Social Question

KeepYourEyesWideOpen's avatar

Can you drive?

Asked by KeepYourEyesWideOpen (345 points ) January 19th, 2013

If so, who taught you ?
Do you face any troubles while driving ?
Can you deal with them ?

Personally, I would say the answer is yes.
I’ve been driving for almost four years—I was taught by my father and a driving instructor when I had to take driver’s ed in high school. I used to have a lot of troubles when I first started learning how to drive because I was afraid to get behind the wheel, knowing how much power was in my hands, but over time, I learned how to relax. I don’t have any troubles anymore because driving is essential to my survival—without a car, I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere or get to work or school or go shopping or anything.

What has been your experience?

I want to say a big thank you to all of you.

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24 Answers

jca's avatar

Yes. My mom taught me when I was 18 (on a stick shift) and I drove stick shifts until I was about 35. I recommend knowing how to drive one (also called a “standard shift”).

cookieman's avatar

Yes. My father and mother took me driving when I was fifteen. Then I went to a local driving school.

Over twenty years later, I actually find it unnerving how easy and almost thoughtless driving is. There’s so much habit and muscle reflex involved, it feels almost subconscious. It’s a little scary we drive so much on remote-control considering you’re steering a two-ton, rolling hunk of metal, plastic, and glass surrounding one of the most flammable liquids there is.

bookish1's avatar

My mother and a driver’s ed instructor in high school. I consider myself a good driver—not aggressive, not overly cautious. I also try to be courteous to pedestrians and cyclists, when it will not endanger them. Never got a ticket for anything, only got pulled over once. I am always very aware that I am driving a potential weapon.

marinelife's avatar

I learned on an island with seven miles of paved road and no traffic. I was not a very good driver until I lived on the East Coast and didn’t drive for 10 years. Then I took a course with a professional driving instructor who taught me lots of tricks and was very helpful.

DrBill's avatar

I was raised on a farm and started driving at 12, so I already knew how to drive when I got to drivers ed. I’ve been driving over 40 years, been in 3 accidents and none were my fault.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, I am a good driver, but easily distracted, I have to make a conscious effort at times to get back to the business of driving.
I have had only one rear ender in decades of driving.
However…I have had many tiny accidents all by myself. lol
I have backed into the same tree in my driveway at least a half a dozen times, have run into my garage wall, clipped the fence, backed into a boulder on a fountain at a restaurant, scraped a wrought iron electric gate recently leaving a friends place, skimmed the post in front of the gas pumps.

No tickets ever except one parking ticket and no accidents from several,crazy, turning on one way streets and having that epiphany of ” oh shit…I’m going the wrong way! ” lol
I always make blonde jokes about my driving, ” Look out, left handed, right brained blonde at the wheel!” I just know I am going to die sailing off a cliff while gawking at some beautiful tree or nature moment. ” Oooh LOOK at that tree!” zings off road, flips, rolls down mountain. LOL

SomeoneElse's avatar

I can drive, having learned whilst I was in the Army. I learned to drive in a Land Rover which lacked creature comforts, was draughty, noisy and I loved it!
Test Number 1 was a farce, with my knocking down a dustbin and other small transgressions.
Test Number 2 was in Regents Park in London and was successful, thankfully.

filmfann's avatar

I had drivers ed in school. My parents refused to teach me to drive, because they were afraid my brother, who is a year younger, would then demand drivers training, and he scared them.
So they held me back from driving, which meant no job, since we lived a long way from buses or businesses. My brother then told my Mom that if he didn’t get his license legit, he would forge her name on the application. She caved, and my younger brother got his license first. When I found out, I got mine soon after, when I was 18.
When I was 26, my brother taught me how to drive a stick shift after I bought a Subaru that had a stick. Yes, I bought one not knowing how to drive it. I was committed to learning how.

Mariah's avatar

The short answer is yes, but oh god I had so much trouble with it.

I was a very nervous learner. I took driver’s ed on time and everything, at 16, but I hated it and it wasn’t uncommon for me to end up in tears after a class. These instructors tend to assume all the teenagers in the room are very careless and suffer from invincibility complexes and don’t understand danger. That was not me at all. At that age I was already far too aware of my mortality from illness. So the instructors tend to show gruesome videos of what can happen if you have even a momentary lapse in judgment behind the wheel, and shit, I was already terrified, I didn’t need that emphasized to me.

It was this fear that prevented me from even trying my exam until I was 18. And, I failed miserably. The nerves really affected me and I drove very poorly, I know I deserved to fail. But I had a grumpy, awful examiner, who yelled at me over my poor performance, which I really didn’t need. I had a panic attack and didn’t drive again for an entire year. It’s embarrassing how weak I was, but it is what it is.

It became a big thing for me, I was beating myself up for not having my license and was truly starting to worry I would never get it. The worries were big enough to convince me I needed to take action. When I finally got behind the wheel again, my parents were very encouraging (they were sick of toting me around everywhere, for one thing). Slowly I gained confidence back, and I drove 20 minutes out of my way to take my exam again in a different location. I didn’t think I could handle even seeing the woman who failed me the last time. I got a much more comforting examiner who was very calm the whole time. I passed and it was so easy! What was I worrying so much about?!

It is a huge relief to have that behind me, but I’m still not super comfortable driving. I don’t drive often because I don’t have a car at college, and I also go to college in Mass and I never want to drive here because people are ridiculous.

dabbler's avatar

Yes. I didn’t grow up in LA for nothin’.

Having ridden in cars daily through childhood, by the time I was ‘learning’ to drive I was just expressing hardwired skills that were picked up by osmosis.

When I moved to NYC, a group of us needed to go to a client site by car. They handed the keys to the guy from California. Navigating here is a bitch, though, road signage on the West Coast is vastly superior to signage on the East Coast.

Whenever my wife and I travel I do any driving that needs to be done.

Coloma's avatar

L.A. is the WORST! I hate driving to SoCal.
If you are not on the ball you WILL be killed. I got lost in ghettoville at midnight trying to get into Glendale for a weekend a few years ago. Shit.. I spent most of my time on the roof of the Glendale Hilton drinking and feeding the roof pigeons. lol

AshLeigh's avatar

I have this theory that women can’t parallel park because we’re constantly being lied to about what eight inches is. :)

Yeahright's avatar

I never went to driving school. My father and a friend taught me when I was 17 yo. I learned to drive in a standard car and it was a Range Rover so after learning to drive in a car that size, you can drive pretty much anything. I am not used to being in a car as a passenger, so I always volunteer to do the driving. I am a relaxed driver and have only had one big accident in over 35 years driving…not bad at all.

dabbler's avatar

@Coloma There is certainly more traffic in LA than there used to be.
But it’s always been fast. I remember the art of the 80mph merge.
I think drivers everywhere have gotten more hostile, when you sit in traffic for hours daily, anything that steals another couple seconds from your arrival is the enemy.
Maybe it’s a delusion of youth but it seems like it used to be more cooperative.

bossob's avatar

@dabbler You’re spot on; it was a lot easier to be a courteous driver when there weren’t so many of us on the road.

I’ve driven all over North America, and have never been as petrified as I was on the freeway in L.A. I was pulling a car trailer, thus had to stay in the lanes with the semis. We were doing 55, and the car lanes had to be doing 80. It was the car drivers who were merging on and exiting off that had me convinced I wasn’t going to make it out alive. The difference in speeds and the small spaces that they moved into was something I had never seen before, and hope to never see again.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

I’m an excellent driver, excellent driver!

YARNLADY's avatar

My father taught me how to drive when I was 16, 54 years ago. Now the DMV says I have to go in for a written and eye test before I can renew my license. I had one accident when I was 16 – a car ran a stop sign, and I spun out on the ice trying to avoid him. I had one ticket for going 40 in a residential area when I was 30.

I don’t like to drive and I avoid it as much as possible.

jerv's avatar

Yes. I learned stick when I was 11 but didn’t bother getting my license until I was 26; I had no need for a car while I was in the Navy.

Seattle drivers are scary. A couple of weeks ago, my luck ran out and I wound up as the third car in a five-car pileup. No major injuries, but the famous skull car got totaled. That hasn’t scared me completely off the road, but it has made me a bit more wary.

jca's avatar

I can also drive people crazy. I am very good at that.

ETpro's avatar

Not legally right now. I’ve made several trips to the RMV to get reinstated after cataract surgery, but have yet to show up with all the necessary forms and take a new driving test. But yeah, I can drive like Michael Schumacher or Alain Prost. Well… maybe almost as well as them.

Sunny2's avatar

I’m an excellent driver. I prefer small cars with a stick shift. I had driving lessons when I was 16, but wasn’t allowed to use the family car because my dad needed to have it available at all times. I bought my first car when I was 22, an old used car. I practiced on that. At 24, I bought my first new car, a VW which I drove across the U.S. by myself. And the rest is history.

mazingerz88's avatar

@jerv Was that you-?! SORRY!

burntbonez's avatar

I drive. But you would not believe how many cars I have totaled. Not my fault, either. I’ve never had my insurance rates go up as a result of an accident. But you probably do not want to drive with me. Few of my friends do. I have a bad reputation—a kind of bad driving luck magnet. Actually, it’s been a while since the last accident. I probably shouldn’t say that. I’ll jinx myself.

linguaphile's avatar

You’d never believe how many times I’ve been asked this question throughout my life. I can’t hear a thing and… YES, I CAN DRIVE. The worst time I was asked that question was after I gave a 2 hour seminar to a roomful of PhD students on language processing. I answered questions and had discussions on Chomsky, et. al, then… the professor asked me if I could drive.

Nobody can hear anything outside of the car either when their AC and radio are on with the windows up. I’ve only been in one accident in my life and that was when a guy ran through a red light and t-boned my car.

Joke: Do you know why deaf people can’t be car-bomb terrorists? Because most people would be more shocked at them driving than bombing. :D

I drive by using my eyes, which have been trained to notice and perceive an increased amount of information. My mom taught me, but I really learned by experience—my first year with my license, I lived in DC. For 25 years, all my cars were stick-shift cars—I mastered stick shift through sheer terror on a mountain in Utah. It was either learn or slide off the mountain. I don’t have problems driving at all—except with my patience during rush hour.

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