The Ten Most Embarrassing Mistakes You Can Make While Driving

The Ten Most Embarrassing Mistakes You Can Make While Driving

Some driver errors are quite common and do no harm, others are dangerous but fortunately quite rare. But there’s a middle ground of embarrassing, infrequent, burned-into-your-consciousness mistakes, and these are the ten worst.

10.) Missing a gear

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It can happen with a stick, especially if you’re not used to the car or want to shift way too fast. But that grinding noise will be embarrassing if there’s anyone nearby, not to mention what it means for your poor gearbox.

Suggested By: ZaqAtaq

9.) Leaving your turn signal on

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Leaving your blinker on will confuse other drivers, who will think you’re an idiot since it actually makes a noise and flashes on your dash.

Suggested By: Dwhite – Powered by Caffeine, Daft Punk, and Corgis

8.) Not realizing the light has turned green

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Green means go, and if you forget that at a very short one, expect some rage building up behind you.

Suggested By: Audistein

7.) Accidentally cutting off somebody

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A quick glance is not enough on the highway. Or anywhere else to be honest.


When you accidentally cut someone off, and they honk at you, and you know you were wrong and you just know they are staring at you with rage and fury, and you can’t exactly apologize.

Such shame.

Suggested By: willkinton247

6.) Stalling

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Stop touching your legs, watch out for that bite point and don’t go all VTEC after it happened. It happens with everybody driving a manual, no need to feel embarrassed.

Suggested By: Shane Elliott

5.) Messing up parallel parking

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Can’t do it if somebody is watching? That’s going to be an issue.


Parallel parking with people watching. Usually my girlfriend does a great job by herself, but with friends around she always freaks out and has to try multiple times and usually ends up too far from the curb, 0.5″ from one car and 6 feet from the other, or at a weird angle. Can be quite intimidating to most people, I think.

Suggested By: e30s2k

4.) Driving on the wrong side

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Driving on the wrong side of the highway is an extreme example, but going to England from continental Europe by car can have a similar result.

For Sweden:

I have never done it, but driving on the wrong side of the road after crossing into a jurisdiction that drives on the side you’re not accustomed to.

Suggested By: For Sweden

3.) Taking the wrong exit

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Danger zone! And Green Pig was in the middle of it:

I was driving from a funeral in Pennsylvania with my grieving aunt in the passenger seat. I entered the PA turnpike from Rt. 611, and in my distracted state, accidentally drove down the off-ramp, into on-coming traffic, directly into the path of a Schneider Logistics tractor-trailer. (Isn’t it weird the little things you notice when you’re about to die?)

Amazingly, the trucker was able to avoid me. My aunt, who moments earlier crying hysterically, was now screaming bloody murder, telling me to turn the car around. I wanted nothing more than to comply, but the cars coming off the turnpike were too many and too fast for me to do so. Eventually, a PA state trooper flew up the ramp and stopped traffic long enough for me to get turned around.

My little goof earned me a breath-a-lizer test, a $130.00 traffic ticket, a mention on the afternoon traffic report, 30 more minutes of my aunt yelling at me and having the story re-told every Thanksgiving.

Every. Fucking. Thanksgiving.

Suggested By: Green Pig

2.) Rear-ending someone at an intersection

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Rear-ending is the worst. No matter how you do it, crashing into someone is very embarrassing, not to mention how dangerous it can be.

Suggested By: Audistein

1.) Tearing off the gas nozzle

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Fill her up yourself. That’s the safest way.

Suggested By: Jagvar

Welcome back to Answers of the Day – our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day’s Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

Top Photo Credit: Brant Iden

Written by Lewis Shaw

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