There are some things that people own that can tell you so much about them at a glance. A person’s car is one of those things. How people treat their car and what they decide to put on it can give you a quick insight into what they may be like if you meet them face-to-face.
Whether that insight is good or bad depends on the individual and what the additions are. An online group gathered together to discuss what they believed were the biggest signals that a driver was someone to avoid.
1. Honk if You're Stickers
The whole point of a “honk if you are…” type of bumper sticker is to distract you from the fact that the person is a terrible driver. Just don't do it! Unless it's hilarious, of course.
2. Nice Blinker!
While not using your blinker is sometimes an issue with your car and not generally something that's on your car… it's still a warning sign to drivers around you to avoid you at all costs!
3. Peeing Calvin Decals
The classic comic strips of “Calvin and Hobbes” can bring about happy, childlike memories, at least, to the people who don’t have these stickers on their cars. A series of images emerged as time passed of the young boy, Calvin, taking a leak not just on the ground but also on symbols and words relating to different subjects, mainly politics.
Not only does the image show poor taste, but people see it as going against the original material. As one commenter notes, “It perverts and subverts what Calvin stood for. He had an overzealous imagination that bordered on, at worst, mischievous. He was never malicious.”
4. Middle Finger Anything
There was a wide range of ways that the flipping of the bird was mentioned as a signal for avoidance. Stickers, decals, flags, if you can think of it, there is a way for drivers to display their favorite fingers.
It also goes without saying that if you put the vibe of being aggressive and unbothered by others out there too much, people are going to start to doubt if that is the case. One participant mentions how they work with a man who has the gesture in various forms on his truck “Yet he is the most touchy and sensitive baby in the entire joint.”
5. Locally Hated Decals
Another big sign that you’re not the most fun of people is having “Locally Hated” on your car for all to see. For many, having such a sticker automatically signals that you should be avoided at all costs, as one respondent notes how it is similar to people saying that people keep saying that they are a jerk, but they aren’t.
Another person says, “Extra points if the moron in question plasters a second “Locally Hated” sticker across their windshield. I’ve seen a few of these idiots.” It couldn’t be that they are locally hated because they have a large sticker obstructing their view while driving, could it?
6. “Punisher” Skulls
The Marvel Comic series centers on an anti-hero that many consider tough and cool. The only problem is that people have taken the symbol and twisted it to mean something else, like the image of Calvin. Though the Punisher is an anarchist, many police have decided to take their symbol as a way to represent themselves. It’s this irony that makes people seem like idiots when they, especially police, put it on their cars.
7. MLM Advertisements
MLM stands for multi-level marketing, aka a pyramid scheme. When it comes to MLMs, it is more likely that those selling for the company will lose money than gain it. So, if a person shows off that they are proudly in an MLM, it tells people they are not the best at making financial decisions.
8. Blinding Headlights
“They have to know they’re blinding people, and if they don’t, they’re stupid” is how someone shares their opinions on the matter. Here we are not discussing the headlights installed in the car fresh off the assembly line.
This is about people who buy headlights that are brighter than the sun. Having ridiculously bright lights can also be dangerous because people are blinded by a head-on vehicle, making having these lights pretty stupid.
9. Fake Bullet Holes
Adding fake bullet holes to a car is another way people try to make themselves look tougher than they probably are. The original person who brought this way of being an idiot up has this to say about the matter: “It’s like ‘the kind of life I lead just might put me in the line of fire’ except not because, you know, they are not real.” Another person adds that most of the people who are really in that “kind of life” don’t want to be, making it all a bit awkward.
10. Outside Speakers
Having someone drive by with music barely out of their speaker is bad enough coming from inside the car or with the windows open. I have this happen outside my house from time to time, and it always takes me out of what I was trying to do. However, having speakers installed on the outside of the car is a whole different level of annoyance. A participant made it clear that they find it especially annoying because “they’re never listening to good music.” Somebody else argues that even if they were blaring music that most people like, it would still make the driver look like a jerk and an idiot.
11. Stick Figure Family
Although having a stick figure family on one’s vehicle can be sweet to some, many on the forum beg to differ. Still, according to participants, there a specific criteria the familial figures must meet that seem to make a person seem not the smartest. The first level is having more than more family members displayed.
The second is having the names of each stick figure with them. I don’t care how many people exist in your 2D family. Still, I do think that having each family member’s name displayed on the back of your car is trouble waiting to happen.
12. Salt Life Stickers
A lot of people read Salt Life as something else (I’ll let you figure out what) for a long time before realizing what it said. I suppose this poor design was why so many people thought it to be a sign of idiocy, but there was another reason why people thought it was stupid. A few people complained about seeing these stickers in areas that are nowhere near salt water. A Minnesotan chimes in and mentions how they constantly see this sticker, also saying, “We have 10,000 LAKES. No salt.”
13. Loud Exhaust
Another alteration I have personally experienced and never enjoyed. Loud exhausts go hand in hand with loud music speakers. One user let us know what’s on their mind, declaring, “It’s stupid and does nothing but make noise.” According to others, such a loud exhaust can also worsen a vehicle’s performance.
14. Pop and Crackle Engine Map
“A team of engineers spent many years optimizing the engine mapping of your car, balancing performance and efficiency, just for you to overwrite it with some stuff from the internet so it sounds like a Group B rally car with a misfire.” I think this user is rather passionate about this subject, don’t you? Regardless, quite a few people agree with their assessment.
15. Tinted Plates
A tinted cover on your license plate makes it harder to see the plate itself. Whether a driver is attempting to make it through a toll gate without paying or doing something else, the forum agrees that having it makes a car an instant red flag. Not only does it not work to stop tolls, but it makes everyone instantly aware that the vehicle and its driver are up to no good. Even if that wasn’t the intention when installing it, the connotation on its own should be reason enough to avoid using it.
16. Non-Muffling Mufflers
An extension of the loud exhausts, some drivers add mufflers to the vehicles that do the exact opposite of muffle. Now, the car is louder, the peace is interrupted, and everyone thinks the driver’s a complete jerk. Stickers are one thing, but deliberately drawing as much attention to yourself is a whole other ballpark.
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Molly Locke is a freelance Journalist fresh off the presses. Having been traveling since before she could walk, she's gained quite a bit of insight on what this world is all about. Movies and video games are her bread and butter, as is being able to talk about their stories, quality, effects, and impact endlessly. You can find Molly on Instagram, X, Threads, and LinkedIn.