Experiments

Blind Person Can Drive With Instruction

posted: 04/11/12
by: ADAM
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As seen in "MythBusters: Blind Driving."
Lisa Kyle Young/Getty Images |

Finding: CONFIRMED

Explanation: The question of whether you need your sense of sight to drive seems like a no-brainer. But in the 1992 movie Scent of a Woman, Al Pacino's blind character got behind the wheel of a Ferrari as his young sidekick called out directions from the passenger seat. In the film, the pair reach their destination unscathed, but MythBusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman wanted to find out whether taking a car out for a sightless spin is really a joyride or a just wreck waiting to happen.

To replicate the Scent of a Woman scenario as closely as possible, the MythBusters recruited a blind volunteer, Jerry Kune, who was willing to hop into the driver's seat. Since Jerry couldn't safely - or legally - cruise down a city street, they found an abandoned military base and mapped out a course that included a couple tight turns, an obstacle in the road and a driveway to park the car.

With Jamie as navigator in the passenger seat, blind Jerry cranked up and started down the open road. Motoring along at around 35 miles per hour, he followed Jamie's directions and drove the course without a hitch. For the follow-up test, Jerry captained the car again, but with a drunk Jamie in tow. Jamie's slurred instructions weren't as easy to follow, as evidenced by Jerry's slight swerving. Yet even with a crocked co-captain, Jerry didn't run off course once, proving that sometimes you can believe what you see on the big screen.

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