The Road to Freedom

Note: Sorry I haven’t been updating as I normally would do. It’s not because I’m being lazy, I promise! It’s just that I am also working on my third novel while preparing for the release of my second. I will update next week as normal; the next blog article is already in the works.

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Driving can be a major challenge for people with ADHD as we try to balance out that impulsiveness and focus.

I must admit when I first heard that people with ADHD struggle to drive, it didn’t really bother me. I’d always wanted the freedom that being able to drive gave and was determined that by hook or by crook I was going to drive a car. I wish I could say I took to it like a duck on water, that it only took me a few months, or I passed my driving test first time, but all of those things would be lies.

It took eighteen months of trying, one failed driving test, two failed driving theory tests and more money than I’d like to think about before I finally got my licence at the grand age of 19. What is strange is that now I’d describe myself as an excellent driver, I haven’t had an accident in 11 years and I enjoy driving, when an endless amount of traffic doesn’t get in my way.

“My fear of danger sometimes over rides the impulsiveness of my ADHD.”

~ADHD Girl

First of all, I think it’s important to clarify that I have Dyspraxia, as well as ADHD. Dyspraxia is all about hand eye coordination, it’s where your brain cannot corelate between what it wants to achieve and what it gets your body to actually do. Some of the symptoms includes falling over a lot, getting mixed up between your left and your right and having trouble with fine motor skills such as tying a shoe lace. Of course, not being able to know the difference between the right and left poses considerable difficulties when having a driving lesson.

Statistics show that many people with severe ADHD do not learn to drive, or if they do they have significantly more accidents than the average person. It seems rather strange to me because we ADHDers are made for practical tasks, because they keep us busy. However, I’m guessing it’s the focus part of driving that makes it difficult for most.

I’ve always been odd in having ADHD for one main reason, I have a fear of danger which overrides my impulses when it comes to practical tasks. Some people with ADHD, will do dangerous things because they haven’t thought them through or have no fear of the consequences. They will get over self-assured doing practical dangerous tasks and then their focus lapses. With me, I have a fear of the car crashing, though admittedly more because of another jerk on the road than my actual driving skills. Therefore, I make sure that I pay attention as much as possible, though I do like to sing along to songs on the radio or listen to audiobooks while doing so.

“Trying to not get annoyed with other people’s slow reaction speeds is quite difficult.”

~ADHD Girl

I will confess the one thing that makes me furious when driving is other people’s much slower reaction speeds. Due to impulsiveness, one benefit of having ADHD is usually a quicker reaction time, which comes in handy when driving I can assure you. However, it also makes you very impatient when a car takes much longer than needs be to turn or practically wants to make sure the road is clear of any or all cars before taking any action.

I’m not saying that driving is not a good idea for those of us with ADHD, but I will say that it probably drains us more of mental energy than most and there are more risks factors when it comes to our driving. It’s probably one of the reasons that 8/10 that I always drink a coffee before I get behind the wheel, to keep me that extra hit of dopamine.

So, if you drive a car and do it well then enjoy your freedom as that practically what a car represents; it’s being able to go where you want when you want, which lets face it is amazing for people with ADHD.


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