Does it really matter if you don't drive a car ?

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chris1989
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31 Jul 2023, 11:40 am

I'm asking this question despite the fact I do drive and have got a car but the thing is I don't feel any more ''important'' than when I didn't have a car and didn't drive. I did do manuel lessons at 21 but found it hard to drive a manuel car. At 24 I had automatic lessons and eventually passed my test and drove my first car at 28, which is what I have now. Sometimes I don't use it a lot and won't take it to work and I only live 15 minutes away from my workplace. I also don't understand why there is still this notion among some people that driving a car is an ''attraction'' to people and signifies wealth and status to some people and I seem to feel as though it makes those who don't drive seem ''beneath'' those who do drive.



BTDT
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31 Jul 2023, 12:12 pm

When I moved to Connecticut there were places that were really hard to reach by walking.
In the past few years they have been improving pedestrian access but since I now drive I don't know all the details. :roll:



DuckHairback
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31 Jul 2023, 12:25 pm

For me, driving was never about status. From a really young age I loved driving things. I had a pedal car I'd drive around and when I went to theme parks and stuff I hated rollercoasters but I loved anything that I could drive around.

As soon as I was old enough to drive I got lessons, I'd been waiting for so long. I think I had my first lesson on my 17th birthday, literally as soon as I was legal.

It was just about freedom. Freedom to go where I wanted, when I wanted. On my own. I would go out just to drive. I still do. I like the sensations of driving.

Where I live now, I couldn't do it without a car. There's nothing within easy walking distance and public transport is non-existent.

I still drive really crap cars. I drive them until they're no longer economical to fix, then I scrap them. It's not a status symbol for me - I always have the crappiest car in any given car park, I don't care about the car itself, just where it can take me.

I've known people who don't drive and I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to because it's been so important to me, but I don't feel people who don't drive are 'beneath' me in any way. Why would I?


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shortfatbalduglyman
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31 Jul 2023, 1:01 pm

Not everyone finds the same things attractive. Some people find driving a car "attractive". All things equal (which they are not), people that drive cars have more wealth and status than people that do not drive cars. However, plenty of people go into car debt, drive stolen cars, drive cars that they can't afford, or whatever. And you can't measure status.

However, there is more to "life" than "wealth and status" (financials). there is also health, hobbies, social, emotional, vocational, academic.

However, not everyone has the same potential to accomplish wealth and status. some people have more potential than others. every situation is different. situations are constantly changing. "life" goes on and on and on, until it ends, for everyone, not just people with wealth and status.

not everyone has wealth and status as a first priority, or as a priority altogether. although, plenty of people do value wealth and status as a first priority.

some people think, believe, or act like they are morally superior to someone, just b/c they have higher wealth or status (or for any other reason). those precious lil "people" talk down to people that earn less cash than themselves (I work at Home Depot, and plenty of customers have the nerve to talk down to me, and I think it's b/c they think they are morally superior to me b/c they earn more cash than me. But WTF ever. There is something wrong with everything. Everyone has freedom of speech. Not everyone is having sex with the boss.)

Sometimes, it is beyond someone's control, what they find attractive.

When I was 18-21 and rode a bike, sometimes drivers acted like they were morally superior to me b/c they had cars and i did not. Some people are superficial and materialistic, but not everyone. It is not possible to change someone else's attitudes. Besides, there are just so many of those precious lil "people". Outnumbered, outsmarted, overpowered, as usual.



Raleigh
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31 Jul 2023, 1:37 pm

Having a car can be important for work.
i often see 'must have own car and valid driver's licence' in job ads, so it's important in that sense, and if you'd like to get to further places to visiit family or friends or holiday without having to rely on public transport, if the car is adding value to your life in those ways, it's important.
If you're using it to get a feeling of status or superiority, you have to weigh up how important that is for you.
I live rurally, where there's very little public transport and distances are too great to walk or cycle, so it would be quite difficult to survive without a car, therefore it's very important to me.
I find the notion of a car being a status thing quite silly.
A car is a tool.
If you're using it to attract people, you are putting yourself secondary to a hunk of metal.


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Rossall
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31 Jul 2023, 2:16 pm

I used to drive and really enjoyed it as well as it being useful for getting to work etc. I have had to hand back my driving licence now due to health reasons. Luckily there is good public transport around here.

It only really matter if you need the car to get around imo. Personally I've never seen it as a status symbol.


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nominalist
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31 Jul 2023, 8:32 pm

I know that some Autists have issues with driving. If you don't drive a car, it is probably a good idea to live in an area with good public transit. Of course, moving is not always possible.

Fortunately, neither myself nor my late father (both diagnosed Autists) had that problem, so we are irrelevant to the issue. My father drove into his late 80s. I am a good driver at 67.

Maybe you could ask around if there are programs which help people (not necessarily only Autists) become more comfortable on the road.


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nick007
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01 Aug 2023, 11:33 pm

nominalist wrote:
I know that some Autists have issues with driving. If you don't drive a car, it is probably a good idea to live in an area with good public transit. Of course, moving is not always possible.
My vision is too bad for me to drive but I also have major problems focusing & getting directions confused so I shouldn't be driving even if my vision magically became normal. My parents live in a rural area with no public transportation & nothing within a decent walking distance. A car is required to get anywhere there so if you cant drive your forced to rely on others to bring you. My mom gripped a lot about being forced to be my personal chauffeur after I became an adult because I didn't make friends who I could get to bring me places & I was still living with my parents instead of moving to a city with public transportation. I was still living with my parents because my income was not enough to afford my own place. I was on SSI & when I was working I was making just over the federal minimum-wage. There weren't really any other benefits available to me to help with housing or providing me a higher income unless I was maybe living in a homeless shelter for a while 1st. I felt trapped there. My girlfriend is probably on the spectrum & she's also disabled & cant drive because of anxiety & spacial processing issues. Very luckily she has Section 8 housing assistance & we live in the outskirts of a city that has a bus system so we can get by without a car.


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IsabellaLinton
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01 Aug 2023, 11:55 pm

Raleigh wrote:
Having a car can be important for work.
i often see 'must have own car and valid driver's licence' in job ads, so it's important in that sense, and if you'd like to get to further places to visiit family or friends or holiday without having to rely on public transport, if the car is adding value to your life in those ways, it's important.
If you're using it to get a feeling of status or superiority, you have to weigh up how important that is for you.
I live rurally, where there's very little public transport and distances are too great to walk or cycle, so it would be quite difficult to survive without a car, therefore it's very important to me.
I find the notion of a car being a status thing quite silly.
A car is a tool.
If you're using it to attract people, you are putting yourself secondary to a hunk of metal.



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02 Aug 2023, 4:09 am

I did get my license but found out quickly I was too uncoordinated. I did not get into an accident but I had too many close calls for comfort.

It is an extreme inconvenience. There is public transportation but what is a 15-minute drive can take two to three hours because connections are not coordinated. Waiting a half hour or more for a bus in the bitter cold of winter or pouring rain is not fun.

As mentioned it puts job opportunities either completely out of reach or you're going to spend as much time commuting as on the job. You have to plan to be at work at least 1/2 hour early to take into consideration late buses or connections. This gets exhausting on a daily basis. That is why working remotely stayed popular when the pandemic ended.

Connections are decent to malls but it limits what you can buy because unlike loading items into a car and unloading them when you get home you have to carry the items all the way home. Thankfully Amazon and similar services have eliminated most of this problem. But for some items especially clothing you really have to try them on before purchasing. Yes, you can return items to the dropoff point but you have to carry them over there.

There are Uber and other cabs, very convenient, but they are too expensive to use on a daily basis.

In my area you the other, are a burden if you do not drive.

My advice is unless you live in an area with very good public transportation, are a danger to yourself or others, and can't afford a car, gas, or insurance get a license and a car.

There is a high rate of agraphobia among Autistics. If possible try and overcome it enough to use a car for necessities. Over time the stress of going out and doing things will be less than life in most places in America without a car.


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Caz72
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02 Aug 2023, 5:54 am

no


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02 Aug 2023, 6:22 am

I use my car for hobbies. I am learning to play golf and the only practical way to get to a golf course with all my stuff is to drive there with a car. It is great for vacation trips. I can go to places like Cape Cod in a couple of hours. There is a public beach just an hour away that I can visit!

This thread is useful in that it reminded me that it can be helpful to practice driving techniques like freeway merges more often. Yesterday I did that for practice on an errand. It can be awkward when you haven't done them in a long time, like six months.



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02 Aug 2023, 11:33 am

A lot of jobs now require a driver's license. And driving opens up more social opportunities, especially dating.

I am turning 32 this year and I only just started preparing to get a permit after years of considering it in and off.



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02 Aug 2023, 1:00 pm

If you’re going to use your car for work, even just driving to and fro, you have to declare it on insurance and pay extra. At least that’s how it is here. When I left work I was able to drop the price down to being recreational use only.



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02 Aug 2023, 1:20 pm

They are putting in new sidewalks! When I was out today I saw concrete curb cuts waiting for installation and they put stakes in the ground to mark new sidewalks.

I can't ride a bicycle but I have a three speed tricycle. Something to consider if you can't ride a bicycle.

The great thing about driving is that the car can be your "safe space."
Overwhelmed by shopping? Retreat to the car and go home.



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04 Aug 2023, 1:49 am

1. Having a car on the road is very expensive here and with rent prices sky high a lot more people than ever cannot afford to have a car, so right there it's a bit of a status symbol of wealth - especially so if it's a luxury car, sports car, or larger truck. If you have and drive a car people can automatically assume you earn decent money at some respectable job.

2. Cars equate to freedom to go anywhere you want to whenever you want to. They also free a lot of your time and enable you to live a much fuller life. What takes me 40 minutes to drive is 3-4 hours via public transit. Spending 6-8 hours round trip on busses/trains/walking is a colossal waste of time & life. Having a car makes things so much more convenient - even possible. Reaching that level of wealth above others who don't have the budget to operate a car is seen as an achievement for sure.

3. Once you're driving for a while, it just becomes a baseline minimum thing in your quality of life and you don't really think of it as anything so special anymore. It's just a fact that exists.. you own and drive a car. But it's still expensive And a time saver when you stop to think about it.. so those without cars will be envious of those with them.


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