Sometimes, driving somewhere can be more entertaining than the destination itself. There's no telling what one will run into on the road, which can lead to some pretty insane stories. Just ask these people.
People on Quora share the craziest thing they've seen at a stoplight. Content has been edited for clarity.
"It’s probably in the 4:00–5:00 am hour, and I’m on my way home. I’m a few blocks away from my house, driving down a big empty boulevard maybe six blocks until I reach the street I live on.
I’m driving the speed limit eastbound. I’m approaching an intersection with a green light for me when all of a sudden a very, very elderly woman steps into the intersection and begins crossing the street in front of me.
No big deal. I slow down and come to a complete stop to wait for her. This doesn’t perturb me at all. What’s going through my mind is that she shouldn’t be on the streets period. What errand could she possibly be on at this hour? By herself!
As she begins crossing in front of my car, a big white heavy-duty utility van also crosses the intersection in the same direction as the woman. FAST.
I look in the van’s direction thinking to myself, Hey! They ran a red light! And they’re speeding!
They ran a red light. Speeding.
My hands on the steering wheel I look up at my green light. I look at the woman. I continued driving home processing what just happened. And realizing, what didn’t happen.
I only came to a complete stop because of the woman crossing the street. Without her, I would have driven right into the intersection and been T-boned by the van - striking the driver’s side of the car.
Nobody else was on the street at this hour but the four of us. Me, the woman, and the two men in the van."
"I was in Sydney for a couple of nights and was walking down the main street toward the City Hall. As I approached, there was a pedestrian crossing where the light had turned red. A few cars were stopped at the light. When it turned green, all the cars proceeded except one. This car was in the middle lane. The cars behind it had to overtake on the left to continue through the green light.
After two light changes and the car not moving, I was close now and could see two people in the car. So did two police patrolling the city on foot.
They walked toward the car, and by now I was almost level with the car but on the footpath.
As the police approached the car, I had a clear view of the occupants.
The driver was resting his head on the driver's side door window and the passenger’s head was resting on his shoulder. The passenger was his female friend.
It became clear then as the police knocked on the window that this couple had fallen asleep at the traffic light, and were in a state of deep sleep when the police officers knocked on the window.
They woke, looked at the officers, said sorry, while the officers asked them to kindly move along.
The police came back to the footpath and were laughing all the way as was I and the surrounding others."
"I was working at a day care center at the time, and was driving home about four in the afternoon. The center was located on a street that, while less busy than a highway, was still pretty busy. This was before wearing seat belts was the law everywhere, and there were car seats and rules about at what age a child could or should sit where. I do recall that the child care center insisted that all children under one be in car seats when their parents picked them up. My point is that things were a lot less restrictive at this time.
I pulled out of the center going toward another somewhat busier street. Traffic had begun to build, but since we were not in a business area, it wasn’t too bad. I noticed a kid that I would estimate to be about two or three walking all over the back seat of the car in front of me. I cringed, hoping that the driver didn’t have to make any sudden stops. I stopped behind this same car at a red light about two miles up the road and watched as the driver (mom?) got out opened the backseat door, swooped the little kid up into her arms, proceed to the back of the car, and put the little darling in the trunk.
I thought You can’t do that! This was before anyone had cell phones. I followed the car as it was my usual route home, hoping that I would see a police officer or something. Within just a few minutes, there were red flashing lights coming up behind me and some more coming out from a side street. The police car behind me pulled up angling itself between me and the car with the kid in the trunk. The car from the side street stopped right in front of the kid in the trunk car.
I could go nowhere, but watched as an officer walked the driver to the back of her car where she opened the trunk revealing …. no kid. Apparently, the back seat of the car could be pushed forward from the trunk and the little monster had found his way back into the car."
"Years ago on a summer day, my brother and I were on our way home from the beach. We pulled up behind two cars, one in each lane, at a red light. It looks like there was an exchange of words. Suddenly, one of the drivers jumps out of his car very angry (looks like his mum was inside the car as well) and throws an empty bottle at the other car with four teenagers inside.
Then all four jumped out of the car, and one had a machete looked like a blade itself was 20 inches long! They started arguing with the driver who threw a bottle at their car. Then suddenly, one of them threw the machete at the other driver and it went straight through the middle of his hand up to the handle of the blade!
Then two of them just jumped in the car and sped off through the lights, with the other two passengers running after the car since they were left behind. They were able to jump in the car about 50 meters up the road.
Meanwhile, the mom jumps out of the car and sees her son with a blade 50 centimeters long right through his hand. What shocked me the most was this dude just grabbed the handle of the machete and pulled it right out of his hand in a second. No hesitation. Blood was everywhere
By this time, a few other cars had pulled up behind me but never saw what happened. They just saw this dude bleeding in the middle of the road with a machete next to him.
I got a bit startled and took off, I didn’t want to wait for the police."
"I was test-driving a Ford Taurus I was thinking of buying. My dad was sitting in the passenger seat. I’m not sure why he was with me. We were sitting silently at a red light at a large, wide intersection. Across the way, there was a fairly long line of cars in the oncoming lanes. Their light was red also. Suddenly, I saw pieces of something flying way up in the air between the row of those waiting cars. It was surreal—a wave of dust and hundreds of chunks of something exploding upward and forward through that space towards the open intersection.
That much happened in about one second, and I started seeing things in slow motion. I remember pointing and saying 'Look!' to my dad. The closer the unknown force got to the intersection, the more defined the pieces were. It was clearly pieces of the cars themselves—side mirrors, T-tops, etc. —that were filling the air. This event seemed to go on forever, though I’m sure it was only a short time. It just seemed those pieces of debris hung in the air forever.
Finally, a smoking skeleton of a car emerged from that impossibly narrow space between those two lanes of cars. It was traveling at great speed, but my eyes and mind saw it in crisp detail. The vehicle no longer had tires on the rims, and most of the metal exterior of the car was gone. It was trailing a massive shower of sparks, smoke, and chunks of who-knows-what. I could clearly see a woman clutching the steering wheel with a look of terror on her face as she screeched past my driver’s window. The car came to a stop perhaps 150 feet past me. My dad and I had no words as we looked at the carpet of car parts on the street, and the smoke that still hung in the air. The lights were green but not a car moved. I think everyone who witnessed that thing was stunned.
I can only assume this woman either fell asleep as she approached this crowded intersection or maybe her accelerator stuck. What is most amazing is that her car made it through that space, probably ripping the sides off 30 or 40 vehicles before emerging and coming to a halt—all in a straight line. And the fact that no one appeared to be hurt during this event. I’ll never forget it, that’s for sure."
"I was riding in a car with four other guys. Two were in front, and three of us were in the back seat, with me being the one in the middle. We came to one of the more unusual intersections in the area, which was a 5-way intersection. There was the option to go straight, left, or right, but also a sharp right of about 270 degrees that lead onto a road that went down into a valley.
Since we intended to go straight once the light turned, we were sitting in a lane to the left, while the right lane was for those who were going to make the sharp turn.
Everyone in the car was busy talking, and multiple conversations were all happening at once. I just happened to look out the right window, where I saw someone holding something up against the driver's window of the car to our right.
It only took me a second to see that it was a large photo of a totally undressed woman. She was short and standing with her arms at her sides. She was also smiling, but just barely. The background was dark blue and appeared to be some sort of draping, which made her pale body stand out very clearly.
I stared for a moment before I realized that not a single other person in the car had noticed anything yet. Everyone was still involved in their conversations. I exclaimed for everyone to 'Look at that,' which only made them all look at me, rather than to our right.
At that very moment, the light turned green and the picture was taken away from the glass. I saw that the driver was the very same woman in the picture, and she was smirking at me. She looked directly into my eyes for only a second, before her car began to move. She looked away, quickly turned the sharp bend, and headed down into the valley.
Our driver went forward through the light as I tried to explain what I’d seen. Two guys didn’t believe me, while the other two stated that they were upset about not seeing it.
For a while, I’d look at the drivers of cars similar to the one the woman had been driving, but I never saw her again. Why did I bother to look for her? I really have no idea, since I’m sure it wouldn’t have resulted in anything more than just seeing her in her car again.
"The strangest thing I’ve seen was probably in the late ’90s. My sister and I had finished the day at high school and were driving home. We had just pulled out of the school parking lot, and were happily heading home and came to the first light. It was red so we were sitting there waiting, and right after it turned green we saw a funeral procession approach the intersection on our left. This meant we couldn’t go and had to stay stopped and wait for it to pass. I was slightly irked because I selfishly wanted to get home, but also sad because you feel empathy for the fact that someone has died and you want to be respectful.
So as the hearse starts making its way through the intersection, a car who was coming towards us from the opposite direction saw that the light had turned green. Apparently, the diver didn’t see that we were all still stopped, so they barreled straight through the intersection at 30 or 35 miles per hour, and ran their car straight into the hearse. They t-boned it. You could hardly believe what awful thing you were seeing. I mean the loved ones following the hearse watched as someone crashed right into the area of the vehicle with their casket inside.
We were directed through the intersection shortly after, so I didn’t see how the aftermath was handled. I always wondered if the funeral director had to go open the casket again to make sure nothing shifted or if they had to wait for another hearse to come to pick up the casket. It was just so crazy. I don’t know who I felt more sorry for—the driver or the family following directly behind the hearse. I mean the driver had to be mortified and hopefully, they were okay. And I guess better hit the hearse than a different car full of people. Even today, we still can’t believe we saw that."
"I was about 21, driving down a boulevard in Denver with my ex-girlfriend, and another couple. As we came to a stop at the traffic light, one of the brightest lights I had ever seen, lit up the left side of my face. Despite its brightness, I could not help but look in that direction to see what was causing it. At that time, I knew how a deer must feel crossing the road in front of an automobile.
When the intense beam of light suddenly stopped, however, that is when I realized it was not headlights. As my eyes adjusted from one extreme to another, I found myself looking down the barrel of a loaded weapon. The passenger of that vehicle held a floodlight in one hand, in the other, a weapon.
He flashed the spotlight again. My eyes adjusted quickly this second time. Being younger back then, it did not matter the barrel was still aimed my way, that made me furious.
I shouted 'Forget you,' and nailed my foot down on the accelerator, running what was the final moments of the red light. I veered to miss a couple of cars, and after a short distance, there's another stoplight. The car with the crazy guy was coming fast too. I had to navigate through somehow. But how? I slammed the brake, narrowly missing a vehicle, as luck would have it, a patrol car. The officer looked me sternly as I let off the brake.
I never will forget the look on her face when she read my lips as I pointed behind us screaming, 'He has a weapon!'
Her eyes got huge as dinner plates. Their car came through, the officer spun her car around in the intersection and made chase. Nearby officers joined in quickly. The man and his pal turned off and the officers were right on their tail. They were soon stopped by a roadblock where a standoff occurred as they were refusing to exit the vehicle. They finally relented without further incident."
"Each workday, in the early afternoon, my co-worker would leave our office to make the daily deposit at the bank. This day seemed like most other days, but when she returned to the office, she shared the most interesting story of waiting at a red light.
After making the deposit, as she left the bank, she was stopped at a light at a T-intersection. She was going to turn to the right but cross-traffic was heavy, so she was waiting.
Across the intersection, there were several businesses. One was a bridal shop. Standing in front of the bridal shop, was a couple, involved in a conversation. Apparently, they had come out of the bridal shop, as the guy was carrying a garment bag over his shoulder that appeared to be a wedding gown.
The conversation they were having was heated as one could see the emotion in their faces and the gestures they were making. Suddenly, the gal turns to face the guy and took something from her hand, and tossed it away. Presumably, it must have been the engagement ring from her finger, and she was clearly upset.
The guy responded by taking the garment bag from over his shoulder and unzipped it. He dropped it to the ground, then unzipped his pants, and (yes, he truly did), urinated on the dress in front of the two of them.
My coworker, unfortunately, didn’t see how the situation progressed from there, because the light turned green."
"It was one a.m. on a Friday night in the middle of winter. No other cars were on the road as I approached the stoplight to turn onto the freeway. But wait, what is that in front of me? A man, with no shirt on, in the turn lane, holding onto a ‘steering wheel’ with his knees bent just enough to look as if he’s sitting.
I squinted in the dark, and slowly pulled closer not quite believing what my eyes were seeing. I was alone, so I glanced around again to see if anyone else was near. Not a soul. Without another moment, the light changed and the man driving his invisible car proceeded to turn onto the freeway.
I was truly baffled by this as I slowly crept up behind him. Then I realized that he must not be in his right mind, and was potentially putting himself in real danger.
I picked up my phone and called 911 to let them know what I was seeing. 'Yes, a man with no shirt, I repeated twice. Yes, he seems to be driving a pretend car and he’s going up the freeway ramp right now.'
The dispatch reassured me they’d send a car out there to check on him, so as the ramp split into two lanes I put my blinker on and passed him by.
I was truly worried about his well-being but didn’t want to physically get involved when I was alone. I do hope that all ended well for him and that wherever he may be, he reached his destination safely."
"My sister was sitting in the turn lane at a red light many years ago. She was waiting for the light to turn green so that she could go. During this time, a woman who was walking along the sidewalk lost control of her special needs daughter, who ran across the street and right into my sister’s pickup. Mind you, her pickup was sitting and waiting for the light to turn green. Traffic was not moving at this point.
The police were called and an ambulance came. My sister was not cited, and the paramedics determined that the girl was unharmed. About a month later, my sister was served papers - the mother of the special needs' child was suing her insurance company, claiming that her daughter was unable to work as a result of her 'injuries.' At first, the insurance company was going to fight it, and then suddenly, the insurance company quickly settled with the woman for an undisclosed amount of money. That amount was never released to my sister.
We later discovered that this woman went to multiple attorneys, but none of them would take her case. She then found one who would, and it was at that point that the insurance company gave in and settled. Of course, we don’t know how much she got or whether the new attorney got a piece of the pie as well, but we were very disappointed with the outcome. The lady wasn’t concerned about her daughter at all. She was just using her to fatten her own purse.
"I was in my car at a red light near a pretty notorious corner, and I heard someone knocking at my passenger window. I looked over and saw a very tiny, very elderly lady. She couldn’t have weighed more than 100 pounds and she was easily 80 years old. She was panhandling.
I shook my head no. Because of the area being a social services hub, I knew that there were plenty of places for food and services free for the asking. We were right outside a church that was serving meals to anyone who wanted food. There were literally 150 social services within a couple of blocks, including a women’s homeless shelter at the church.
Instead of leaving when I said no, she grabbed onto my car and would not let go of the passenger door handle. She held on with both hands and pressed her face against the glass and screamed that I needed to give her money - right now!
The light changed. I couldn’t drive because there was an old lady wrapped around the passenger side of my car. Horns began to honk behind me. But I couldn’t go anywhere without taking her with me, and she was an old lady!
It was chaos for a few minutes, with her screaming at me to give her money, me looking appalled at her face pressed against my car window, and people on the sidewalks joining in the fun. Some of them yelling at her, some of them yelling at me, and a line of horns blaring behind me from people who didn’t know why I was stopped at a green light at a busy intersection.
Finally, someone from the church came out, attracted by all the commotion, and took her in hand and took her back to the church, presumably where she was known to the people running the soup kitchen and shelter."