There's a lot to fear when you're in a car as it's a place where many people die. Jalopnik readers admitted their fears and have shared their worst automotive nightmares, where everything that can go wrong on the road, does.
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We love cars dearly. They get us through the day sometimes, as weird as that sounds. But sometimes we see so clearly how quickly they can snuff out a life. We see how fragile they are, and how easily they can break. We get reminded that they are big steel cages, barreling past each other at 60, 70, 80 miles an hour. Then we see that the drivers next to us are texting and eating and drinking and oh no merging into our lane.
Photo Credit: Gallopin' Gertie/YouTube
10.) Someone Merges As I Change Lanes
We think about changing lanes from the left lane to the middle lane, just as a driver in the right lane merges into the middle lane at the same time. It might be the one part of highway driving that we really can't do anything to prevent, and with more and more distracted drivers…
9.) Getting Trapped In The Middle Of A Collapsing Bridge Or Tunnel
Every time we go into a tunnel or onto a bridge, we trust that there won't be an earthquake that will send everything crashing down, without anything we can do about it.
8.) Someone Totals My Affordable Classic
We love our cars, even when we buy them for a few hundred bucks. The problem is that they're so easy to get totaled, no matter how much we love them, or how much money we put into keeping them on the road. If some DUI driver hits it, even tiny repairs can be worth more than the selling price of the car as a whole.
7.) Gunpoint Carjacking
Reader Silvermannn put it simply, "I don't know how quickly I'd be able to give up my car, or how quickly my life would change if I didn't."
Suggested By: Silvermannn, Photo Credit: Shutterstock
6.) The Brakes Go Out On The Highway
Either you're coming off an exit ramp towards a stop light or you're coming up on a traffic jam and you feel the pedal go to the floor. Everything is out of your control. It's pretty terrifying.
5.) The Suspension Breaks At Speed
Just as horrifying as a busted brake line is if some part of your suspension fails while you're on the highway or going fast through a turn. Imagine a ball joint snapping, or a wheel falling off and again, there's nothing you can do about it.
4.) I Get My Dream Car And It Gets Stolen
When we see stories like the stolen Ford GT that was found chopped to pieces or the Formula D car stolen just before Christmas and we fear that our own dream car will end up taken and when we find it, the car will be scrapped. This actually happened to reader the_road_toad_again.
3.) Getting Disabled, Keeping Me From Driving
We often fear of getting into any kind of accident and getting disabled to the point that we'll never drive our stick shift-equipped car again. As we see more and more cars with hand controls, maybe we shouldn't be so afraid.
2.) Getting Rear-Ended With My Kid In The Back
Reader Chairman Kaga tells us his biggest fear of driving a small car in Texas, home of the full-size pickup.
I drive a Honda Fit in Austin, TX. In the mornings my daughter is in the back. We get onto MoPac, drive a few miles, then exit to go to daycare.
MoPac is notorious for instant standstills. Totally random. You can be doing 65, and in 200 feet be stopped. People don't pay attention to brake lights because they're jockeying for position to avoid the Sunset Valley merge lane.
I have nightmares of coming to a stop, and looking into my rearview and seeing a Ram 2500's grille filling it, tire smoke pouring from the wheel wells as he plows into the back of my subcompact.
Seriously. It gives me chills.
1.) Hitting Someone
Much as modern safety advances can protect us while we're inside a car, we still can do terrifying damage to people outside. Reader Gamecat235 explains.
Today, while on my way to work, I came about 2 feet from hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk. It would have been 100% my fault. I didn't see him, and I could make excuses, but ultimately it comes down to controllable factors on my end, all of them totally my fault. I don't have sunglasses when I drive (my last pair broke a couple of months ago, and I haven't bothered replacing them) and the sun was in my eyes, and I haven't washed my windows since we got rain last week, so the corners/edges are dirty, not that you can't see through them, but you can't when the sun hits them just right.
I'm generally pretty hyper-aware of my surroundings while driving, having spent my entire youth, first 7 years of my adult life as a pedestrian/bicyclist first, driver second (or obviously not at all for the first 16). I just didn't see him. He yelled at me. I just looked at him and raised my hands to admit fault and mouthed "I'm sorry".
And I really, really am.
Read his full description and apology right here.