I’ve failed my driving test twice and I’ve got another one coming up at the end of the month. My first test I failed 9 years ago. My second test I failed last month. I’ve had 4 different instructors over the years, and cancelled multiple tests along the way.
It’s not nerves. It’s not that I can’t drive. It’s not mean examiners, or bad luck. I just CANNOT FOCUS enough for the 40 minute test. It makes me so upset, because my driving lessons now feel pointless, I’m not learning anything new. I’m wasting money just practising what I can already do, because I’ve been learning for 9 years. I just got back from a lesson where I practised all my manoeuvres, even surprised myself by remembering everything about how to do them and negotiating a busy saturday afternoon town centre.
But I pulled out onto a roundabout right into traffic and the instructor had to stop me.
These stupid mistakes happen SO OFTEN and it’s SO FRUSTRATING because I don’t know why I do them!! I thought the ADHD explained it, and yes being medicated/treated makes a HUGE difference to my driving. I practise a lot of mindfulness too.
My instructors without fail end up scratching their heads at how such a good confident driver can make such dangerous mistakes as if they’re on their first lesson.
I mean, I know it’s my ADHD really, because I know my brain and I KNOW the feeling of being momentarily distracted, of my brain transitioning too slowly from one task to another, of being bad at prioritising, and of missing details because I’ve got a song in my head and forget what’s going on around me.
Thing is, a politician recently wrote a letter to the minister for transport stressing that ADHD only affects driving in “a minority of severe cases”. I’ve met COUNTLESS people with ADHD who have passed their test first time, including my brother, or have passed later on and never had any issues since. Everyone keeps telling me “it’s okay, I passed third time! Just try again!” and “It just takes longer for some people and that’s okay!” but who is “some people”? Why am I “some people”? I’m a good driver! I’m not nervous but not over-confident! I know how to do everything!! Yet I slip up every time!
I’m not going to give up, and I don’t need to be told “some people fail 5 times before passing”. I know that. But I don’t know WHY. What scares me the most is that even if I pass my next test, I could have passed through sheer luck, and I’ll continue making stupid mistakes when I drive, only I won’t have an instructor next to me to help.
I guess what I’m asking here is if somebody can please relate to this. I feel like a fraud when I say my ADHD is what stops me driving because it seems that most people with ADHD have no problem driving. I do have inattentive-type ADHD and I normally attribute it to being that particular subset. But sometimes I worry that it’s not the ADHD, maybe it’s something else, maybe it’s “sluggish cognitive tempo” like Dr Russell Barkley says. I don’t feel like I fit the criteria for that, but I’m honestly at a loss.
Please don’t reply with “most people don’t pass first time, it’s okay” or “I passed first time but I’m sure you’ll pass eventually!” or “some people just take longer” or anything like that. Just… please let me know your experiences if you can relate to what I’m saying? I’ve spent so long in tears over this issue, I just don’t want to feel like it’s just me and there’s something wrong with me.
(In case you want to know why I failed, first time I got one serious fault - I didn’t stop to let someone pass and they had to reverse backwards down the road to let me through. The second time I got two serious faults - both were on the same road and to do with the bus lane. On one, I didn’t check my mirrors before moving into the bus lane because I was too distracted by the bus lane sign. On the other, I didn’t even use the bus lane when I should have because I missed a sign saying I was allowed to use it. Yes, I failed twice in the same test for both looking at the sign too much, and not looking at the sign enough. See what I mean?)