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fairytattgirl

Driving

10 posts in this topic

So I am learning to drive and my main issue is knowing when to break and accelarate.

I find I am breaking way to early because I can't judge how much time I need to stop when I break. I also panic when I see other cars and when I turn due to spatial awareness. I also dont know how to steer. I am sweet if I am on a straight quiet street with no cars. Also if I know where Im going. My partner came to my last lesson and he noticed I was fine once we were heading home. Anyone else have these problems and how did they manage

 

 

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When I was learning to drive, I had problems with left and right, and roundabouts - knowing when it was safe to move onto the roundabout, change lanes,etc. I also found the emergency stop difficult. I managed to pass my test (second time round) but I still can get stressed out and panicky in busy places. Like with most new skills, it gets better with practice - with practice you'll improve and gain confidence. Perhaps you could drive in a quieter area first until you gain confidence. Keep at it!

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I agree with Nesf, it gets better with practice and practice will give you confidence. When I was learning I had problems taking corners either too fast or too slow. I was always always worried about smashing  wing mirrors off parked parked cars or that a parked car door would suddenly be flung open so I drove too near to the middle of the road. I don't have have these problems any more they dissipate with experience. I bet everyone has similar problems to what we've all described when they are learning, but in a nutshell,  practice = experience = confidence.

I didn't start learning to drive until I was in my thirties I'm really glad I stuck with it. I love the freedom and it increased my potential to find employment, good luck! 

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I was very confident as had been driving since old enough to reach the pedals, but it still took me three times to pass the test.

What you are describing is perfectly normal, keep at it

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, fairytattgirl said:

So I am learning to drive and my main issue is knowing when to break and accelarate.

I find I am breaking way to early because I can't judge how much time I need to stop when I break. I also panic when I see other cars and when I turn due to spatial awareness. I also dont know how to steer. I am sweet if I am on a straight quiet street with no cars. Also if I know where Im going. My partner came to my last lesson and he noticed I was fine once we were heading home. Anyone else have these problems and how did they manage?

As people have said above these problems are quite common for newcomers to driving but I think learning to drive is often more difficult for individuals with AS who may have spatial awareness issues, dyspraxia as well as anxiety - the latter is often the biggest problem of all.

An interesting point you mention is feeling more confident driving home. That would help because you have a clear destination and know the route. One of the things I found frustrating when learning was all the random "turn left, turn right, go straight on" instructions with no clear destination. It may be that AS learners find the uncertainty of not knowing which of these instructions is coming next more difficult to deal with. There is also then the issue of thinking processing time with quick decisions having to be made. Driving to a definite destination where you are familiar with the route avoids this uncertainty and suits learners on the spectrum. In these cases - which are much more typical of "real" driving - it's easier to anticipate what to do next.

It took me a lot of time to pass my test but I'm glad I perservered. Try not to compare yourself to other learners (especially neurotypical drivers) and be prepared to make slower progress. Your target is to improve against your own standards and you will get there in the end.

Edited by Sanctuary
extra point
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2 hours ago, Sanctuary said:

here is also then the issue of thinking processing time with quick decisions having to be made.

Yes - I found it hard to listen to instructions and drive at the same time.

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Posted (edited)

 

3 hours ago, Sanctuary said:

One of the things I found frustrating when learning was all the random "turn left, turn right, go straight on" instructions with no clear destination. It may be that AS learners find the uncertainty of not knowing which of these instructions is coming next more difficult to deal with.

@Sanctuary Thats an excellent point

 After 37+ years of legal driving I cannot deal with being instructed which way to turn at what seems the last moment.

Its preferable to have time to take the turn in your head before having to do it for real. That 'where are we going?'  (when being assessed) is a tricky one too

Edited by Going home
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The test in the UK does now have an element of driving to a specific destination so that may help learners who prefer to have a clear idea of where they are going. They are talking about making test-takers use a SatNav which I'm not so sure is a good idea, not least because no-one has to use a SatNav when they are a qualified driver although many do. While SatNavs can be very useful, especially for those who find navigation difficult, they bring back in many ways the driving lesson scenario of being given instructions, often not long before reaching a junction. I suppose the best advice is still to plan the route and any turns beforehand and only use the SatNav to reinforce the route and help out if lost.

Another element of learning to drive I found difficult was the social aspect of 1-2-1 instruction in the car. This always has the potential to be awkward and intense and it certainly was for me. Early on most of the talk will be about driving but when the learner becomes more accomplished and doesn't need as much guidance the pressure towards "small talk" can become much stronger. I didn't want to get involved in such small talk - largely because I didn't really know what to say - and that meant long, uncomfortable periods of silence. I'm sure my instructors thought I was anti-social for this reason although they never said so. Other learners with AS may have this issue - it's very similar to the situation at the hairdressers and others giving personal attention. I'm sure though there will be learners - neurotypicals especially but also some with AS - who get on really well with their instructors and enjoy getting to know each other. Some learners with AS will also really enjoy driving and it may be a specialised interest for them. Whatever someone' attitude about learning to drive it's almost a rite of passage in our societies - one that almost everyone undergoes and understands the trials, tribulations and ultimately joys of passing.

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13 hours ago, Sanctuary said:

Early on most of the talk will be about driving but when the learner becomes more accomplished and doesn't need as much guidance the pressure towards "small talk" can become much stronger. I didn't want to get involved in such small talk - largely because I didn't really know what to say - and that meant long, uncomfortable periods of silence. I'm sure my instructors thought I was anti-social for this reason although they never said so

I would have thought that instructors would refrain from talking unnecessarily so as not to distract the learner. When I was learning to drive, there was no small talk, any talk was about driving.

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Posted (edited)

On 14/08/2017 at 8:40 AM, Nesf said:

I would have thought that instructors would refrain from talking unnecessarily so as not to distract the learner. When I was learning to drive, there was no small talk, any talk was about driving.

My examiner small talked the entire time, except to tell me where to go and to explain the independent driving portion of the test. We even stopped once to give a lady her hat back. The problem is, driving on public roads is a boring task for all concerned. I wouldn't want to be an instructor or an examiner personally. 

Edited by Ben
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