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My dad was always mysterious about the release button on the emergency break and the 5th gear button on his old 1983 Volvo Station Wagon. I think I used to think that the handbrake button controlled an ejector seat and the 5th gear button was some sort of boost.
When riding in a car, I was always TERRIFIED that when we were turning, we were going to tip over. Thus, every time we turned, I would subtly lean the opposite direction, just to make sure my weight kept the car upright.
When I was a kid my dad always told me that the button to reset the trip odometer in the car was actually a button that would fire missiles at the car ahead of you, removing it from your path. He never let me touch it.
During an ice storm, I went with my father to pick up my sister, whose power had gone out. We were both about 10 or 11. We convinced her that every time we drove over a downed power line, we would have to lift our feet so we didn't get shocked and die. We're 12 now. She just found out we were kidding.
whenever we went on a family road trip, i didn't understand that my parents were using a map to get to wherever we were going. i always thought they had memorized how to get anywhere in the country
When I was little, I used to think that if you drove on a road with a state for a name, it would take you to that state.
When I was a little kid, I used that think that cars bent when they turned.
I used to think the reflectors in the middle of roads were pieces of cheese!
I used to believe that when you got stopped for speeding, you got three warnings from the police before you got a ticket.
I used to think that drivers accelerated by turning the steering wheel.
I used to believe our car had a brain and knew where we were going so it used turn signals to tell my dad when and which way to turn the steering wheel.
I used to think the car signals would tell you where to turn.
When I was younger I did a lot of traveling and being from a small town everywhere seemed massive. I always noticed the color of license plates and assumed that all plates that were one color were from my home town. So no matter where I was I could not believe how many people from my town were traveling to the same place at the same time!
I used to believe that the car knew where we were going because my dad always turned the way it was pointing to.
On day when I was little, I asked my mom why we always stop at the gas stations and she said, its because the car needs food so it could run. One day I felt bad that the car never got any dessert, so I put some left over cake in the engine.
I used to believe that my dad made the windshield wipers work by winking. Later I learned what interval wipers are.
When I was little, I thought our car knew where we were going. From the back seat all I could see when Mum was driving was the little green light flash, then I'd see her turning the steering wheel. So I just assumed we had driven this way so many times, the car knew exactly where we were going and indicated by itself!
When driving in a car my parents always honked the horn when we went through a tunnel, but I couldn't see that they were the ones honking. So up until I was about 6 or 7 I thought that tunnels honked when you drove through them.
When I was younger, I'd be in the car with my parents and they'd stop at a gas station and both go inside, while I waited in the car. I thought beyond a reasonable doubt that they switched keys with someone and the people who returned though looked like my parents weren't them, and I'd ask them where we were going, to make sure they weren't taking me some where strange.
I used to believe that turning signals were magical, or were controlled by your thoughts. I never noticed my mom using a little lever to activate them. I didn't figure this out until probably middle school when I finally just asked how they worked.