Runaway Cars: 5 Videos of Cars Driving Themselves

Sometimes, a car decides that it’s had enough of being bossed around by a human and takes matters into its own hands. Usually, this doesn’t end well for the car (or the owner’s auto insurance rates). Here are five videos of cars malfunctioning: sometimes scarily, sometimes hilariously.

Cars Go For Donuts

This video, filmed in 1992 in Tampa, Florida, is actually a tribute to quick thinking. A mechanic was working on a car in his driveway when it fell off the blocks and started rolling. He wasn’t able to grab the handbrake, so he did the next best thing: he locked the steering wheel all the way to the right, meaning the car, instead of careening down the street, simply started spinning in one place.

Believe it or not, this is fairly common in runaway vehicles: if the steering wheel is in one position, it’ll bias towards that direction and generally spin in circles, which is why it’s advised to turn your wheels toward the curb when you park on a hill. Of course, not everyone is so lucky…

The Highway’s This Way, Right?

This man was apparently trying to figure out why his car wouldn’t start…and made the mistake of putting it into neutral without the brakes on. Physics took over and he wound up chasing his car down the hill, narrowly getting in and yanking the handbrake before it tried to jaywalk across a busy highway.

It would have been one heck of an auto insurance claim, we admit.

Not a Drive Through? Make it One!

Sometimes, though, it’s not entirely due to driver error…or even a driver. For example, these two trucks in Long Beach, MS, were being towed to a destination when they disconnected from the truck. Since they already had the rolling momentum, and nobody to hit the brakes, they rolled straight into a nearby drugstore’s front doors.

Which, despite being made of glass, actually took the hit from two big pickups quite handily, unlike some other videos we’ve seen where a truck or car wipes out the entire glass front. They build those drugstores sturdy in Mississippi!

Cruise Control Will Tell You When To Stop, Thanks

This Australian man turned on his cruise control and discovered that the car just did not want to get out of it, keeping him at a steady 50mph straight down the highway. Fortunately for him, he called the police and they were able to figure out a way to stop the car safely.

Although we’ve got to ask, didn’t it occur to him to, oh, we don’t know, shut off the gas?

That’s One Way to Solve It

And we end where we began, with a driverless car doing donuts. But this one has a slightly more dangerous finale to it.

We’re not really sure why, exactly, the off duty officer didn’t simply try breaking the window and jumping in to turn off the car, but we do have to admit: shooting out the tires is a quite effective way to get the car to stop, if just a wee bit risky.

Then again, this was Baltimore in the ’80s. Maybe he figured with all the gunfire in Washington D.C., nobody would ever notice.

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