Taking a taxi involves a certain amount of trust on the part of both the driver and the passenger. Passengers trust they'll be taken to their destination safely at a fair price, and the driver has to trust that their rides will pay the fare and not cause trouble. Sadly, as we all know, faith in human nature is often misplaced, resulting in the kinds of taxi horror stories we've found all over the web.
After all, with drunk people, taxis, and money – what could possibly go wrong? Cabs are supposed to be your default ride home when you're out drinking, and it's certainly a good way to keep drunk drivers off the street. It's also the ideal way to ensure that cab drivers deal with a lot of drunk people, which, as common sense will tell you, can go sideways at any time. It comes as no surprise that most of these stories involve people who've had a few, many, or too many drinks.
From obnoxious passengers with a sense of entitlement to belligerent drivers, unexpected stowaways to bizarre and violent incidents -- even when the driver and passengers are fine, random strangers can throw a monkey wrench into the experience. There seems to be no end of taxi horror stories out there. In fact, with all that can go wrong, maybe the really surprising thing is that, most of the time, taxi rides are boringly efficient. Here are fifteen of the worst taxi horror stories.
15 Drunk Dancing On The Roof
A cab driver in Middlesbrough, UK was driving a couple home one night from an evening on the town. Suddenly, a man stepped in front of the taxi, forcing the driver to stop. As the driver and his passengers watched in horror, the man – who was clearly drunk beyond reason – climbed on top of the cab and started dancing on the roof. Now, this sounds like one of those crazy escapades that would make a good story years down the road as you tell it to your grandchildren. But, in this case, it resulted in damage to the cab to the tune of £5,000 (or about $6,750). Someone took a picture of the incident, however, and the man was later arrested. The cops advised the driver to take the man to a small claims court if he didn't want to face raised insurance premiums.
14 Drunk Naked Taxi Driver Smashes Into 17 Cars
Naturally, there's at least one crazy taxi story from Russia. Back in 2011, Moscow police stopped taxi driver Vitaly Grodi after he drove through stop signs and smacked into no less than 17 vehicles on the road, narrowly missing a school bus. When the cops finally chased him down and got him to stop, they were astonished when he exited the cab fully naked -- and, naturally, drunk AF. Vitaly explained to the cops that he'd had an argument with his girlfriend and gotten upset. No word on whether the drunk part happened before or after the argument (we're guessing during). “I flew on the wings of love. On the eve of our anniversary, [she] said she was not ready for a serious relationship,” he told police. The whole incident was captured on camera, including the takedown of the naked man on the pavement.
13 Taxi Road Rage
This pic comes from a video taken in Bucharest, Romania in 2014. In it, we see a taxi approaching a crosswalk. The taxi slows down almost to a stop but then keeps going through an intersection. There's no way of knowing exactly what spurred the pedestrian to go running after the taxi – maybe he felt like the taxi should've stopped altogether to let him pass – but what we do know is that he opened the door of the taxi and started swinging at the driver. We're guessing the driver couldn't figure out why the guy did that either. Whatever the reason, Mr. Pedestrian picked the wrong guy, clearly. At first, he has the driver pretty much pinned in the car, but then, he stops for a second to pick something up from the ground, and the driver takes his chance to get out of the car. The driver is much bigger than the pedestrian, and a beatdown ensues.
12 The Bachelorette Party
Ah, the bachelorette party – when normally well-behaved women go spectacularly bad. At least, that's what happened to an unfortunate cab driver in Wisconsin Dells, a tourist hot spot. As he relates the story, he got a call to pick up a group of seven ladies from a hotel in a district he says is notorious for raunchy, drunken bachelor/bachelorette parties. When he got there, the group was scantily clad, drunk AF, and screeching at the top of their lungs. As he drove them to a Mexican restaurant, they proceeded to yell at everyone they passed by, and when they weren't scaring the locals, they were playing with giant inflated dildos, which included batting the driver on the head with them. By the time he poured them out of the cab and surveyed the damage, he found the backseat covered in puke and mysterious boob-shaped spots of grease on the seats. Some fares just aren't worth it.
11 Drunk Girl In Taxi
There are lots of “drunk girl in taxi” stories (unfortunately? fortunately?), but this one comes with a twist. A man relates a trip that he took to Manhattan with his wife to spend the weekend. After a nice dinner out in SoHo, they hailed a cab to get back to their hotel. A driver waved them over. He was stopped at a red light, in the middle lane of a one-way street. The couple rushed over and got into the cab before the light changed. That's when they discovered the drunk girl sitting in the back seat. She was directly behind the driver and slumped over, so it seemed like he wasn't even aware she was there. Her phone was vibrating, but she was too drunk to notice. The couple tried to explain the situation to the driver, but it took a while to get through what was going on. Finally, the problem was resolved, but apparently, the driver had been on his way to the garage to drop the car off, where the unfortunate drunk girl would've woken up in confusion. Friends don't leave drunk friends in a cab.
10 Taxi Driver Knocks Out Passenger
This driver in Pattaya, Thailand had obviously had enough of this passenger's shenanigans. Pattaya is a tourist mecca, a beach resort, and the passenger in question came from South Korea. People sitting in a bar nearby captured the short fistfight on video. As the bartender and witnesses told news reporters, the incident began when the South Korean tourist, who was a motorcycle driver, got very drunk at the bar and then refused to pay the bill. He got into a heated argument with staff and stormed out. In a cab, he returned about an hour but then got into another argument when he refused to pay the cab driver. Video shows the drunk guy lunging at the driver and then threatening to bash him with his motorcycle helmet. The driver then fights back and clocks the dude with one punch. Bar patrons cheered as he, losing consciousness, along with a tooth, hit the ground. Local newspapers reported that the chastened drunk returned the next day to pay his bill to avoid criminal charges.
9 Driver Brutally Attacked
Driver Edward Caban lives in the Newport Beach area of California, and when he decided to become an Uber driver, he made a really smart move – installing a camera in his car. Edward got the call to pick up a passenger, and when he got to the address, an obviously drunk man came to the window. He refused to give an address and insisted on giving the driver directions as they went along. Among other things, Edward noticed that the guy refused to put on his seatbelt despite several requests, and he was sliding all over the back seat. Then, he started getting more and more belligerent, swearing at the driver. Edward, sensing things were about to go south, turned on his cam and grabbed the pepper spray. As the man kept yelling, the driver pulled over in a parking lot and asked him to get out of the car. The two argued for a few minutes, and then the drunk opened the door, as if to leave, but instead started beating on the driver's head. The pepper spray came in handy, however, and Edward was able to give him a blast on the face, which finally got the drunk out of his car. Since he had it on camera, Edward was able to call the police and have the obnoxious dude arrested.
8 Werewolf Taxi Driver
A taxi driver with a sense of humor is fine. A practical joker, maybe not so much. A cabbie in the UK participated in what was supposed to be a hidden-camera prank. Two young women get in the cab, and the driver starts to tell them he's a werewolf. At first, they think it's a joke, but then they grow more and more uneasy as he seems to be sincere. “I don’t want to anymore! I don’t want to! The moon makes me do it!” he cries out, twitching and growling. The girls in the back are getting more and more frightened as he begins to bite the wheel. He pulls out a gun and pretends to shoot himself in the head. Then he slips fake fangs into his mouth and jumps out of the car. The terrified ladies try to lock the doors to keep him out, and he rocks the car from the outside. Finally, he pulls off his mask and reveals that the whole thing was a prank. The girls, needless to say, are not amused.
7 Brick Through The Window
When it comes to taxi horror stories, the assumption is typically that they involve either the driver or the passenger(s). This one involves a loutish passerby. A 77-year-old woman in Birmingham, UK suffered terrible injuries to her face after a bunch of thugs on the street lobbed a brick through the window of her and her husband's cab. The poor woman ended up with a fractured skull, awful bruising on the side of her face, and, of course, a massive shock from the violent, senseless incident. The poor woman and her husband were screaming and crying, and video shows the man trying to stop the bleeding on his wife's head. The only good news in this incident is that the gang of teens was caught and charged for the crime. A 17-year-old admitted that he'd gotten drunk and was randomly throwing rocks at cars passing by. Two of those charged with wounding and “conspiring to damage taxis” were 15 and 16. The taxi company released the footage in an effort to show what their drivers face. As a spokesperson for the company explained in a statement, “Incidents like this are not new; we experience them on a regular basis with taxis being attacked with eggs, stones, and, on this occasion, a brick.
6 Taxi Driver Fight
A man tells the story of a weekend in New York City that he and his wife had planned for and were excited about. They landed at La Guardia airport and got a cab to go to their hotel downtown. Things were going smoothly until they got to Manhattan. As anyone who's taken a cab in downtown NYC or just observed the traffic there knows, jockeying for position on the street can get crazy. That's what happened to the couple as they watched their cab driver get into a competition for position with another cab. Both drivers were getting heated, and the dispute was continuing as they raced through rush hour traffic. At one point, the cabs were side by side – so close that their side mirrors touched and one of them broke off. The windows came down, and soon, the couple was cowering in horror in the back seat as the two drivers screamed at each other, still while driving down the street. The cabs stopped at a red light, and the drivers actually got out to confront each other. After the surrounding traffic started honking at them, the drivers got back into their cars but continued to scream at each other all the way to their hotel. That's when the couple discovered they were actually going to the same destination. The man reported that he got screamed at, too, when he left the driver a lousy tip.
5 Driver Kicks Out Racists
An African American driver no doubt wished he hadn't picked up the ride that was captured on this dashcam. The trouble began pretty much the moment the driver picked up the group of men and women, who were obviously drunk. They started with yelling “white privilege” as they got into the car, which they clearly thought was some kind of hilarious joke, as they kept repeating it over and over. One of them demanded a cable so they could play music. The driver tried to explain that he didn't have one, but they started to get more and more aggressive. He told them to relax and tried to keep going, asking if one of the guys, who was sweating like a pig, was okay. He asked them to put on their seatbelts, and no one complied. The driver put up with them for a while, but then one of the young white dudes got to the “N-” word, and he finally lost patience. He stopped the car and asked them politely to get out. They yelled, and the driver got out of the cab. After some verbal abuse, he got back in and drove away. Amazingly, the drunk group didn't seem to know what they'd done wrong.
4 The Forgotten Snake
How do you lose a 4-foot snake?? A taxi driver in Wales, UK got what she said was the biggest shock of her 28-year career as a cabbie one day after getting what seemed like a routine call to pick up a woman. She drove the woman to her destination and things seemed to go smoothly. The cabbie then drove around for a while and took a break to drop by the office. The dispatcher told her the woman had just called in to say she thought her snake might still be in the car. Apparently, she'd been carrying it around in her purse, and the snake had simply slithered out. The horrified cab driver, who said she had a special fear of snakes, rushed back out to her car and found, sure enough, that not only was there a snake in the car, but it had wound itself around the bars underneath the driver's seat in the back. A snake handler had to be called to persuade the reluctant reptile to exit the cab. “If I'd known they'd had a snake with them, I wouldn't have let them in the car,” the cabbie told reporters later.
3 The International Incident
An American university student was released from a week-long detention in China in July 2017 after a dispute with a cab driver. The University of Montana student was in China, visiting his mother, who is a teacher there. The two took a cab, and there was a dispute over the fare. The student alleged that the driver started hitting his mother, who was deaf. That's when the student got involved, and the matter escalated. The cab driver was injured and called police. The student was arrested, causing an international incident involving the U.S. State Department. Twice, the mother was told her son would be released, only to be informed of more delays in the negotiations. Finally, he was dropped off at her home in central China by police, and an agreement was made to drop the charges. The mother told reporters that the police had initially demanded about $7,500 in damages and said that if he didn't pay, he'd be jailed for three years. Police in Zhengzhou refused to comment on the case.
2 The Passenger From Hell
A driver in the Bronx was fortunate to capture the exchange with what has to be the ultimate passenger from hell in April 2017. A dashcam got the whole deal, which started off on the wrong foot when the woman demanded that he let her charge her phone in his car. The driver told her he didn't have a charger, which sent the woman into a raging fit. “I’m going to start screaming out the window that you’re raping me, that you raped me,” she can be heard screaming on the tape, which was posted to the internet. “I will punch myself in the face and tell the cops you did it,” she adds. “You wanna play?” She added insult to injury by bringing in racial abuse into her ranting. The driver told her, finally, to get out of the car, and both of them threatened to call the police at that point. Eventually, she got out of the car, and the driver – understandably – vented for a while.
1 Naked Woman Steals Cab
Police in Louisiana released a statement regarding an unusual incident involving a taxi driver. The driver picked up a young woman in Louisiana who said she was from Michigan. She then demanded that the driver take her all the way back home, which was about a 1,100-mile ride. He refused, and they started to argue. As the dispute dragged on, the woman started taking off her clothes in the back of the car. At this point, the driver was smelling big trouble, so he drove to the nearest police station. As he got out of the cab and went inside for help, the woman, still naked, stole his car and drove off. Police later picked up the 29-year-old woman -- and the cab -- about a block away. She was charged and released on a $75 bond. Perhaps not surprisingly, reporters who tried to follow up on the story couldn't find a phone listing for her in either Louisiana or Michigan.
Sources: carscoops.com; mirror.co.uk; metro.co.uk