Friday the 13th. For some, it’s just another reason to say “TGIF.” But for the superstitious, it’s a day destined for no good, very bad luck. If you’re one of the latter, you probably avoid walking under ladders, meandering black cats, and men in hockey masks on this day.
But you’ve likely never considered all the unlucky things that can happen to your windshield.
So, in honor of the most unfortunate day of the year, we’ve compiled some of the strangest auto glass mishaps ever reported. From unexpected animal encounters, to internet-inspired mysteries, here are the stories of windshields that have run into some serious bad luck.
The Slithering Surprise
In 2017, a woman in Charlotte, NC had an unexpected passenger tag along on her morning commute. As Justyn Knox was driving into work, she noticed a large snake slither out from under her hood, onto her windshield. The slick stowaway managed to hang on for the entire ride, trapping a terrified Knox inside once she came to a stop.
The freaked-out driver proceeded to record the incident on her phone. The snake put on quite a show, performing a gyrating disco dance for its unamused captive. The animal eventually went on its way, and Knox was able to get to work...with a very interesting excuse. How’s that for a memorable drive?
The Day the Lincoln Bit the Bullet
This story involves an old Lincoln windshield, and a very lucky driver. Yvonne Clarke and a friend were leaving a Dallas fireworks show when they heard a loud boom. Clarke’s passenger, an Air Force vet, knew the startling sound was not part of a rogue fireworks celebration. A stray bullet had pierced the windshield of Clarke’s ’98 Town Car, shattering it, but luckily not penetrating the final film of glass.
Authorities speculated that the car’s older, thicker glass helped stop the speeding bullet. Good thing, because its trajectory was headed straight toward the driver. If there’s such a thing as a happy accident, this was it.
The Feather-Ruffling Flight
Our next tale takes us up into the sky, where a small plane met some fowl luck. Pilot Robert Weber was enjoying a relaxing Sunday afternoon flight when his windshield suddenly shattered. Feathers flew, and Weber felt something scratch his face, knocking off his sunglasses.
Luckily, the pilot was able to make an emergency landing, escaping with only a minor cut on his forehead. A cockpit camera captured the whole scene, and the culprit was determined to be a goose-sized bird.
We’re glad the pilot was okay, even though the plane required some serious repair. As the old saying goes...“a bird in the hand beats one in the windshield.”
The shirt story has it all: mystery, intrigue, and plaid.
In 2017, Ashley Hardacre had just left her job at a Michigan mall when she noticed a strange shirt on her windshield. The young woman had read internet lore about criminals using items on windshields to lure people out of their vehicles, so she drove to a different location before removing the garment. Hardacre also posted an image of the shirt to social media with a warning, where it was shared over 100,000 times.
After further investigation, local police determined two men had left the shirt as a prank, but it didn’t appear to be part of a larger illegal scheme. The point of the prank is lost on us, so we can only assume they thought the windshield looked a little cold.
A Shell Shocked Scene
Here’s another odd case involving a UFA (unidentified flying animal). Nicole Bjanes was cruising down a Florida highway at 75 mph when the car in front of her hit a hard, disc-like object. The collision propelled the object into the air, and straight through Bjanes’ windshield.
Not realizing what just hit her, Bjanes pulled over and discovered the item (now on her dash) was actually a turtle. The driver walked away with a few minor cuts, and the reptile miraculously survived. No word on how the turtle’s doing today...but we suspect he’s sticking to sidewalks from now on.
From wild to just plain weird, strange windshield stories can happen just about anywhere. We suggest always staying alert, and hanging a few good luck charms from your rearview mirror. (Hey, it can’t hurt.) May your Friday the 13th be as bad luck-free as any other Friday.