flimsy guardrail and a plunge over the edge.
Jeepneys and their drivers are considered a cultural icon by foreigners, and the bane of the road by Philippine Drivers. This is because other than a worker's union of fellow Public Transportation drivers, there is no governing body for them and the drivers basically have an 'every man for themselves' mentality. The cars themselves are maintained out of the driver's pocket money alone and are commonly seen with makeshift repairs and maintenance (hubcaps and rims placed with zip ties, bumpers stuck on with duct tape, etc.). At night it's common to see Jeepneys with either one or no headlights on because it saves on the car's battery, so on a dark street there is no warning of a lightless Jeepney other than the roar of the Diesel engine. Multiple Jeepneys trying to collect passengers on one street, especially when they're competing with Taxis, can effectively turn that street (or the outermost lanes of the street) into a parking lot (commonly seen at the loading bays of malls). They also have less-than-mint condition brakes so they have no chpice but to slam the brakes to get a full stop, and even then it doesn't work half the time. Worse still, since Jeepney Drivers are more or less from the lower end of the salary scale, any accidents involving jeepneys would cast the Jeepney Driver in an underdog light in courts.
The Indians have developed a proverb for driving: "Good horn, good brakes, good luck." There are at least 27 different types of vehicles on the roads in India, from regular automobiles to pedestrians to ox-drawn carts to ox-drawn tractors. It's sheer madness.
Because of Israel's near-universal conscription, most of the population has probably driven a humvee, tank, or airplane at some point in their life. The problem is, they haven't forgotten that and continue to drive cars and busses in that style. (This justifies Ziva's driving in NCIS, by the way).
Ziva justifies her driving by saying that erratic driving is the best way to avoid IE Ds and suicide bombers, which her associates note are rather rare on American roads. According to another Israeli later in the show, Ziva is a lunatic even by their standards.
Most Israeli drivers also seem have an intense love affair with the car horn, judging be the frequent use of it.
Singapore: Luck be with you should you get on a public bus - it's a roulette between a good, safe driver; a bad driver; and a bad driver that drives like mad. Expect to end up with the latter two more often when taking buses from a company called SMRT (which happens to be Slovene for "death"). And if you are taking the late-night after-hours bus routes that operate on weekends, kiss all hope goodbye when you get on the ones operated by the same company mentioned above (called "Night Rider"). They will not hesitate to push the bus over 80 km/h on everything from expressways to narrow streets. This in a country where the legal speed limit for buses is 60 km/h.
And they say that Singapore is known for their discipline.
They're getting better these days. The bus drivers, that is. The train drivers, on the other hand, can't park.
As for civilian drivers, beware of anyone driving a Mercedes Benz or a BMW. Rich people on this island drive aggressively.
While they don't have that much of a reputation, Japan's narrow roads lead to a lot of pedestrian fatalities. It's been said that Japan is the only country where more people are killed by cars than in them. Ironically Japanese drivers are amongst the best behaved in terms of behind-the-wheel etiquette.
Indonesia. The Jakarta government once arranged a program to for once actually monitor the lanes used by the Busway transit system. In a matter of days, over 2,000 trespassers were caught. Keep in mind, Indonesian cops aren't exactly famous for not taking bribes, so the actual figure could be higher.
In short: many, many tiny little motorcycles all bearing down on you at once, beeping their horns. Pedestrian crossings do not exist and there's no actual established horn etiquette, nor is there a limit to just how big something can be before it's too big to be strapped to the back of a motorbike and hauled across the city at high speed. What do you do if you need to cross the road there? Well, the drivers generally steer around you, so the simplest method is to step off the curb and try really hard not to wet yourself.
The U.S. State Department's official guide to living in Ho Chi Minh City for diplomatic personnel assigned there begins with "Virtually everyone in HCMC owns a motorbike and operates it like there's no tomorrow" in its section on driving.
Hong Kong. In a region where everyone has a higher chance of high-blood pressure because of the rush stress of the people, you can bet that this transfers to the driving too. As one website with a guide to Hong Kong driving says, "Emergency lights can mean anything from 'I have to go pee,' to 'I'm putting in a CD' to 'I'm breathing' to 'I'm human.'" Accidents occur at a high rate (luckily, the efficiency of Hong Kong clears them out within 5 minutes).
Among the popular car accessories in Taiwan is a GPS add-on that warns you when you're about to reach the location of a known speed camera. Naturally, people like to use this to speed whenever they're not in the vicinity of a speed camera.
Another popular accessory is in-car satellite TV. For the driver to watch.
When stopped at a red light, many people don't seem to watch the light in front of them waiting for it to turn green. Rather, they watch the light to their side, the one for traffic going perpendicular to them. When it turns yellow, they start revving up, and launch away the instant it turns red, as if it were a race track's starting lights with the colors reversed. If you reach an intersection while the light says "walk" and want to cross the street, you're best off waiting until it cycles to "don't walk" and start crossing the instant it cycles back to "walk", to give yourself maximal time to be clear of the intersection before the aforementioned phenomenon occurs. In the cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung, it's not unusual to see people going into the subway station not to ride the subway, but to cross through the station and come out another exit, essentially using the station as an underground crosswalk.
In some major cities, there are now timers on the stoplights, counting the time remaining for both the red and green lights.
Most people just use it as a sign to rev up, or step on it.
The law that requires passengers to fasten their seat belts used to only apply to the front seats. Before the new law was passed in 2011 to extend the requirement to the back seats as well, fastening your seat belt in the back seat would make people think you're weird and actually attract derisive comments.
While Malaysian car drivers are usually good on the road, the motorcycle riders drives like stunt performers. They are locally called mat rempit and among the stunts they performed are: wheelie while switching lanes and overtaking other vehicles, laying the riders body horizontally (dubbed as the superman) and standing onto the body while letting the motorcycle drives on its own (sometimes with the driver's partner).
The traffic laws in Italy are more guidelines, really.
In Rome you'll see Smart cars parking like Clouseau did in the new Pink Panther movies, you'll see motorcycles and mopeds zigzagging through stationary AND moving cars. No standing near the street while waiting to cross it, you may have your toes run over...
Quote from an Italian friend: "You see all those white and yellow lines on the road? See all those signs and pretty lights? They're for decoration."
Bill Bryson suggested that the safest way to cross a road in Italy is to wait for some nuns to walk past and use them as, effectively, a human shield.
A quote: "In America, they drive on the right side of the road. In England, they drive on the left side of the road. In Naples, they drive on the shady side of the road."
Dave Barry, talking about Italian drivers, claimed that speed limit signs were useless there, on the grounds that none of the drivers could see them, since "light cannot go as fast as Italian drivers do".
Jeremey Clarkson talking about road rules in Rome says something similar to: "A red light does not mean stop, it means well the green light was fun, lets try a red light now and see what that does"
To quote at least one taxi driver from Rome: "Only crazy people drive in Rome. Taxi drivers extra crazy."
Ukraine has a few unwritten rules about driving. One of them is apparently, "If you turn on your emergency lights, it is the equivalent of God Mode, No Clip." Driving backwards on a freeway, against the current? Sure!
In most ex-USSR countries (Ukraine included) if your emergency lights are on, you can pretty much ignore the traffic laws. Just don't forget to turn on the siren as well to notify the folks further down the road.
Any and all British minicab drivers are like this.
Ditto British takeaway drivers - Do NOT get in the way of a guy in a Metro with a stack of pizzas to go!
Greece. Traffic laws are vague suggestions, the roads are dreadful and everyone seems to be in a hurry. The exception is driving legally.
Every French driver is a raging lunatic. There's (sadly) a reason why France has the highest number of deaths in car accidents in Europe. There's a reason there's a pedestrian walkway under Place de l'Etoile. Driving it is dangerous enough, attempting to walk through it would be downright suicidal.
Accidents happen so often on Place de l'Etoile that insurance companies will only cover the damage to their own policyholder. Guess why.
Finland, if Top Gear is to be believed. Though in their case, it's justified. Finland's roadways have been described by some as utterly insane. And it takes almost four years for anyone to get a license.
Top Gear claims that because of this road system and their very strict training regime Finland has produced dozens of great drivers throughout the world of Motorsport. They were called The Flying Finns for a reason.
Corsica is a beautiful country, and the locale are genuinely welcoming (until you tell them they are French, they speak Italian or you forget that you're just guests), but God help you if you have to drive.
Bosnia is in the middle of the Dinaric Alps, gets lots of snow and the streets are narrow, full of potholes, overcrowded and in many cases look like they're built for rallying and not every-day traffic. Most drivers are mindful of those things and, especially in the countryside, veritable Mac Guyvers behind the wheel, some... just don't give a fuck.
In practice, things get a bit different, as the experienced drivers are fast, but in most cases they will pay attention to road condition, traffic policeman signals and their own reason. The few who did not went six feet under when they met a tree or building which did not budge.
That stereotype about Eastern European cab drivers is totally valid, and what's more, in the former USSR country of Georgia, everyone drives like that. A normally two-hour trip can take from 90 minutes to just under an hour depending on how fast the person's car goes. Speedometers are funny topics of conversation, signals are just annoying things on your dashboard, traffic patterns and lights - if there are any, usually there aren't in the villages - are simply decoration. Don't even ask about marshrutkas. Yes, you really rock like that. No, it's usually going much faster. And there are a lot more people.
The Dutch are not known for their crazy driving... but WATCH OUT FOR THAT BIKE!
Brussels has been named Europe's most congested city. Topping towns like Rome and Athens, mind you.
Any season of any of the Worst Driver series will likely include someone like this. Some of them are genuinely terrifying.
It gets scarier. One episode of Canada's Worst Driver featured a teenager so arrogant and unwilling to learn on top of his poor driving that they kicked him out... and he was training to be a cop.
Don't forget the guy who boasted about have sex with some girl while he was driving. How the the hell is that physically possible, anyway?
This. Driving like a lunatic is one thing, but this woman going straight through the wall of the test centre where she was meant to take her driving test and injuring 11 people might be something else entirely...
This used to be common in Formula One, as drivers would literally scare their opponents out of the way, but it fell out of favour in the push for increased safety following the death of Ayrton Senna. Nowadays, Japanese drivers use this trope a lot; Takuma Sato, Kamui Kobayashi and Ukyo Katayama as recent examples. Katayama was nicknamed Kamikaze, while Kobayashi has been called Cowboyashi, Kobaybashi and Kowasabi. Otherwise, the Japanese drivers are considered the nicest and most polite on the grid.
In the 2012 season Pastor Maldonado has had a bizarre season from flicking between racing brilliantly (e.g. his first win in Spain) without incident to causing incident after incident, something he's been called out on numerous times.
Drivers From Hell glorified those who should never have gotten a license. One man, bragging about all the road laws he's broken, may be the best example.
"I haven run over anyone yet, but it's on the list."
The otherwise mild-mannered Ulysses S. Grant was actually quite the speed freak, and was the first president to be given a speeding ticket for going upwards of forty miles per hour on a street in Washington DC — in a horse-drawn carriage. He also won an impromptu drag race against Andrew Johnson's carriage... with Pres. Johnson still in it.
Diplomats are famous for ignoring all traffic laws, invoking immunity if they are pulled over. Just in New York City, diplomats have raised 17 million dollars in parking violations.
Volvo drivers are stereotyped as this. In the UK the Volvo-driver stereotype - especially among motorcyclists - is of someone who drives in a slow and extremely boring manner, not "like crazy" at all, but just doesn't bother to look for any possible obstructions smaller than a truck, relying on his car's robust construction to keep him safe.
German makes such as Audi and BMW, whose drivers tend to consider them to be the last word in performance machinery and try and prove it whenever they go anywhere. The stereotype also includes jokes about indicators on these cars being an optional extra which most buyers do not bother to specify.
Hummer drivers are almost universally considered to be this, especially given the sheer size of the cars and the amount of money required to even own one. And then there's the fact that Hummers were originally designed to carry troops and withstand IEDs, meaning that their defenses are overkill in anyplace that's not a warzone. Most laughably, the civilian version of the Hummer H1 lacks any sort of protection underneath, so running over a smaller car would destroy the said car, but cripple the Hummer. At nearly 11,000lbs in weight, good luck trying to tow it away.