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View Diary: My Life as an Aspie: New Years Dread (27 comments)

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  •  Wonder if "driving simulators" might help... (5+ / 0-)

    I was (finally!) dx'd HFA/AS in 1994, at age 46.  I've had my driver's license since age 17 (except for a hiatus early on).  My experience is that the social aspect of driving is more demanding of my attention than the mechanics: imperfect communication, turn-taking in ambiguous right-of-way situations, the occasional overfocus on others' imperfect behavior.  Thus the more practice I have on the mechanics, the more quasi-instinctive that aspect of driving becomes, leaving me freer to analyze the flow of situations as they occur.  Perhaps there are driving simulators which might help with that?

    In any event, driving seems amenable to a systems approach, and striving for a blend of correctness and efficiency can take a lot of the ego out of it... and being (if you will) ego-driven can have a lot of undesirable consequences.

    •  Follow the rules of the road. People who attempt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to be polite and sociable by stopping and gesturing for you to turn in front of them or otherwise go when it's 'not your turn' only screw up the traffic patterns for the rest of us. The thing I hate most is this new idea of 4-way stop signs. And you don't have to be an Aspie to get frustrated, befuddled and angry while driving! But again, there are very specific rules that you will not go wrong by following.

      Do make it simpler for yourself- don't have a cell phone on, don't listen to the radio unless it relaxes you, keep a snickers bar around...whatever makes things okay when you have to focus in front of people. I personally get along very well with people at a customer service job and in daily life, but when a group needs a driver I hide because I'm not the one.

      •  New idea of 4 way stop? (2+ / 0-)

        I'm guessing you didn't grow up in New England. LOL! Between those, the ubiquitous rotaries, and nonsensical pattern of one-way streets, it's a challenge for non-aspies to drive here!

        •  I am in New England- in SW NH where we didn't even (0+ / 0-)

          have street signs until the 9-1-1 people insisted...

          Recently rotaries have been coming to nearby cities like Keene. Hateful things I think. I'd rather sit and wait for my designated turn than try to guess how it's going to work when some of the rotary exits are actually figure-8s that make traffic criss-cross each other. The one I'm thinking of was only open 45 minutes before they had their first accident and now I see red and orange plastic on the road there a lot...

          Anyway, 'our town' has a main st that is .7 of a mile long and 96 feet wide. Everybody here knows the local pattern and the traffic works very well if everybody does it. Our only problem is that at the rush times, people just passing through refuse to slow down and insist on passing on the right, not realizing that the reason traffic is stopped is for the people (especially school kids) crossing in the crosswalks!
              So somebody had the bright idea to get a D.O.T. grant to hire an expensive contracting firm to come in and solve the problem. As far as I could see, the simple solution was to post a policeman twice a day at either end of this not even 3/4 mile street to force people to follow the rules and to protect the children (which is more or less what happens now anyway).
              The big important designers held a public meeting and brought their suggestion of not one, but three rotaries (in seven tenths of a mile) "in order to slow down traffic." One of them was even supposed to be in front of the Fire Department...
               Luckily they had made a huge map of what it would look like and they left it with us in the library for a couple weeks. I got some matchbox cars and spent some time demonstrating to people how if you wanted to go to both the bank and the grocery store in the same trip you would have to go round and round at least two out of three rotaries just to get to the other side of the street.
               The firm also managed to have a plan that put tiny little curbs in various places (to keep people from reverting to the former, well-worn traffic pattern) but they had not considered what we do in town for snow removal. In NH. By a NH architecture firm. When I raised my hand and asked how they planned to handle snow they stopped taking questions.
               When I asked where the money for the study came from and couldn't we have used it to fix Rte 12A instead, before we make the national news when a school-bus lands in the river (G-d forbid!) they said they were sorry but the D.O.T. funds were for planning only and couldn't be used for actual work.
               So anyway, the more things change the more they stay the same, my Dad always says. Now we still have the same traffic, a few less problems with a little more policing, and Rte12A is still crumbling into the river.

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