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hartzofspace
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05 Jul 2011, 1:03 pm

CaroleTucson wrote:
Perhaps it's just me, but it seems to me that drivers have gotten more aggressive in recent years. Driving around my city, I often fear for my life and I try to choose routes that avoid the busiest streets. And I actually observe the speed limit! I swear I'm the only person in the entire state of Arizona who does, and you wouldn't believe how absolutely enraged people become when they have to slow down behind me. I am routinely screamed at, cursed, spit at, have things thrown at me. Many times people have passed me on the shoulder of the road.

But the worst of all is when drivers feel like they have to demonstrate their displeasure at me by practically driving up my rear bumper. Not long ago a trucker on the interstate came up so close behind me that I almost drove off the highway to avoid him. I was terrified.

So anyway ... yeah, driving is very stressful.

Yes, it has changed over the years. What makes driving particularly terrifying for me is the way people will chat on cellphones instead of paying attention to driving. A few weeks ago my fiance and I were rear-ended because this stupid woman was veering all over the road while she talked on her phone. We passed her so that we could get into another lane, but after doing so we couldn't because there was a lot of traffic. And then she slammed right into our car. Thank God we weren't going fast!

And of course I agree about the aggressive drivers who never want to be responsible for their driving. In our state, there is no law against cell phone usage while driving. This really pisses me off. I don't understand why people have to socialize while in their cars! :evil:


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Erisad
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05 Jul 2011, 1:16 pm

I know. There are so many angry drivers out on the road. It makes it really hard for me to learn when people are constantly riding my bumper. I'm going the speed limit and if they don't like it, they can pass me. :/



identity
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05 Jul 2011, 1:41 pm

I have never attempted to drive due to being too anxious. It is actually quite a frustration as I live in a fairly small town and you really need to be able to drive. People also seem to just presume that if you are old enough you should be able to drive, many times people have asked when am I going to learn :x I actually used to be obsessed with cars as a kid and couldn't wait to be old enough to drive. I think this was before the realisation that they are potentially dangerous. Also another thing that puts me off even trying to learn is the thought of the test which I just don't think I could cope with :?



DragonKazooie89
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05 Jul 2011, 2:21 pm

I can drive but I don't really care for it. I also need little distractions like talking to a passenger or listening to the radio. When I don't, I suffer from tunnel vision and I only concentrate on the road in fronts of me instead of everything around me like I should.



peacerunner
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05 Jul 2011, 3:26 pm

the reply from caroltucson is exactly me! I was about to write that I am a great driver, so I do have to say that I perceive myself as an excellent driver, although it is true that I generally abide by speed limits and other rules fairly exactly. Recently a friend told me that it is correct to drive 4mph over the speedlimit on highways so when it says 65 i drive 69. When i drive the back roads to my job the other drivers never want to drive 35mph and so they tailgate me like crazy. sometimes i pullover and let them pass and sometimes I just let them stew. I had that same experience with a tractor trailer truck once and I was terrified. my aspie son got in trouble with a state trooper because he was driving the speed limit in the passing lane and he got pulled over and yelled at. Until then he did not realize that the passing lane is officially for people who want to speed and that even the troopers speed and it is basically ignored. driving would be easy if the rules they taught us at driving school were the real rules. Somebody needs to make a book of the real traffic rules for aspies. but i once drove 17 straight hours home from the midwest alone and i was fine. just went into my "zone."



MyriaJean
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05 Jul 2011, 4:35 pm

I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't drive. I'm dangerous even driving a few blocks in a small town. In my home state (Wyoming), I'm fine on the highways because there's nothing there, but that's it.
I use the bus to take my daughter to her doctor's appointments. I often get on the wrong bus, but that's mostly because I'm sleep-deprived - when I have enough sleep, the bus isn't difficult.



ArtisticOne
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11 Jul 2011, 9:20 am

(I'm new, so bear with me.)

I am absolutely terrified of driving. Just sitting at the wheel causes me to start shaking. If I start driving, I get nervous. My mother is with me when we do go for car rides, so she tells me what I need to do, such as slowing down, speeding up, and pulling over to the side of the road when I don't feel comfortable enough to drive anymore.

Of course... it's been a long time since I've driven anywhere. I've failed my road test THREE times (not because I didn't know what I was doing, but more so because I was too anxious), I've let three driver's permits expire, and just the thought of driving makes me feel tense and ready to burst into tears at any given moment.

I've always been a bit afraid of driving, but I've been in so many fender benders and minor accidents (none caused by me since I can't drive) I almost don't want to drive. I was even involved in a horrible accident almost three years ago where a tractor trailer truck totaled the car I was in! (My brother was driving and lucky for us, we only had cuts, bruises and body aches for several days. I even had a wrist sprain for several weeks.)

My driving phobia is my biggest hurdle right now. I can't get a job because having a license seems to be a requirement, and even if I didn't need a license, getting to a job would be difficult, if not impossible. (My mother would bring me, but I don't want to keep having to rely on her to get to places.)

So, I have a question... How does one get over a driving phobia or at least become comfortable enough to drive a car? I want to be able to drive myself places and I want to be able to drive myself to a job (whenever I get one) without feeling anxious or breaking down crying.



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11 Jul 2011, 9:39 am

yesterday, at the grocery store, i was reminded why i do not drive. i decided to count how many times i almost ran into someone with my shopping cart, and how many times i bashed my cart into stuff.

15 near-misses (people and their carts/strollers)
8 crashes (displays, shelves, coolers)

it is so bad that when people see me coming around a second time, they back up their shopping carts and pull into an alcove to give me a wide berth. am i a person who should be driving? HELL NO.



p.s. funny note - i happened to be ridiculously overdressed at the grocery store a few weeks ago, wearing a fancy dress and with hair and makeup all done. curiously.... when i had the usual near-misses with my cart, people treated me differently. i would almost knock those poor sods over and THEY'D apologise to ME (instead of throwing me dirty looks, grumbling, or rolling their eyes).


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hartzofspace
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11 Jul 2011, 12:09 pm

ArtisticOne wrote:
(I'm new, so bear with me.){/quote]
Welcome to Wrong Planet! :)
ArtisticOne wrote:
So, I have a question... How does one get over a driving phobia or at least become comfortable enough to drive a car? I want to be able to drive myself places and I want to be able to drive myself to a job (whenever I get one) without feeling anxious or breaking down crying.

I was much like you, when I was in my twenties. I tried driving lessons, but had a really hard time staying focused. I was also in a bad accident while my oldest brother was at the wheel, and to this day have whiplash syndrome. But anyway, I gave up after I couldn't conquer my fear of driving. Then I had a daughter. I decided to try again, because a car was very necessary with a child! I took lessons from a very professional, sympathetic instructor who helped me to overcome my fear. She had me drive a few blocks at a time, in differing traffic, until I was confident. After about 6 lessons, I tried a two lane highway. Then I had my license. So, to answer your question! I did not learn to drive until I was older and more settled. It seemed that this was necessary. Also, the right teacher is very very important. The driving instructor that I had before her, was an as*hole. I reported him to the BBB. Maybe you just need to wait until you are ready, then just get a good teacher who is patient.


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trissy
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14 Jul 2011, 3:21 pm

I think I'm an alright driver, but then again so do all the terrible drivers out there...

I love to drive manual. It's one of the few times when I feel reasonably coordinated.

Driving is stressful for me though, because of my OCD. I always feel like there's someone in my blind spot, even though I check it like 1234681273467812364 billion times.

I had phobias about driving at first. I had the OCD thing where you go over a bump and worry that youve hit someone, then go back & check a million times.

Now it's gotten to the point where I don't have to check but I still look out the rear view mirror too much after going over a bump. Need to stop doing that...not safe.

Anyway, as for getting over the phobia...I just drove and drove and drove until it get bearable. It's best to start out with driving a lot at low traffic hours and work your way up to more traffic, very gradually.



Rose_in_Winter
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15 Jul 2011, 9:21 am

wefunction wrote:
I can't drive with GPS. I cannot stand something telling me where to turn and when. It's too last minute. The most I'll do is print out directions and a map from Mapquest. Then I'll know where I should turn next immediately after I make a turn, even if it's 20 miles away. I actually prefer to write my directions because then I can write exactly what I need to see to know what I need to know.


I'm just the opposite! I can't get anywhere without my GPS. Mine is not last minute; it tells me a mile in advance when my next turn is coming up, then reminds me again as I get close to the turn. It also has a box in the corner that tells me how far I have left to go before my next turn, or my exit. After I make a turn, or exit, or whatever, it tells me what my next move should be, even if it is more than a mile away, so I can think ahead; it then reminds me at the mile, and a few yards before the turn/exit/whatever. I hate written directions; I don't take my eyes of the road for a moment! I tried using written directions once, when my husband had my GPS, with fairly disastrous results. I got into an accident; I drove onto the curb while looking at the directions, and did substantial damage to my car. My GPS tells me where to go and what to do and I can keep my eyes on the road. This has, however, led to me not know exactly how to get to places...for example my parents were visiting recently and wanted to go get coffee after church, and I had no idea how to get to our local Starbucks from the church even though I have been to both places often enough. (Luckily, my dad had his smartphone on him and used it to get us to Starbucks.)

I hate driving. Hate hate hate it. I never wanted to drive, and if I lived in a city with decent public transportation I would use it instead of my car. In fact, I didn't get my driver's license until I was 29, because I lived in places that had good public transportation. Buses, subways, trains, or any combination thereof, I could get anywhere without having to get in a car. I miss the ease of walking to the corner, hopping on a bus, and letting someone else take the wheel. Luckily, my husband doesn't mind driving, so he handles it all, from short drives to long trips. I only drive if I'm going someplace he isn't, or if he's drunk and I'm sober. (Which almost never happens...he processes alcohol much faster than I do.)

I also don't think I'm a particularly good driver. Almost every time I go out, I catch myself doing something dumb! Not stuff that would harm anyone else, just things like dropping below the speed limit on empty roads, or forgetting to get in the turn lane (forcing me to go straight, as I would never turn from a no-turn lane). Therefore, I am a very safety-conscious driver. It's why I never take my eyes off the road, and why I never have my music turned up loud. It's why I go the speed limit, although most drivers here seem to think it's a suggestion rather than a law. (I drive in the "slow" lane and adjust my speed accordingly.) It's why I never try to speed through a yellow light. Heck, it's why I want my husband to do all the driving -- he's been driving half his life, he's a far better and safer driver than I am. It's why I rely on my GPS to tell me where I am and where I need to be!



alhna
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03 Aug 2011, 11:34 pm

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Last edited by alhna on 08 Aug 2011, 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Xenia
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04 Aug 2011, 2:29 pm

It took me years to learn then years again before I actually drove. When I finally did get a car and started driving myself to work I would feel really sick for days leading up to it.

I drive fine now, I am a careful driver.

I hate night time lights, driving with oncoming headlights really distracts me and so I drive really slow and lose sense of direction so I am not a good driver in the dark.

It took me a while to get used to driving with rain falling on the windscreen too.

I really struggle to drive when snow is falling, looks really psychadelic!

I always feel a bit panicky if I am going to drive somewhere that I don't drive regularly, even just going to the petrol station off my normal route or a shop at lunchtime. I still do it tho most of the time anyway.



little_black_sheep
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12 Aug 2011, 3:33 pm

I cannot drive either. All the other cars and signs and lights make me nervous. I guess if I had a drivers license, it would be just like with using the bike. I would only drive when there is no possibility that other cars or cyclists cross my way. As I live on my own and have no car, I started pushing my bike to the shops and back. This way I do not have to carry all the heavy bags, but I also do not have to ride my bike when there is a lot of traffic.


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Catster29
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03 Sep 2011, 6:27 am

I do drive only auto though) I got my licence at 28 and are now 31 so ive had my licence for 3 years and own my own car. I like driving but not in high traffic areas like the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne where I live that is sooo frustrating and panic making. Also I once drove into the centre of Melbourne never ever again I had a massive panic attack and nearly had an accident in the process and some idiot abused me. For me it is about finding the areas to drive in and those not to. I do knoqw that waiting until 28 was a good move at 18 theres no way I would been ready.