Cars in Movies & TV Shows

Cars and movie go hand in hand. There are movies about cars, movies about driving, movies with plenty of fancy cars, as well as movies with car stunts. But are cars realistically portrayed on screen? Or do some directors go a bit overboard? Don’t get me wrong – I love seeing a good chase scene and I love the Fast and Furious franchise. But there are times when I’m scratching my head while watching a movie, thinking “Really? This is the best you could come up with?” Apparently, I’m not the only one: Jalopnik asked their audience in 2018 “What do movies get wrong about cars?” and they got some pretty great responses:

How about you? What do you think movies get wrong about cars? Are the components incorrectly identified? Interior lights always on? Why are the keys always stashed in the sun visor? Here are a few we’ve come up with:

  1. A lot of exaggerated squealing, even on grass, snow, gravel, or dirt.
  2. If the hero pulls into a crowded parking lot, there’s always a spot available right up front.
  3. If two vehicles are on a collision course at great speed and physics dictates they have about two seconds before impact, there’s always time for a close-up of the driver’s face.
  4. Cars always seem to go up in flames, no matter what make or model they are.
  5. Airbags are just giant fluffy pillows that go off after the driver has had time to make a funny face for the camera – in real life, airbags deploy so quickly that people usually don’t have time to react.
  6. Someone always hides behind a car door during a gunfire fight. Unless it’s an armored car, the bullets will pass through. Nothing about an average car is going to stop bullets. The best way a car can prevent someone from shooting you is if you use it to drive away from the person with the gun.
  7. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death, disfigurement, or permanent disability for people from about 14 to 40 years old, but this is rarely made clear by Hollywood.
  8. Windshields don’t actually shatter into tiny pieces.
  9. Engine sounds/shifting gears are often incorrect since these are all recorded in studio and enhanced.
  10. When two people in a moving car talk to each other, the driver will often turn to look at the passenger for many seconds at a time, yet the car doesn’t go off the road.



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