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OhNowIGetIt
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05 Jun 2011, 10:48 am

I have just moved cross country and don't know where the hell I'm going outside a small radius of my new home. This doesn't help the fact that I've never had a good sense of direction. I also have been clumbsy at the wheel from the day I got behind it over 20 yrs ago! I'm okay driving, I mean, I drove us cross country and back. I drive many days out of the week on short trips. But when I want to venture out somewhere 45 min or over an hr away, I dread the thought of it. If I were rich I would have a driver, for sure.

Anyway, just wondered if the stress of driving got to anyone else? The noise/ stimuli from inside and outside the vehichle, the lights- oh especially at night, the unpredictability of the other drivers, bother anybody? Just me? I want to take my lovely children out to see more of the wide world, but I just wish someone else could drive! Ha ha, if I wait a few yrs my oldest can drive us.

Share with me your driving ability/ coping skills that I may improve myself on this. I hate that this limits my children's experience. I can push myself on trips, but feel rattled for quite awhile upon arrival. I'd like to just be cool. Calm. Any thoughts?



AngelKnight
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05 Jun 2011, 11:19 am

Similar. Driving takes a certain amount of concentration from me. I've been around people who are able to treat it as a "background activity" or almost as instinctual as sneezing. For myself, I borrow a phrase from a friend of mine who calls it "2-dimensional piloting."

I'm not comfortable having to drive (the mechanics of maintaining the appropriate speed and keeping between the lines; signalling; being aware of my environment, in particular objects near my vehicle and my vehicle's "traction pie") and navigate [1] at the same time.

What I do to cope is to ensure I have a street or ordinance map of the areas that cover where I'm starting from, where I'm going, and where I might go, before I begin driving anywhere. It occasionally surprises people, particularly strangers, when I break out maps of a place and examine them for 10 minutes just to drive to an Ikea and back.

[1] "navigate" ... probably only me, but it sounds irritating to use this word with the meaning of "charting a course for use" when that course is over land.



Shannon21
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05 Jun 2011, 12:23 pm

Im a good driver as long as I have a compass :) Of course, it is more preferable to havea map; better yet, a GPS rocks!
Now, my tolerance of poor drivers has grown over the years. I have traind myself to nix the passive-aggressive attitude on the road. Oh, and I usually cannot speak on a cellphone and drive at the same time; I have to pull over.



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05 Jun 2011, 1:20 pm

When I first started driving, I found it very stressful, but after a couple of years, I got the hang of it and no longer find it stressful. In fact, I'm the safest driver I know (though I was a little thrown off when switching sides of the road, having recently moved from a driving-on-the-left country to a driving-on-the-right one). I'm a good driver, but the reason I consider myself safer than others is that I always pay attention and expect the people around me to be aggressive idiots who are constantly distracted. Most people, by contrast, are in fact idiots who are constantly distracted (and many are aggressive when driving). I'm not much of a parallel parker, though.


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wefunction
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05 Jun 2011, 2:00 pm

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.

When I move to a new place, I tend to get lost on purpose. I explore the area, learn what roads connect to which roads and where I'll end up. It's a lot of fun and you get to see things that you otherwise wouldn't have seen. My aspie son uses Google Earth to accomplish the same, plus all the places on earth he hasn't gone to, yet. Plus all the places in space he may or may not be able to explore otherwise. It's an adventurous spirit. My son loves new frontiers. I love historical places. When we're in our elements, there's no social anxiety or awkwardness.

I'm a fairly good driver. A bit of a lead foot and sometimes frustrated at inconsiderate drivers. I really can't stand people who don't realize or care that there are people around them. When I do make a mistake on the road, I'm mortified. I once almost hit a biker on a lane change. I swear there were only two bikers and they were clear but there were three! At the light, I got out and apologized to him because I'm not that kind of driver! He got a hug out of me to make me feel better and hopefully he understands that I'm not some stupid b*tch driver who doesn't look or give a crap. It really bothered me.

Oh, but let me tell you about this, there was this guy... I was changing lanes because my lane was turning into a Turn Only. There was plenty of space, I put my blinker on, I moved over at a rational even pace... everything was done right. But my existence annoyed this guy behind me. I drove up beside me in the next lane just screaming at me, calling me all kinds of nasty names. I flipped him the bird. That just kept him going. Now he's saying stuff like, "Yeah, that's how you see the whole world, isn't it!" and a bunch of other stuff that makes me realize that he's not really yelling at me about my lane change and there's something going on in this guy's life. But my husband, who's in the passenger seat, has had enough so he pushed the button that lowers my window, leans over me and says, "What is your problem? You wanna settle this on the side of the road?" The guy raised his window, looked straight ahead and left us alone. But, I'll tell you, it still bothers me a little bit because I know I didn't do anything wrong. I could understand him raging at me if I'd messed up but I didn't mess up. I changed lanes properly.

My father had to have been the best driver on this earth. Not only could he drive well but he could drive well under the stressful condition of my mother screaming at him constantly. It must have been like USMC boot camp all over again for him. Not only did he manage to obey all road rules and drive considerately and defensively in traffic, he resisted the urge to plow them into an on-coming semi-truck. Now, that's a good driver!



OhNowIGetIt
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05 Jun 2011, 5:36 pm

I think I am a "good" driver, meaning safe, cautious, conciencious. But man, it is very agressive around here, more than I am used to. Traffic seems to expect you to move about 10m over any given speed limit, seems they've not heard of signaling for lane changes or turns, and I just get nervous w. my 4 kids and an aging mini-van that can't be replaced!
I print out mapquest for wherever we go, have a file of places stuck btwn front seat and middle thingy.
I just want to be able to survive on the beltways around here! I get a bit vertigo and feel I am on some Jetsons episode, so high and great are the looping ramps raising high into the sky. SIGH. I'll figure it out somehow. I'm pretty determined/ stubborn person, so I WILL get the hang of it around here!



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05 Jun 2011, 10:14 pm

i will probably never drive, although i have tried. i cannot ride a bicycle either.


in addition to having a bad sense of direction... i have a poor visual memory... my spatial awareness is lacking (even when walking)... my left-right coordination isn't good... i panic when i have to control something that is moving fast (i can't even play a fast-paced video game)... and in general i am twitchy and impulsive...


KEEP ME OFF THE ROADS!! !


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Aprilviolets
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05 Jun 2011, 11:59 pm

I tried to learn to drive but I found it hard to steer the car and I also have a hard time trying to concentrate on everything at once.
I was never able to ride a bike either.
It's much easier to catch a bus.



K_W
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06 Jun 2011, 12:07 am

I have Aspergers. (or so I'm told)

I consider myself a very good driver. I have never caused an accident, but have been hit 3 times, no tickets but pulled over three times for various infractions. My job is driving, I deliver auto parts to shops around town. The furthest I have driven by myself is 10 1/2 hours over a route my family took when I was with them as a kid but never solo, but really would not have made a difference if it was totally unfamiliar.



Hovis
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06 Jun 2011, 5:07 am

I can't drive. I tried to learn but failed the test three times. I did not have much of a problem operating the vehicle; it was reading the road I couldn't manage. I just wouldn't see things: other cars, one-way signs, etc.



MollyTroubletail
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06 Jun 2011, 5:36 am

I'm a pretty good driver technically, but I have no sense of direction and frequently get lost.

I used to panic when I got lost, but later on I decided to stop caring so much. Now when I get lost, I think "How interesting; I'm quite, quite lost." But if I have to go somewhere where arriving on time is critical, I do a test-run all the way there and back the previous day, to memorize the route.

The most lost I've ever been was when I was driving cross-country up the eastern coast of the USA, and accidentally entered New York City from the New Jersey highway. I am scared of big cities, and I'd never been to New York before. I drove around and around New York City, having no clue whatsoever where I was and terrified of the crazy traffic. I don't even remember how I made it out eventually. It must've been a miracle.



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06 Jun 2011, 6:03 am

wefunction wrote:
... I'll ... 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.

Exactly. My wife and I moved 900 miles away from home just over one year ago, and I know virtually nothing about getting around in this new area. My wife knows much more than I do, yet I still print a series of maps and actually write everything out before we go anywhere new or far away even if my wife thinks she already knows how to get there and back since I would be completely useless to either of us if she did get lost or confused.

@OhNowIGetIt: Give your children some parameters -- day trip or overnighter? -- and then let them do the research needed to plan the travel for an outing. Help them learn about miles/kilometers per hour (or per day), where and how to locate/plan rest stops, what to take along in the car (like water, food, clothing, blankets, etc.) ... and then just be the resident driver and join them along on the trip!


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Solvejg
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06 Jun 2011, 6:19 am

I don't drive and i probably never will. i just can't do it. The last time i was behind the wheel in my brother's old car out in the middle of nowhere (grampians for aussies lol) I started rocking and shaking from the stress and then crying. I was on a straight road in the middle of nowhere and couldn't cope. :(

I am great on a bike and i love public transport (any excuse to read and carry maps). :D


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OhNowIGetIt
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06 Jun 2011, 8:37 am

leejoshepho- I like your idea of including the kids in theory, really, I do. I am a lover of learning and try to provide a "learning lifestyle" for the children doing things just such as this. However, due to the fact that they have been under so much strain from the divorce/ move I want to put as little responsibility on them as possible. I made my oldest my assistant "Navigator" on the cross country trip, he had a better grasp on how the GPS worked we borrowed! It was helpful for me, but stressed him out a great deal. He is AS also. I feel like right now they need me to be the confident Momma who knows where she is going and can handle anything. I'm great at printing out maps, even following them. That doesn't stop me from being a mess from the stress of it all though. I'll figure it out! Thanks for your input though. It is nice to have input.



Mackica
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06 Jun 2011, 7:56 pm

I cannot drive-I have tried so many times.If I had to drive on my own road,with no cars around,I think I could do it.But I get so anxious and have panic attacks and get horribly overwhelmed with all the other cars around,not to mention lights,changing lanes..no way Jose!