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How Often Do You Drive?
I have never driven in my life 14%  14%  [ 7 ]
I have driven at one time, but no longer 16%  16%  [ 8 ]
I rarely drive (<twice per month) 10%  10%  [ 5 ]
I drive occasionally (1-3 times per week) 12%  12%  [ 6 ]
I drive everyday 20%  20%  [ 10 ]
I can't imagine not being able to drive! 28%  28%  [ 14 ]
Total votes : 50

whatacrazyride
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27 Jul 2020, 8:44 pm

I have heard it said that many Aspies and people with autism do not drive. I did not drive until I was 20 (likely PTSD from a car wreck and lack of confidence); at first, I drove less than 5 miles per day. Now, I cannot imagine not being able to drive, and I will drive for leisure (I commute 25 miles each way and drive ~350 miles per week in all). How many of you don't drive? How many of you drive frequently? Do you enjoy driving (I enjoy open-road driving; no one likes traffic)?



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28 Jul 2020, 12:45 am

There have been a lot of threads on this over the years. I also got my license at 20, mostly due to just not being mature enough. Before COVID, despite having my license and a car, I still chose to take the subway to work due to my work being literally on the exact opposite side of my city from where I live and my city's notoriously dreadful rush hour traffic.


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28 Jul 2020, 2:16 am

I drive every day, but usually just to commute to work.



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28 Jul 2020, 2:38 am

I drive to get my kids to school and back, to go to the store, if I buy anything off Facebook.


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28 Jul 2020, 5:06 am

Pre lockdown I drove 30 minutes to work each day.

I only like to drive places I know though. I find driving anywhere new to be pretty stressful. Just too much information to try and take in and it all gets confusing and I end up not taking anything in. I do one 4 hour drive a year from Berkshire to West Wales to see family for summer holidays, though until the final 20 minutes or so it is just the same road all the way so kind of easy.

My wife hates being a passenger so if we go somewhere new she drives anyway



usagibryan
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28 Jul 2020, 5:14 am

I didn't start driving until I was 25 or 26 I think (I'm 33 now). I lived in NYC for a few years so I didn't need to, I took the subway, but when I moved backed to Florida I had to learn.

It took me a long time to get past my fear of driving, I still hate it but I drive the same route everyday so I'm used to it, I don't drive on the highway, and as soon as I have to go somewhere new, take a new route or something unexpected happens (detour or ambulance forcing me to change lanes or find a new route RIGHT NOW) I'm nervous all over again.



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28 Jul 2020, 7:12 am

I did pass my driving test and got a license about 10 years ago, but I haven't driven since and I have never owned a car. I took driving lessons while I was in college and didn't have much other responsibility, and I wanted to get a license in case I want to drive in the future. But because I work for a bus company, I can get buses for free, so that saves a lot of money for me, as I don't have much money as I only work part time.

I do get criticised by some people for not driving though.


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28 Jul 2020, 7:48 am

I find driving difficult. I think the problem for me is that I can't pay attention to two or more things at once, especially when they are in motion, and I am in motion. Therefore I have to avoid making most left turns (unless traffic is very light or I'm on small not-very-trafficked roads), changing lanes, merging, or driving on a highway, which means my driving is limited.

It's not that I am nervous about it, it's that I really can't do it unless there are very few other cars around. Making a left turn, you have to pay attention to the cars coming from three directions, if there is traffic. I have done things like make three right turns to avoid a left turn.

I'm not even sure if this has to do with autism, because I have never seen this particular problem described in this forum. I even read some of the old threads.

Passing the driving test was very easy, on the first try. But actually driving is not really possible for me.



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28 Jul 2020, 8:09 am

Never driven, don't think I want to try. I mean, I'm not even a particularly safe pedestrian.


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28 Jul 2020, 11:20 am

I'm capable of driving, but it's stressful, especially if I have to travel between cities, so I avoid it. I always get migraines from driving for more than twenty or thirty minutes.

Continually paying attention to my surroundings is unnatural for me, and I get visually overstimulated because I'm unable to ignore all the little details I see, so having to observe traffic for the duration of a trip is mentally fatiguing. When I travel by foot, bus, or even bike, I don't have to look around so much.

Knowing that something serious, even fatal, could result from my failing to pay attention or my missing something even when I am paying attention makes me anxious while driving. The anxiety is compounded by all the unsafe driving I see on the roads; I have to rely entirely on myself to prevent accidents, other drivers can't be trusted.

Also I can't freely enjoy the scenery as I'm driving because I have to focus on the road. So overall I don't much like driving. It would be easier if there were much fewer cars on the road.



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28 Jul 2020, 11:41 am

I can drive automatic transmission only but haven't been able to afford the upkeep of a car for a good many years now and don't think I could really trust myself to drive again at this point, although it would need to be an automatic. I can easily have my licence renewed - involves an eye test.

I have owned three cars in my time but the best was a Toyota Cressida.

Some of us have fine motor skills impairment making manual (stick shift for those in the US) very difficult or impossible - I couldn't co-ordinate the clutch movements.


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28 Jul 2020, 12:03 pm

I've been driving for ~21 years. I smashed several cars years ago - never had an at fault claim, though! I typically drive 115+ km/day. I drive a 6 speed manual And also now have a motorcycle. (in the shop rn tho) Two more vehicle payments and they're both paid for and all mine! :D


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28 Jul 2020, 12:35 pm

I have had probably about 5 total driving lessons with my dad last year, during which I drove in an empty parking lot. Other than that, I haven’t driven. Due to my need to be aware of absolutely everything going on around me, I don’t trust myself to keep my eyes on the road is probably one of my biggest concerns, and it will take me quite a while to master the precision necessary for driving on a road. And a bunch of other concerns that aren’t leaping to my mind right now.


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28 Jul 2020, 1:13 pm

Joe90 wrote:
I did pass my driving test and got a license about 10 years ago, but I haven't driven since and I have never owned a car. I took driving lessons while I was in college and didn't have much other responsibility, and I wanted to get a license in case I want to drive in the future. But because I work for a bus company, I can get buses for free, so that saves a lot of money for me, as I don't have much money as I only work part time.

I do get criticised by some people for not driving though.



Who needs a car in the UK when you got trains and buses that takes you everywhere.

What do you do for the bus company?


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28 Jul 2020, 1:28 pm

I earned my first drivers license at around the age of 16, which means I have been driving for 55 years. Over that time I have driven approximately one million miles. I drive both stick and automatic but I prefer stick because IMHO it offers more control.

I don't find it difficult to drive but I have to pay attention to the road at all times, much more than the average NT. If I am driving and someone begins a conversation, I have to block it all out, and just keep driving. I do not answer cell phones while driving and I absolutely hate GPS navigational systems that try and interrupt me with bad navigational advise.

I practice situational awareness when I drive. That means that I maintain 360 degree awareness at all times. I periodically scan and observe all vehicles and obstacle on the roadway (in front of, behind and to the side) and note if they may be a threat.

I also drive defensively, and immediately react to avoid collision. If I need to change lanes abruptly or even drive onto the shoulder to avoid a collision, I do it.

I also follow the rule of one car lengths distance for each 10 mph of speed. This gives me the reaction time I need to avoid accidents.

I am a relatively safe driver. The only accidents I had occurred during my first few years of driving. When I was young and inexperienced.


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28 Jul 2020, 3:14 pm

There wasn't a good answer for me to give in the poll - I used to drive quite a lot at one time, then didn't drive for years, recently started again but have been temporarily grounded because of some insurance / licensing problem, the details of which I can't recall offhand. When I've not been driving, the reasons have usually been simple practical ones, such as not having any particular need to, rather than anything to do with autism.

It took me 3 attempts to pass my test, and I think part of the reason I failed at first was something to do with autism. I was getting one or two lessons a week, and they were usually so sudden that by the time I'd got into the swing of it, the lesson was over. Before my 3rd attempt I was driving every day, which suited my brain a lot better.

As far as I know I'm a fairly good driver but it depends on the circumstances. I'm good at meticulously following rules, but not so good at knowing when to bend the rules, and motorists seem to bend the rules an awful lot, and it seems that anybody who sticks to the rules 100% becomes a danger. Quite how things got like that, I don't know.

I still don't like roundabouts and busy traffic situations, and don't always feel safe with that kind of thing. I think sometimes there are just too many vehicles and the system wasn't really built for it. So I just avoid the rush hour and similar messy situations.

I don't understand why they put those head-rest things on the back seats, even in a car that hardly ever carries passengers in the back. I accept that they make it safer for back seat passengers if the car gets knocked for a six from the back, but they also make it very hard to see through the back window, which is something that comes up a lot more often than the aforementioned collision. Things might be different now, but in the UK when I took my test, you could fail if you didn't turn your head round and look out of the back window. The received wisdom was that you can't always see behind properly just with the mirrors [actually that was a useful cheat when they did the emergency stop part of the test - the examiner had to look behind before giving the signal, so you'd know when it was coming].