Episode 108: Blind Driving

Air Date: October 8, 2008

A blind person can drive a car safely by following instructions given by a passenger.

confirmed

Adam and Jamie first tried driving while blindfolded but failed miserably. When a truly blind person was behind the wheel, he could drive fairly well. Adam and Jamie also tested the circumstance of the passenger (instructor) being intoxicated. This caused communication to break down and resulted in erratic, dangerous driving, much like the driver himself was drunk. Finally, the MythBusters speculated that a person rendered blind before they could get a driver’s license would lack preconceptions about driving, making following instructions less difficult than if they had previous driving experience.

It is better to hit a golf ball straight through a tree than around it because it is 90% air anyway.

busted

Tory, having played golf since high school, hit 10 golf balls at a tree (the upper, foliaged portion), resulting in 6 going through, 2 bad shots, and 2 ricocheting off the trunk; Grant and Kari proved inept at driving. Grant then built a robot which only got 24 out of 100 golf balls through the tree. Tory also competed against the robot, getting 27 of 100 hits through the tree.

Metal cleated shoes attract lightning.

busted

Two identical ballistics gel dummies were constructed. One wore metal cleated shoes, and the other wore plastic cleated ones. Both were exposed to simulated lightning, and lightning actually struck the dummy with plastic cleats in 6 out of 10 trials.

The shock wave from a C4 explosion can knock a golf ball into the hole.

busted

This myth is based on the final scene of the 1980 film Caddysack. After recreating the circumstances in the movie, the C4 explosion failed to result in the huge fireball seen in the film, and the golf ball did not move as a result of the shock wave. For effect, Tory, Grant, and Kari later used gasoline to duplicate the fireball seen in the movie.

12 Comments

  1. TMiller says:

    I was just wondering if the Caddyshack experiment was done with the explosives underground, In the movie the C4 was in the gopher holes. I missed this episode but wish I hadn’t, it would have been interesting to see.

  2. jordan Woods says:

    where was the blind driving filmed? I missed that part of the show… where would an abandoned neighborhood hide in the bay area?

  3. robert carlson says:

    The defect in the golf ball through the tree test is that they were missing the key figure of the density of the tree per cubic foot, giving a probability of a ball going through a single cubic foot.

    Only knowing that density figure can you correctly predict the chances of hitting your ball through the tree.

    Say for one cubic foot the density or probability of passing through is is 90 percent or .9. Then the correct way to to get the chances of a ball going through x consecutive cubic feet of tree is to multiply .9 to the x power. IF the path x is 10 feet then .9 to the ten is about .32 meaning only 32 percent of the balls will pass freely through the tree even though the density is 90 percent air.
    If the path was 11 feet the chances are .27 which is the success rate achieved in the golf espisode.

  4. Mark Lopez says:

    They say that when u hit a golf ball with a driver that its not about how hard you hit the ball. They say that just take a smooth swing. I would like to know if it goes father with a smooth swing or the harder you hit the ball the farther it goes

    • Chris says:

      It depends. A golf ball goes farthest when you hit it in the center of the club. If the smooth swing does but the harder swing doesn’t, then the smooth swing will go farther. If they both hit the ball in the center, then the harder swing will go farther because it gives the ball more velocity.

  5. James Snyder says:

    Re jordan:
    Here’s the entrance that Adam unchains part-way through the episode:
    http://tr.im/LtOs

    (I was determined to find it after they had been to this place twice and mentioned that it was called Cypress Hills near Marina).

  6. Forrest Marsh says:

    The idea that the The shock wave from a C4 explosion can knock a golf ball into the hole was busted was ridiculous. They did not replicate the situation at all. The ball close to the cup scenario that they used was flawed on a couple levels. In order to truly replicate the scenario, two major thing must happen:

    1. the ball was resting on the edge of the hole. The plastic cup was at the minimum a half inch below the surface area of the grass. In this episode, the plastic cup was actually above the grass level and holding the ball back from falling in.

    2. Grass on a green as shot in the movie is a the type of grass that is almost hydroponic in its care and development. It is grass that is usually grown over sand and it cut to specific levels to keep the putting surface level and tight. The “green” that they used in this episode did not even come close.

    Come on guys, you can do better than this.

  7. Siobhan says:

    Actually, the housing looks like it is located on an abandoned military base.

  8. Niklas Andersson says:

    You cant test percent like that. Just because the myth said thet a tree is 90 percent air it dont mean 90 of 100 golf balls will pass through. it means each golf ball will have a 90 percent to pass through.

    • Chris says:

      That last statement is incorrect. All it means is that 90% of the volume of the space occupied by the tree is air–it has nothing to do with whether a golf ball will pass through. As a golfer, I can tell you the odds are much lower than 90% because you are dealing with a linear trajectory through a 3-D space; the odds of some part of that tree being in the way are much higher than 10%!

  9. James says:

    In the blind driver part of the show the guy said he was completely blind all black at the end of the test Adam asked Jerry to shake his hand and Jerry reached right out to shake hands I thought that was odd how did he know where Adams hand was at

    • Chris says:

      When people shake hands, they almost always do so at just above waist level–that’s where your hand naturally goes. Jerry most likely just stuck his hand out at that height and Adam subtly adjusted his hand to meet it.

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