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How can I successfully learn to drive a car before my permit expires in January?

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by Jena, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. Jena

    Jena Active Member

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    Okay before you say "just keep practicing" that is not the issue here, I do practice, the problem I am having is I can't focus. Even with my focus meds. I have like no awareness of others around me and I am very worried this would impact my driving. Yesterday I drove to Petsmart to get more cat food for my cat, and I couldn't concentrate. It felt like my body wasn't physically there, and it made me so nervous cause I was scared I was gonna crash into someone. I also have this thing where I will space out at random times, and honeslty its making me nervous driving. How can I get this under control so I can safely drive and pay attention to all my surrondings? I need to learn to drive, so I can go places without having to pay for a lyft... and I want to get my license but it really feels as if my mind and eyes and brain aren't here. I have no idea what to do and the whole "just keep practice have no distractions" doesn't help. Cause I do practice, and I make sure there isn't any distractions. I never even use my phone when driving. So was wondering if anyone else had this issue similar and what techiniques you use to get you through this? I really need help on this.
     
  2. kay

    kay Well-Known Member

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    For years I could only drive in rural areas for the most part. I was unable to find intersections, stopped at green lights, and I would space out and lose a sense. Once I thought I was stopped only to have everyone in the car start screaming because we were rolling and I couldn't feel it. Fortunately that was in a parking lot.

    Anyhoo, at around age 35 I decided I wanted to try violin and so bought one and set out to teach myself. Well, I learned very little despite a very good effort. After that six months I noticed was able to sort through stuff better and find the intersections. I learned to drive on the busier streets and go thorough complex intersections. All at the speed limit rather than 10 miles an hour.

    Really don't know if it was related or not. I still have to be careful not to over do things because I will find myself having some serious problems after a too long and overwhelming a day(shopping at a mall for instance, not that I have a habit of that, but just an example). I think I will always be limited but for the most part I am ok. Milkshakes help me a lot, too. Gives my brain some zip.
     
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  3. Catana

    Catana Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Unless some kind of medication would help, you may have to consider that driving is one thing you can't do. Your own life and the lives of others will always be in danger. Not everyone drives.
     
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  4. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    If you can't focus, I don't think driving will suit you.

    About 15 years ago I applied for a P license to have lessons in an Automatic, but was turned down on medical grounds, they also said that because back then I kind of had "Anger management issues" I would be a candidate for "Road rage"! (Eh?)
     
  5. Jena

    Jena Active Member

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    Milkshakes? I should try that because I love milkshakes.
     
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  6. Jena

    Jena Active Member

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    I know not everyone drives, but those who don't drive usually happen to live in the city, in which the city life is possibly the worst place for me to live. I hate cities. Too many crowds, too many noises, too many smokers etc. I prefer to live in a small town with a lovely community full of friendly people. (basically like the town I was raised in and am currenlty living in).

    I want to learn to drive because then I can go to any zoo I wish to without depending on people, plus if I ever wanted to adopt a dog when I am older I would need a car to get from one place to the next, and most taxis and lyfts and ubers and busses don't allow animals unless a service animal. Which would be innoconvience for me. I want to be able to travel places with animals like a dog. I want to be able to go shopping without spending money on a lyft and be able to buy heavy stuff (like a scratching post for a cat). Right now I can't focus, but I am a stubborn gal who just so wanting to drive, cause I will then not be able to depend on anyone for rides and be able to do stuff. The town I live in it's kind of important to be able to learn to drive. I ain't quitting, and not giving up, I am determine but I just have focus issues... and that is what is really stressing me out. I have never hit a car on the road, and I have gotten better, even my mom sees how much I improve, I just feel overwhelm by everything I have to be focus on that I just can't focus. Which is why I want to really know best strategies to help focus on the road. I just have to work harder at this then most people.. and I try not to drive when I feel shaky or anxious or if my eyes feel like they aren't here. If I am able to start my own dog walking buisness (which I have) and be able to go to a HUGE public school despite my parents asking if I wanted to go to a special ed school, and be able to pass my classes at my college then I can do this too. SO can't is not a option lol. (sorry I really hope this doesn't sound mean, it's meant to be in a determine voice)
     
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  7. Catana

    Catana Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I can understand where you're coming from, and since I've lived in rural areas and small towns, I know how difficult it can be to do without a car. My only suggestion is what I did, the last year I was driving, since my eyes were beginning to give me trouble. Try to stay off busy roads, especially during the high traffic hours, when people are going to and coming from work. That will be safer for everyone, and also be less distracting and stressful for you. Also, when possible, go out in the evening, if stores are sill open. And, although I hate taking any medications myself, I would definitely find a doctor who understands your problems and would be willing to prescribe something that might help with focus.
     
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  8. Iamnotarabot

    Iamnotarabot Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't understand you already drive but have no licence ? :D

    that being said, there is another thing I cant realy talk about is the fact that you are on medication, is this medication realy appropriate for driving?
    I dont know why you need a medication precisely, but check if this is appropriate or not for driving...

    In my very own experience I feel like the general problem that I have with my focus, the fact that I can be easely distracted, is a bit helpful when I drive because I see "everything " And I have like 3 turns in advance when it comes to adaptation and things like that ( but the downside is that I can miss interprete sometimes and this is one of the big thing I had to learn in order to drive and not panicking.)

    You need to practice yes, it makes it perfect, maybe you need more thats all, I needed 3 more times than average person to learn how to drive but now I am as good as anyone.

    First step is being totally perfect on the part when you do things in your car, I mean changing speed and things like that, all of this need to be automatic so you never had to check what you are doing inside of your car .

    And the same come from driving in general, my teachers told me to be more spontaneous in my driving but I guess this is where my ASD make a difference, I use protocoles for all the thing I do when I drive, intersection, U turn and traffic circle and all of that, I always act according to the approriate rule.

    But realy you should check fi your medication doesnt impact your driving ability.
     
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  9. kay

    kay Well-Known Member

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    Another thing is Google street view. Helps you learn the area enough that when you are actually there your brain has less work to do. And what about some sort of video driving games? I don't know what might be available because I don't play any games like that, but maybe there is something.

    I actually got my license at 18 because I could take it in a small town where my cousin had taken his. It was virtually no traffic, same route for everyone every test and my cousin took me through it several times before the test. I passed but still couldn't really drive much. But at least that gave me all the time I needed to learn.
     
  10. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I would discuss with a doctor to see if meds are or could be a factor. Once you've checked the meds block, I can't think of anything other then practice. As someone mentioned you may need much more then a average driver.

    It probably will take time for the practice to show results. A measured approach, ie rural, suburb, city, highway, night driving, etc, would likely be best. Master the first and go onto the next, which introduce more distractions.
     
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  11. Jena

    Jena Active Member

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    Wait that first sentence are you from USA? In America we can drive without a license IF we have a PERMIT. Meaning us Americans need 6 months of driving practice with a permit with a person over the age of 21 and had their license for 3 years along side us. I am bit confuse by your first comment lmao. The rest of it though are good tips so thanks!

    Okay regarding the first sentence so let me explain so first we students have to take a drivers ed class, to pass the test in the drivers ed class you must get a B or higher. Then you take this blue slip to the DMV or something like that and then they give you a drivers instructer in which you have to complete x amount of hours to obtain your permit. Then once you got your permit then you proceed to drive with someone over the age of 21 that had their license for 3 years or more, and you do that for 6 months and then you schedule your appointment with a drivers test and then if you pass the road test you get your license. Gonna be honest I am a little shocked you said that I drive without a license like it's something unheard of???? So that's why I wonder if you are from USA where this is how driver licenses works here???

    Oh and if you so happen to let your permit expire then you got to take the written test AGAIN and go through the process over again However once your over 18 you don't need a drivers instructer anymore just your parents or who ever will drive along you as you practice. And in New Jersey where I am from, under 21 must have a red decal on their license plate for reasons idk I guess to prevent accidents or something... if you don't have it you get fine 100 dollars. Which is stupid cause police look for cars with red decals to stop them for what ever stupid reason they come up with. (under 21 also cannot be out driving during certain hours at night and all this other limitations).

    So that my friend, is how I am able to drive a car without a license. Because I have a valid permit and hope this made any sense to you? I tried explaining as clear as I can.
    Any how, the issue is I have to take my medication, cause ironically it's for focusing T-T. So I probally should really call my doctor on that.... Its ADD/ADHD meds. I also take another medication for anxiety as well. Which it seems like those meds are now having a oppisote effect of me then it used to so I really need to speak to my doctor lmao. And yeah.... it does say on the bottle use cautious with driving, but if I don't take it then I also can't focus. it's so frustrating. Cause I take it, I can't focus, I don't take it I can't focus. You know something? I have a strong feeling I might need a higher doses... so this might be a important thing I should deffintly bring up to my psycatrist... but again thanks for the other tips though! :)
     
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  12. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    Relax.

    Most people zone out when they're driving.

    As you drive more,it becomes more of an unconscious process.

    It's all about learning to predict the other guy well in advsnce?.

    Always assume they don't know what they're doing
     
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  13. Iamnotarabot

    Iamnotarabot Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I am not from USA but before I read your answer I realized that you can drive with someone, but I am not used to the technical vocabulary,and in France the word "permis" is the one we use to talk about license so it tricked me xD
    We have a similar process in France you can drive with someone else like you explained therefore you dont need driving lessons in a similar way, its even better because you are less limited once you get your licence ^^'.

    But I didnt do that to get my licence I used driving lesson and a lots of them and what I can say is that I wouldnt be able to get it if professionnal didnt help me.
    You know they are more or less effective and it depends on the person but during their carrier they have to deal with students that have more difficulties than others.

    In order to be comfortable with driving I had to talk to my teacher so much in many occasions we broke down a situation and with them I talked about all the outcomes and how to deal with it etc...many times they told me I was going to deep into the details and needed to be more spontaneous because I can't learn any situation by heart but this is how I did to get it.
    I needed a lot more theory than other students to get comfortable and now I can be more spontaneous, but it comes from analyzing as fast as I can and as early as I can.

    And I cant realy help on your problem neither because on an ASD level my problem was that I could get stressed out realy easely especially in complex situations and it would make me freeze , but I dont zone out when I drive like you said.
    Well I am still stressed a lot and I even made a topic about how I felt like **** after a long session of driving.

    To give you an idea during my lessons I would sweat almost one liter , my eyes hurted a real lot, well many parts of my body because as I am stressed out I contract my entiere body

    Now I feel better,one day I was close to a tantrum or something like a meltdown I dont realy know but I tried to park my car near a road and watching for cars driving near me + some of them honking just trigger something in me I couldnt park it and I left xD ( It was an easy place to park id say 6/10)
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
  14. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    I almost crashed so many cars learning to drive. What made the difference was one bit piece of advice from my dad: "keep your eyes moving".

    So, basically, I look at the road for a split second, then my speedometer for a split second, then the road again for a split second, then my mirror for a split second, then the road for a split second, repeat repeat repeat.

    If you keep your eyes moving, you'll stay grounded in the moment. It's fairly easy to get into the habit, I suggest that it's worth a try if nothing else.

    I spent several hours today in busy city traffic. Felt like a Nascar race. My eyes were moving like a mofo.
     
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  15. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    I've driven for 40 years, never even been pulled over or got any tickets. No accidents either.
    But, driving is not an easy thing for me, especially alone.
    First of all I got the permit and didn't take drivers ed in school since I was home schooled for high school.
    I waited until I was 19 and took private lessons and had use of the simulators in the high school nearby at night when all was quiet.
    I failed my driving test in the city, but, then took it in a very small rural town and passed.

    Once I got the liscense then it was a matter of working on the inability to focus problem and anxiety.
    Staying on small roads is helpful. Learning the area where I will be going in advance helps if it is
    an unfamiliar area.
    Stay off of large freeways and highways whenever possible.
    Drive at night, less traffic, when possible. That's when I do my shopping, etc.

    Anxiety makes it worse, so if I start getting really anxious, I pull over for a few minutes on a side road
    or parking lot and do some breathing, drink some water, focus on something of nature. A tree, bird,
    flowers, whatever is available. If time allows, I call someone and don't talk about how I'm feeling anxious, rather just make it like a Hi, how ya doing? Like catching up on things.
    Self talk gets me through in traffic when I can't pull over.
    And of all things that I find help my inability to focus because my mind is a run-away-train
    plus I notice everything around me...I play rock music constantly while driving.
    Don't know how that helps, but, it does. Somehow keeps me calmed and focused.
    Here's a little musical humour that fits today... and boy did I get caught in the pouring rain!
     
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  16. Iamnotarabot

    Iamnotarabot Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Keeping the eyes moving is one of the most important thing we learn during driving lessons yes.
    So let me explain something here.

    I know that we are all realy different for anything even if we all have ASD, but realy, I think that , due to the fact that I had 2 car accidents ( as a passenger and pedestrian) , im pretty hight on the " I panic when I drive" scale.

    I know its complicated and realy overpriced, but you should all consider taking driving lessons if you want to learn to drive( i am not talking about the experienced driver here ofc)

    I mean, only a professionnal can realy give you a step by step guide on "what to do in your car" , like when I learned how to drive, the first lesson I was only focus on maintaining the car in the road, then I learn how to change speed, then I learn to combine the 2 things, then I learned how to look around me then I learned how to combine the 3 things...then I learned to drive on bigger road, traffic circle , etc etc...


    Like thanks to a driving teacher you can break down everything pretty easely, it takes time but it help you being comfortable with everything related to driving.

    And your driving teacher has control over the car aswell, so if you make a mistake he is here to correct it and avoid any problem, you dont have to fear that you will fail or crash into something.

    Thanks to that you can drive everywhere with him, and yes that is realy expensive, I Think everything cost me around 2.800 dollars in total, but..;what is it if thanks to that you are less likely to panic while driving and less likely to have an accident realy?

    And I dont think driving with a "permit" can provide you with all the knowledge related to driving, all the advises a professionnal can teach you,If you drive with someone he will try to be as helpful as he can but unless he is a professionnal teacher aswell he cant realy follow the same program as a professionnal would with you.
    And I dont think you can learn as freely as you would with your own car thinking you can crash into something, with a teacher you cant.

    I mean, I don't think you can avoid any busy road or busy time when it comes to driving, you will have to face it one day for any reason, and if you always avoided that particular thing then they will be troubles , especially if you anticipate that you will have issues.

    Learn everything you can learn about driving that can save your life. And yes we need more time to learn that than others, but, this is who we are, once we learned it properly everything is fine.

    I told you I was so bad when I learned how to drive, sweating a lot, a lot of stress and rigidity. I wont say this is totally gone now but this is managable now.I had moment when I had several actions coming at a time and I just blocked , like 3 actions at a time was impossible for me now its just complicated but ok.

    What is the best in your opinion, facing the problem with some help in order to be able to face it alone or avoid the problem all your life and always having that fear that you might face that problem one day.

    My grandfather got disabled and died at a young age due to a car accident.
    My father had several car accident but fortunatly he never had any big damages.

    They both learned how to drive "themselves".

    Pls be carefull and take the time and money necessary to be safe.
    And when I say uses lessons, I even went to the most expensive driving school of my area, there is a lot of scams in the driving school "market" be carefull with that aswell.

    And it wasnt my own will , my father insisted on making me learn how to drive in the best driving school of my area, and he was right I cant never thank him enought for that. I guess to some degree he had so many car accidents he doesnt want me to have the same problems.

    Thats even a mystery to me, how can you handle to learn how to drive with a relative, I mean, When I drive with my parents sometimes I have to shout to them xD.

    Edit :
    Except from challenging my teacher with a tons of questions, I also had some other weird things...
    I always take more time to prepare myself in the car xD always check if everything is fine.
    I talk a lot about what is happening when I drive , like I comment what I do and what is happening. xD
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
  17. PineconeJill

    PineconeJill New Member

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    Here's what I had to do to finally get my license after driving around with a learners permit for 12 years.
    1. No radio, No phone and No chit-chat with the co-pilot. Too distracting.
    2. Run the fan or AC so it is blowing on your face. I think it might be like a stim, it helps focus.
    3. If you start to feel confused, talk about what you are doing. Again, helps focus.
    4. Find the smallest, quietest town with a DMV to take your test. Be sure to practice there too.
    And the one thing that made all the difference in the world for me:
    5. Try a gluten free / casein free diet.
    I do not have celiac, I was actually kind of fat, but, once I started on the diet: The panic attacks ended, I was able to drive without thinking everyone was coming at me, I no longer stopped a block before the stop sign then ran the sign, No longer feared turning left because I couldn't gauge the speed/pacing of oncoming traffic, etc. etc. etc. If this sounds familiar, it's worth trying. (The breads are kind of expensive so I eat alot of rice. The different "milk's" that are available these days is amazing. Chocolate cashew? like drinking pudding. I throw in a spoonful of instant coffee and have a mocha. Yum. Definitely not deprived.)

    Other things that might help that I have added in over the years (all of them researchable):
    A good multivitamin and fish oil. Brain needs things to be happy.
    Pepcid. I take 40 mg of famotidine almost daily, especially when I start feeling "odd". It helps.
    NAC. I take 600 mg of NAC once or twice a day. I can tell when I dont so I keep taking it.
    Inositol and Lecithin. I take a spoonful of each in some warm almond milk if I'm feeling edgy. Especially good before bed.
    Good luck, let us know how it goes.
     
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  18. Karen S.

    Karen S. Active Member

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    Auto-driving cars are being tested now! It will take a while for them to be available, and even longer to be affordable, but they're coming! Hopefully it will be liberating for those that can't drive themselves! I've been driving for about 29 years (o_O Time Flies!) and I still get anxiety at times!


    I know what it's like depending on other people for transportation. I've had to stop driving twice because of Double Vision! One of those times was for ten months because the corrective surgery I had failed :mad: and I needed to have another surgery! Trying to get my older parents to drive me places was like I was asking them to give up a Limb!:rolleyes:
     
  19. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    intensive driving courses in the UK have always been intrigued me ,I wonder if it would become normal if you were having a driving lesson every single day.
    A lot of people have said they passed their test because they did this course .