The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Driving & Cars

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Welcome to my page of quotations about cars, driving, traffic, commuting, transportation, road rage, vehicles, road safety, etc.  —ღ Terri

An object at rest tends to stay at rest, especially if you're behind it when the light turns green. ~Robert Brault,

Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams. ~Mary Ellen Kelly

Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead. ~Mac McCleary

A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after. ~Peter De Vries

The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance," 1841

It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble an automobile, and one nut to scatter it all over the road. ~Author Unknown

The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it. ~Dudley Moore, unverified

A pedestrian is someone who thought there were a couple of gallons left in the tank. ~Author unknown

A pedestrian is a man who missed the payments on his car. ~Bill Holman, "Auto Suggestions," in The Travelers Insurance Company, Thou Shalt Not Kill!, 1935

Leave sooner, drive slower, live longer. ~Author Unknown

It wasn't the Exxon Valdez captain's driving that caused the Alaskan oil spill. It was yours. ~Greenpeace advertisement, New York Times, 25 February 1990

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

Your grandchildren will likely find it incredible — or even sinful — that you burned up a gallon of gasoline to fetch a pack of cigarettes! ~Dr. Paul MacCready, Jr.

A city that outdistances man's walking powers is a trap for man. ~Arnold Toynbee

I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol. ~Author Unknown

Hug your kids at home, but belt them in the car. ~Author Unknown

A tree never hits an automobile except in self defense. ~Author unknown

Americans are broad-minded people. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater, and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there is something wrong with him. ~Art Buchwald, "How Un-American Can You Get?," Have I Ever Lied to You?, 1966

Modern technology
Owes ecology
An apology.
~Alan M. Eddison

Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly. ~Author Unknown

When buying a used car, punch the buttons on the radio. If all the stations are rock and roll, there's a good chance the transmission is shot. ~Larry Lujack, as quoted in Robert Byrne, The Fifth and Far Finer than the First Four 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said, 1993

The car has become the carapace, the protective and aggressive shell, of urban and suburban man. ~Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media

Car sickness is the feeling some persons get when each month's installment comes due. ~The Speaker's Book of Illustrations by Herbert V. Prochnow, 1960

The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers. ~Dave Barry, "Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn"

The longest journey begins with a single step, not with a turn of the ignition key. ~Edward Abbey

Restore human legs as a means of travel. Pedestrians rely on food for fuel and need no special parking facilities. ~Lewis Mumford

I hooked up my accelerator pedal in my car to my brake lights. I hit the gas, people behind me stop, and I'm gone. ~Steven Wright

The car has become a secular sanctuary for the individual, his shrine to the self, his mobile Walden Pond. ~Edward McDonagh

A commuter tie-up consists of you — and people who for some reason won't use public transit. ~Robert Brault,

One time the police stopped me for speeding, and they said "oh, you know the speed limit is 55 miles per hour." I said, "yah, I know, but I wasn't going to be out that long." ~Steven Wright, A Steven Wright Special, 1985,

You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive. ~Author Unknown

Consider the man on horseback, and I have been a man on horseback for most of my life. Well, mostly he is a good man, but there is a change in him as soon as he mounts. Every man on horseback is an arrogant man, however gentle he may be on foot. The man in the automobile is one thousand times as dangerous. I tell you, it will engender absolute selfishness in mankind if the driving of automobiles becomes common. It will breed violence on a scale never seen before. It will mark the end of the family as we know it, the three or four generations living happily in one home. It will destroy the sense of neighborhood and the true sense of Nation. It will create giantized cankers of cities, false opulence of suburbs, ruinized countryside, and unhealthy conglomerations of specialized farming and manufacturing. It will make every man a tyrant. ~R.A. Lafferty, "Interurban Queen," 1970, a short story set in the late 1800s (Thanks, Sam!)

Automobiles are not ferocious.... it is man who is to be feared. ~Robbins B. Stoeckel

No one should be able to enter a wilderness by mechanical means. ~Garrett Hardin, The Ecologist, February 1974

Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf. ~Lewis Mumford

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. ~Noelie Altito

Once caught for a parking ticket, I pleaded insanity. ~Steven Wright, A Steven Wright Special, 1985,

Road rage is the expression of the amateur sociopath in all of us, cured by running into a professional. ~Robert Brault,

Driving a brand new car feels like riding around in an open billfold with dollars flapping by as they fly out the windows. ~Terri Guillemets, "What's new is already old," 1994

A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works. ~Bill Vaughan, as quoted in The Reader's Digest, 1976

I'm all about sharing the road with other drivers—as long as they use the part that's behind me. ~Author Unknown

Each year it seems to take less time to fly across the ocean and longer to drive to work. ~Author Unknown

If everything comes your way, you are in the wrong lane. ~Author Unknown

It helps if you don't see it as traffic but rather as thousands of individuals resolved to press on another day. ~Robert Brault,

Anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac. ~Author Unknown

The elderly don't drive that badly; they're just the only ones with time to do the speed limit. ~Jason Love

Making a left turn in L.A. is one of the harder things you're going to learn in life. ~Lawrence Kasdan and Meg Kasdan, (movie), spoken by the character Mack

Most of American life consists of driving somewhere and then returning home, wondering why the hell you went. ~John Updike

A driver is a king on a vinyl bucket-seat throne, changing direction with the turn of a wheel, changing the climate with a flick of the button, changing the music with the switch of a dial. ~Andrew Malcolm

Take most people, they're crazy about cars. They worry if they get a little scratch on them, and they're always talking about how many miles they get to a gallon, and if they get a brand-new car already they start thinking about trading it in for one that's even newer. I don't even like old cars. I mean they don't even interest me. I'd rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human, for God's sake. ~J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, 1951  [Holden Caulfield —tg]

Recklessness is a species of crime and should be so regarded on our streets and highways. ~Marlen E. Pew, in The Travelers Insurance Company, Thou Shalt Not Kill!, 1935

Nothing has been said, nothing done, which has any meaning to the brazen motorist who is more intent upon arriving at his destination through the exercise of course and inhuman individualism than he is to conserve decent safety for the lives of others, or indeed, his own precious hide. It is a kind of madness, which historians of the future will regard as of a piece with the dare-devil spirit of the American people in this age... The appalling casualty list shames civilization, exceeds all reason, violates all the laws of God and man. ~Marlen E. Pew, in The Travelers Insurance Company, Thou Shalt Not Kill!, 1935

I used to work for the factory where they make hydrants, but you couldn't park anywhere near the place. ~Steven Wright, A Steven Wright Special, 1985,

Space is a never-ending race track. The thermal shock region on the prow of our solar system, for example, is screaming through the heavens at 490,000 miles an hour. Earth is hurtling round the sun at 67,000 miles an hour. God, it seems, is a complete speed freak. ~Top Gear, series 16, episode 6

You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said "Parking Fine." ~Tommy Cooper

Driving makes 100-horsepower bullies out of many. ~The Travelers Insurance Company, Thou Shalt Not Kill!, 1935

Let a woman be as false as she can, and able to fool her husband to the top of her bent, she is, compared with the man who wishes to sell you a horse, openness and truth itself. ~W. H. Hudson, The Purple Land, 1885 [A quote about car salesmen before cars existed! –tg]

Automobiling is a joy, sublime,
If you've enough gas and your tires are fine!
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Automobiling and Hiking" (1940s)

Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere! ~Author unknown, as seen on a shirt

STREET CARS  Just one jammed thing after another. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Altogether New Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz, 1914

All in favor of conserving gasoline, please raise your right foot. ~Author Unknown

Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car. ~E.B. White, One Man's Meat, 1943

The Lord Chief Justice of England recently said that the greater part of his judicial time was spent investigating collisions between propelled vehicles, each on its own side of the road, each sounding its horn and each stationary. ~Philip Guedalla, as quoted in The Reader's Digest, 1936

Life is too short for traffic. ~Dan Bellack

[B]ut his own vehicle had been a wreck of rust and nostalgia. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018

I shouldn't have driven home from the bar last night—especially since I walked there. ~Author Unknown

Time, tide and trolleys wait for no man. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

Before someone gets their driver's license they should have to beat Rainbow Road on Mario Kart without falling off. ~Author Unknown

For every "Drive Safely" sign, shouldn't there be a "Resume Normal Driving" sign? ~Robert Brault,

Ah, yes — the ubiquitous highway "Text Stop." Formerly known as "Rest Stop. No Facilities." Useful for travelers starting to drip text into their pants. ~Robert Brault,, 2019

Drive carefully enough for yourself and the other fellow too, because the chances are he isn't. ~Don Herold, "Brother, Can You Spare Five Minutes?," 1934

My own system is to expect the world's prize idiot around every next corner... At the intersection, I always imagine the other intersecting artery filled with morons. And I slow down to offset their moronity with a double dose of my own sanity. ~Don Herold, "Brother, Can You Spare Five Minutes?," 1934

There's the hub of this whole accident business. Probably nine-tenths of our automobile accidents are caused by people trying to save five minutes... If everybody in America would resolve to contribute five minutes a day to the cause of automobile safety, we could cut the death and accident toll in two. Five minutes a day. Brother, can you spare five minutes a day?... Five minutes a day will keep the ambulance away. ~Don Herold, "Brother, Can You Spare Five Minutes?," 1934

A little ordinary courtesy would help, also. We are usually pretty peaceful in our attitude towards our fellow man, but the minute we get behind a steering wheel, we seem to regard every man as our enemy. ~Don Herold, "Brother, Can You Spare Five Minutes?," 1934

What a lucky thing the wheel was invented before the automobile; otherwise can you imagine the awful screeching? ~Samuel Hoffenstein

Well, son, it's this way — unfortunately, increasin' th' hoss power don't increase th' hoss sense any. ~Gaar Williams, 1933

If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend. ~Doug Larson

No other man-made device since the shields and lances of the knights quite fulfills a man's ego like an automobile. ~William Rootes

Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do. ~Jason Love

Speed Limit – A sign that tells you at what speed the car that's rapidly fading from view in your rearview mirror is going; a law that provides the sole means of support for many small-town police departments. ~Richard E. Turner (1937–2011), The Grammar Curmudgeon, a.k.a. "The Mudge," from "The Curmudgeon's Short Dictionary of Modern Phrases," c.2009

Road sense is the offspring of courtesy and the parent of safety. ~Australian Traffic Rule, quoted in Quotations for Special Occasions by Maud van Buren

Here lies the body of William Jay,
Who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right as he sped along,
But he's just as dead
As if he'd been wrong.
~Anonymous fan of Eddie Cantor, quoted in The Travelers Insurance Company, Thou Shalt Not Kill!, 1935

The automobile is technologically more sophisticated than the bundling board, but the human motives in their uses are sometimes the same. ~Charles M. Allen

Your radiator's busted,
      And your dustpan's on the bum;
      Your gearshift's dry and rusted,
      And you cannot go or come...
Your windshield's broke, your starter's stuck,
      The rear-end lights won't burn;
      In fact, old top, you're out of luck
      And hardly worth a durn.
~"Your Radiator's Busted," in The "Wrecks" (An Anthology of Ribald Verse Collected at Reno), c.1933

The car has become... an article of dress without which we feel uncertain, unclad, and incomplete. ~Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, 1964

For jaywalkers every year is leap year. ~Bill Holman, "Auto Suggestions," in The Travelers Insurance Company, Thou Shalt Not Kill!, 1935

Eighty percent of the people of Britain want more money spent on public transport — in order that other people will travel on the buses so that there is more room for them to drive their cars. ~John Selwyn Gummer, The Independent, 1994

He drives like a demon, even though
He hasn't a single place to go.
He cuts around when chances are slim—
Danger to others means naught to him.
~The Travelers Insurance Company, Thou Shalt Not Kill!, 1935

And I, I took the road less traveled by. I was using a GPS system. ~Robert Brault,

      [T]hey both knew that the basis of her invariable reluctance about new cars was not thrift but sentiment. She simply could not endure the moment when the old one was driven away.
      As for cars, they were in a class apart, somewhere between furniture and dogs. It wasn't, with her, a question of the pathetic fallacy. She did not pretend to herself that cars had souls or even minds (though anybody, seeing the difference that can exist between one mass-produced car and another, might be excused for believing that they have at least some embryonic form of temperament). No, it was simply a matter of mise en scène. A car, nowadays, was such an integral part of one's life, provided the aural and visual accompaniment to so many of one's thoughts, feelings, conversations, decisions, that it had acquired at least the status of a room in one's house. To part from it, whatever its faults, was to lose a familiar piece of background.
      ~Jan Struther, Mrs. Miniver, 1930s

It finally happened. I got the GPS lady so confused, she said, "In one-quarter mile, make a legal stop and ask directions." ~Robert Brault,

Walking isn't a lost art — one must, by some means, get to the garage. ~Evan Esar

The speedway ends at the cemetery. ~Author Unknown

We are not proving ourselves spiritually worthy of our material progress. We have not been neighborly, courteous, and kind upon the highway. Our lack of decency toward our fellow men is a definite black mark against us. ~Cary T. Grayson

Two-hundred forty horsepower isn't enough to move me anymore. Enough to move my body, yes, but not my soul. ~S.A. Sachs

On the other hand, the Bible contains much that is relevant today, like Noah taking 40 days to find a place to park. ~Curtis McDougall

The automobile has not merely taken over the street, it has dissolved the living tissue of the city. Its appetite for space is absolutely insatiable; moving and parked, it devours urban land, leaving the buildings as mere islands of habitable space in a sea of dangerous and ugly traffic. ~James Marston Fitch, New York Times, 1 May 1960

Remember folks, street lights timed for 35 mph are also timed for 70 mph. ~Jim Samuels

I'm not sure... about automobiles.... With all their speed forward they may be a step backward in civilization — that is, in spiritual civilization. It may be that they will not add to the beauty of the world, nor to the life of men's souls. I am not sure. But automobiles have come, and they bring a greater change in our life than most of us suspect. They are here, and almost all outward things are going to be different because of what they bring. They are going to alter war, and they are going to alter peace. I think men's minds are going to be changed in subtle ways because of automobiles; just how, though, I could hardly guess. But you can't have the immense outward changes that they will cause without some inward ones, and it may be that... the spiritual alteration will be bad for us. Perhaps, ten or twenty years from now, if we can see the inward change in men by that time, I shouldn't be able to defend the gasoline engine, but would have to agree... that automobiles 'had no business to be invented.' ~Eugene, from Booth Tarkington's The Magnificent Ambersons, 1918

Remember the street car cannot turn out. ~Charles M. Hayes

Yes, Officer, I did see the speed limit sign. I just didn't see you. ~Author Unknown

I feel like I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. ~Author Unknown

You can't see anything from a car; you've got to get out of the goddamn contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbrush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail, you'll see something, maybe. ~Edward Abbey

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