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Driving Stories Answered

I got my permit a couple of days ago. Driving just feels right. Any of you new drivers? Got any white knucked parents screaming WE'RE GONNA DIE! digging their fingernails into the dashboard yet? Do any of the rest of you have good stories of back-in-the-day driving or now? Funniest thing a cop has said?


My first car was an old Mini, and I was one of only three students that drove to school. Result - Fridays were spent in town instead of in lessons, as a car-load drove down to the snooker hall.

One rainy day, there were five of us in the Mini, and I was driving down the hill into town when I had to brake. Well, I wanted to brake.

Instead, I found myself aqua-planing down the hill with four other teenagers all convinced they were about to die...

Or the time I shot over a hump-backed bridge in a built-up area at well over 40mph (in the same Mini), straight into a radar-trap. At the same time, I missed my gears and crashed it into reverse - that saved my license, because the officer with the radar gun was doubled up laughing at me and forgot to point the gun at me.

Or there was the time I was a passenger in a different Mini, again there were five of us, driving from Manchester to Blackpool to see the illuminations. Then Kitegirl (now Kitewife) spent the whole journey sitting on my knee. Overloading kept us down to around 40mph, even on the motorway, and Kitegirl had to lie down whenever we saw a police car. When we got there, I discovered a slight problem - I couldn't walk! All that time with a (cute) weight on my lap had completely cut the blood supply off. I was numb from the hips down, and had to crawl out of the car and lie on the pavement until the circulation kicked in again.



To a Yank, maybe. Years ago, we went to Florida and hired a hatchback. We found that most car-park spaces were wide enough for us to turn around in the space! Insane.

As for the Mini - it's a design classic, dominated international rallying for years, and is far quicker in urban driving than anything larger. Have you seen the chase scene in Bourne Identity? That's true, that is.

In my younger, rasher days I drove a Mini City with a 998cc engine. A fellow sixth-former drove a 3-litre Ford Capri Sport. It was brown stuff off a shovel in a straight line on an open road, but I could beat him across town every time. Not only did my Mini fit through tiny gaps in traffic, the whole thing weighed less than a tonne, and most of the weight was in the engine over the front wheels - no matter which way you pointed it, it went there. That, plus the tiny turning circle, and even shorter wheel-base mean that the Mini is still, for my money, the best short-distance car around. And so easy to maintain - no need for jacks or lifts, I just rolled it over onto an old mattress!

I especially prefer it for driving off main roads - I grew up in the North West, steep hills (I learned my 3-point turn on a 1-in-4), roads less than six feet wide with adverse cambers, no verge, no white lines, no cats' eyes, no lighting. I never met driving conditions a Mini couldn't cope with, even dry loose sand at the beach.

I only stopped driving my Mini when I stuck it into the side of a pub whilst showing off for a girl. It was bent too badly to fix. :-(

On the plus side, that's when Kitewife chose to ask me out, using the crash as an excuse to take me out for a drink, "to get over it".

Unfortunately, she now won't let me buy another one - not only does it fail every modern safety test, she knows exactly what I'd be like behind the wheel...

If our car's maintenance was that easy... Your point is proven, but one I would like to make.... I am SO not a "Yank"

What do you mean, not a Yank? You live in America - that's the definition of "Yank" to somebody whose great grandfather was a passing American soldier in WW1.

I bet you have a holdall full of nylon stockings as well, you rat.


FYI, in "the South" (in America) a "Yank", "Yankee", or "Damyank" is a Northerner :]

No, RS is what I call, a pseudo-brit. ;-)


Can I just call him a poser?

But of course! Thank you, kind sir! I am, unfortunately, not familiar with that dialect.

Pseudo-brit!?!?! What the SMEG are you speaking off??

I'll have to say (and Nacho can attest) in this part of the US, "Yank" is a dire insult. Seriously, kids (and drunks) come to blows over such talk!

Lots of rebel flags. You'll see bumper stickers - "The South will rise again!"

Dash it old chap, my ways have changed since november two years ago... WOOOT AMERICAN MINIS!!!

Unfortunately, she now won't let me buy another one

I know how you feel. Mom asked me what kind of car I want, and I asked for a pre-BMW Mini. She said no, and asked me if I wanted a newer (2001+) one. Ew.

Haha, that's old news - I have a Mini, a proper one, after I inherited a bunch of cash on the condition that I spend it on something I want, not something i need. Aren't aunts cool?

Aren't aunts cool?

Not as much as grandparents :)

Indeed, mine have a habit of encountering poisonous snakes and require me to rescue them...

> just rolled it over onto an old mattress! . ROFLMAO!!!!!!! Wish I could do that with my Mustang. It would make working on the drivetrain soooooo much easier. . > verge . There's my new word for today

It wasn't too many days ago that my wife thought we were going to die: going about 45 mph and 2 car lengths in front of me, some idiot decided to, #1: pull out of a parking lot into my path, and when I hit the brakes and locked up all 4 wheels, he..... #2: stops. My first reaction (from years of practicing in parking lots with ice in them) was to take my foot OFF the brake.....to get my steering back. Then it was a matter of going around the dumb founded driver, who I am sure thought I was going to hit him on the driver's side and kill him for his stupidity.

I just got honked at because I took too long to turn. I was also going five mph below the speed limit (it was raining) and had a ton of cars behind me.

I just received my permit 12/23. I am eligible to take my license test on 6/23. I haven't had any stories yet, (nor do I hope to have any). I certainly cannot wait to have the freedom to drive on my own.

I am a junior in high school, but my college search is beginning!

*Is astonished at the sudden burst of activity*
Well, better update:
I've been driving for over a year now and I got my license two months ago. I was so nervous during the test that I kept slipping up (forgetting to shift to reverse when I was instructed to back up, etc). I passed by the skin of my teeth and was labeled a "congestion hazard" :P. I'm a good driver when I'm not nervous, though. I got 99% on the written test (I bumped the wrong button on the touchscreen by mistake >:( ).

Driving anywhere you want without a parent in the car FTW!

I think Gjdj3 was the one who bumped the topic on the 4th...clearly it got folks' attention :-)

*Coming Soon*


10 years ago

I dunno. I never figured driving was supposed to be much "fun." I mean, you're causing a ton of metal to careen around at speed comparable to a pitched baseball. Mere yards away are other baseball-speed metal projectiles going in other directions. Controlled by little old ladies with all the reflexes of a drunken teenager. And drunken teenagers. Being distracted by their MOTAS. Tired spouses arguing with their spouses. Exhausted parents yelling at a back seat full of kids. Cops chasing bad guys. Bad guys speeding away from cops. Kids on their first long drive to college who've been 25 hours without much sleep. Even if you do everything perfectly, there's a relatively significant chance that someone else's mistake will be your bad luck. Every day on the traffic reports you can hear about people who are having a rotten day as the near-destruction of their car makes traffic worse. Relatively often this will involve "injuries", and all too often "fatalities." And that's just locally. On a national basis, in one year, more Americans are killed in traffic accidents than were killed in the entire Viet Nam War. You ought to be ... SCARED. It might save your life. (13Y old daughter... Practicing.)

I have gotten into a bad habit, but I guess all beginners do this. Every time I see an oncoming car in the other lane, I think it is comming at me and instinctively slide/swerve to the right, sometimes driving on the shoulder for a few seconds. It doesn't seem like there is that mutch room between lanes.

I find one gets spoiled, say, driving in the SF Bay area, where most highways are six lanes or more, plus Bot's Dots, plus median, plus shoulders, plus lighting. You go somewhere like Oklahoma and you have these DARK, two-lane roads with DITCHES on both sides, and nothing but a yellow line down the middle that you can't see very well if it's wet, and the speed limit is STILL 50+mph. It's a little un-nerving...

I live in Oklahoma! I'm learning to drive my dad's 1991 Blazer, you can read my story about the ditches. I just posted it not too long ago... But the speed limit is 25, and there is no line, and the road is two lane, but about half the width of any sane two lane road. All the trees growing into it make it hard to widen, and you can't even drive in the appropriate lane with all the branches.

Which part of OK? Some of the backroads are simply awful, even in the cities a lot of them are bad.

The roads I was talking about are on the outskirts of Tulsa; far enough from the city to be definitely "rural", but close enough to be part of the grid of roads built up. Say 121st st near Mingo (or vis versa), putting it about 12 miles S and 12 miles E of the center of the city (and technically in "Broken Arrow", I think.)

Ooo, I hate that area! Especially when it's raining, as you said. Or icy. >_<

My parents used to live near 91st & Sheridan... "We" moved there after my first year of college, so I spent a couple summers and holidays there , then moved to the SF Bay area after I graduated, and OK was never really "home."

Aw. I know what you mean-it can be a hard place to to like. It's kinda ugly...

I didn't find in particularly "ugly" per se; our move coincided with a big influx of easterners (American Airlines and at least one major oil company both moving their corp headquarters there), so that helped with SOME of the culture shock. But I never put down any "roots" at all. And very few place are as non-ugly as California! I remember being shown the Stanford Campus when I was here for job interviews, and just going "wow!" (palm trees!)

California! I've never been. :( I so want to go there.

You should! It's only about a 4 hour flight...and the variety of climates, geography, and geology here is amazing.

  • In L.A. you can go from surfing beaches to skiing in less than 90 minutes (Venice to Mt. Baldy, assuming no traffic).
  • We have both the highest (Mt. Whitney, 14,505 ft) and lowest (Death Valley) points in the contiguous 48 States, and they're just 75 miles apart.
  • You can follow much of the San Andreas Fault driving through central California, south of Salinas.
  • National Parks: Yosemite, Sequoia, Lassen Volcano, Joshua Tree, Death Valley and more (not to mention the GGNRA and Presidio in San Francisco)

Oh, did I mention I'm slightly biased?

Why, Kelsey-are you volunteering your couch?? :D It sounds so awesome. I want to spend like a month there.

Heh! My wife would shoot me. We've had a friend stay just two days (and my sister-in-law stay twice), and it's badly disruptive. The inflatable bed goes in our office, which means we don't have access to computing, printers, etc. the whole time.

Um, us old folks need to be a bit careful not to appear to be trying to lure minors across state lines and stuff like that. Such things are internet legends (of the bad sort) made of. (Do we know how old "Adrian Monk" is?)

Ha. T'was a joke. No, we don't. I do believe I was born in the year 1512, but honestly I have no recollection of the event.

I look 'em in the eye and pretend I'm playing chicken, works like a charm.