David Matthews

David Matthews has been chronicling the unexpectedly humorous side of transportation news for his Roads Report column since 2000. The stories are all true.

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Make or break timeTraffic signs in New Zealand’s biggest city are under attack, but not from hurricanes or mischievous college students. No, the telltale aroma of baby powder, coconut rum and menthol cigarettes told police exactly who was behind the violent assaults: hookers! “Prostitutes use these...
If that don’t take the cakeIf you find yourself in the men’s room of a Michigan bar around closing time this summer, don’t be alarmed if you hear strange voices talking to you. It’s probably just your urinal cake. In an effort to curb drunken driving over the Fourth of July holiday, Michigan State...
Details at 11Last fall Travel + Leisure magazine named Miami as the city with the worst drivers in America. Now thanks to an undercover TV news investigation, we may know why. South Florida station WPLG-TV took a hidden camera to the streets of Miami and found driving instructors selling copies of...
Roadside attractionsUnusual roadside attractions became a mainstay on North American roads in the 1940s, when long-distance road travel became practical. Families looking to take a break from dusty two-lane highways found vegetable museums and giant wooden animals to be welcome diversions. But with...
Watch your stepWe know that distracted driving has been on the rise for years, but motorists aren’t the only ones not paying attention.According to a new study from the University of Maryland, the number of injuries to pedestrians wearing headphones has more than tripled in the past six years....
Warm toasted bunsLuxury car owners, beware. Dermatologists have found that prolonged exposure to heated car seats can pose a risk to your skin. Two recent studies in the Archives of Dermatology journal found that a skin-discoloration condition called “erythema ab igne,” also known by the medical...
Size mattersShopping for a new vehicle can quickly become overwhelming. Fortunately the Roads Report Statistical Analysis department has reviewed recent consumer trends to determine the ideal vehicle for 2012.Forbes’ list of best sellers is a good place to start. Last year, the best-selling...
Distribution of stressWho are the better drivers, men or women? It’s a contentious issue that will probably continue to be debated by our great-great-grandchildren while they drive their hover scooters to work.One thing we do know is that there are some very real differences in how men and women...
Kickstand out the jamsNo one gets excited about their morning commute. In fact, new research from Sweden finds that people who commute by car, train or bus suffer from more stress, exhaustion and poorer sleep quality than those who ride a bicycle.Unfortunately biking just hasn’t caught on in North...
The trappings of fameAnyone who’s been through a grocery store checkout lane in the past two months has seen the headlines about movie star Reese Witherspoon being hit by a car while jogging through a crosswalk. Fortunately the “Legally Blonde” star suffered only minor injuries and declined to even...
Cruise controlWhen you see a group of young people in the San Francisco Bay Area parked in their hybrid cars having an argument, you’d be forgiven for assuming that it’s just some hipsters who can’t agree on which National Public Radio program is best. However, that’s what automotive history looked...
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