Autistic Confessions – I Probably Shouldn’t Drive But I Do

I probably should NOT have been given a drivers license but I have one and I drive.

Before I realized HOW bad my visual spacial impairments, sensory distractions, and reaction times were I caused at least 10 car accidents (some of them serious).

I was undiagnosed until I was almost thirty and everyone just assumed I was a bad driver. Really I just had a VERY had time focusing on the road and processing all of the sensory information that flies at you going 70mph on the highway.

Now I am more cautious – because I KNOW I am impaired I always give myself three times as much time as I actually need to get somewhere and I NEVER drive with other people in the car… because that is a liability and makes focusing on the road impossible for me.

My car is full of dents and dings. My rims are scratched and my poor side view mirror needs to be replaced. Sad thing is I’ve only had my car for 3 years and it was new when I got it. (The car in the photo is MUCH nicer than my car.)

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29 thoughts on “Autistic Confessions – I Probably Shouldn’t Drive But I Do”

  1. Thanks for visiting me. I appreciate finding your blog. It gives me more insight into my daughter’s world. Would you mind if I email you to ask some questions sometime? Thank you again for sharing and being willing to educate others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had two accidents in my first two years of driving but none since then. I started driving at 16 and am 29 now.

    I am a pretty good driver, so long as I am in a vehicle with a manual transmission. The manual forces me to pay attention to my driving. When I have to drive an auto (for like a rental or something) I get bored, mind starts wandering and I get distracted so I like to avoid that if I can.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I commiserate, I am excluded from driving due to epilepsy and apart from the seizures for much the same reason, translating Sensory events into cognitive and actual responses while not killing myself or others

    Like

  4. I can’t drive for the same reason you can’t drive. I also couldn’t afford a car due to not being able to work. Not driving is seen as a weakness by those who either don’t understand or care about disabled people. They also assume due to the fact my IQ is above 70 that I can do it. I have known people with a lower mental capacity who do drive. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for taking a life or leave my family to deal with my death.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I know this feeling well, sometimes I wonder if I should be driving because of certain parts of my disabilities which are not nearly severe as your impairments, but still of concern. They did try to suspend my license at the hospital once, but I cried so hard after getting a pretty shitty diagnosis and I think they took pity on me.

    These sort of issues make me feel conflicted because on the one hand I think well, maybe people like me shouldn’t be able to drive/work/other because it is a risk to our own safety. But on the other hand, and what far too many fail to acknowledge, is that people with autism, all of my disabilities, and with all other health issues STILL need to work. We STILL need to get around. We still need to you, know, live, and we don’t always have people to help us as much as we need. So what else are we supposed to do?

    I’m so glad that your diagnosis has at least helped you to understand yourself better!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’ve never learned to drive. I had no inclination when I was younger, and haven’t had money to do do most of my life. Most of the time it doesn’t matter because we live in a city, but when visiting family etc I feel like a child because I need lifts everywhere.

    But now I know what I know about myself – not just the autism but the probable ADHD and dyspraxia – I’m pretty convinced it’s not a good idea to ever learn. I have ZERO patience. I get angry easily. I’m clumsy. I have a terrible attention span. And I’m not good at reacting to surprises. Sadly, I think I’d be frickin’ lethal behind a wheel. 😢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was when I started. Now I give myself 3 times as much drive time is required for a normal person so I am never in a rush. I drive alone and although focus is hard i keep my priority checking the mirrors and road in front of me. I always keep extra distance too. I drive like a grandmother but It’s been 2 years since I have hit another car. 😆

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s good you know your limits and set boundaries like not having others in the car. I couldn’t handle even having the radio on when I learned to drive my senior year (though I was home-schooled that year, I still had access to BTW @ the high school). I could operate the car-though a sedan felt way too big, but it was everything else around me that was too much. I failed my first time around, and my teacher passed me the 2nd-but not without having a big talk with my mom in private about not wanting me to drive without at least getting some more training. I don’t have any desire to drive anymore. I don’t need a car as I don’t work, so its not a problem for me.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I shouldn’t be driving myself either, but yet I do. My attention is horrible and I have almost been in numerous accidents. and I have been in several fender benders, luckily nothing major. I am 23. I just recently received my first speeding ticket, and I actually should have been ticketed for wreckless driving. I was going 20 miles over the speed limit and I did not even realize it I felt like such an idiot when i saw the police car start to pull up behind me. Sirens went off andi knew i was in trouble. This was a couple days after a big police shooting. It could have been a really bad situation.
    “Do you know why i pulled you over today sir?”
    “Yes i do officer.”
    “You were going 20 miles over the speed limit.”
    “Yes officer I am aware of that.”
    The officer was really nice about the whole situation, probably partially because I was not in denial about how fast I was going and I was giving him my complete cooperation. I am set to go to an alive at 25 course within the next 2 weeks and hopefully get that first ticket off my record.
    My car is a hand me down from my dad and it has numerous scratches from fender benders. I am lucky I have not been in a major accident yet. But honestly, I should not be driving, but I have to, so I do. If I had the option, I would not drive. Unfortunately I do not think I can be catered like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There is a ride-sharing service where I live. It is a small Pace bus that will take residents wherever they need to go within a 10 mile for a flat fee. It would be cool if Uber or Lyft could come up with something similar or a new start up come up with ride sharing service for disabled people who cannot drive.

    Liked by 2 people

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