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littlelily613
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02 Aug 2011, 12:18 am

Why do so many people on the spectrum have trouble driving? I ask this because I have moderate classic autism and I drive. I am just wondering what your issues are if you cannot drive so I can see if I have similar issues but drive anyway or if I just don't have those problems at all.


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League_Girl
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02 Aug 2011, 12:30 am

I think it has to do with depth perception and multi tasking. Those issues are common in ASDs folks.

You need to multi task on the road. You are driving and you are watching the road and the cars in front of you, people around you, watching the road signs as you drive by them. Looking in your rear view mirror and looking behind you before switching lanes.

With depth perception, you need to know how far or close the cars are to you or how close people are to you or how far so you don't hit anyone. Plus you also need to know when to step on your break.

If you are effected in those areas by autism, it can effect your driving. Sometimes it's so bad you can't drive.



Tuttle
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02 Aug 2011, 12:36 am

I can't control and can't predict when I will get entirely overwhelmed with sensory input. I might be entirely capable playing a high stress game, and then suddenly it was too much and I completely shut down. My mind goes entirely blank. I might snap at people for them asking a simple question, at which point I realize I need to get out of there and into somewhere that there is less input, but I'm still not actually processing what is around me. If I'm near home in a regular place, I can make it home mindlessly, get into a dark, quiet place, wrap up in a blanket and just rock until I fell like I can think again, and be aware of what's going on around me. If I'm not in a place I know well, then someone I know would probably be there with me, in which case they can help me find somewhere that is at least quieter and friendlier.

If one of these episodes were to occur while I was driving, it would be less safe than me being asleep in the driver's seat. When you combine this with the fact that headlights are already something that I tend to find overwhelming, I can't imagine it safe for me to drive. Maybe if I find a way to control this, then it'll be safe later, but at the moment, it wouldn't be.

I'm also just terrified of cars, but I tend to find that besides the point.



Jory
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02 Aug 2011, 12:38 am

My motor skills aren't for s**t. That's probably why.



DragonKazooie89
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02 Aug 2011, 12:38 am

I'm a decent driver, I just don't like to drive. I also need to talk to someone or listen to the radio while I drive because if I don't, Ill suffer from hyper-focus and only concentrate on the road in front of me instead of the road AND everything around me, from pedestrians to other drivers.



SammichEater
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02 Aug 2011, 12:44 am

DragonKazooie89 wrote:
I'm a decent driver, I just don't like to drive. I also need to talk to someone or listen to the radio while I drive because if I don't, Ill suffer from hyper-focus and only concentrate on the road in front of me instead of the road AND everything around me, from pedestrians to other drivers.


I'm the opposite. I'm fine until someone starts talking, and then I stop paying attention completely.


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littlelily613
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02 Aug 2011, 12:50 am

Usually I drive fine. Several times though, I get sidetracked and have had to skid to avoid hitting someone (and once I actually did lightly hit someone! 8O ) Is it normal for people to have to skid sometimes, or is that actually pretty rare? (I rarely speed, btw).


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Kiana
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02 Aug 2011, 1:04 am

It took me years to be able to drive, I had 8 different instructors over a period of 17 years and never took a test, 4 years ago I got really determined, and my instructor was fantastic, at that point I had no idea I had AS, but my instructor noted each area I struggled with and came up with a way of compensating e.g. manoeuvres were all done by counting.

I was terrified of taking a test and I made silly mistakes through nerves, but by then I was an ok driver and I passed for 2 reasons, 1, A truck cut me up and I reacted to it, 2, My instructor had a feeling that I would be asked to reverse park in the test centre car park in a certain spot as it was a favourite request of my examiner as it was a tricky angle, so before the test we practised and counted.

Now I am a good driver when I know the area, but I get clumsy if I get lost as I have to fully concentrate on where I am going, so I might for example clip a curb or have to do a roundabout twice to focus my thoughts.

A couple of weeks ago my usual road home from work was closed and I had to go a different way, I know the other way I just don't take it from work but I had to pull up and talk myself through it, because the change just created instant meltdown.


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MakaylaTheAspie
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02 Aug 2011, 1:11 am

I'm going to go get my permit in about two weeks.


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LostUndergrad9090
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02 Aug 2011, 1:16 am

I sometimes can drive really well, and sometimes I can't.



chrissyrun
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02 Aug 2011, 1:41 am

I don't drive just because it was a family rule until I was 17 and now I am too attached to my bike.


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piroflip
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02 Aug 2011, 1:47 am

Although I have 90% of AS traits this isn't one of them.

I do a 60 mile round trip to work without problem and also own a (very) powerful motorcycle.



MakaylaTheAspie
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02 Aug 2011, 2:14 am

chrissyrun wrote:
I don't drive just because it was a family rule until I was 17 and now I am too attached to my bike.


Ugh... Can't stand my bike anymore!


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Artros
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02 Aug 2011, 2:58 am

I like my bicycle and am pretty good with it, though I sometimes get those moments where I think "wait, I should've looked if there was a car coming" or when I just kind of overload with what's happening and don't react well. It's a matter of experience, really. I've cycled tens of thousands of kilometers in the past ten years, so I can do traffic. I have no idea if I'd be a good car driver, though.



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02 Aug 2011, 3:05 am

After watching my dad drive, I am totally confident that I am a safe driver. I don't drive 20+ mph over the speed limit, I don't pull out in front of people, I don't speed up for yellow lights, I don't flip people off, and I don't take up 3 parking spots.


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MakaylaTheAspie
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02 Aug 2011, 3:16 am

SammichEater wrote:
After watching my dad drive, I am totally confident that I am a safe driver. I don't drive 20+ mph over the speed limit, I don't pull out in front of people, I don't speed up for yellow lights, I don't flip people off, and I don't take up 3 parking spots.


That sounds suspiciously like my dad... :mrgreen:


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