Celebrities tend to own some of the nicest cars on the market. These celebs represent the good, the bad, and the downright dangerous. Collectively, their driving habits tend to keep local police officers as alert as the paparazzi. In many cases, it has not been easy for the celebs, either, who have been in and out of rehab to combat detrimental addictions.
Still, there is a mite of humanitarianism; sometimes celebs can surprise us and do the right thing, even when out of the spotlight. Some of the stars featured here, out of the goodness of their own heart, confessed to otherwise hit-and-runs, and in doing so, have given their insurance companies as much material as they give the media.
With all the accidents these VIPs are causing, it’s still probably best if they resort to the long-standing tradition of having a chauffeur. We know, it must be painful to let anyone else behind the wheel of one’s Maybach or Mercedes, but chauffeurs tend to have such reassuring countenances and chiseled jaws. It’s also a more practical option to keep celebrities off the street than personal autobahns equipped with go-kart security.
Below are fifteen celebrities you definitely want to watch out for on the road!
15. Rowan Atkinson
Better known as Mr. Bean, this Hollywood icon has crashed his McLaren F1 twice.He purchased the burgundy sports car back in 1997, and first crashed it into a Rover. The car had a V12 engine and could travel at up to 240mph. Later in 2011, he crashed into a tree and a road sign, causing an injured shoulder and costing his insurance company £910,000.
According to CNBC, the car, made by the famous British luxury automotive company, sold for $12.2 million. The car is equipped with Formula 1 technology. Maybe Atkinson wanted to get rid of his car because it has since been out-performed by McLaren’s P1, which accelerates from 0 to 300 kilometers per hour in just 16.8 seconds, which is 5.5 seconds faster than Mr. Bean’s former road ally. Well, for whatever reason, Atkinson has told the media that he will never own a Porsche so there’s that.
14. Amanda Bynes
California native and current NYC-resident Amanda Bynes is an exceptionally dangerous case. In 2012 alone, she was pulled over three times. In March, she was pulled over for talking on her cell phone. Then, in April, she sideswiped a police car while driving under the influence. In both April and September, she was involved in hit-and-runs, and avoided court by settling with the victims. All that being said, it seems local police officers are getting an Amanda Show all their own.
Alcohol is not the only substance that Bynes likes to use while driving. She was also driving under the influence of Adderall. Apparently she had a prescription for this, but that did nothing to mitigate the charge. She posted a modest $15,000 bail.
The prescription has proven decidedly ineffective in treating Bynes’ case of ADD, Adult Driving Disorder. Bynes recently decided to avoid the spotlight of the big screen in favor of attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Marketing in Irvine, California. Hopefully, she is taking public transportation.
13. Ben Affleck
In October 2012, the Oscar-winning actor Ben Affleck was under the influence of nothing but maybe a McFlurry as he was caught leaving a note for the owner of a parked car, into which he had careened on his way home from McDonald’s.
The note read, “Hi, I knocked off your mirror! Very sorry! Will cover everything. -Ben.” As if his magnanimity were not obvious enough, the star was driving his two girls, Violet and Seraphina, home from a father-daughter trip to McDonald’s. He was spending some time with them due to his being in Turkey filming for Argo. To be fair, he probably hadn’t been driving much while in Turkey. Plus, this blemish on his record wasn’t enough to discourage the authorities at Warner Bros. from entrusting him with the Batmobile. To promote the film, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck gave rides in the Batmobile for the film’s premier in NYC. Ever the philanthropist, these tours raised money for a local charity.
12. Robert Pattinson
In 2010, after leaving a friend’s house in Malibu, he hit a parked Kia and before that, he lost his car in LA… and had his dashboard catch on fire. Fortunately for him, by the end of the Breaking Dawn films, his character Edward Cullen, saw him happily married with a child, but this raises the question as to whether vampires should really be allowed to drive anyway.
Incidentally, his mother worked for a modeling agency, and his father was an importer of vintage cars. Originally hailing from London, England, Pattison is cosmopolitan on stage as well as in reality. He played Salvador Dalí in Paul Morrison’s 2008 film Little Ashes. The film also highlights the lives of writer Federico García Lorca (with whom Pattison’s character develops a love affair) and filmmaker Luis Buñuel.
11. Tina Fey
At 46 years old, 30Rock star Tina Fey has an expired driver’s license and doesn’t know how to drive. In fact, she nearly ran herself over after failing to put the car in park during her last driving experience. These days she has Baby Mama co-star Amy Poehler to drive her around. The actress says she has little motivation to learn, either, and for this, the Upper West Side is probably better off.
If there is one thing that Sarah Palin can claim over her well-received impostor, Fey, it is skill at driving, as Palin would drive over 50 miles between her hometown of Wasilla to Juneau when she was governor of Alaska. Fey earned her reputation for clever and successful improvisational comedy when she joined the first ever long-standing Chicago-based improv group Second City, and from this gig she moved to become a writer for SNL. Her improvisation skills translated well from theater to camera, but not so seamlessly onto the open road.
10. Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson even looks like he enjoys car wrecks … or, at least, the favorable publicity that results. Here he is shown with the man whose mirror he took off, after stopping to address the situation with the vehicle owner.
Johnson described the driving experience by saying, “I’m singing away like I’m having a one man party in my truck – then I hear a loud BANG. What the hell…? Look in my rear view and see I sideswiped another pick up that was parked in the street and destroyed the side mirror. First thing I thought was, ‘Aw shit, someone’s not gonna be happy…'”
After having the star offer to pay for damages, Massachusetts resident Audie Bridges turned out to be pretty happy after all. Johnson considers himself to be semi-retired at this point in his professional wrestling career, and based on this performance, he is well positioned to contribute to the justifiable stereotype that retired people are bad drivers.
9. Kylie Jenner
Reality television star Kylie Jenner had been in two automobile accidents in just her first year of driving. The first was a three-car pileup only eighteen days after her 16th birthday. The first accident involved a new Mercedes-Benz, and the second was a brand-new Range Rover. If she can get over the fact that her half-sister, Kim Kardashian, drives a collection of cars that includes a Bentley Continental GT convertible, a Rolls Royce Ghost, and a Ferrari F430, Kylie might be better off trying her luck with a used car.
Jenner humbly maintains a personal website, which features videos, behind-the-scenes pictures, personal journals, and a live-stream. She charges $2.99/month for a subscription pass, which allows users to access all of this content. If she featured accident reports, photos, and insurance claims, it would certainly be worth subscribing.
8. Paris Hilton
Remember the businesswoman, socialite, and model from the early 2000s? The media remembers her for, among other things, getting arrested for driving under the influence during the filming of The Simple Life in 2006.
In January 2007, she was caught driving with a suspended license, and, despite agreeing not to drive, the very next month she was caught driving 70 mph in a 35 mph zone. At night. With no headlights. Paris Hilton proves that she can pull off a hat trick of driving infractions.
Hilton made her debut at age 19 when she signed with Donald Trump‘s modeling agency, T Management. Trump currently has other commitments, namely, a bid for the U.S. Presidency. If he wins, he is herein encouraged to augment his existing platforms to add that he will keep Paris Hilton off of the road. That is probably more important for national security than controlling immigration at the U.S. border.
7. LeAnn Rimes
She’s been in so many fender-benders she could write a country song about it. In August 2009, she got into a scrape with another car, but (unlike Affleck’s commendable behavior), incurred greater problems by leaving the scene. In the following month, after being accosted by the paparazzi after leaving a store, she rear-ended another driver. Her insurance premiums went up as her popularity waned.
Auto accident sites are not the only scenes that Rimes has left; she hasn’t released an album of her own since 2009. In the years since 2009, she’s only released cover songs and Christmas albums. Add to this her series of extramarital affairs, career-related litigation – including a lawsuit against her former manager, her record label, and her own father, back in 2000 – and she has something to lament in song. This might have something to do with her checking herself into a hospital for anxiety and stress.
6. Lindsay Lohan
Mean Girl-turned drunk-girl-behind-the-wheel, Lindsay Lohan has kept the California police busy.
Twice in two months, and within two weeks of leaving a rehab facility, her attorney was alerted to her relapse via a monitoring bracelet, which the star agreed to wear as part of the terms of her release. Even if she thought she could pull a fast one on the cops, despite the bracelet, the kiss of death was her decision to pursue the mother of her former assistant in her white Denali at 1:30 a.m.
Just over a year ago (May 2015), a judge declared Lohan probation-free, which marks the first complete freedom that the 29-year old actress has enjoyed in eight years. Lohan’s retrospective filmography suggests that, despite her natural attractiveness and being a New York native, Mean Girls was probably the best film she will ever do. Maybe, being stuck in a teenage-girl mindset has something to do with her driving incompetence.
5. Mischa Barton
This starlet was arrested for driving under the influence, possession of marijuana, and driving without a license in December 2007. She was caught by police straddling lanes and not using her signal, which led to her arrest and subsequent release on $10,000 bail.
Perhaps understating the case, in April of this year, addressing her driving incompetence, she told People Magazine, “I think it is because of the way I’ve learned. It’s always been on film sets, and so you’re taught by stuntmen. They’re like, ‘Step on the gas and swerve!'”
In 2012, Barton appeared on stage in an Irish production of Steel Magnolias in Dublin. Barton’s most recent public appearance since then (outside of the police reports) was in Dancing With the Stars. Though she only finished in 11th place, she is still decidedly a better dancer than driver.
4. Mel Gibson
Several of Gibson‘s altercations with the law have resulted from driving under the influence. His laundry list of infractions began when he rear-ended another vehicle in Toronto. Two years later, he was again picked up for DUI, and this time had an open container of alcohol. Three months after that, he was sentenced to three months probation after pleading “no contest” to a misdemeanor charge again related to drunk driving.
To his credit, this environment-friendly celeb drives a $12,000 Smart car, despite being worth over $400 million. While he might be environment-friendly, he is still probably more of a lethal weapon than any of those his character, L.A.P.D. narcotics Sergeant Martin Riggs, encounters in the series of the four wildly successful Lethal Weapon films. Lesser known than his Lethal Weapon stardom (and even than his deplorable driving record) is the fact the Mel Gibson is, in fact, an aggressive property investor, with properties in Costa Rica, Australia, California, and a private island in Fiji.
3. Billy Joel
Also high on our list is Billy Joel, the piano man who has had nearly as many car accidents as hit songs. In 2002, he smashed a car in East Hampton, and, in the following year, he drove a car into a tree on Long Island. In 2004, he crashed his 1967 Citroen into the home of a 94-year-old woman.
According to the Today Show, Joel was not suspected of any crime. This, I’m afraid, is a small redemption for the star’s driving reputation, as it was his third car accident in two years.
Still, Joel has had more wives than car accidents. Somewhat after the fashion of Henry VII, Billy Joel has been married four times, not including relationships, one of which was with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Elle MacPherson. He is certainly impressing these women, which include PBS restaurant correspondent Katie Lee and Morgan Stanley executive Alexis Roderick, with something other than his driving.
2. Eva Longoria
This American actress, made famous by the soap opera, Young and the Restless and later by Desperate Housewives, has proven that she is equally desperate behind the wheel.
In February of 2012 she was involved in a comparatively minor fender-bender, which was soon dwarfed by her collision with another BMW the following month. TMZ calls it a “low speed car accident,” which, even if low-speed, is certainly not low-cost. Driving seems to be the Achilles Heel for this actress. She has demonstrated competence in a variety of arenas, including in advertising (she maintains contracts with L’Oreal and Hanes), producing (she currently serves as executive producer for the Lifetime show Devious Maids), and philanthropy (she sponsors her self-named charity, Eva’s Heroes, which raises funds for developmentally disabled children). Just keep her off the road and she promises to bring limitless innovation to the media industry.
1. Selena Gomez
If only this Disney star had remained so innocent. In December of 2013, she crashed her car into a pole. In the interest of ending on an optimistic note, after backing into another vehicle while leaving a 7-eleven, she reportedly voluntarily exchanged information with the other driver, thus avoiding the need for police action.
She has only been legal to drive for less than a decade, as this starlet is still just 23 years old. Still, her relative youth has been no barrier to foray into philanthropy. The starlet has joined the Ryan Seacrest Foundation to support children’s hospitals, and has actively been involved in campaigns for UNICEF and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
She also encourages young adults to be actively involved in politics, and joined youth-activism-promoting organization DoSomething.org, through which she specifically raised money for dogs in Puerto Rico. Evincing more than a hint of irony, Gomez has also served as a spokesperson for State Farm Insurance, in which capacity she promotes safe driving.
Despite their award winning talent on stage and on screen, the rest of the driving public would probably be better off if these stars stayed off the road!