|For the myth in Grand Theft Auto V, see Aggressive Driver.|
Deadly Drivers are NPC drivers throughout the Grand Theft Auto franchise that drive very fast and carelessly, often crashing into buildings, pedestrians, or other vehicles, sometimes resulting in injury, or even death of the player. It is widely believed that this NPC behavior is the result of a glitch.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
The first appearance of deadly drivers was in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. They seem to spawn randomly and in no particular set of circumstances. These cars drive very fast and carelessly, with no explanation at all.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, deadly drivers are very common, and appear to spawn much more frequently than in GTA Vice City. Most of the time, these deadly drivers are NPCs that are being chased by the police. When they are chased by police, sometimes the passenger may begin to shoot at the cops with a gun, such as the Pistol. However, sometimes deadly drivers spawn with no law enforcement vehicles chasing them. The deadly drivers are similar to those in GTA Vice City. They drive very fast and carelessly, often crashing into buildings, pedestrians, and other vehicles. Due to a programming error, Deadly Drivers do not appear within the PS2 version of the game.
Grand Theft Auto IV
These drivers are similar to the ones in GTA San Andreas. Even though they are much rarer, they are just as dangerous. They frequently crash into other vehicles and drive, as if they are oblivious to other cars or pedestrians. These deadly drivers may also run over the player, and trap him under their car involuntarily. When the player gets into a taxi and asks the driver to hurry, the player can witness him running over civilians, hitting other cars, crashing and sometimes even breaking the car to the point of an explosion.
In GTA San Andreas, NPC vehicles sometimes enter panic mode after being attacked and they become very aggressive and drive dangerously, in an attempt to kill the player or to escape.
These are a special exception to this myth, as these are almost always docile. The way they act is actually opposite of the myth itself. Ghost Drivers are invisible NPCs that may sometimes spawn in a moving, and operating vehicle, due to a glitch. They can be witnessed in GTA IV Multiplayer and GTA Online the most. Rarely do they spawn in single player. The vehicles driven by ghost drivers appear to have no visible civilian driving, and they do not act whatsoever to a player's presence. If you shoot at them, they do not enter panic mode. Sometimes, the player cannot steal the vehicle, even when the windows are shot completely out.
GTA IV Multiplayer
These are uncommon in normal, unmodded free roam lobbies. They cannot have their vehicles stolen, and can kill the player involuntarily. In modded lobbies, they can be seen quite a bit.
Ghost Drivers normally spawn as docile entities, not trying to kill the player, with the exceptionally rare case of running a player over without hesitation. If a server has quite a few people in it (8+), they can be seen randomly driving, and stop at the player, if standing in its way. The player can steal this vehicle like an unlocked parked car, but no hot-wiring, or carjacking animation plays. Sometimes, the player freezes in mid-action entering the vehicle. On some occasions, before patch 1.0 and 1.1, a nearby player entering a ghost driver's vehicle can cause every vehicle with a 2-mile radius to despawn. This sometimes glitches, and can make rare cars spawn frequently, though it is rare.
On some occasions, deadly drivers may be armed and attempt to shoot at players, as if they were griefing players themselves. A possible explanation could be that they are just criminals that would normally engage with the L.S.P.D. By chance, the player might manage to engage these criminals, before the police does so. Another explanation could be that the hostile NPCs are actually other characters of players that failed to completely join the session.
Possible Explanations for Ghost Drivers
It could be a conflict of spawning a parked car and an NPC driver at the same time, creating a driving parked car of some sort. It also could be a fail-safe in the game that prevents modders from spawning more cars that can be entered. Another possibility is severe server spawning lag, where the drivers don't spawn whatsoever. The factors in the game that cause these strange glitches, are not known. In the 3D Universe, drivers will cause them to panic and become more aggressive than the HD Universe.