Copyright by Flora Breen Robison
Driving Isn’t For Everyone
This was originally written on Hubpages after a harrowing experience I had while walking home five months ago. Thus it did not just happen. However, I have similar close calls all the time if I am not paying attention near the hospital where drivers are impatient. Thus, I am leaving the wording as is except where there are references to my current age and references to HP are removed.
DRIVING IS A HEALTH HAZARD EVEN FOR GOOD DRIVERS:
First some background. I am 36 years old and still do not have a driver’s licence. I do not want one and due to my slow reflexes in my right side, I cannot get one. Since I live in the city centre, everything is within walking distance. During the winter I have bad balance and can’t walk, but if I can’t get a ride with friends or family, the distance needed is short. The taxi fare will not cost a lot. Sadly, where I live has a terrible transit system. This was a big pain when I was living in a rural area. But as I was living with my parents at that time, how to get places was not an issue as long as they were free when I needed to go places. Now I live downtown.
Now I know that not having a driver’s licence does not mean I won’t get into a car accident. I know well that I can get hit while I’m walking or in the passenger seat. Drivers aren’t the only people who need to worry about avoiding accidents.However, there are reasons why I still feel safer by not being a driver myself and this article reflects the fact that even if I could get a D.L, I wouldn’t want one.
YES, THERE IS A PHOBIA I HAVE, BUT THERE ARE OTHER REASONS TOO:
Now, I am unable to drive a stick shift.Why can’t I drive a North american car with a stick shift? Not only do I have little manual dexterity in my right hand, but my reflexes on my right side are slow, all due to brain trauma and toxic fluid I swallowed when I was born. I could try driving an English car where the driver sits on the right, but that could be an expensive buy if it turned out I couldn’t drive one either.
What about an automatic? I just put the car in drive and then not have to look down again. I’d be able to keep my eyes on the road at all times. However, if I had to make a sudden turn or stop to avoid an accident, I’m not sure my reflexes would be fast enough to do it.
Obviously, I would never drive on the freeway even if I lived in an area where the speed limit was sch that it is not possible to get in an accident it is so slow that I was allowed to get a D.L. with an automatic. Even in an automatic, I cannot imagine my reflexes being fast enough at 100 kilometers an hour, and lots of people drive faster than this listed speeding limit. There are indeed, therefore, practical reasons for my not having a licence.
But I must admit that even if these practical reasons did not exist, I probably still wouldn’t have a driver’s licence. Quite frankly, I am scared at the thought of being in charge of a car. I could have no neural damage at all, and I might still have my phobia of driving.
You didn’t know there was a phobia of driving? Oh, yes there is. I imagine phobias exist for every object and action that exists. And the phobia of driving most certainly exists.
There are so many things that could go wrong that I do not want to be be behind a wheel. These include:
A) Parallel parking is difficult even for people who have nimbleness in all ten fingers and are good drivers
B) I’m not a fabulous judge of distance. I think things are much closer than they are.
C) Have I mentioned the problems I have with ice?
D) I am terrified at the thought that children or animals will dart out into the road in front of me and I won’t be able to react fast enough.
E) I have a tendency to daydream. Drivers must remain alert!
F) I am an insomniac and worry I may not be fully awake.
G) Parking in between those lines in grocery store parking lots that are very small.
H) Worrying about pedestrians darting out in front of me before I see them in those parking lots
I) I do not want to be responsible for the lives of other people. That is one of the reasons why I do not want any of my own children.
J) Car Insurance and Payments are Expensive-not part of the phobia, but a truth, nonetheless
K) It’s much quicker to get out of the way of bad drivers when you are on foot than in a car-at least it is with my reflexes.
L) Have I mentioned I have a phobia and that can cause high anxiety and fear?
M) I do not know how to deal with drivers texting and talking on a cell phone if I’m not a pedestrian and thus just assume that they can’t see me. You still need to get your vehicle out of the intersection.
I think that gives a fairly good idea of why I don’t want to drive.
I keep being told that I need to learn how to drive, though, so that if I’m in a car where the driver has a heart attack, I can safely drive to the side of the road and park before calling 911. Well, that is an important point. But I have this phobia..