Posted by: safedriver | February 4, 2011

What are your best driving words or phrases?

We often hear of things in our lives that are related to driving or vehicles. There’s driving music, driving gloves, drive in movies, drive-thru’s and even driving hats. What about driving words or phrases? We’ve used phrases that relate to what we’re doing in the car like “it took the corner like it was on rails”. What are other driving words or phrases you’ve used or heard? I’m now teaching my kids the meaning of these words and phrases and they love it. They think some are strange and funny.

“Road trip” was always one of my favourite words as a young person. This meant that I may end up having ice cream, seeing some friends or relatives or just going for that “Sunday drive”. Sometimes that Sunday drive meant being squashed in the backseat of my dad’s car with my brother and sister while we checked out the countryside. Can you say… boring? What can I say, as a kid it wasn’t my favourite thing to do on the weekend.

When we’ve heard that a car was “only driven to church on Sundays” it led us to believe it had very low mileage. I highly doubt that was the only time the vehicle was driven. The other thing that it reminded us of was that it was also driven by a little old lady. I don’t think that’s the case either.

Does your car “stop on a dime”? It doesn’t really mean you have to place a dime on the road and stop on it and I wouldn’t suggest you try it. There’s also no penalty fee for missing that dime. It basically means it will stop very quickly.

Remember “four on the floor”? I always wanted a car that had a standard transmission and “four on the floor” was ideal back when I was a teen. It always seemed like it would be fun to drive, compared to driving an automatic transmission vehicle. As a driving instructor, I’ve always taught automatic. The only time I was able to teach standard transmission was to Canada’s Worst Driver participants. That wasn’t the enjoyable experience that I was hoping for.

Then there are the ‘bad’ words we hear or say while in the vehicle. Now, I’m not going to list the curse words here; mainly because you already know what they are. We need to remember to change some of the words, especially when we have kids in the vehicle with us; or your mom.

So, what driving words or phrases have you heard? Come and share them with us, but keep it clean because my mom sometimes reads these articles too!



  1. My favourite is “Don’t drive like you want to be the first to get into a crash or collision. The prize for being first sucks — a banged up car and raised insurance rates!”

    • Thanks for the phrase Anthony! Good words to live by.

  2. My driving instructor told me:
    “A crash or collision occurs when at least one person makes a mistake. If more than one person is involved it is _often_ (but not always) because they all made a mistake.”

    He went on to explain that while one person may do something (illegal, unexpected, plain wrong) to cause the crash, others get involved because they often failed to give themselves “safe space” around them to avoid the situation, or else they failed to take a moment to double check that what should be a safe situation is, in fact, safe. An example of the latter is looking for cars running a red before proceeding when the light changes to green.

    • A similar comment I often hear (or read in reports) from people involved in a collision is, “He came out of nowhere.” Um… probably not. It’s more likely that you just weren’t looking around, and only staring straight ahead.

  3. Another one I like goes like this:
    “You may pass, you may always pass.”

    With the following caveat or qualification:
    You may pass
    1) UNLESS it is specifically prohibited
    2) AND if the manoeuvre can be done in safety
    3) AND if the manoeuvre is carried out in safety

  4. Related to the first comment about racing into a crash is this one, which was a favorite of my grandmother’s:
    “Better to arrive late than be early for one’s own funeral”

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