Chicago's Worst Drivers Rev Up to Win Reality Show

Contestants try to prove friends and family wrong

By Ivanna Hampton
|  Monday, Mar 8, 2010  |  Updated 8:22 AM CDT
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Chicago's Reality Connection

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Chicago's worst drivers are blowing stop signs and racking up red light tickets in an effort to win a new reality TV series.

Four Chicagoans competed in the Travel Channel's new show "America's Worst Driver" after a friend or family member nominated them, the Sun-Times reports. .

"We were more trying to find people who were in denial about certain things, like being a distracted driver, or poor parkers." Charlie Parsons, the executive producer of "America's Worst Driver," said. "Every one of the people who were nominated didn't feel they should be here. They are on the show to prove their nominators wrong."

The show is shining a spotlight on bad driving to steer contestants in the right direction. The series is testing drivers' skills in San Francisco, Miami and Chicago, among other cities.

Each challenger must tackle an obstacle reflective of his or her city. 

For Chicago contestant Sonya White that meant completing a three-point turn in a tight space on the North Side. The maneuver probably sent chills up Jamie Cruz's spine. Cruz nominated the Chicago comedienne, and rode along with her.

"We're talking about someone who drives with her knees while she puts on makeup and cuts her hair," Cruz said.

White, a self-proclaimed multi-tasker, called herself an evasive driver.

"If you're stuck in traffic, sometimes you got to use the emergency lane," White said.

If White wins the Chicago challenge -- against three other Chicagoans --  she'll move on to a finale to compete against the worst of each city to be crowned "America's Worst Driver." 

If she wins the whole kit-and-kaboodle, she'll receive a bus pass and a bicycle for the grand prize. The losers will drive off in new cars.

The first episode of "America's Worst Driver" airs next Sunday at 9 p.m. with Chicago coming up March 28.

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