Home » What Is Your Worst Driving Fear? Autopian Asks

What Is Your Worst Driving Fear? Autopian Asks

Aa Feart Ts

Humans are fun, quirky creatures filled to the brim with eccentricities. Even “normal” folks, which I’m sure don’t work here, have something about them that makes them different. It’s what makes the human condition so exciting! Perhaps not as fun is fear. Some people can’t be in the same room as a spider while others may desire to keep a long distance from a tiny space. I get it. What about fears related to cars and driving? What’s something you try to avoid at all costs?

I like to think of myself as a bit of a daredevil. I’m almost equally fascinated with the idea of jumping out of a perfectly good plane as I am with being the person to fly it. I never rode a snowmobile before January, yet I wasn’t even 5 minutes into my first time on a Ski-Doo when I had the throttle pinned and the speedometer climbing. It was the same deal just last weekend when BRP tossed me the key to a 325 HP Sea-Doo. I’ve never been on a PWC before, but you bet I was chuckling like a Bond villain as I skipped across chop at grand speeds. I had never been on a paved track before Harley-Davidson asked me to send a bagger around corners at speed.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Yet, even I have driving fears. There’s one thing in particular that I do not want to leave to chance and that’s a crash involving a body of water. Somewhere around 400 people drown each year after a crash that eventually sees their vehicles getting submerged in water. A paper published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that most water-based fatalities happen after a vehicle rolls over into water. Another large chunk is when a vehicle crashes into another vehicle before entering water.

The subject of escaping from a sinking vehicle has been one I’ve been obsessed with since I was a kid. As my bio says, I love water, so it’s probably expected that I’d apply the same obsession to vehicles. In the past, I spoke with a local fire department about what to do should one find oneself in a submerging car, and their recommendation was to remove your seatbelt and open all windows immediately upon entering water. The most important thing to act quickly, which might be difficult if you’re disoriented or upside down. Another reason to be quick: water may foul power-window electronics. It sounds like an expert interviewed by NPR agrees.

If you cannot open a window or a door, there are glass breaker tools designed to slash your seatbelt and break a window to enable a quick escape. Some may recommend removing a headrest and slamming its posts into a window, but it may not do the job. It also should be noted that glass-breaker tools do not work on today’s fancy cars with laminated side glass. One of these days I’m going to test a bunch of these tools in a junkyard …


In a very worst-case scenario, I’ve been told it’s possible to wait for the vehicle to fill up before exiting. I’m sure so many of you have seen the famous Mythbusters segment:

Of course, waiting for the car to fill should always be the last resort after all other options have been exhausted. My wife has a fear of water and cannot swim. So, a crash involving water becomes that much more difficult.

That’s my driving fear. The idea of saving myself, my wife, and maybe any onboard pets sounds daunting, but I’m prepared for it.

What about you? What is your driving fear?


Topshot: screen grab, youtube.com/@discovery

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Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
2 days ago

I daily drive a Renault 4. The concept of being afraid of things while driving is lost on me.

2 days ago
  • two way rural roads…because where I live there’s an accident every week or more often
  • unexpected stopped traffic–scared me a few times
  • and driving with my travel trailer attached makes me a bit more anxious as it should.
Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
2 days ago

That some big heavy truck with 50 mph just decides to go crazy and swerve over in the opposite lane and front end me in the last second, so I can’t do anything to avoid him 🙁

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