Loved ones are loved ones—who cares if they think Stop signs are short for "Stoptional?" They still deserve the very best! Enhance their driving this holiday with a few gifts for the bad driver.
1. Run Flat Tires, Various prices: Once upon a time, one of my sisters drove dad's new Audi A6 into a curb at quite a clip. Things broke! Especially the tire. Dad was angry, but I can't help but think a run flat tire would have been something of a soothing balm to his tortured soul. They come standard on many makes and models these days—even "economical" brands like Toyota—but they're easy enough to find aftermarket too. I've been a whore for Pirelli ever since Flo Rida mentioned them in Right Round, so I picked a few to link to here. Before YOU click purchase however, confirm make and model, and measure. Better still, wait for these monsters to arrive in 2011. [Amazon]
2. Meguiare's Complete Car Care Kit, $US40: If the recipient is truly a bad driver, we're probably talking about a lot of accumulated dirt and grime, a few dinged doors, and maybe even a stray squirrel part or two. Meguiare's kits are well stocked for beginners and are good enough for the, um, "casual" driver we're describing here. At $US40, the Complete Car Car Kit is a nice holiday gift, and the company's short, product-specific demo videos are as idiot-proof as they come. [Amazon]
3. Night Driving Glasses, Various: For whatever the reason, saturating your field of vision with a piss yellow hue makes things easier to see at night. Things apparently pop; objects are more defined. Now, there may be a bit of snake oil involved here, and results will vary based on a person's eyesight, so don't get too crazy. [Amazon]
4. MotionX Drive (iOS) and Google Maps Navigation (Android), $US26 and Free: Your friend/significant other/family member can't locate the ignition, let alone the way to grandmother's house, so why not take one of the more annoying parts of driving out of the equation altogether? With MotionX Drive, our best-rated iOS navigation app, that might happen. [Best Navigation Apps]
5. Valentine One Radar/Laser Detector, approx. $US500: Is your bad driver actually a reckless, asshole driver? No problem! The venerable (and arguably still the best) Valentine One will take speeding tickets out of their quiver of eff-ups and allow them to navigate our nation's highways like the speeding, dangerous banshee that they are. [Amazon]
6. Personal Driver, $US45,000/year: When all else fails, get the worst of the worst off the road and into a car with a certified, professional personal driver. Sure, the $US45,000 annual salary is a bit steep, but that's actually DOWN compared to what these pros were commanding a few years ago. Get ‘em on the cheap while they're looking for work, and protect that loved one of yours with a proven professional. Protip: Background check. Nothing is more awkward than hiring a Bad Driver for your Bad Driver. [Indeed]