ADHD and Driving


#1

Does anyone else here have trouble driving and think it might be tied to your ADHD? I’m not a HORRIBLE driver but sometimes I get into sticky situations on the road and have to correct myself, and I absolutely cannot look away from the road (besides watching my fellow drivers) because I WILL drift into another lane. I read once that ADHD affects driving a lot and I just wondered how many of you have trouble.

I used to have a LOT of anxiety around driving but most of that has gone away with experience, however I still get anxious if I have to drive in high traffic areas or areas I’m not familiar with.


#2

Yes, I am a very good driver at fast speeds. However I have been in several slow speed accidents (under 10 mph), because I get fed up with not moving. 2 have been jumping a left turn, 1 was in a parking lot, 2 have been hitting the accelerator at a stop light before the car in front of me started going.


#3

I’m similar. In 25 years of driving, the only accident I had at any speed was hitting a deer. There was a deer suddenly in my way, I swerved, and just as I was about to pass by it ran back in front.

When I was younger, I took my mother’s car up a curb in a snow storm while driving like an idiot. It was low speed but did a fair bit of damage.

Otherwise it’s been a few very low speed bumps with stationary objects.


#4

The only accidents I’ve been in have been when I was driving sensibly. Once on a motorbike, a car pulled out in front of me from a stopped position, and I had to drop the bike to avoid crashing into the car, which just kept driving without seeing what they had done. Riding a bike helps you develop eyes in the back of your head, and a sixth sense about people who are trying to kill you (pretty much anybody on the road). But I didn’t see this one coming. No indicators, no checking for traffic, they just pulled out right in front of me.

Another time, I wrote off a really nice car. I was on my way to work through heavy traffic. I saw a car buzzing around, changing lanes aggressively. I was just pulling into a turning lane, when she zipped across two lanes of trucks to pull in front of me, and then bang on the brakes. She hit the car in front of her, and I had nowhere else to go but into her car.

I started driving racing cars before I got my license. Only did that for a while. Once I did get my license, I regularly drove for thousands of kilometers at a time. I got pretty used to keeping the car at a constant speed, in a straight line.

There’s defensive driving, but I sort of drive with the rule that the best defense is a good offense. I tend to drive offensively. I often drive over the speed limit (on freeways mainly) and try to get ahead of traffic. Once I’m clear of other cars, I tend to go back to the limit.

I get really frustrated with other drivers. Particularly when you’ve got two cars blocking lanes side by side, going 10km/h under the speed limit. I get itchy, impatient and stupid.

I’m lucky that I’ve been able to build up my driving skills, but there are definitely times when my ADHD makes me do risky things. And I’m sure I’m not as good a driver as I think I am sometimes. But I do love the feeling of driving, especially when I nail a racing line through a roundabout, or get something else right.


#5

I want Jessica to do a driving video. Driving is the worst. My wife does all the driving.


#6

I lost the ability to drive.

I got at one point a combined 12 parking, speeding, and red light violations. I lost my car and license.

The positive outcome is I get to play apps on my phone now while the busdriver does all the work.


#7

My former therapist said she even questioned if I should drive.


#8

I have an addiction to punching the accelerator (in good road conditions) in 2nd gear, while in the apex of the on-ramp to the freeway. I enjoy it more when someone is tailgating me, and I drop them off in the rear-view.

I also can’t stand the side-by-side slow drivers, passing lane slowpokes (which isn’t enforced well here), and otherwise clueless drivers. I don’t speed any worse than most other drivers though (maybe accelerate harder though). I haven’t had a ticket in probably 15+ years.


#9

I love manual gearboxes, so much fun. Unfortunately my current car is automatic and has cruise control, which makes me feel more like a passenger than a driver. But cruise control has probably saved me a few speeding tickets.

I haven’t had speeding tickets in years either, but lately I’ve picked up a couple.

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#10

Manual gearboxes have been rare in Canada for many years. I learned to drive on automatic, but always longed for a manual. My previous car (Mazda Protege) was my first manual, with its 5-speed and big 1.8L engine (that would scream away at 3500rpm when doing 120km/h on the freeway). My current car is a 2010 Ford Fusion with a 2.5L and 6-speed. I’ve had it since new, and have enjoyed it the entire time. It’s probably about as much fun as a mid-sized cheap sedan can offer!

I fear I may have to sell it soon though. We’re expecting our third child December 23rd. Actually two days ago, we found out that it’s another boy (so three boys total). My wife has a Ford Escape, so we may need to break down and buy a van :frowning:.


#11

It can be hard to find a manual gearbox here too. I bought my current car for my wife, who unfortunately never got to see it, let alone drive it.

It’s a 1999 Mercedes CLK 320 cabriolet. A lovely car, not really my style though. In fact, I used to hate Mercedes drivers. When I was riding motorbikes, 9 times out of 10, the person trying to kill me was driving a Merc. In its day, it was a $170k car, but I got it for a song. Nothing depreciates faster than a European car here.

It goes as quick as my old car, which was a Ford Falcon XR6 (I wanted the V8, but didn’t find one at the right price). My XR6 was basically a road legal racing car, with a custom engine and racing suspension. Really fun to drive. The Merc is just as fast, but it feels like you’re driving a lounge chair. Much more comfortable, but much less reactive.


#12

I had to Google the XR6 to see what it was about. It clearly didn’t match my idea of the Ford Falcon.


#13

The earlier marks of the Australian Ford Falcon were similar to American cars. That one in the Wikipedia photo is very similar to a friend’s old car, an XP Falcon.

Later, the Aussie Falcons developed separately, but could be compared to the US Mustangs from the early 70s. Many of the parts were transferable.

Mad Max (The Road Warrior) drove a Falcon. Muscle cars, really.

They have actually stopped making Falcons in Australia. Now, we will be importing Mustangs to fill the same hole. Sad day for Australian automotive history. Our muscle cars were a matter of pride for rev heads here. There’s nothing like the rumble of a V8.


#14

Ford is discontinuing almost all cars in North America.


#15

The writing was on the wall when they decided to stop building regional specific cars. They had R&D teams and product lines all competing against each other around the world, but phased out the Australian operation to centralise things a bit more.

They can’t compete for the same markets as the Japanese manufacturers, they are just too far ahead. But the Japanese can’t make cars with the strengths of the American manufacturers either.

So it makes sense to consolidate their market, and play to their strengths, letting the Japanese take care of the parts of the market that they are better at.


#16

I’ve not been involved in accidents or the like as a driver (as a pedestrian and as a cyclist, though!), but I will NOT get behind the wheel if I haven’t taken my Concerta that day. Too many near-misses and duhhhhh moments.

I also generally won’t use cruise control, because I need to be actively controlling my speed or else the level of concentration used becomes juuuuust wrong enough to make me start feeling sleepy (not good!).

The worst is when I have to drive somewhere with a lot of traffic when I am not familiar with the area or I am trying to look for something. The invention of google maps navigation has saved my bacon so many times.


#17

I’m an okay driver. I basically assume everyone else is actively trying to kill me and have pretty good reflexes. I’m great at slamming on my breaks. I don’t understand why everyone else can’t do this when I make a mistake, because I do it all the time to avoid all of the brilliant commuters I come in contact with.

I have driven the wrong way on a boulevard, briefly before turning into a gas station and correcting my error and other stupid things like that. I mean well, I just missed something or got confused. But one the other side of things: I get lost and forgot which way to turn and which street I’m on. Only when I’m driving on an extremely familiar route does my impatience/ADHD come out, then sometimes I become that person that changes lanes too much.

My last wreck (a year ago) happened because a giant truck put on its hazards and started slowing down in front of me, during rush hour. I freaked out, got distracted, and tried to change lanes before I got stuck behind him, so I skimmed against another car in the next lane. I thought something was malfunctioning with the 18 wheeler because hazards, but apparently the driver thought stopping for a delivery in the right lane on a 6 lane road where everyone is going 47-50 mph is a good idea. Just turn into the damn apartment complex entry area, don’t freak me out into thinking the giant truck in front of me is faulty… but I digress. ( I blame the truck driver, even if my insurance doesn’t. I know it’s my fault, but how I am not supposed to have that split second reaction.)

Normally, I’m hyper vigilant about checking before I change lanes. Now when I get stuck behind a bus stopping, I just wait, even though it sucks, because I don’t want to pay $1000 for my car again. I’ve been listening to an awesome audiobook I love and now I don’t mind when I miss the light, because someone is being stupid, because I’m listening to awesomeness.

I try to learn from my wrecks (2). Lesson #1 don’t panic when you get lost in your home town at midnight. Breathe and keep checking to see what color the stoplight is. Lesson #2 always check your blind spot, even when you’re trying to change lanes quickly. Just get stuck behind things and wait if you can’t change lanes

On the plus side: I’ve never been pulled over. I’m too afraid of getting pulled over to really speed or break traffic laws on purpose.

So all in all I’m okayish. I can’t stand driving to new places. And hopefully I’ll get better, I’ve only been driving for 9 years and only driven regularly for 2-3 years. Music relaxes me, making me drive better ( less anxiety) and audiobooks give me something to think about, so that’s how I fix my driving. Along with GPS and getting other people to go with me places. When I drive with others in my car, I’m a way better driver.


#18

I cannot stand being stuck behind people driving under the speed limit. It’s basically torture. It’s like nails on a chalkboard but as an experience.


#19

I’m not a great driver. I’ve had a couple speeding tickets, a couple at fault fender benders. I wrote off a car because I didn’t judge the amount of time it was going to take to stop in the rain.

I get super super frustrated when driving. Sometimes I imagine my car getting big and growing huge monster truck wheels so I can get across traffic. Nobody gets smushed. They’re just under my big huge vehicle.

But driving big vehicles is also intimidating. I’m petite so I feel lost and out of control in them.


#20

I’m like that as a pedestrian too. I absolutely avoid shopping on a weekend. When I go to a mall, I just want to get in and get out. I tend to walk quickly, with a purpose, and when other shoppers just dawdle around, walk in front of me without looking where they are going, it just slows me down and I get frustrated.

I find that walking in crowds is worse than driving in traffic. It really adds to my stress level.