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Drives Like Crazy

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"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."

You've probably dealt with one on the road before. The ones who see yield signs as merely friendly suggestions. They think yellow means "proceed while gesturing" and red lights mean "stop... if you want to". Orange construction signs are to them what red is to a bull. They curse out the oncoming traffic for not diving off the shoulder fast enough. They refuse to use turn signals, so as not to give away their plans to "enemy" drivers. They absolutely do not give one lonely mountain-dwelling fuck about the rules of the road — especially not speed limits. They will probably have a lot of near misses and cause other drivers to have accidents (whether on the road or in their pants, take your pick; meanwhile the maniacs behind the wheel avoid any major crashes themselves, besides perhaps a Fruit Cart, and if they survive, will yell "WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING!!"), their car will be covered in dents, any passengers are in for a traumatic experience... and woe betide any driver who dares to pass them. Expect them to pop up on a Sadist Show as a Lethal Klutz sooner or later. If it's very soon, it may overlap with Running Over the Plot.

To the extent that it is still a living trope, this is often a stereotype of women, Asians, Asian women, Southern Europeans, New Englanders (especially those from Massachusetts or Maine), elderly drivers, many a Deranged Taxi Driver, the Hollywood Police Driving Academy, and generally anyone from out-of-state. In Russia, this is associated with Caucasian driversnote . All in all, this stereotype can apply to literally ANYONE.

The Trope Namer is the "Weird Al" Yankovic car song "She Drives Like Crazy". Compare Driver Faces Passenger. See also Captain Crash, Dinky Drivers, The Trouble with Tickets, Car Meets House, Drunk Driver, and Kids Driving Cars. Often a cause of Watch the Paint Job or The Precious, Precious Car, or may be a reason someone Does Not Drive. If the driver is deliberately trying to kill someone with their driving skills, that's Car Fu. Someone in a Chase Scene or Wacky Racing can be excused for this sort of behavior, unless they're having far too much fun. If their car looks like a testament to their driving, pray for as smooth a ride as you can get.

Has a complex relationship with Badass Driver, as they both tend to scare everyone around them. The difference is the Badass Driver actually knows what they are doing, and how to pull off such stunts. Those who Drive Like Crazy... do not.

Absolutely Don't Try This at Home or outside. Consequences include but not limited to: suspension or revocation of your driver's license, increased insurance costs, injury, and death.

Examples Subpages:

Other examples:

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  • Any of the old 1980s commercials featuring Vince and Larry the Crash Test Dummies (at least ones where they actually drive), and they don't wear seatbelts either (seeing as they're supposed to encourage you to wear them by acting like morons).
  • A Visa commercial has a Thai taxi driver pick up Pierce Brosnan and (assuming he's carrying the actual James Bond on a mission) fulfill this trope. As a tie-in to No Time to Die (when it was to be released in 2020), Heineken would do something similar with Daniel Craig in Spain.
  • In this South African car insurance ad, two old ladies are driving at high speed through town in a huge car, while people scream as they leap out of their path. After a while, Mavis, the passenger, says "Muriel, did you know you've just gone through a red light and over a roundabout and you haven't even slowed down?" Muriel looks at Mavis in surprise and replies, "Am I driving?"
  • "American Honda Presents DC Comics Supergirl": In this seat belt safety Public Service Announcement, Fred Dumpty -a Humpty Dumpty- parody boasts about being a good driver, but he never wears his seat belt, rides on the sidewalk because he likes staring at his passengers as telling jokes, nearly hits several people- including one woman and her baby-, and ends slamming and cracking his head into the steering wheel.

    Audio Plays 
  • The eponymous character of the Dutch series Ome Henk note  is a very anti-social and dangerous driver. He has been without a license for 36 years and ends up totaling the car in his first actual lesson by trying to jump an open bridge. His rival Arie de Beuker note  isn't any better despite being a professional trucker.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering has Goblin Test Pilot. When it becomes tapped, it's going to slam into something - it's just that nobody knows what. It could run over that inconvenient 1/1 on the enemy side that's screwing with your plans, it could ding your opponent in the head, it could mildly annoy their giant monster, it could ding you in the head, or it could commit explosive suicide. There's no way to know.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • Delirium from The Sandman (1989) claims to be a good driver. However, putting a mentally unstable and easily-distracted immortal behind the wheel proves to be disastrous. She is an Anthropomorphic Personification, however, so perhaps mortal traffic laws and her passengers might not understand the fact.
  • Tintin:
    • In the 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.
    • Prof. Calculus in Tintin: Destination Moon... okay, he was very angry at that time. He also says that one of these days, he'll learn how to drive. "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  at speed among other supernaturally enhanced motorcycle stunts.
  • In one Marvel Adventures: The Avengers comic, Ka-Zar the jungle hero is visiting New York, and thinks he should get a driver's license (there aren't any cars in the Lost World where he lives). Everyone is terrified at the thought of having to be his tutor, since he fits this trope, and never realizes what their problem is.
  • 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. Most likely the artist simply didn't think it through.
    • This gets a Continuity Nod in the 1990s JSA miniseries, in which GL, Flash and Mid-Nite hire a car and Jay comments that they shouldn't have told the hire firm Charles would be driving...
  • 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's 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...
  • Spider-Man didn't really see the point of getting a driver's license since he lives in New York and already had a cool way to get around. When he finally did get a normal vehicle, 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 completely unnecessary, the really awful thing was how much Peter sucked at driving. The Spider-Mobile was ditched and he's since gotten an actual license, but he still isn't someone you'd want driving you back from the airport. One story has Spider-Man driving the Spider-Mobile (which could drive on walls much like its owner/namesake) on the Daily Bugle, covering the building with skidmarks, to piss off Jonah.
  • Monet calls out Sabretooth as this in Uncanny X-Men (2016). We see him speeding down the road, and he appears to be swerving a bit. Monet tells him to slow down, saying that he's as dangerous driving as he is in a fight.
  • The new Archer & Armstrong series casts Armstrong as an insanely reckless driver. To be fair, 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.
  • Wild Card of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel) is notorious for how he drives his Mean Dog armored vehicle. Common in-universe consensus is that when Wild Card is behind the wheel, the Mean Dog becomes an extension of himself. Considering the man is inexplicably capable of destroying just about anything he comes into contact with just through everyday use, that's really saying a lot. The Mean Dog seats up to three, but surprisingly few people want to ride along with him. Humorously, a glance at Wild Card's toy biography reveals why this might be the case: while his primary skill is driving armored vehicles, his secondary specialty is assisting the company's chaplain. Presumably he's getting practice from all the uttered prayers and divine invocations of his passengers.
  • In the Asterix books, the free-spirited youth Justforkix is perceived to be this with a horse-drawn chariot.
  • Impulse drove an SUV off a cliff in his own series. Years later the Teen Titans discover it's a bad idea to let Impulse drive after he badgers his best friend Robin into letting him drive the Batmobile:
    Wonder Girl: That was a disaster. I never put on a seatbelt so quickly in my life.
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer: Theo has never driven without crashing, which Nim uses to quickly veto his bid to be driver. He gives the excuse that "That tree was drunk" for result of his last driving attempt.
  • Typical of Spanish comic book Mortadelo y Filemón, where Mortadelo usually does this every time he grabs a car. In El Sulfato Atómico, he does it with a power shovel of all things.
  • Transformers (2019): Road Rage is a calm, collected, and polite Cybertronian. When she's in robot mode. Once she transforms into her winged car alternate mode, though, a short-circuit drives her into a frenzy where at best she exhibits a total lack of concern for anyone around her and at worst she becomes outright hostile and willing to blast anyone who gets in her way with her lasers and missile launchers. And she feels absolutely horrible about it once she shifts back into robot mode.
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police: Both members of the titular duo qualify, but Max is especially dangerous behind the wheel due to a combination of him being too short to see over the dashboard and being so detached from reality that it really doesn't matter how well he can see the road.
    Sam: Max, in America it's customary to drive on the right.
    Max: It's turning into a damn police state, Sam!
  • In the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, Magica De Spell is an extremely aggressive flying broomstick rider, to the point that when witches introduced a riding license she almost failed to pass in spite of having years of experience. This can be blamed entirely on said years of experience largely consisting in high-speed attack runs against the Money Bin and races over the continental US, the Atlantic Ocean, Spain, and half the Mediterranean Sea to get to the Vesuvius before Scrooge's jet.
  • Suske en Wiske: The villains in "De Tuf-Tuf Club" use this as a point of pride. You can't join their club unless you are a dangerous driver, their membership ranks are based on various slang terms for dangerous drivers, and they fight using Car Fu.

    Comic Strips 
  • In one strip from Bloom County, Opus somehow gets a car to use on a date. Milo's reaction upon learning this? "Alert Civil Defense!!"
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Calvin on his sled (or wagon). He seems to enjoy hitting "every obstacle" on the hill, as Hobbes put it. He also prefers to have philosophical discussions during the ride, and therefore isn't paying attention to where he is going in the first place. These strips usually end with Calvin and Hobbes either crashing into something or going off a cliff.
      Calvin: We missed the briar patch, didn't we?!
      Hobbes: By going down the gulley and into the stream, yes.
    • Also:
      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.
    • One strip with no dialogue starts with Suzy making a snowman; Calvin and Hobbes are out of control on their sled, there's a crash, then the snowman is sliding on the sled, and in the last panel, Calvin is on Suzy's shoulders and Hobbes is on Calvin's.
    • Once Calvin's sled actually caught fire during a ride. Fortunately, he and Hobbes were able to extinguish it because the pond hadn't frozen yet.
  • 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.
  • 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."
    • "You're talking about nine-digit speeds. I've only flirted with four."
    • "Look, zero G!"
    • One strip in '98 had Jason playing Carmageddon on his computer as Paige watched over his shoulder. She noticed the game seemed awfully familiar. Last panel:
      Paige: It's weird. I swear I've been in this car.
      Jason: You know, now that you mention it...
      Peter: Paige, I'm going to the mall. Need a ride?
    • A Sunday strip saw Jason make a track for his toy car that features steep drops, multiple twists and turns, a gap to jump, and several loop-the-loops, the punchline being that he's trying to recreate the time Peter drove him and Paige home during an ice storm.
  • Jump Start:
    • Joe's mother Dot. 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?"
  • The Lockhorns: Loretta Lockhorn is not seen in a car as often as she's seen with steering wheel in hand.
  • 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.
  • In one Knights of the Dinner Table story, Bob, Dave, and Brian describe a road trip to a con where they got into a crash because they were playing Hackmaster and Dave (who was driving) was trying to retrieve a die from the heater vent instead of watching the road.
  • A comic strip in a British car mag showed a learner lorry driver not driving like crazy, and the main character asking his friend why you never saw that sort of consideration for other road users once they passed the test. His friend replied it was obvious — those are the ones that fail.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • 101 Dalmatians:
      • Cruella de Vil drives her hot rod in a manner more fitting a monster truck, fishtailing all over the place and plowing through thickets to try and reach the escaping puppies.
      • Horace and Jasper also do this, swerving all over the road as they attempt to cut off the fleeing truck the dogs are on.
    • Madame Medusa in The Rescuers, whether she's using her jet ski or Cruella de Vil's car, even. She was originally meant to be Cruella, but she was eventually made into a new character animated using footage from 101 Dalmatians, especially the driving.
    • Sykes in Oliver & Company, during his Villainous Breakdown at the climax. He drives his car down into a subway station and onto the train tracks, pulls back on the gear shift so hard that it breaks off, and shreds the tires on the rails as he pursues Fagin's gang and Jenny. This ultimately leads to his death when, sure enough, an oncoming train runs him over.
    • The Little Mermaid: In the "Tour of the Kingdom" sequence, Eric hands Ariel the reins to the carriage, and she ends up driving over a ravine. However, after jumping the ravine, she seems to ease up a bit.
    • Gogo drives like crazy in Big Hero 6, but that's pretty standard, since they are being pursued by a supervillain at the time. The real mention is Wasabi, who creates an inversion when he still drives legally even when pursued by Yokai. Gogo takes over by sitting on Wasabi's lap.
      Go-Go: [incredulous] Did you just put your blinker on?!
      Wasabi: You have to indicate your turn! It's the LAW!
      Go-Go: THAT'S. IT.
    • At the end of Zootopia, Judy and Nick stop a car that's going at about 115 MPH around the streets. The punchline is that the driver is one of the sloths from the DMV.
  • Kiina from BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn intentionally when evading an attacking Skopio. She combines this with Badass Driver.
  • The Mind's Eye: The Gate to the Mind's Eye features someone in a Flying Car doing this. Their antics include veering wildly from side to side (likely caused by the vehicle's large rear end), bouncing off walls and other structures, breaking hard and forcing the camera view to rear-end it, and ending in what is likely a fatal collision with a massive wall inside a sectioned-off tunnel inside a building.
  • Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea: Lisa. 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 is able to outrun supernatural waves without injuring herself or her son.
  • The Prince of Egypt: As part of a Time Skip between his adoption and the present, the movie transits to a young adult Moses and his brother, Crown-Prince Ramses, engaging in a reckless Chariot Race that endangers numerous civilians and (unintentionally) defaces a monument to Ramses' father, Pharaoh Seti. Shortly after, Seti has the two brought before him and chews them out for their antics.
    Pharaoh Seti: Why do the gods torment me with such reckless, destructive, blasphemous sons!?
  • North in Rise of the Guardians, much to Bunnymund's terror and Jack and Sandman's amusement.
    North: Everyone, to the sleigh! Buckle up!
    Bunnymund: Where are the bloody seat belts?
    North: (laughs) That was just expression!
  • Towards the end of The Secret Life of Pets 2, Gidget goes to help Max and Snowball with rescuing the tiger by having the cats of their Crazy Cat Lady hide all of their food. They then gather together for feeding time, forcing a trip to the store to get more food. The cat lady proves to ultimately be this, wearing what seems to be a Sleep Mask during the trip and actually sleeping during part of it. Most of the time, it seems like the cats are actually doing the driving.
  • Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back: Zartog when he hijacks the car of the guys who accidentally hit him.
  • In Turning Red, Ming drives like this. When she drives off after being caught spying on Mei by the security guard, she comes within centimetres of hitting him with the back of the car.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit:
    • Benny the Cab; the first time Eddie and Roger meet him in the film, they have to spring him from the Weasels' paddy wagon, because they arrested him for driving on the sidewalk. ("It was only for a couple of miles!" complains Benny.) Of course, when Roger and Eddie have to use him to escape from Judge Doom and his goons, he really drives likes crazy. (Of course, Benny is a toon.)
    • Judging from the movie, all Toons are lousy drivers. (After all, the Rule of Funny is fundamental to Toons.) 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.

  • 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 involves The Pope, a popular televangelist, and a cabbie headed to 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 points out that folks slept through their sermons, but passengers in his cab were praying through the entire trip. This joke was often retold in Israel in The '80s with the crazy cabbie replaced by the driver of a Jerusalem-Tel Aviv bus, for rather different reasons.
  • Another joke with the Pope involves His Holiness asking the Popemobile's driver to let him 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!" Ronald Reagan was apparently fond of a similar joke that switched the Pope with Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev liked it.
  • 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.
  • There's a standing joke in Japan about American military personnel driving cars (often told by American military personnel). Due to various difference in road laws, but most importantly, the right-left side of the road thing. Also expect American drivers to accidentally try to signal a turn by turning on their windshield wipers.
  • Two young Scots are visiting America and speeding along the road when they are stopped by a police officer. The officer says to the driver, "You were going 70 miles per hour. The speed limit is 45 miles per hour. I have to give you a ticket." "But the sign says I can go that fast," says the driver, pointing to a nearby road sign. "That says Route 70," says the officer, exasperated, "That's not the speed limit, it's the road number." Then he notices that the guy in the passenger seat looks like he is going to throw up. He asks the driver, "What's wrong with your friend there?" The driver responds, "Oh, we just got off Route 130!"
  • There's a joke that there are no "high speed chases" in Houston. Everyone drives like that. A popular joke is that Houston comes with two built in racing tracks, Interstate 610 and Beltway 8, with a third (Highway 99) under construction.
  • There's a joke in the Philippines that goes: Westerners say Filipino drivers don't know how to drive on the road. Filipinos say those Western drivers don't know how to survive on Philippine roads.
  • Two people are driving at high speed on a twisty mountain road.
    Passenger: Can't you slow down? I damn near get a heart attack every time you take a curve!
    Driver: Just close your eyes when we go around the bend. (Beat) It's how I manage.
  • A priest dies and goes to Heaven. After spending some time there, he notices that a taxi driver is being treated with much more respect than he is, so he goes before God to ask why.
    Priest: Lord, why is that man being treated so much better than me? I dedicated my life to teaching others about you, but all he did for a living was drive a taxi.
    God: When people came to your church, were they always alert and paying attention to you?
    Priest: No. In fact, sometimes they fell asleep during my sermons.
    God: Well, that man was a taxi driver in New York City. And not only were the people he drove very wide awake, but they were usually praying.

  • The trope name comes from "Weird Al" Yankovic's "She Drives Like Crazy" (a parody of the Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy").
  • "Whiplash" by Fish (that's Fish with an F as opposed to a Ph).
  • "Transfusion" by Nervous Norvus.
  • Brazilian band Raimundos has a song inspired by the then-vocalist's terrible driving (but most of the lyrics are "rage against automobiles").
  • "How's My Driving Doug Hastings?" by Less Than Jake.
  • In "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena" by Jan and Dean, the titular character likes to speed around in her car and race any cocky young man who challenges her.
    Well, she's gonna get a ticket now, sooner or later
    'Cause she can't keep her foot off the accelerator
  • "Freeway Mad" by Saxon.
  • "I Can't Drive 55" by Sammy Hagar.
  • Legendary indie band Drive Like Jehu took their name from the Ur-Example of this trope (see below in Myths and Religion)
  • DJ Shadow's "Mashin' on the Motorway"
    So much hostility... Y'all just keep checking your rear windows!
  • My Chemical Romance's music video for "Na Na Na" is notorious for the crazy driving of the 1979 Trans Am that it contains. It's also got some clear shout-outs to Mad Max for good measure.
  • "Speedball Tucker" by Jim Croce, and also "Rapid Roy".
  • Gorillaz:
    • 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. In the "Stylo" music video, this lands him in a police chase that nearly ends in both him and 2-D getting killed by Bruce Willis.
    • Judging from the music video for "Valley of the Pagans," Noodle seems to have inherited this trait as well, to the point that her driving actually freaks Murdoc out. The first thing she does when the gang gets launched out of a portal into the world of Los Santos is to crash the car that they're in, and she continually swerves about the road and speeds to the point that they get in (yet another) police chase. One has to wonder if the portal dropping them all just outside of Plastic Beach at the end of it was less random cruelty and more an act of mercy so that they wouldn't all get killed by her.
  • "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.
  • Ray Stevens has a more amusing one in Charlene MacKenzie of The Day I Tried to Teach Charlene MacKenzie how to Drive. Granted, it was her first time.
  • Dr. Bombay's Calcutta (Taxi Taxi Taxi) is about a song about a taxi driver in Calcutta (≧︿≦). 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.
  • The music video for "By The Way" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
  • 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
  • Hinted at in Joe Walsh's "Life's Been Good":
    My Maserati does one-eighty-five,
    I lost my license; now I don't drive.
  • In The Cardigans ' "My Favourite Game", Nina (the female lead singer) merely places a rock on her car's gas pedal, and then scoots away on a freeway. This is as destructive as you can imagine.
  • The Offspring's "Bad Habit", if only because the other drivers are turning him Ax-Crazy.
  • Rolling this trope, The Alleged Expert and Car Meets House into a nice single Failure Montage, the video for Rammstein's Benzin is this in spades. With five members of the band taking on the role of a dishevelled-looking firefighter team, the video starts out innocuously enough. Alarm call goes off, they suit up and head down to their fire truck. Then you actually see the damn thing; a colossal ten-wheel drive segmented monster in a parking bay the size of a small hangar. With the whole team sitting five-abreast in the cab, the act of merely driving into the city centre to rescue the rooftop jumper (portrayed by Flake, the band's keyboard player) causes untold chaos. The wheels knock down enough roadside trees to supply a lumber yard, they plough straight through a speeding freight train (the vehicle completely no-selling it, of course), knock a chunk out of a skyscraper by turning a corner, then flip the whole rig as they reach their destination. After showing their solution to the problem - a blanket stretched out between them - the video then cuts to black. Right as the blanket starts to noisily rip right down the middle.
  • Spike Jones' "Little Bo Peep Has Lost Her Jeep" is an example of either this or Women Drivers. The title character seems not as much an incompetent as she is a total speed freak.
  • They Might Be Giants: "Flo Wheeler", a member of The Escape Team
    Work zone, fines are doubled and
    Something snaps inside my head
    Orange barrels put me in a trance
    I'm driving a bowling ball

    Flo Wheeler, pick a lane
    'Cause your driving is driving everybody insane
  • Status Quo "Accident Prone", although only metaphorically (the singer's girlfriend drives through their relationship).
  • Dave Edmunds' "Crawling From The Wreckage", written by Graham Parker.
  • Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen recorded a song called "Hot Rod Lincoln" about a hot rodder trying to race a Cadillac, much to the passengers' dismay.
    We had flames comin' from out of the side.
    Feel the tension. Man! What a ride!
    I said, "Look out, boys, I've got a license to fly!"
    And that Caddy pulled over and let us by.
  • C. W. McCall:
    • "Wolf Creek Pass" is a story about a trip through the place of the same name in Colorado, in which two truckers lose control of their truck while driving through "37 miles of hell". As the song goes on, they gain an enormous amount of speed, lose a lot of their cargo (which consists of crates of chickens), and eventually crash into a store in Pagosa Springs. Inspired by the very real hazards that Wolf Creek Pass presents, as the drive is significantly steep on either side (with a 6.8% maximum grade), making it a dangerous undertaking for truckers, especially during winter.
    • The driver and his cop pursuer in "Four Wheel Drive", who both proceed to tear across a valley at high speeds, just because the latter is in Hot Pursuit of the former for speeding.
  • "Trashed" by Black Sabbath tells a tale based on a true story. Then-vocalist Ian Gillan had an alcohol-fuelled joyride with drummer Bill Ward's car, which he took without permission. Gillan crashed the car, and then wrote the lyrics.

    Myths & Religion 
  • 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."
  • One story from Classical Mythology involves Helios's son, Phaeton, wanting to drive his chariot (which served as the actual sun in these myths) to prove he was really his son. Sources vary on whether or not Helios agreed (the versions where he doesn't tend to say Phaeton just took the chariot anyway), but they all agree on the aftermath: Phaeton lost control and the earth would have burnt to a crisp if Zeus hadn't struck him down.

  • Dave Barry on Florida driving:
    • He has joked that in Miami, if you use your turn signal, "the other drivers will be alarmed and start shooting".
    • He claims that everyone there obeys the traffic laws... of his or her own country of origin.
    • In one song he wrote, he compared driving on the Miami section of I-95 to skydiving and deep-sea diving in terms of thrill/danger level.
    • He joked that a lot of people in Florida "have a big problem grasping the concept of arrows." Like going in the lane with an arrow curving to the left and using it to turn right.
  • Dave Barry on New York taxis:
    • "The taxi has some kind of problem with the steering, probably dead pedestrians lodged in the mechanism."
    • Dave Barry joked that they go 175 miles per hour, but slow down to 125 MPH to "take better aim at wheelchair occupants."
  • 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".

  • The "Wrong Turn" mode in Williams Electronics' Indianapolis 500 is about an IndyCar racer who races off the track, gets directions from a farmer, and ends up stuck in traffic for his troubles.
  • The backglass for Vacation America shows the family wagon flying offroad and crashing through a "Road Closed" barricade.

  • Chell from Sequinox is a nightmare behind the wheel. Though she at least insists on everyone wearing a seatbelt, at the same time she believes traffic signs are more of a suggestion. Yuki will do whatever she can to avoid driving in the same car as her. On the upside, the Chell Danielson Guarantee is that you'll always arrive somewhere on time, no matter how late you leave.

    Puppet Shows 
  • 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!
  • Thunderbirds:
    • Lady Penelope. 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. Although one should not forget that Parker is canonically not only a former safe-cracker, but also a former getaway car driver. Still, the trope is averted in that Parker is generally a safe driver, even when he appears to be reckless.
    • Another female driver is responsible for the disaster in "City of Fire" when she crashes a car in the garage of the world's tallest building. Amazingly, this is treated as a joke in the tag scene.

  • Car Talk: Click and Clack always sign off with "Don't drive like my brother".
  • Worra the minicab driver (Catchphrase: "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 license? Hypothetically speaking...

  • Shadowhunter Peril has Veronica Carter, who drives like a total maniac...and 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.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Hollow Earth Expedition: Any character with the Reckless Driver skill in the Secrets of the Surface World supplement.
  • In Nomine: Ofanim dearly love automobiles and motorbikes, and especially love driving them at speeds mortals wouldn't dare. Additionally, their skill in finding the shortest route between two points doesn't always account for mortal safety guidelines, either, and Ofanim will happily charge the wrong way down one-way streets, barrel along in rear march, speed down crumbling old mountain trails, or cut across pedestrian malls to get around red lights. They're still the designated drivers in angelic teams, because their skills in navigation are truly second to none, but other angels and mortal soldiers both prefer to keep their eyes closed when an Ofan is at the wheel.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • In the Apocalypse expansion, an Ork Trukk 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.
    • Then there are the Orks who crew Looted Wagons, because the only thing worse than an Ork driving an Ork-made vehicle is an Ork driving a vehicle not made by Orks, leading to a certain measure of awkwardness when it comes to things like knowing which controls do what. The net result is that Looted Wagons are prone to even more erratic driving than most Orks can manage, since usually if one of them rams you, they at least meant to do it.
    • Then there is Wazdakka Gutsmek, who is attempting to construct a portal network so he can drive his bike from one end of the galaxy to the other without having to use the brakes. And who at one point ramped his bike through the void shields on an Imperator-class Titan to get at the crew. While he was on fire.
    • The Kult of Speed are orks considered dangerously fixated on achieving high speeds... by other orks.
    • What's worse than orks driving trukks? Orks driving planes, as ork flyboyz are even crazier than most Speed Freaks and still consider their aircraft to be melee weapons in the event they ever run out of bullets (or if they get bored, orks aren't too picky). Per Deff Skwadron, Ork pilots are prone to things like staying in the highest gear even when landing, consider going any slower than maximum speed to be a form of cowardice, and have never understood why the other factions bother with boring and useless preflight checks.
    • The White Scars chapter of Space Marines: Space Mongols who've replaced horses with giant motorbikes. While not nearly as insane as orks, vehicular manslaughter are to be expected whenever they get into battle, especially since their obsession with higher speed started setting in.


  • Monster 500 is a toy line with an AP from Toys R Us where the objective is to race die cast monsters in race cars around horror themed tracks, like "Toxic Terror" and "Graveyard Gauntlet". It's very much like a non-video game Vehicular Combat scenario.
  • The Transformers:
    • The somewhat non-indicatively named Road Rage is a decent, friendly sort... on her feet. In vehicle mode, an inexplicable glitch causes her to go berserk until she transforms again, at which point she's tremendously embarrassed.
    • Swerve, thanks to a low attention span, often doesn't pay any attention to where he's going.
    • Every member of the Stunticons drives like a homicidal maniac, but Wildrider/Brake-Neck is such a bad case that even his teammates keep their distance when they're on the road together.

    Visual Novels 
  • Desirée DeLite in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations likes to drive her motorcycle at speeds more appropriate for Formula 1. If you accuse her of being the criminal Mask☆DeMasque, her alibi is a speeding ticket showing she wasn't at the location of the crime when it took place. She's somehow able to cover distances in 20 minutes that a car can't make in under 30.
  • Jumin Han from Mystic Messenger is so terrible at driving that it poses a threat to the life of everyone in the car. At one point during Jaehee's route, while he's trying to cover up the fact that he's emotionally spiraling due to the fact that it looks like Jaehee is intentionally slacking off and might even quit working for him because the player character is helping her realize that there's more to life than a job, he steals one of Seven's luxury cars and takes it for a joyride to blow off steam. The next time you talk to him in the chatroom, he casually sends a picture of the car that he took, only for everyone to see that it's flipped over in the middle of the road, windows shattered, and on fire. He refers to it as a "small accident." At least he knows that he's a godawful driver:
    Jumin: My father dragged me there but I came back by myself.
    Zen: Did you drive? Are you crazy?
    Jumin: No. The driver drove. That's why I'm still alive.
  • In The Fruit of Grisaia Yumiko and Michiru are terrified of having to ride with Amane to the beach. Michiru as the buttmonkey of the group is forced into the role and arrives a twitching, incoherent mess after Amane decides she needs to have a street race with some punk. By The Eden of Grisaia she's generally forced into the car with Amane at every opportunity and for flimsy reasons, leaving her basically on the verge of tears while stuck with the "green demon." She's actually fallen out of the car twice thanks to Amane's recklessness.
  • In Malus Code, the professor of the polar resarch lab, Suzukake, is tasked with driving her students to the onsen after receiving a large sum of money, despite certain circumstances. Before the trip, upon announcing that Suzukake will be driving, Yuri becomes very silent, and bails on the trip at the last minute, to Will and Yae's surprise and terror, as Suzukake ends up speeding and drifting all the way there.
  • C14 Dating: If she gets driven to the airport by Deandre, Melissa will come out of the car feeling like she's just been on a roller coaster and one those towers that drop seats at high speed.

    Web Animation 
  • hololive English member Ceres Fauna's stream of Euro Truck Simulator 2 is two hours of run red lights and stop signs, weaving from lane to lane, hit-and-run collisions with other vehicles, struggling to reverse with a trailer, flipping the trailer after taking a turn too fast, forgetting to turn the lights on while driving at night, barreling through roundabouts, driving the wrong way up one-way roads, blocking highway traffic to do a U-turn, pulling over and stopping on a highway to select the next royalty-free background music track, somehow getting a utility pole wedged between the truck's cab and its trailer, and hitting an indestructible road post and making the truck physics go haywire, all culminating in a glorious vertical jackknife that leaves her truck "faceplanted" on the road and Fauna laughing so hard she has to stop playing.
  • The Evil Guitarist from the Pimp Lando series runs over/crashes through old ladies, children, cats, skeletons, giant coffee mugs, Darboe, and, of course, Mr. Smiles. Three times. In the same episode.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • A running gag is that due to the general level of (in)competence on both sides, basically no-one can drive. Especially the Warthog ("I say it looks more like a Puma") which on several occasions runs people over and even more dangerously, the tank, and Caboose's attempts to drive it in the first season actually result in Church's death (he gets better).
    • Jensen, a member of the Chorus New Republic in Seasons 12 & 13, is a skilled mechanic, but a terrifying driver. Lopez has described her driving as "a cross between a young teen and an old lady. Who is also blind." In Season 13, she manages to somehow cause a fiery multi-car pileup despite going down a straight, simple road at five miles per hour.
  • In RWBY Volume 8, Yang gets a hoverbike and while riding, takes the time to make a jump off a ramp and goes into a spin. Oscar, riding behind her, is not happy.
  • RWBY Chibi:
    • Yang is a massive thrill-seeker, prompting her to do insane things such as flee from the cops in a car chase when Ruby accidentally robs a bank. Upon discovering a roadblock, excitedly yells to her teammates that she's going to jump it, much to their horror.
    • Ruby is an unfathomably bad driver. When she decides to learn how to drive, the episode opens with Ruby frantically weaving through the streets while nearly killing every single person on the sidewalk and almost launching her father out the window. It ends with the car totalled and set ablaze while even Yang looks on in shock.
  • Yes & No: A Dyseducational Road Movie shows the crazy drivers have better luck than the cooperative drivers.
    Show me how you drive, and I'll show you what kind of idiot you are.


    Web Original 
  • There is a blog 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.
  • Gulab from The Solstice War gets behind the sticks of a stolen tank and proceeds to crash it into several different buildings. She can't even get it to go forward, so it crashes everywhere in reverse.

  • SCP Foundation:
    • There's a joke entry for "Dr. Gerald's Driving Skills", the aforementioned Dr. Gerald being such a bad driver that his driving skills are themselves an SCP. (Of the Euclid class, no less.) 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. Note Being a passenger in a vehicle Dr. Gerald is driving is fatal, but miraculously Dr. Gerald himself would only suffer minor injuries. The scientists decided to test their hypothesis that roller skates technically count as vehicles by making him skate into their Iranian counterpart's headquarters. Ka-boom. Someone had the idea to try to kill SCP-682 by putting it in a vehicle that Dr. Gerald will then drive, since nobody and nothing has survived a trip with him yet.
      "Plans are being made to construct a vehicle which can contain SCP-682 long enough for Dr. Gerald to actually drive it."
    • The last photo included in the file is a yellow sign with the marking "ABSOLUTELY NOTHING; NEXT 22 MILES". The caption has this apt explanation:
      We have this tract of land over in ████████, ███████, just in case we have some sort of vehicular SCP that needs to be decommissioned. Coincidentally, it's also the only place that Dr. Gerald is able to drive without permission.
  • Toki and Co Wiki:
    • According to Brownie's Profile, she is known for driving while under the influence of caffeine, which is the equivalent of either driving drunk and/or under the influence of PCP, thus, she usually gets her license taken away. Apparently, she also has a habit of running her friend Toki over and tends to drive on the curve, as well as crash into buildings. Amoridere states that, somehow, she drives on top of buildings and was once observed driving on electrical and telephone wires.
    • In that vein, according to Amoridere, Toki is this to a degree in that she sometimes tosses traffic/driving laws to the side and does what she wants, which often involves doing U-turns, doughnuts, and driving in reverse, all mostly occurring on a freeway and/or in heavy traffic, along with driving on top of other cars, doubly so when she wants to go somewhere fast. She also drives while doing something else, like changing diapers, for example. Unlike the aforementioned Brownie, she doesn't seem to get any sort of punishment for that.

    Web Videos 
  • Achievement Hunter:
    • It's not uncommon for the crew to be like this in their Let's Play Grand Theft Auto series, though Gavin Free takes the cake. So much so that his Team Lads teammates Michael Jones and Ray Narvaez Jr will automatically declare that Gavin not drive if their event is critical.
    • For example, one GTA IV video showed Gavin getting into the cockpit of a helicopter. After nearly mowing down Michael (who'd not gotten in yet), Gavin finally lifts off into the sky... only to lose the chopper blades when they hit a nearby crane, having been weakened from the earlier damage, but landing perfectly in the process.
  • In Episode 10 of The Autobiography of Jane Eyre, Jane meets her employer Mr Rochester without knowing it's him. In the book, he fell off a horse on an icy road, and it's re-imagined as a minor car accident. Jane was standing in the middle of a road that is never busy, shooting an entry for her vlog, and he nearly ran her over. She obviously thinks he Drives Like Crazy, though she admits she should have been more careful as well.
  • Dimension 20: Connor Schintz, who's usually a Shrinking Violet, drives with overly reckless confidence, going as fast as his car will allow, narrowly avoiding obstacles, and taking the sharpest of turns. It's rare for his passengers to come out of it unscathed.
  • When GameChap 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 Game Chap 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!
    Game Chap: He's trying to stop you, you know!
    Bertie: We've got to get away from him, he's obviously a rogue!
  • Headless Wonder is like this in his Jak II: Renegade Lets Play. To quote a cutaway—"Alright, after a couple car swaps, explosions, and a police chase, we're finally at our destination!"
  • 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.
  • Nobody at Outside Xbox is good at controlling a car in videogames, except Mike, the resident rev-head, on a good day. (As for the bad days, well, Mike is also the resident Mad Bomber.) Across Lego games, Grand Theft Auto games, racing games, action games, platformers, it's a virtual guarantee that things are going to catch fire, break, explode, or all three at once as soon as a car gets involved. At one point Luke seems rather confused by the idea that careful driving might lead to better overall speed than screaming around every corner with the pedal shoved all the way to the floor.
    Jane: [while being strafed by a fighter jet in GTA Online] I'm trying to drive erratically, but it's no more or less erratic than I normally drive.
  • A Running Gag in Patman Post is Patman's comically bad driving. He always goes way too fast, and nearly every ride ends in a crash.
  • Some Call Me Johnny: Johnny's brother, Elliot, is this every time he takes the wheel in L.A. Noire, intentionally going out of his way to run over as many pedestrians, objects, pedestrians with objects and even going as far as to wreck havoc on the game's physics just by driving!
  • In one of Techmoan's Muppet skits, it's mentioned that the YouTube Pedant had his driving license revoked after somehow managing to run over an undisclosed numbernote  of people... inside a McDonald's.
  • During episode 9 of Vaguely Recalling JoJo, Polnareff learns the hard way that Kakyoin drives like crazy because his prior driving experience comes from F-Mega.
  • YouTube has plenty of "Bad Drivers" videos to laugh or cringe at, from all over the globe. While some videos show some gut-wrenching wrecks, there is a growing trend of "video-journals" by drivers who encounter traffic menaces on their trips to just about anywhere, complete with their verbal emotions towards the moving violations.

Alternative Title(s): Web Original


Bob Takes the Wheel

Rob allows Bob to drive the truck while he takes a nap. Trouble is that Bob is more focused on his Switch tied to the steering wheel than staying on the actual road.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / DrivesLikeCrazy

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