A lot of people with Autism don't drive cars, why is that?

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IsabellaLinton
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24 Jun 2024, 6:27 pm

There's a rule about four-way stops.
It goes clockwise or perhaps counter-clockwise.
I can't remember because I never encounter them.


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r00tb33r
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24 Jun 2024, 6:54 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
There's a rule about four-way stops.
It goes clockwise or perhaps counter-clockwise.
I can't remember because I never encounter them.

Mhm, but it only applies if there are cars lined up and waiting. If you arrive while there's nobody stopped, it's your turn to go, so that's the benefit of arriving first or arriving with a delay so the other driver leaves.
Indeed traffic is well designed here that you wouldn't have any backups at multi-way stops, you either see one other car at most, or there will be a traffic light. Roundabouts are rare here.



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25 Jun 2024, 7:32 am

If I wear my pink had I think I look likes someone's grandma and get right of way!
Who cuts off grandma if she looks first and signals her intentions?



QuantumChemist
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25 Jun 2024, 7:45 am

I have both a driver’s license and multiple cars/trucks. I choose to not actively drive them much due to the way other people drive. The last thing I want it to have one of my classics totaled by someone driving that is distracted by their smartphone. Too many people drive that way here. I wish the license would be harder for them to get.



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25 Jun 2024, 11:54 am

My high school had a "HIGHWAY SAFETY" class I took when I was 14-15.

We did not live in a built-up area so my parents sometimes loaned me their car to run errands or to get to the part-time job they found for me.

But, when I was 21 I signed up for a job hundreds of miles away. My Dad knew that I would need a car and that the job gave me the financial wherewithal to buy a car...he took me around to car dealers 'til I found a car I liked and could afford.

Since then I've kept each car until it was having too many problems to make it practical to keep it and then I'd buy a new car. And I did a lot of driving (but discovered I did not like city driving).

My fourth car got sideswiped on the interstate last September and the insurance company declared it was not worth fixing. Though I intend to get a fifth car I have not yet done so. I'm blissfully retired and so I do not need a car to commute. Mostly I'm happy at home and my bride still has her car and I can mooch rides or borrow her car often enough to meet my needs. (She, however, would really like me to get another car!)

I seldom drove with passengers and had been conditioning my bride to avoid conversations when I asked her to.

A gal down the street, for various reasons, has needed rides for the last year or so to go anywhere. *Once* my bride got me the task of driving that gal to do some of her errands. SHE NEVER STOPPED TALKING! Even when I told her several times that I had a doctor's note (ASD diagnosis!) that said I did not multitask well and that I needed her to stop talking so I could drive safely, SHE NEVER STOPPED TALKING! For safety reasons I now refuse to drive her anywhere, and my bride understands.


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25 Jun 2024, 12:07 pm

I have yet to be diagnosed with autism, but am confirmed to at least be ADHD.

Back in high school I took Driver's Ed, but I was told I didn't do well on the driving portion of it. I got scared. There's a heck of a lot more context in between then and now as to why I haven't learned to drive still, but being scared is a big reason. I'm worried about all of the rules, knowing which lane I'm supposed to be in what point, etc. It's all so scary to me.

However, I must learn. I meant to do that since last fall but I wanted to take a driver's class again since I'm so nervous and I just couldn't budget that in with the move. I definitely need to learn, though. Not sure exactly when it's going to happen. Hopefully within the next 6 months at least.


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WantToHaveALife
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25 Jun 2024, 12:31 pm

r00tb33r wrote:
WantToHaveALife wrote:
As in many of the threads i started here, it annoys or irritates me on how there is a word limit on what you can put in the "subject", when asking a question.

Because that would turn subforum screens into walls of text.

Your subject question can be fairly short: "Why many people with autism don't drive?"

And to answer your question, I don't know. I drive. I definitely have limitations, I have difficulty multitasking, but if I'm going my planned route I have no problems.

I live in a suburb where there is no public transportation, so that would have been essential anyway. I suppose it helped that cars are one of my special interests.


yeah another reason why this topic of discussion interests me, is because, some people over the years have told me that they suspect i don't have autism/aspergers, however i do believe i have it since thats what my therapist/psychologist since childhood has told me, however, i'm open to believing that he could be wrong, and since i have been a licensed car driver since i was 18, and seeing how a large portion of people with autism don't have cars or drive, not because of financial reasons, but because of health conditions they have associated with autism, that leads me to think its a possibility i might not have autism.



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25 Jun 2024, 12:56 pm

WantToHaveALife wrote:
r00tb33r wrote:
WantToHaveALife wrote:
As in many of the threads i started here, it annoys or irritates me on how there is a word limit on what you can put in the "subject", when asking a question.

Because that would turn subforum screens into walls of text.

Your subject question can be fairly short: "Why many people with autism don't drive?"

And to answer your question, I don't know. I drive. I definitely have limitations, I have difficulty multitasking, but if I'm going my planned route I have no problems.

I live in a suburb where there is no public transportation, so that would have been essential anyway. I suppose it helped that cars are one of my special interests.


yeah another reason why this topic of discussion interests me, is because, some people over the years have told me that they suspect i don't have autism/aspergers, however i do believe i have it since thats what my therapist/psychologist since childhood has told me, however, i'm open to believing that he could be wrong, and since i have been a licensed car driver since i was 18, and seeing how a large portion of people with autism don't have cars or drive, not because of financial reasons, but because of health conditions they have associated with autism, that leads me to think its a possibility i might not have autism.

I don't see how having a driver's license or not makes or breaks you being autistic.


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25 Jun 2024, 2:35 pm

I am definitely Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1 (Mild) and satisfy the criteria previously associated with Asperger's Syndrome.
- My bride and I both thought so after researching on the Internet.
- AQ supports that conclusion.
- In 2018 my Dad met a boy suspected of being Autistic and saw "weird" behaviors I had in the 1950s.
- In 2019 a licensed Psychologist did an Adult Autism Assessment and gave me that written diagnosis.
And, most entertainingly, in 2021 (for unrelated reasons) I had a head MRI. The results seem to fascinate neurologists that see it. They've seen other patients with similar MRIs but they were all in wheelchairs...and I am not. There are some scientific papers that report the same abnormality in the MRIs of some Autistics, however.

I am definitely Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1 (Mild).

And I've driven thousands of miles since 1976. (But, please keep the chatter down.)

So, I know that at least some Autistics can drive.

But, it is a Spectrum Disorder, which I suspect is medical jargon for "we don't understand it."

So, maybe some Autistics can drive and some can't.


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IsabellaLinton
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25 Jun 2024, 2:37 pm

^^

All it means is that you don't have the associated health conditions which others might have.

Autistics might be even better than NTs when it comes to driving, because we respect and follow rules.


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25 Jun 2024, 3:24 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
^^
Autistics might be even better than NTs when it comes to driving, because we respect and follow rules.


One person following the rules while everyone else does not does not make driving safer.

If one person drives exactly the speed limit everyone will be switching lanes to get around them where I live.
Much better if he broke the law like everyone else!



IsabellaLinton
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25 Jun 2024, 3:25 pm

So we should drive drunk like everyone else?


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25 Jun 2024, 3:32 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
So we should drive drunk like everyone else?

No, you should drive the speed of the rest of the traffic. Just because everyone else is driving 10 over the limit doesn't mean you should be the one making everyone scatter around you to dodge.



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25 Jun 2024, 3:54 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
^^

All it means is that you don't have the associated health conditions which others might have.

Autistics might be even better than NTs when it comes to driving, because we respect and follow rules.

I don't have any associated health conditions and I can't drive.



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25 Jun 2024, 5:08 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
So we should drive drunk like everyone else?
In general, I do try to follow the rules/laws when driving.

A very long time ago I heard that you can be a few miles over the speed limit without getting ticketed. I tend to shoot for three miles over the speed limit unless "going with the traffic" requires much more.

Where my Aspie inclinations have caused problems is stopping when I'm supposed to stop. I used to. Allistics apparently don't! I got rear-ended a few times when I stopped when I was supposed to. Now I try to gauge the traffic behind me before I stop.

(It boggles my mind when I feel guilty for driving through a yellow light and then the car behind me does, too...and then the one behind them!!)


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25 Jun 2024, 6:02 pm

bee33 wrote:
I find it impossibly difficult to drive.

I can't make left turns, can't merge, can't change lanes, can't pull into traffic (unless traffic is very very light). This is because all of these actions require being aware of several moving things at once that are on different sides of you, including you yourself being in motion.

Does anyone else experience this? I'd be really curious to know.

It took me years to come up with the explanation that it's because I have to be aware of multiple moving objects in different places, at once. But I always knew it was super hard and it didn't seem to be that way for other people.