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Dragon729
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01 Aug 2022, 5:08 pm

I'm not sure if I'm putting this in the right place but I think this is correct? I'm 14 years and 7 months old. In my country, you can start driver's ed at 14 years and 9 months old. I really don't want to. Here are a bunch of my reasons why. I don't feel like I would be able to stay focused on whatever thing I would need to be focused on. When I ride in the back of cars, I like to read all the billboards and store signs and random street signs. Would I be able to break that habit as a driver? Or what if the reverse happened? What if I was too focused and kind of tunnel-visioning? Cars have a bunch of separate stuff that needs to be kept track of. If I'm looking for the exit or for a street sign, what if I'm not watching how much gas I have and run out? Or don't see a car behind me? Even if I'm doing the right thing on the road, it doesn't mean the others around me are. I don't want to be keeping track of all the cars around me in my head because I can't trust them to drive well. I also have a pretty slow reaction time (we tested ours in 7th grade), and I don't like sitting still and not doing anything but turning a wheel for a long time. I feel my focus would slip and I'd have to drag myself back and focus on something and then I'm not focused on other things. I feel I couldn't even play music because I'd be worried I'd slip away into the music. What if I did get in an accident because I slipped focus, even for a second, that's all it takes. Or, even if my focusing didn't cause an accident, could I be sued under the grounds that it could have been the cause? And even if the other person decides not to sue me, could I ever stop wondering whether I caused the accident? Could I ever feel comfortable driving again? And then I'd probably not be focused for real and then I'd put more people in danger. I also don't like the idea of trusting a metal box with my life, don't want to constantly be buying gas, and don't like the idea of wrecking the environment. In short, I don't feel I could ever feel comfortable driving a car. The thought of having to drive makes me feel all weird and panicky. But I don't think I have to drive, right? I can bike. Bikes are safer. I've been thinking about buying a cart for my bike if I ever needed to go pick up groceries. I could also use buses. I know I'd have to be on the bus schedule, but I'm good at being punctual. I could use Uber or something. And when I grow up, I want to live in a city I don't have to drive in. I see no reason to drive. But my little sister does. When I told her earlier today that I don't want a car, she made up these random scenarios where it would be really good for me to have a car. She says it would be so much easier for the family if I had a car and could drive places myself. She's one of those people who is waiting for the glorious day when she can get a car. My parents are kind of fine I think, but they're gently encouraging me to consider the freedom I could have with a car. I don't know if they're actually fine with it, or if they want me to take Driver's Ed and just are doing the thing where you try not to be pushy. That thing trips me up so often. Would it be selfish to decide not to drive? Would it be harder for the family to not have one more driver? There's that voice in the back of my head that's like "Oh come on. You're not that autistic. Just suck it up and learn to drive." But the idea of driving fills me with dread. Are there any other teens on here who have decided not to take Driver's Ed? What about adults who decided never to drive? What's your life like? Do you ever regret it? How do I explain not driving, especially to my sister?



Dear_one
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01 Aug 2022, 6:21 pm

What do you focus on when you ride a bike? You have to be navigating on roads not well suited to your vehicle, and keep it balanced as well. Any problems there? Maybe your real problem is not wanting to be drafted as a family chauffeur.



jimmy m
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01 Aug 2022, 7:03 pm

Learning to drive is an important decision in your life. Driving at age 14 is a little early. You might give yourself a few years before you make the leap.

I have driven around one million miles over my lifetime and I am a fairly safe driver. But this was not always the case. When I first started driving I was not. One time I was given a speeding ticket and the option of taking a one week class taught by police on driving would eliminate the ticket. It was a great course and I learned many things from the class that made me into a good driver.

When I drive, my entire focus is driving. When I drive I am aware of everything that is going on around me. In my front, in my back and to my sides. I also maintain one car lengths distance between me and the car in front of me for every ten miles per hour that I am driving. So if I am driving 60 mph I keep around 6 car lengths between us (or around 90 feet). (This is a very important rule because it gives you time to react.) So my advice to you is to take a course in defensive driving, preferably taught by police.


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Last edited by jimmy m on 01 Aug 2022, 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

klanka
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01 Aug 2022, 7:03 pm

I felt the same, I knew I was not an observant person so didnt want to cause any accidents.
I had something like brain fog through most of my youth, up until recently.
I just walk and get the bus.



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01 Aug 2022, 10:31 pm

I've made the decision not to learn how to drive because I care about the environment too much, being the Sweet Pea that I am. I walk, or take the bus when I need to go somewhere. Dean, Barb and I also carpool when we get our groceries on Welfare Wednesday and when we go to Walmart each Friday.


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shortfatbalduglyman
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01 Aug 2022, 11:07 pm

There is no law that says that you have to get a driver's license

You don't have to explain your failure to get a driver's license to your sister or anyone else

However the solar system contains plenty of easily distracted, unfocused drivers with slow reflexes. That didn't prevent them from getting drivers licenses.

In some locations, public transportation is pretty inconvenient.

When you move out, you have to move somewhere with good public transportation

Some areas with good public transportation, high cost of living

But plenty of people don't drive. Medical, legal or financial reasons. Or they don't want to or they care about pollution.

However in some situations, not having a driver's license or a car, is a major inconvenience.

Public transportation does not go everywhere, at all times. Moving large, heavy merchandise. Off hours.

Not having a car could drastically limit your occupational prospects

Driving a car is a :lol: life skill :lol: . You could live without driving a car (and plenty of people do), but if you don't drive, you have to come up with alternative prospects

Motorcycle

Unicycle

According to your post you are only 14 right now. You can learn to drive later or not at all

"Bikes are safer"?

The driver has a "metal box" to protect themselves. The bicyclist has nothing



Bicyclists depend on focusing and reaction skills too

You don't have to play music in the car. However, car or bike, the streets are often too loud


There is nothing wrong with bicycling, bus or Uber. But they have limitations.

Driving has limitations and disadvantages too. It would be a good strategy to have a lot of methods of transportation in your toolbox , but 14 , unless you are in an extreme situation, is a bit too young to require driving a car regularly



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01 Aug 2022, 11:54 pm

Bicyclists lack armour, but also travel at moderate speeds. Per mile, the danger is about the same as in a car, and 5X less than on a motorcycle (averaged with young sporty riders.) Many people consider cars essential in their area, but they have never tried to limit their range. If you use a bicycle to find your home, work, and shops, they will all be within bicycle range. You'll probably be in the remains of an old town within a city, or near the intersection of three planning zones.

Bicycling is as much mental as physical. An experienced cyclist can make the same trip in the same time as a beginner using HALF as much oxygen. It's creative laziness, and it really pays off. For people who don't like traffic, there are usually some reasonable options, sometimes more scenic, too. I thought I knew Victoria, BC by bike, but then I followed a friend one day and he just about went cross-country, using a wide range of alleys, footpaths, shortcuts, and so on.

Ivan Illich calculated how long it took him to drive downtown, find parking, walk from there to his destination, and then work long enough to pay for it all. It came out to 4 MPH or 6.4 kph - a fast walk. Downtown, bicycle couriers always win the races against taxis, etc. Even in well-served Toronto, a 2-hr commute by transit only took 1 3/4 hr by bicycle, while covering all my needs for a gym.



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02 Aug 2022, 1:35 am

The decision is yours and your parents should respect it.

If they don't maybe you can try saying you want to wait a little more until you feel ready.



Dragon729
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02 Aug 2022, 7:11 am

My thing about bikes is you're not going as fast. No one around you is going that fast either, since you're on a sidewalk and not a road. You can also stop easier if you need to, without having to figure out how to pull over. Also you don't need to worry about how much gas you have since bikes don't need gas, or worry about your speed limit because bikes don't have a maximum or minimum speed.



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02 Aug 2022, 7:58 am

I'm deathly afraid of riding a bike on city streets. I'm really not afraid of driving a car on those same streets.

As far as I'm concerned, if you could ride a bike in a crowded street, you could certainly drive a car.



kraftiekortie
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02 Aug 2022, 7:59 am

You're actually not allowed to ride a bike on sidewalks where I live, unless you're a young kid.

As for Uber, Uber is expensive. You can't rely on Uber all the time.

I'm sorry you have this fear of driving. But I would try drivers ed, see how it goes.

Depending on where you live, you might HAVE to drive. There are many places in the US like that. There's a person right here on WP who might not get a good job because she doesn't have a car. She lives in a place where there are no buses or other forms of public transportation.

I understand that you are 14, and don't have to think about these things yet. But you might have to think about these things when you get older.



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02 Aug 2022, 8:14 am

I use a mirror on my bike helmet, and regard riding in traffic as a convenient sport, especially downtown where I can beat the cars. Sidewalk riding faster than an easy jogging pace is dangerous. Agreed that the easy stopping and parking is a great bonus - that's why it is better to look for a new home, job, and shops by bike.



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02 Aug 2022, 10:14 am

It's entirely up to you to decide whether to drive or not. No one should force you into driving. You shouldn't have to explain to anyone why you don't (want to) drive.

Many of the concerns you listed are valid. It's funny your thoughts/feelings about driving are exactly the same as mine. You pretty much wrote that OP for me. If you are uncomfortable, you shouldn't force yourself to drive. If you want to get the license later in your life, you can. No need to rush. Living in a city where public transport is effective is a very good idea. That's one of the reasons why I want to live in the city.

I know some cases where an accident happened and the person that caused it actually lied and tried to blame the innocent driver. It's an extremely stressful process to prove that you didn't do anything wrong even if it's very obvious to you. Road rage is another factor that put me off driving.

Where I live, public transport is not very useful and all people drive. Someone like me who doesn't drive is seen as a freak. People question me all the time and that's the main nuisance about not driving. However, I don't regret deciding not to drive.



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02 Aug 2022, 3:07 pm

I never got my driver's license because I am on three anti-epileptic prescriptions
despite my dumb uncles believing that I have grown out of my epilepsy & that it's safe for me to drive.

In regards as to biking, I don't bike either although Portland is considered one of the
safest cities for cyclists to enjoy biking. As much as I want to learn how to ride a bike, I will keep to walking and
using public transportation.


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kraftiekortie
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02 Aug 2022, 5:57 pm

Many people ride bikes in NYC. It might be safe in some areas----but it certainly isn't in Manhattan.