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Dreamsage 02-27-16 10:36 AM

Driving?
 
Do you have a driving license? How hard is it to drive properly when you have ADHD? I am 39 and haven't gotten a license yet, and I'm not sure I would be able to trust myself on the driver's seat...

acdc01 02-27-16 10:43 AM

Re: Driving?
 
I have my driver's license but I've pretty much stopped driving. It takes 1 accident to kill yourself and I'm a road hazard so I just stopped driving since I don't really need to.

I don't know if your lack of a license hurts you when it comes to finding jobs though. If it does, you could always just get the license and then not drive if you are a hazard.

BellaVita 02-27-16 10:51 AM

Re: Driving?
 
Nope, I can't drive.

I have poor eyesight, but with proper eyeglasses I could probably pass the eye test. (Maybe?)

But I am NOT a safe driver.

I took driver's Ed for 6 weeks, I practiced and practiced outside of that as well for hours (and terrified people)....for me, when I drive I can only focus on one thing. Really. So let's say I pick focusing on my speed limit. I would miss the stop signs, road lights, couldn't check the mirrors, couldn't focus on ANY other car around me. Oh yeah and I can't tell left from right without checking which hand makes a correct "L" so my sense of what direction the steering wheel should go when turning (especially since it is opposite or something?) was completely whacked. It was too overwhelming with all of the colors and moving objects and sensory overloading. That is freaking dangerous and thank goodness there was a person next to me who would then yell and take the wheel before something bad happened.

The max time I have ever been able to drive is 30 minutes and that is while I was medicated. It would leave me exhausted, overloaded.

And let's just say I get lucky and happen to be on a flat-driving area with no cars or signs for a long time...it makes me incredibly sleepy, almost like I'm hypnotized, and I zone out and forget I'm driving.

So yeah I'm a dangerous driver and do not drive. Not worth attempting to since I could harm myself or others and that would be incredibly bad.

Pixelatedmind 02-27-16 11:05 AM

Re: Driving?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dreamsage (Post 1790849)
Do you have a driving license? How hard is it to drive properly when you have ADHD? I am 39 and haven't gotten a license yet, and I'm not sure I would be able to trust myself on the driver's seat...

I got my license and my first car at 23.

Before that I loved and used to drive motorcycles, I had a devastating accident at 23 due to speeding and recklessness. Which led the switch to cars (I still crave motorcycles so much)

My experience from driving a car
  1. Driving slowly = Getting distracted very easily, getting overwhelmed by other stupid drivers, getting impatient and restless
  2. Driving fast = Stimulating, Impulsive and reckless driving
Depends on your personality, how much do you like driving vs hate driving but have to drive..

DJ Bill 02-27-16 12:30 PM

Re: Driving?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pixelatedmind (Post 1790854)
I got my license and my first car at 23.

Before that I loved and used to drive motorcycles, I had a devastating accident at 23 due to speeding and recklessness. Which led the switch to cars (I still crave motorcycles so much)

My experience from driving a car
  1. Driving slowly = Getting distracted very easily, getting overwhelmed by other stupid drivers, getting impatient and restless
  2. Driving fast = Stimulating, Impulsive and reckless driving
Depends on your personality, how much do you like driving vs hate driving but have to drive..

I have similar tendencies. I got my first car at 16, and have been non stop on wheels of some sort for a long long time. I actually drove for a living for my last job (Did it for more than a decade). I quit riding my RD-250 bike when the traffic started to get really crazy in my area. (The early 80's)

I have noticed now that I am depression free, I am not too good a driver, having a hard time judging speeds of other cars when I pull out.. I do the slow driver thing too. When I was driving for a living I had a light bar with all sorts of flashing lights and I was usually going 45 or so. I believe I did well for the job.

HOWEVER ...I just got on meds (Ritalin) yesterday and so far I have seen a wonderful improvement in how I drive. I hope this continues.

midnightstar 02-27-16 01:05 PM

Re: Driving?
 
I'm literally a danger on the road. Last time I tried to drive (before I moved house) ... erm how can I put this ... on a roundabout I nearly ended up splatted by a lorry because I didn't realise it was there until it was nearly up the back of the car (and I panicked and hit the brake instead of the accelerator which didn't help matters)

So yeah me trying to drive is asking for trouble ............

Jacksper 02-27-16 02:47 PM

Re: Driving?
 
Haha, wow, reading the posts above I am starting to see a pattern: we are not such great drivers! I have my driving licence since I was 19 (now I am 29), after finally passing the exam after 4 tries. I did not know that I had ADD, but my main struggle driving was concentrating. At first my lessons usually lasted 2 hours and the second hour was worthless because of my lack of focus, so I eventually changed this to 1 or 1.5 hours.

I have perhaps driven 2000 kilometers since getting my licence. That's not so much. Luckily I had no accidents or damage. When I drive I do think it a challenge to keep focussing, but I do put a lot of effort in this and this helps. I want to be very careful because my mind can easily wander off. Sometimes I do get in the flow after driving for a while; focussing is quite easy in that state of mind and I love this feeling.

I prefer to go by feet, bicycle or train. Still I think that if I would own my own car that I could get more used to driving and teach myself to stay focused. I just like to keep hope.

acdc01 02-27-16 02:57 PM

Re: Driving?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jacksper (Post 1790901)
I prefer to go by feet, bicycle or train. Still I think that if I would own my own car that I could get more used to driving and teach myself to stay focused. I just like to keep hope.

I too find life is just better if you walk, bike, or take transit. You get more exercise that way. You don't have to suffer the stress of a morning/evening commute. And if you live close to where you work, you get to have more time having fun and less time driving to/from your work place.

namazu 02-27-16 03:14 PM

Re: Driving?
 
Being able to drive is a useful skill, though less necessary in places where there are viable alternatives for getting around (on foot, bike, public transit, etc.).

On average, people with ADHD (especially untreated) are more likely to get into car accidents than other people. Impulsivity, distractibility, and inattention are usually big factors there. People whose ADHD comes with other disabilities, including difficulty with spatial skills (judging space and distance), motor skills (planning and carrying out movements), poor eyesight, etc., may have a harder time mastering driving skills or driving safely.

Having passengers in the car and using devices (like phones/texting) tend to worsen most people's driving, but for ADHDers the combination can be especially dangerous because we are less able to multitask effectively than other people -- and most people aren't very good at it in the first place.

All of that said, many people with ADHD (and other conditions) do learn to drive and can do so safely. (There was even a long-time member here who found success as a commercial truck driver!)

Some people with ADHD have reported that they prefer driving cars with a manual transmission because the tactile feedback helps them focus; others (including me) have learned to drive cars with automatic transmission.

If you're motivated to learn to drive, and it would improve your life to be able to do so, then it's probably worth taking lessons and practicing. It may be difficult and scary at first, but that's normal. (A car is a large and potentially dangerous machine!)

If the driving lessons are successful -- great! you will have a new skill and possibly another option for travel. If they don't -- it's nothing to be ashamed of. As others have said, and I would guess it's true in much of Greece -- there are other ways to get around, some of which are better for the environment and for health than driving a car.

Best wishes!

Cyllya 03-01-16 05:14 AM

Re: Driving?
 
Where I live, driving is pretty much the most important skill in adult life, so I was forced to try as hard as possible to learn. It's one of many reasons I insisted on taking stimulant meds even though my doctor was concerned about heart problems (more concerned in my case than is normal with stimulant meds), and probably the main reason my doctor agreed to give me the meds despite her concerns.

I've managed. It hasn't been pretty, but I haven't killed or maimed anyone.

Whenever feasible, I drive on the freeway, even if that route takes longer or covers more distance. There's just less to worry about on the freeway.

I've made a rule that no one can have conversation in my car while I'm driving, unless it's on a freeway with light enough traffic for cruise control. Don't talk to me, don't talk to each other, don't talk to yourself, don't whisper, and definitely don't talk on a phone. (Text is acceptable.) Even if I'm not actually trying to listen, someone blabbing at me from the passenger seat really sucks up my brain power (or something). The effect was subtle; I didn't realize it was a problem for a long time. Eventually I realized pretty much every time I rear-ended someone, slammed on the breaks after I came stupidly close to rear-ending someone, or ran a red light, it always happened while someone was talking. :eek:

Free to Fly 03-01-16 01:29 PM

Re: Driving?
 
I started operating a small tractor around 10 or so, started driving shortly after that, discovered motorcycles at 14, and my world changed. I wasn't diagnosed until mid 40's, but I knew I needed to be behind the wheel or the handlebars....I didn't actually get a license until I was 17, but I had one car and 2 motorcycles by the time I was 16. I was always sneaking out and driving or riding somewhere. When I got my license, and a regular job, I would get off work, drive up to the border, and turn around and drive back. I didn't wreck and I didn't get tickets. It was freaking therapy for me. The noise of the road and the motor, the visual stimulus, even the changing smells, allow me to focus on the act of moving. I have always had jobs that are involved with transportation, either driving stuff around, or driving myself, or teaching others to drive. My huge failure in any of those positions was always paperwork, sitting down and completing evals, reports or proposals. Even now, when I am getting weird, my wife sends me out on the Harley and says come back when you are better.

To sum up, if the act of driving (or riding) does not hold on to you and draw you in, and your personal whirlpool trips you up, by all means, do not get behind the wheel.

However, you may be missing out on a wonderfully soothing therapy!

dvdnvwls 03-01-16 03:52 PM

Re: Driving?
 
I have ADHD and I'm a good enough driver with no serious problems. It really depends on how ADHD affects you.

Abcdef 03-01-16 05:05 PM

Re: Driving?
 
I would say driving at speeds I have the advantage, but it's my slow game that let's me down- for example impulsive maneuvers while parking etc doh :doh:

Little Missy 03-01-16 05:11 PM

Re: Driving?
 
I have a limited radius and it is a good thing.

CheapestThread 03-01-16 11:42 PM

Re: Driving?
 
I'm currently trying to get my license. I've been eligible to take the test for the past 20 days because I've had my permit for the required six months, but I'm still not ready. I have a lot of trouble paying attention to *everything* at once. Maintaining a speed is the hardest for me because it requires constant adjustments to technique.

It's sort of a family tradition to go on long drives by ourselves, and love every minute of it, but I just can't get past the anxiety it gives me. There was one day my mom tried to force me to drive when I didn't have the mental capacity to (I hadn't ate that day either and that makes a huge difference) and it was like I just outright could not see enough, or comprehend it fast enough, to be safe. I made it about five minutes before pulling over.

I've had a few people tell me things along the lines of, "Well, you're going to have to be able to drive even when you don't feel like it." and act like I just was being lazy or uncooperative, but sometimes I really just am not safe to drive. Especially when I'm not at 100% and I'm still relatively unexperienced. Hopefully I get better at driving soon, and it won't require as much effort but it isn't looking good at the moment.


Plus, everyone else in my family has had driving come naturally to them, so they're not good driving teachers. They don't have to think about it, and haven't had to think about it nearly as much (it seems).


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