Learning to not drive

Learning to drive, driving, and using public transport

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JohanMidas
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Re: Learning to not drive

Postby JohanMidas » Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:15 pm

Happy to try to. I think it's worth working out why this has become heated, so long as doing that doesn't heat things up further.

What I object to is a suggestion that, if learning a skill is difficult then it's not worth pursuing. It's almost as if determination and perseverance is being demonised.
As someone who's also dyslexic, I know if I had that attitude during childhood then I would be illiterate. My life would have been ruined before I'd left my teens. I owe the academic, career and by extension personal successes I've had to being determined and persistent in learning such skills despite them being challenging for me. Giving up is not an option for me, and I would be a very different person if it was.

I think the counterargument seems to be that I'm willing to risk my money, happiness and safety, and more importantly other people's safety, on an unnecessary vanity project. I agree with the former, but not the latter. I don't think technical proficiency seems to be the main factor affecting driver safety. Instead it's attitude, which on the large scale boils down to age and gender, with 17-25 year old males vastly overrepresented despite males and females taking about as long as each other to drive, and younger drivers taking fewer lessons to pass than older drivers. I'm still male but no longer in this age bracket, so don't have the same hormonal cocktail predisposing me to excess risk and thrillseeking.

Tom fod
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Re: Learning to not drive

Postby Tom fod » Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:46 pm

Johan

I'm sorry if it appears that "determination and perseverance are being demonised"'. That is not the intention. We are all very used to being determined and many of consider our determination to be a key strength. However some of us can be so determined at times that it hurts us and that''s not good! Sometimes you have to choose your battles.

You've told us that your efforts have cost you lots of money and a lot of time and frustration given your apparent self confessed difficulties including the fact that you feel uncomfortable going at what most other road users would consider a normal and perfectly acceptable speed. From my understanding driving too slowly can and does cause accidents too. Police see excessive slowness as reasonable grounds for suspicion and any driver tootling along at 15mph or less in a 30 zone in normal road conditions is probably going to be pulled over as surely as a boy racer travelling at excessive speed through a built up/residential area.

People have merely responded to what you've written based on their own experiences/opinions. Since you seem to merely want to successfully get through a test. Is it really worth it if you're not going to capitalise on the freedom that driving could provide if and when you pass? Could your uncertainty and lack of further intention beyond passing the test even be part of what is holding you back?

I also imagine a lot of people would be even less impressed that after all the effort to pass your test you decide not to use that entitlement. As Tim and others have said there is just as much learning to do after you pass the test. Attitude and aptitude/technical proficiency both count and are going to be of variable importance dependent on a given situation/road conditions and also will equally apply to the road users around you.

I'll give you time for right of reply, then this thread will be locked as it seems that you only want to disagree with what others have suggested with the best of intentions.
Tom
Moderator/Administrator

With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
(from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Foot Full of Bullets)

JohanMidas
Getting settled in
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:26 pm

Re: Learning to not drive

Postby JohanMidas » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:10 pm

Hi,

(1) The 'choice' to give up was one I already made, hence the gap of about seven years between lessons. I went so far as to send the provisional driving licence back in order to avoid paying the renewal fee, which wasn't easy as almost noone does this, so there's no standard protocol. However it turned out just to be a hiatus, as eventually the sense of frustration at not having passed (especially after having come really close to passing second time) got the better of me. If I tried to give up now it's likely in five to ten years I'll want to try again, but quite probably be in a worse position to do so. The cycle could repeat itself for decades. It's a zombie ambition, which will rise again unless it's properly disposed of.

(2) I've been happy to initiate perhaps the liveliest recent discussion on this forum. Definitely better than being ignored. I felt there'd been a balance of views and perspectives rather than just two unbalanced sides. My feelings in response to the 'just give up' view, which I wasn't expecting before, have definitely helped to bolster my determination to pass. In a way that's just what I needed, even if I didn't know I did.
I was originally expecting a) more of a sense of familiarity and empathy with my experiences (if not here, where?); b) more relaying of experiences and advice regarding the effect that instructor rapport and adopting an automatic rather than a manual have on the driving experience. Perhaps it became too easy to see this thread in factional terms, and because of that an opportunity for something more discursive and informative got lost.

(3) I'm 'auditioning' two instructors with automatics over the weekend. Although I'm not a natural optimist, I'm pretty optimistic that automatics could make a big difference, due to the specific ways dyslexic + dyspraxic cognitive issues contribute to difficulty driving. There seem to be at least three hurdles these conditions, combined, introduce: i) deficit in gross & fine motor control (dyspraxia), meaning that more conscious attention has to be paid to mechanics; ii) poor automaticisation/development of procedural knowledge (dyspraxia + dyslexia), meaning that physical actions are less likely to fully become 'second nature' and so eventually stop requiring conscious attention; iii) smaller working memory, and more inefficient working memory access (primarily dyslexia?), meaning information overload occurs at a lower threshold.
The converse of this triple deficit idea, and the reason I'm hopeful about an automatic, is that removing just one or two mechanical challenges from the experience could make the difference between overwhelming and not overwhelming my attention, which could completely transform the experience. Originally I thought this would be unlikely to make much of a difference, because handling clutches and gears haven't seemed like an issue for a long time (though early on I did manage to stall a car on a level crossing!). But then I realised that they're all like pre-loaded bails of hay: they're what leads to challenges like attending to other road users and complex junctions being the straws that breaks the cognitive camel's back! Remove a bit of the burden and perhaps the whole experience becomes manageable.
Who's to know: I might even start to enjoy it!

Tom fod
Administrator
Posts: 1767
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 10:05 pm
Location: SW UK

Re: Learning to not drive

Postby Tom fod » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:20 pm

Johan

Proof positive we all think in very different ways despite often being 'labelled' the same. I'm glad you've found new impetus to pursue your goal. Good luck with your efforts in continuing your journey and coming to a decision you're content with and that's right for you.

I think the responses you get depend on who's around to read and respond and will be influenced by those peoples attitudes and experiences. The not taking no for an answer can and does work for some/in certain circumstances. Equally sometimes you need to pull gently rather than push hard.
Tom
Moderator/Administrator

With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
(from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Foot Full of Bullets)


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