I fancy myself a pretty decent driver. Defensive but aggressive when I need to be. I heard a radio ad during a recent drive about "those suburban commando moms behind the wheel of her giant SUV," and I held my chin up with pride. All right, so I'm a lot aggressive on the road.
Whether I get cut off, am tailgated by someone who doesn't think 125 km/h is fast enough or stuck behind that guy (you know the one -- cruising along at a snail's pace, oblivious to those around him, leaving a huge, 18-wheeler-sized space in front of his car), I can admit I have some anger issues behind the wheel. But people can be so irksome. Just when you think you've been travelling alongside some really terrible drivers, I'm here to clarify. There's them, 50 feet of crap, then there are the nominees of "Canada's Worst Driver."
The series is celebrating its 10th season, a wonderful albeit frightening prospect to know that the bad drivers just keep on coming. Honestly, how any of these people have licences is beyond fathomable. The idea of encountering any one of them on a busy highway or suburban street should scare the crap out of anyone. But season after season, host Andrew Younghusband does it, and he's petrified (though he does a good job hiding it). Or perhaps that's why his razor-sharp wit kicks in and is always in overdrive.
The drivers have so many issues. They are either super-shaky and nervous or mysteriously overconfident. Their heads whip around frantically to check their blindspot and their rearview mirrors (um, just leave your head stationary and look with your eyes?), and the sheer panic is mind-boggling -- yet makes for mind-blowing entertainment.
Just witnessing the eight drivers in the premiere travelling from their starting point to the rehabilitation centre 90 minutes away is cause for concern. "Oblivious" Chanie, who never took lessons and takes 15 to 20 selfies during her journeys, is asked to reverse and asks, "How do I turn around?" She also asks her boyfriend seated in the backseat, "What's a road sign?", "What does yield mean?" and DOESN'T SEE stop signs or traffic lights, particularly red ones. Basically, a nightmare.
And she's just a drop in the bucket, as the remaining drivers go from bad to worse. There's accident-prone, borderline blind Jason (honestly, his Chevy could be a bumper car); Siham, who suffers from anxiety after being in a bad car accident; and Tyler, a licensed pilot (!!!), who drives like the senior-est of senior citizens trapped inside a 27-year-old, stopping at green lights. Um, what? Santana constantly texts while she's driving (but I couldn't help but notice that her best friend doesn't wear a seat belt while in the passenger seat). Ian, who has written off two cars in the past year, is actually a taxi driver who uses his ADHD as the reason for his terrible lack of skills. George is considered a road bully and likes to street-race and tail-gate -- while watching TV on his phone. But Mariah might be the worst. She actually loves to drive (even though she's dreadful at it); she just tends to do it drunk.
Canadian drivers definitely need help and the fact that "Canada's Worst Driver" (which, in many instances, can also be known as "Canada's Biggest Idiots") has been on for 10 years and can likely go on for 100 more is a testament to that. But what should be a baffling, frustrating watch is made all the better by Younghusband. Honestly, he is what saves me from throwing a shoe at the television. Thanks to his gigs here and on his other Discovery series, "Don't Drive Here," I am arguably and unabashedly one of his biggest fans. He doesn't make light of the situations -- he simply adds to it.
"Canada's Worst Driver" is a maddening and alarming hour of television, but he makes it enjoyable and fun to watch. And, hey, aside from being completely entertained, you'll also come out of it feeling much better about your own driving -- unless you're one of those aforementioned annoying ones. Then you might want to audition for Season 11.
"Canada's Worst Driver" premieres Monday, October 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery.