View Full Version : Did having ADD affect you learning to drive?


alexandra.
07-15-10, 02:33 PM
I'm learning to drive now and i'm finding it difficult to take everything in the teachers telling me AS WELL AS studying for my theory (which is becoming a struggle I just can't concentrate on it and I have a dvd/pc rom).

Did anyone else struggle whilst learning to drive or is it just me and nothing to do with my ADD?

sarek
07-15-10, 02:39 PM
I have had a lot of trouble learning to drive. I had to take far more lessons that average and it cost me three attempts to pass the test.
To my surprise I even passed the theory exam by the smallest of margins.

marie-johanne
07-15-10, 03:03 PM
If it hadn't been so flipping dangerous - it would have been funny. Okay...wait....this many years after the fact, I've earned the right to laugh: A) at how very fortunate and blessed I was to not have gotten myself killed or killed anyone and B) at how my early driving really mirrored my ADhDedness

EshkaronsEngine
07-15-10, 03:11 PM
I nailed my parallel parking test and I was driving a station wagon. I flipped a car when I was 19 though I attribute that to my bipolar.

Lunacie
07-15-10, 03:17 PM
I took driver's ed when I was in high school, but I waited to take the test and get my license. I've always tended to procrastinate. Soon after taking the driver's ed course I went to camp for a week with others from my church. Coming home the adult who drove us there offered to let me drive part of the way home. I was too embarrassed to tell him that I hadn't gotten my license yet. Luckily I didn't have any accidents while I was driving. I believe I passed the test on the first try, perhaps because I didn't rush and took my time in letting the knowledge soak in so that I could remember it better.

dinger70
07-15-10, 03:21 PM
The only times I remember having trouble were when my mother let me drive. I was starting to slow down to make a turn and she started screaming and I freaked and almost ran through a fence.

Fortune
07-15-10, 03:25 PM
I've learned to drive, but never got a license. I don't think I remember everything about it now.

What was weird is that I was nervous about getting behind the wheel or using a manual even though I'd driven a tractor with a manual transmission all over my grandparents' farm. Like I didn't connect the two until I was in my 20s.

Imnapl
07-15-10, 03:31 PM
I can still recall details of my driver's test 40+ years later. I was so nervous, I kept stalling the little standard transmission car I drove for the test. The examiner must have been a kind man.

StoicNate
07-15-10, 06:33 PM
I didn't have any trouble with learning to drive, I was hyperfocusing on it.

ginniebean
07-15-10, 08:50 PM
While I am not PI, I passed the learners test with flying colours, but then two of the instructors refused to take me out driving again. oops. I could not drive 2kms without ending up in the ditch. I didn't get my drivers licence until I was 25 and by that time.. well I was mostly safe.. but I always thought.. this is how I'm going to die. I love that I don't feel like that now that I'm on meds.

Princess Moon
07-15-10, 09:36 PM
I have deficits in visual-spatial skills and visual perception so learning to drive and driving is very difficult for me because my brain processing visual information inaccuaretely sometimes. I failed my driver's test four times and have difficulty parking.

Imnapl
07-15-10, 09:50 PM
While I am not PI, I passed the learners test with flying colours, but then two of the instructors refused to take me out driving again. oops. I could not drive 2kms without ending up in the ditch. I didn't get my drivers licence until I was 25 and by that time.. well I was mostly safe.. but I always thought.. this is how I'm going to die. I love that I don't feel like that now that I'm on meds.And you wouldn't let me drive? :eek:

ADXP
07-16-10, 03:59 PM
I want to consider that driving is my best skill.
I have a 1992 Toyota Corolla LE in excellent condition, stick shift.

Having to switch gears makes me alert on the road. When I was
driving an automatic, I got pulled over
tiwce for speeding & the cop told me he's been following me for 15 minutes,I didn't know then that I was daydreaming. lol

fracturedstory
07-16-10, 11:05 PM
Yes. I can't drive.

AbsentMindProf
07-17-10, 08:42 AM
I struggled with anything that involved listening to the teachers and absorbing what they were saying. I just can't learn from listening to someone else talking because I can't sustain attention to the lecture for long.

I find that I do well if I just read about it and study on my onw.

mctavish23
07-17-10, 10:24 AM
omg....... just a little...LOL

This is an excellent question, as the statistics on ADHD & driving are very scary.

Thanks.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

ScottyMet
07-17-10, 11:23 AM
I did great on my learner's test and in the classes. I aced everything. I had a few troubles when I was doing the in-car lessons (I can't remember exactly what they were), but that only took a few extra lessons before the instructor felt I was ready.

The in-car test? I rocked that. I had a couple of snafus in the parking lot. They had that little "course" set up behind the building where you parallel park and three-point-turn in. I got dinged because I didn't signal for the three-point-turn until after I'd started turning, and I got dinged because I accidentally signaled the wrong way when I was leaving the space I'd parallel parked into. I corrected it as I was turning the wheel, but he still dinged me.

After that, I was awesome. I think the big thing that helped me was that he started up a conversation while we were driving. So, I had that to concentrate on as well, and I tend to do much better when I have more than one thing going on at once.

I've only ever been in one accident, which occurred 3 months after diagnosis and medication (last year), and it was the other driver's fault (he ran a red light).

ginniebean
07-17-10, 02:00 PM
And you wouldn't let me drive? :eek:

Just ask, I love letting other drive! :)

Lisa_Mac
07-19-10, 08:16 AM
No, but it did cause me to have 3 accidents in my first year of driving. After that I changed over to manual gear and am now more focused and in control. I haven't had an accident since. ADD people should never, in my opinion drive an automatic transmission car.

L

Mianfinn
07-19-10, 08:23 AM
I have had alot of driving experience, driving many different cars for my years in my line of work and to this day, even though I think I am a great driver , my wife says I am a terrible driver and when she highlights thisn in the car , she is right, from what I have heard , a commen issue with ADD.

Marspider
07-19-10, 08:43 AM
I didn't have too many problems due to ADHD, my problems came about because of my dyspraxia and anxiety.

I wasn't going to learn, but my sister wanted to and badgered me until I reluctantly took the class with me. I had to pay extra because I forgot to hand in some documents allowing me to take a few more months of classes. That was the ADHD.

I had been recently prescribed concerta so I was able to focus and sit there absorbing information even though I was bored senseless. I still don't know how that happened. So not like right now. Concerta doesn't work any more.

I passed the written test on the first attempt. I'm still shocked although this was 3 years ago.

We don't learn on automatic cars in Spain although I think some people have been able to do it.

I still have problems with the clutch and thank goodness I never had to go up a hill during my exam otherwise I would have been screwed.
And I can't really tell by ear when to change gears like others do, I just look at the engine revolutions, when it reaches 2000, that's when I change.

Going on the motorway (highway) is scary for me, cutting into traffic is scary for me. All the stimuli can overload me and when you are a new driver driving in Spain, it gets scary. People cutting in front of you, scarily close. I wish people wouldn't honk, that freaks me out. And those who don't indicate should be whipped.

Curiously once I'm past 2nd gear, I tend to go fast. I get bored with going slowly.

I changed driving instructors and the 2nd one was really good. I still remember him fondly. He knew I was very anxious and talked me through every move, and he told me he felt I was a good driver but I was just too anxious. He even told me on the day of the test that the best thing for me while driving would be a drink to calm my nerves but he couldn't advise that all so he recommend valerian. 1-2 is the normal dose, I had to take 4.

And he taught me and my sister how to park really well and how to measure when to park.
I would have passed my practical on my first go but when my instructor signed me up, i told him I wasn't ready and didn't want to do it, and I failed. The next time I passed.

I think if I sorted out a lot of my anxiety, it would help with driving.

Biads
07-19-10, 11:19 AM
Learning to drive was extremely frightening for me until it became more habitual.

I learned on an auto, and the first time I got behind a wheel my thought was as to how dangerous my day dreaming was, as all of a sudden I was in control of moving fast enough for large chunks of scenery to disappear before I was aware of myself.

I would freak out so so badly in low speed residential areas as I was constantly running into letter boxes, parked cars etc.

But funnily enough I loved highways, no fear of highways at all, and only 3 months after having my licence I had it suspended for 12 months and fined over $500 as I was caught speeding. (idiot teenage years eh...)

These days I still HATE traffic as I find it dangerous for me, I'm always the idiot who doesn't see the traffic light change - and as a result I haven't driven my car in the city for months. It's not as hard in residential areas, I don't panic so badly. And I still have no issue with highways (I don't speed deliberately anymore though!)

Interestingly I really recently had a friend give me a few manual lessons and I had far less of the anxiety then when learning how to drive initially, unsure if it is because I'm older now, but something about having to focus on shifting gears was less distracting and far more grounding???

ADXP
07-19-10, 11:57 AM
I didn't have too many problems due to ADHD, my problems came about because of my dyspraxia and anxiety.

I wasn't going to learn, but my sister wanted to and badgered me until I reluctantly took the class with me. I had to pay extra because I forgot to hand in some documents allowing me to take a few more months of classes. That was the ADHD.

I had been recently prescribed concerta so I was able to focus and sit there absorbing information even though I was bored senseless. I still don't know how that happened. So not like right now. Concerta doesn't work any more.

I passed the written test on the first attempt. I'm still shocked although this was 3 years ago.

We don't learn on automatic cars in Spain although I think some people have been able to do it.

I still have problems with the clutch and thank goodness I never had to go up a hill during my exam otherwise I would have been screwed.
And I can't really tell by ear when to change gears like others do, I just look at the engine revolutions, when it reaches 2000, that's when I change.

Going on the motorway (highway) is scary for me, cutting into traffic is scary for me. All the stimuli can overload me and when you are a new driver driving in Spain, it gets scary. People cutting in front of you, scarily close. I wish people wouldn't honk, that freaks me out. And those who don't indicate should be whipped.

Curiously once I'm past 2nd gear, I tend to go fast. I get bored with going slowly.

I changed driving instructors and the 2nd one was really good. I still remember him fondly. He knew I was very anxious and talked me through every move, and he told me he felt I was a good driver but I was just too anxious. He even told me on the day of the test that the best thing for me while driving would be a drink to calm my nerves but he couldn't advise that all so he recommend valerian. 1-2 is the normal dose, I had to take 4.

And he taught me and my sister how to park really well and how to measure when to park.
I would have passed my practical on my first go but when my instructor signed me up, i told him I wasn't ready and didn't want to do it, and I failed. The next time I passed.

I think if I sorted out a lot of my anxiety, it would help with driving.

In New Hampshire we are allowed to put a sign on our vehicles that says: Student driver, people gives more courtesy this way. Maybe that would help you.

quirkyscrawler
07-23-10, 02:56 PM
Wow - I'm glad this thread was started. I'm 24, and I don't have a license...I've taken a few driving lessons, but it's always been very nervewracking for me. I hear that this is normal in the beginning, but I've actually scared away an instructor before. I just can't seem to discern the "real" hazards from the "fake" ones...so much info to process in terms of right of way and whatnot. I figure it's better just to stay off the road, but it's making me rather insecure that I can't get to places myself.

mezzanine
07-23-10, 11:09 PM
I still can't drive, and I'm in my mid 20's.

LifetimePI
07-24-10, 09:00 AM
i passed my 1st time and have only had minor accident history, being ive been driving for 15+ Years and had 2 accidents - both minor scrapes on a bumper.. i think thats good :)

gadiac
07-24-10, 11:13 AM
I'm 21 and still don't have a licence. I just find that its too much information to handle. Gear change, right of way, don't run into the guy in front of you :o.
Maybe once I start meds i'll think differently but driving doesn't seem possible for me atm.

LifetimePI
07-24-10, 11:29 AM
[Withdraw]

lucidresq
07-24-10, 11:55 AM
I learned to drive just fine... I've been on Adderall since I was 15.

I have noticed that I am not as good of a driver while off my meds. Not anything horrible but I don't practice the good defensive driving skills I usually have.... for example I usually constantly scan the road, my mirrors, and my instruments. I tend to zone out a bit while off my meds and check my mirrors and instruments less frequently.

No accidents, 3 speeding tickets in 2 years of driving.

lindahand2u
07-25-10, 05:57 PM
I didn't learn to drive until I was 28 years old. Fear mainly, and an abusive husband who discouraged me from learning. After we separated I got the car I couldn't drive so I was forced to learn. The only reason I passed my test is because the instructor took pity on me. We were in a small town and I had to promise her I would not go into the city for a few months or she wouldn't give it to me. lol. She really shouldn't have given me a license but I am glad she did. I think I am an okay driver. I got into one accident that was clearly my fault, but I was pretty new at driving. Sometimes though I make some pretty dumb mistakes.

Kunga Dorji
07-25-10, 06:38 PM
I failed the first test because I turned left when the examiner told me to turn right. I would have just scraped in if it was not for that. Auditory processing raises its head.

Princess Moon
07-26-10, 11:01 PM
I failed the test four times because of my visual-spatial deficits. I know someone who failed it seven times.

Princess Moon
07-27-10, 03:50 PM
I had a driving evaluation thing and the evaluator said that they believe that my deficits in driving are more attentional then visual-perceptual and my attention difficulties are my main difficulties with driving and they didn't notice my visual-perceptual deficits, but I believe it's both.

Azella
07-27-10, 05:56 PM
I had a hard time learning how to drive, so much to do all at the same time! I got my permit in H.S. only because my mom bribed the driver's ed teacher with two jars of homemade jelly. I didn't get my license until I was 21 when I had my daughter, and didn't become really comfortable driving until I was over thirty. I am almost 37 now and I still hate driving in construction zones, at night, or anywhere unfamiliar. Thank the good lord for GPS systems and googlemaps, or I'd probably just stay home. No serious accidents yet tho, but, backed into two parked/stopped cars in my lifetime from park (got to use those mirrors lol), got rear-ended in a hit and run, stopped too late and barely bumped a car in the snow on a left turn lane with no damage, turned onto some railroad tracks in thick pea-soup fog and messed up the alignment badly, and hit a deer once.

alexandra.
07-27-10, 06:49 PM
I was doing a lesson today and I had to stop on a bank/hill thing today and it was so scary trying to pull off i thought i was going to roll and crash into the car behind me :|

crazylegs12588
07-28-10, 04:09 PM
I'm learning to drive now and i'm finding it difficult to take everything in the teachers telling me AS WELL AS studying for my theory (which is becoming a struggle I just can't concentrate on it and I have a dvd/pc rom).

Did anyone else struggle whilst learning to drive or is it just me and nothing to do with my ADD?

It took me four times to pass my behind the wheel test. I remember being so nervous that it interfered with my driving.

Also, when I had to renew my license, I had to take a written test and I barely passed. When I'm on my meds, I'm more calm when I'm driving and feel much more focused and aware of what's going on around me.

TygerSan
07-29-10, 07:16 PM
I still don't really like driving very much. My main motivator for getting my license was that my sister, who is 5 years younger than me, was finally old enough to get her learner's, and I didn't want her to get her license before me ;P

After a couple of months commuting 40 miles on the highway (in a very traffic dense area) I finally got almost comfortable driving on the freeway. I live in a city now, and don't have a car. My SO does, but it's a manual transmission, and I can't drive it. . . have trouble getting into and out of 3rd, and it's too much information for me to process at once.

roberski
07-29-10, 07:45 PM
None though I drive badly according to others.

Something that I've noticed is that I ride my motorcycle much better then I drive, I think it is because it is a higher stimulus activity.

calander008
08-01-10, 04:11 AM
I have had a lot of trouble learning to drive. I had to take far more lessons that average and it cost me three attempts to pass the test.
To my surprise I even passed the theory exam by the smallest of margins.


I'm 30 years old, have ADD and cannot drive! People are always shocked when I tell them that I can't drive, not because I don't have a car, but because I actually do not know how!! This is especially true as I grew up in a rural community in New Zealand were everyone gets there licence at 15 (it is possible to have a full driving licence by 16.5). The thought of driving terrifies me. I did actually try and learn when I was younger but became so anxious that I stopped. My psychiatrist has told me that now I know I have ADD and am being treated I deserve to learn to drive.

What are some good techniques to help someone with ADD to learn to drive?

Imnapl
08-01-10, 11:25 AM
What are some good techniques to help someone with ADD to learn to drive?Find a really good professional driving instructor.

ADXP
08-01-10, 01:04 PM
Think about me. Why? My brain is heavily
damaged + ADD. I have so much physical
pain everyday that I have to put up with
but I just didn't learn how to drive but a
skilled defensive driver above all. I can claim
that driving is one of the best skill I have.

I learned how to drive on an automatic
first & stick shift on my own.

Tips:
1. Take your shoes off- when my barefeet
can feel the accelerator & the brakes
I feel assured that I can control the
vehicle by doing just that. Stay this way
until you solidify your confidence that you
have an absolute control over the vehicle.

2. Elevate the drivers seat - where you can
see the front bumper of
your own car when you are in it. One best
advantage of being elevated is you can see
what other drivers around you are doing. E.g. talking on the cellphone,
stay away from them.Using your visual
sense gives you an automatic response.
WHile if you cannot see . you need the aid
of your brain to calculate & the accuracy
of your distance & that takes time.

3. Make the habit of going around the car 3x
before you get inside to drive- this is to check
the tires if low air or have a flat tire, a dripping oil,
or bodily damaged. Check all the doors ,make sure
the latch are engaged & locked. This helps to feel safely.
There's nothing terrifying to be in the highway
& the door light blinking becoz it is open.

stef
08-01-10, 01:31 PM
I failed the test four times because of my visual-spatial deficits. I know someone who failed it seven times.

*raises hand and waves*

I don't remember who drove me to the testing station every time!
about four of those times though I really needed more driver's ed but just figured, "I needed to concentrate more"..
I passed easily the last time after having a really good instructor. I think it's the spatial/directional problem; plus just not getting the instructions right when I'd take the test.

I never renewed my license and haven't driven since 1990!

Biz-e
08-11-10, 09:04 AM
I don't recall having any problems learning to drive. I was well acclimated to a car thanks to my dad and mom letting me practice and observe them when I was young. They used to sit me in their lap and let me steer down our neighborhood when I was young. So I was comfortable by the time it came for me to actually drive.

However, this past spring I decided to get my motorcycle license and took a class. I found it quite challenging. I passed the classroom part with 100, but the actual application of what I learned was hard. I was anxious too because I had no experience on a bike what so ever. Needless to say I failed the driving part and I had to take the class twice. The first time I didn't take my meds on schedule.(not on purpose) The second time I took my meds on schedule and did a lot better plus I was more familiar with the bike, the course, and what was expected.

Biz-e
08-11-10, 09:21 AM
What are some good techniques to help someone with ADD to learn to drive?


Relax!

When driving look ahead down the road where you want to go. Not directly right in front of the hood. This helps you to drive straight (as well as see in front of you :) )