Driver instructors have a pretty pain-staking job. Not only do they willingly put their lives in the hands of inexperienced drivers but they must also teach them at the same time. These are some of the craziest stories from driving instructors.
Aw! Poor Baby Was Tuckered Out
“I’m a driving instructor Had a low confidence 16-year-old driver on the highway for the first time. Got her in the middle lane doing 65 mph when she states, ‘I think I’m gonna fall asleep.’ As my mind is processing what on earth she just said, her head goes clunk against the driver’s window, her eyes close shut, and she passes out. Her hands are still on the wheel but she turned to the left. Now we are in the left lane heading toward the median.
Her foot sent the pedal to the floor. I tried to get the car back onto the pavement and I had to switch hands because I needed to get her foot off the accelerator and get the steering back under control. I got the car back onto the roadway, under control, and headed for the breakdown lane on the right side.
With my heart thumping, I got the car stopped. At this point, the driver sits up alertly, laughs, and goes ‘Haha! Wow! What did I miss?’
She had narcolepsy and she nor her parents ever told anyone. I was obligated to notify DMV, and her permit was revoked until she was certified by her doctor. Her parents were ticked off but I didn’t care. We both made it out alive because I got her off the road.”
I Would Cry Too If This Happened To Me.
“My instructor told me this one:
Apparently, it was this poor kid’s first time on the highway. He was extremely nervous, but the instructor tried to keep him calm and say it would be fine. They go onto the highway, and my instructor said she began to smell something really bad. She thought, ‘Maybe he had nervous gas’, or something. No big deal. After a while, the smell should have dissipated, but instead became stronger and more concentrated. She opened the window on the highway, trying not to gag the whole time. She couldn’t figure out if it was doodie or the car was broken or something, but the smell was hair-burning bad as she said.
A bit after that the smell did not go away, but she took the kid home. The smell was worse than ever, and she tried to figure out what it was. As the kid got out of the car, she noticed something on the back of his neck – a wet brown stain. Liquid turds. And not only that, it was everywhere: on the seat, on his shirt, on the instructor’s mat – everywhere! It must have been some explosive poo because it got onto his neck! His back was soaked from the poop, and his pants looked like a kindergarten kid learning to paint. When he stood up, it pooled in the seat, on the mat, and it was bad. He asked if he could help, but she told him no, it was alright. Just get the heck outta here (she didn’t say that she thought it).
So now she had to get the car cleaned – there was a puddle of brown in her car! She sat on the only clean part of the seat, performing an acrobatic feat to just drive. Every bump forced the mud puddle to pop up, and she got it on her pants and everything.
She finally got it to the place and started washing out the car. With the number of turds in it, she didn’t care what happened. One of the attendants came over to ask if she needed help, and half crying said, ‘Yes, please help me.’ The guy took one look inside, took one whiff of the putrid turds, and said, ‘Nope, I don’t get paid enough for that.’ and walked off.”
She Left What At Home?
“My buddy is a driving instructor and he was telling me about how Indian women are by far the worst drivers on the planet. The area we live in had a boom in the Indian population due to all the tech jobs and H1 programmers coming to the area, so instead of the wives sitting home all day while their husbands worked they’d take driving lessons. Quite often they’d get really nervous behind the wheel as it’s their first time ever attempting to drive. Often he’d take them to empty parking lots and he’d have to slam on the brakes so many times and eventually he’d have to yell at them over and over before they’d listen. So naturally, due to their nerves, they’d get quite sweaty. I do remember his car being quite rank.
Another story is he picked up an Indian woman and then went around and got some more students and went off on a two-hour drive, allowing for the students to rack up behind-the-wheel time. About 30 minutes into the drive this Indian lady said in broken English, ‘Go home, my baby.’
He found it odd and was like ‘Okay we’ll get you home in a few hours.’ She was like ‘No, my baby.’ He’s finding it odd she kept calling him ‘my baby.’ An hour into it she’s freaking out yelling ‘Home my baby!’ He’s like, ‘Where is your baby? She yells ‘HOME HOME HOME.’
Apparently, she just left her baby in a crib unsupervised and went off for a driving lesson. He told the student to take her home and yelled at her for leaving her child unattended to go on a lesson.
Another story involved yet another Indian woman. So this was a younger Indian woman. Conventionally attractive, but definitely newly arrived in America. Hair parted down the middle into a huge braided ponytail. Wore Kmart jeans and a sweater. She was fair-skinned so apparently, she thought she was quite the catch. She simply refused to do anything he told her. When asked to turn left she’d reply ‘No I can’t do left, it’s too hard!’ This would continue.
‘Hey Gupta, back into this parking spot,’ he would ask. ‘I can’t do that, it’s so hard.’
By the fifth time of her telling him that it’s ‘so hard,’ he lost it, he asked her, ‘What was so hard?’ She said driving. She was clueless about overusing and her unintended sexualization of the word hard but kept on using it the entire time he taught her.”
“My driving instructor told me a story about a foreign woman she had to teach. That woman apparently used to have a driver’s license in Bulgaria or Russia or something (I don’t remember the details) and was absolutely sure of her own driving skill, and had no intention of listening to anything my instructor said because she knew everything better.
So besides her being a general pain in the butt, this happened during her first lesson about pumping gas into the car.
Instructor: ‘OK let me show you. First, you take the…’
Student: ‘Let me do this I have done this all the time in Bulgaria.’
[ student awkwardly picks up the gas-filling handle – it’s pretty obvious she never did this – puts it HALF WAY in the tank and presses the handle without locking it in.]
So you know my instructor was a small chubby lady that is even in tough situations calm and controlled and had a handle for bad drivers (hehe) – but, after all that nonsense she had to hear from that student all day, being spilled over by gas from the hair to the pants, made her flip. She shouted at the student and drove home with the car to change clothes (gas is apparently very unhealthy on skin contact) while letting the student wait in the car for half an hour.
After that, she drove her home and told her she is not suited for driving and should ask for another teacher in the office because she can not take the responsibility that if she EVER passes the driving test to be the one to let her drive on roads until she finally hurts somebody.”
This Instructor Was Crazy Unprofessional
“I have the opposite side of the story, one where the driving instructor was the crazy one. I grew up in a really small town (~1500 people) in Canada. As part of our driving instruction before we could go for our actual license, we had to do four types of driving (in town, on the highway, on gravel roads, in a city – I use quotes because the city in question has about 16,000 people, so not big). So I did my in town first and all went well other than the fact that I was 6’6” and had to cram into a tiny Honda Civic. Highway drive was about the same. Gravel drive was no problem because I had been driving on gravel roads since I was about 13.
Then came the city drive. I drove my parents to the city (about an hour from my house) and we had agreed to meet up with my instructor at a mall right near the outskirts of the city. I got into her car and we started driving. As we’re driving through downtown, I’m just going along at the speed limit, when she SLAMS on her brakes, gets a death grip on the steering wheel, and yells STOP!!! I’m just like ‘What the heck?’ and she says that I have to stop to let pedestrians cross. At the time, a) we were in the middle of the block with no pedestrian crosswalks to be seen, and b) the only pedestrian was a person walking down the sidewalk on my right, who had glanced across the street, which my instructor took to mean that she was wanting to cross the street. We sat and waited and the pedestrian just kept walking straight.
After that, and I mean literally right after that incident, my instructor says ‘Oh, I have to pick my kid up and take him to baseball practice.’ We started driving towards the mall and I thought we were just going to stop at the mall and be done with our drive. Nope. She gets me to turn just before the mall, drive to her house, pick up her kid, and drive him to baseball practice. When we pulled into her driveway, she said, ‘You don’t mind driving my kid to baseball do you?’ And I was like ‘Whatever, if you feel safe having your kid riding with somebody who is driving in the city for the first time ever and I get credit for the drive I need to do, then have at it.’
Then I got the all-clear to do my actual license (with a different instructor, thank god) and failed because I didn’t slow down enough for a railroad crossing even though you could literally see about a mile in either direction down the track and it was abundantly clear that a train wasn’t coming.”
Yeah, Definitely Don’t Do This
“Two instances that I remember when I was a student in a class.
We heard a guy fail his drive for the day BEFORE even getting in the car. How? Oh, he pulled up in his own car BY HIMSELF. He gets up, walks over to the instructor’s car.
Instructor: ‘Where are your parents?’
Student: ‘At home.’
Instructor: ‘Well give them a call, tell them to pick you up, because you already failed by driving here unsupervised without a license.’
In all seriousness, I’d never seen this guy before our first class, which I assumed was only for the students at our school. This guy looked like he was 25, but then again, everyone did when I was 15.
We heard a guy failed his drive for the day BEFORE even getting in the car. How? Oh, he pulled up in his own car BY HIMSELF. He gets up, walks over to the instructor’s car.
I just finished my turn driving (I always volunteered to drive first so I could take a nap, since our drives we’re usually scheduled after school) we stopped to get snacks and pop, and the other kid got a bag of sour gummy worms. This kid was relentlessly shoveling gummy worms in his mouth as if he hadn’t eaten in weeks. The instructor finally asked him to take a break and put both hands on the wheel. Apparently, the kid took this request a little too seriously, and when we got to his first turn, he didn’t let go to do a hand-over-hand turn. Instead, he continued to twist his arms into a knot as he turned. The instructor didn’t say much, which I didn’t blame him, because if he broke the kid’s concentration, we probably would’ve crashed on one of the busiest roads in our city.”
At Least She Tried
“I did the drive exams for the state government for a few years here (US). My second week I had an elderly woman (about 80) scheduled for a test. She was a permanent resident from Nigeria and knew very little English. Just how little, I would soon find out.
We go through the starting instructions and the vehicle check, and eventually, get started. The first thing to do at my location was to pull out of the parking lot to the right on a fairly busy two-lane street. She did not stop to check for traffic, she just turned on out. Lots of angry honking ensued. Also, an immediate failure of the exam. There was a cul-de-sac on the right side about half a mile down the street that we could use to turn around that had a stoplight, so we did that. I had to physically point all the directions to her because of her limited English.
Instead of wrapping around the cul-de-sac to turn around, she did a three-point turn there. At this point, I was not surprised. If I was more experienced, I would have taken over and driven back at this point. Hindsight is a cruel mistress. We lucked into a green left-turn arrow and started our return to the branch.
Some of the more astute drivers may notice that we would need to turn left to get back to our starting point. There is no stoplight at this turn, but there is a nice turn lane dividing the two sides of the road. I point at the entrance to the parking lot and the following exchange occurs:
Me: ‘Left turn there.’
Me: ‘Yes, left.’
And she merges left into the turning lane and continues driving past our turn. No big deal, we will take the next turn and go across the parking lot of the nearby store. We have a very familiar exchange:
Me: ‘Left turn here, okay?’
Me: ‘Yes, please.’
And she merges left again. If you have a few wrinkles in your brain, you may realize that this puts us driving against oncoming traffic. A couple of cars swerve by as I grab the wheel and yank us back into the turn lane. I unbuckle my seat belt so I can reach my leg over to her side of the car and slam the brake to stop at the oncoming red light. This whole time, she says nothing.
We wrap back around into the parking lot (I’m still steering) and manage, somehow, to pull into a parking spot safely. I’m in the middle of questioning my life choices when she taps my shoulder and says three words that I will never forget:
‘I do good?’
No ma’am. No, you did not. But I couldn’t explain her mistakes in a way she understood, so she rescheduled her test 2 weeks away and the other drive examiner took her. It did not go well.”
He Was Semi-Good At Driving Semis.
“I’m a driving instructor but I teach people to drive semis. The worst student I ever had already had four years of driving experience; with what’s called a Rocky set, (45′ trailer with a 28′ trailer behind it.).
This person couldn’t turn to save his life, I still wonder how they never hit anyone. So, when I train it’s two 28’s, that’s all they pull for two weeks. So, we take our second turn, a left onto a pretty wide street and they’re turning like they’re in a car. Like, not even into the intersection and they’ve already started to turn. I tell them no, straighten out and go forward until I tell you to turn. They keep turning, I say no! Straighten out and go forward until you pass the double yellow lines! They keep turning and if they keep turning like this we’re going to clip another car turning left. At this point, I say No! Straight! Just go straight! Thankfully he does.
I tell them to pull over and they do. At this point, I turn to them and scream, ‘What the heck was that?!’
Give me the keys, I’m driving. I take them back to an intersection, make a right and tell them ‘ That’s how you turn, wide.’ Pull over at a gas station and switch back out. Same thing, lousy turns.
I ask them what they’re doing. ‘I’m turning boss!’ I say, ‘ No, go deeper, you’re going to hit someone.’
I took me five days just to get them to turn. He’s a good driver though, just needed some edges worked off.”
Okay! Well That’s One Way To Teach A Lesson!
“So… I’m not a terrible driver, I’ve never been in an accident where I was driving. I live in one of the most congested cities in N. America.
When I was learning to drive, I selected the winter option so I’d get experience driving in icy and snowy conditions. We’d been driving for maybe a week at 5 am every morning when a storm dropped 3-5 inches that morning. The local college has, what can only be described as a parking lot on top of a mesa. The driving instructor tells me to drive up to this empty parking lot and I’m thinking, cool we are going to practice some loss of traction scenarios or something. So we get there, he tells me to stop, and we’re facing towards the drop off probably 1,000 yards away.
The instructor says I want to confirm that you’re going to follow my every direction from here out… I’m just thinking ‘What?’ but I agree. Right after I agree, he screams ‘STEP ON IT!’
I press the accelerator, but only enough to not break traction and he said, ‘I SAID STEP ON IT!’ So I floor it, we immediately break traction, but I steer into it (mind you light poles are everywhere) and we keep accelerating towards this cliff, we’re about halfway across this parking lot and are going 50 mph. Now I’m scared and I ask should I start breaking now?
We are maybe 300 yards from a cliff doing 60+ mph in 5 inches of snow and I’m just like this freak is crazy! Just as I go to hit the breaks he yells again, ‘HIT THE BRAKES!’
So now I know plenty of you kids don’t know anything other than ABS systems, but at that time ABS was just coming out, so not wanting to break traction I start pumping the breaks (you know manual ABS) and he screams at me again that if I don’t want to die I’d better push the brakes to the floor.
Freaking ABS kicks in, and we come to a stop probably 25 feet from the cliff edge, but it feels like 10 inches.
He turns to me and the other two students in the car and says, ‘And that is why you get ABS in your car’ and we continue on with the rest of the lesson.”
“I Gave My Trainer A Heart Attack”
“I gave my CDL driver-trainer a heart attack.
I was in the second week of a full-time class, which was one-on-one after the other potential trainee was kicked out (the training was being funded by my employer at the time). We were doing road exercises at this point, where we would leave the plant, and my trainer would just give me random instructions.
‘Turn left at X road…turn right up here…change lanes after we pass the bowling alley,’ sort of thing.
One morning, he was really late–we were supposed to get started at 6 am but he didn’t show up to the plant until 6:45. When he did show up, he wasn’t looking so great, but we hopped in the cab and got underway after a pre-trip inspection anyway. Not long into the drive, he told me to park at the upcoming gas station, which was odd because it wasn’t a diesel station. Then he told me to stay in the cab, while he went inside.
I was waiting. And waiting. And waiting a little more. This was valuable practice for being a truck driver, by the way.
Then the plant manager (who was also sort of a regional manager) showed up, which was weird, and asked how things were going. Which was weirder, because he was so far above me I couldn’t have guessed what it mattered to him, but we talked about my training a little bit. Then an ambulance showed up. And then the plant manager told me that my instructor thought he was having a heart attack, which is why I was parked in a non-truck gas station. And also, that to get the truck back to the plant, the plant manager was going to be my temporary instructor. I was nervous as heck and worried about my regular instructor, who was in the hospital at this point. But when we made it back to the plant the manager was like, ‘Well you’re actually good at this, I’m pretty confident Bill’s not having a coronary because of you, specifically.’
It was still the morning so I went back to my home plant since I didn’t want to just leave for the day but there wasn’t anything I could do workwise at the training facility. As soon as I walked in, people were dropping to their knees, kneeling over desks, knocking into walls pretending to have heart attacks left and right. My supervisors, the office ladies, some other random driver who was checking in early…I never ever lived that one down.”