Is it possible to quit driving?

After my accident with the semi, my parents made me drive their car, as though nothing had happened. If you like, we can go somewhere tomorrow and you can drive.


Why not mount a couple of “Dummy” Sidewinders to the car, and mount one of those large calculators that look like the launcher arming system on the dashboard, when Mr. Garbage Jerk gets on your case again, act like you’re arming the Sidewinder (maybe put a smoke generator or model rocket engine in the back to simulate exhaust) and watch the fun :wink:

maybe find some other uses for obsolete or surplus USAF equipment…

hmm, mount one of those cool minigun (Vulcan cannon?) guns to the roof?

Get back on that horse, Doors. There is a reason it’s a saying, after all. :smiley:

I third the “road trip” suggestion.

Big oops on my part, then. Sorry bout that.


Airman, I’m surprised. You assert yourself quite well here; I would think you would have been able to assert yourself when dealing with that guy when he was clearly in the wrong. Do you behave differently in real life?

The good suggestions have all been made. I’m just glad that you made mention of the previous thread in the OP, because I’m thinking, I know I posted in that thread last night, and in the morning the damn thing is gone! Did I just dream that I was surfing the dope? :confused:

Give a holler if you want to talk, Airman. :wink:

If you can’t take a driving course because of lack of finances, then I am willing to pony up some money to help you take one. Think of it as me giving money to protect fellow drivers if your pride won’t let you accept it otherwise. I’d rather you learn to drive and be safe and comfortable driving than you worried, dead or cause the death of other people.

I know I didn’t do anything wrong, but the guy was very upset and he came yelling at me, so I just submitted to his yelling, apologized and let him go about his business. And then I spent the next few minutes thinking about what I had done to earn the dressing-down I had just gotten, because there was a small possibility that it really was my fault and I had just screwed up. But it wasn’t, and I know it wasn’t.

Let’s just say that my recent misadventures in vehicles do not make me terribly inclined to argue that I was in the right.

When I finally do get paid, I stand to get a substantial amount of money in the next month, but right now I can’t even afford a tank of gas. I just had to call all of my utilities to tell them that I was going to be almost a half a month late paying everything.

Come mid-December, though, we’ll be OK. I hope. But thanks anyway. :slight_smile:

Airman: No disrespect intended, but you really have to get back onto that horse. If you are truly a danger to yourself and others, then yes, plan on taking public transportation/cabs. But it doesn’t sound like that’s the case, at least not to me.

It sounds like your nerves are shot.
And that is understandable and human.
But giving into it won’t help matters.

I agree with all the folks about getting in a defensive driving course as you’re able, but I’d like to make another suggestion. I don’t know how you feel about this sort of stuff, but reading what you’ve said it sounds like you’re suffering from anxiety. That too is understandable and human, and you also can’t let it run your life.

If there is a psychologist/psychiatrist on base you can talk to without risking your job, I’d advise that. Maybe get on an anti-anxiety medicine? If not, perhaps there is a local religious organization that would provide free counseling?

Airman, there was a Master Sergeant in my shop (now retired) who had never had a driver’s license. It is possible to get by without a driver’s license, but it’s not easy.

That being said, I echo the “road trip” idea. Because I like road trips, especially really long ones.

Just to answer the OP’s question, yes, it is possible to quit driving. I waited twelve years aftr I turned 16 to get my driver’s liscense, and I live in Marin County, California (motto: Public transportation is for poor people). It’s not easy, and you’d be better off with the advice already given about regaining your confidence behind the wheel, but a car is not the absolute necessity most people make it out to be.

My husband has never had a DL and he gets by just fine. Of course, when I go to Italy in January, he’s going to be pretty limited…

I will say that I know exactly how you feel. Every day for the past four years, I’ve had to give myself The Pep Talk…“You’re a good driver, you’re careful, you follow all the laws. You’ll be OK. Today is not a good day to die.” I’m not going to say you have to get back on the horse—I hate the fucking horse. I hate it very, very much. I hate the stress, the fear, the danger. I hate everything about it. But you got to do what you got to do. And though we don’t interact often, I know you’re the sort of man who buckles down and does what you got to do. And that might include driving.

My mom didn’t drive until she was past 60. And we lived and worked in the Los Angeles area. For years she worked in downtown L.A. One of my aunts never learned how to drive (also lives in Southern California). I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was in my mid-20s. Up until that time I was a bus person. Took the bus to downtown L.A. every day, to go to school.

However, a few months after I finally got my driver’s license, I had an accident which really freaked me out. I didn’t want to drive again. Ever. But my dad (bless his heart) told me that I had to keep driving, even if it’s just around the block. So that’s what I did for a few days–I drove around the block and then came right back again.

I did. But then I don’t have to go 30 mles each way to work. Others have probably said this, but…isn’t there someone else in your unit from whom you could catch a ride? I mean, if you really don’t want to get back up on the horse?

Oh, and PS, I haven’t really “quit” driving, I’m just on hiatus til my car is done. It’s undergoing restoration, and the buses worked out well enough that I decided “Why just get the engine done and then drive the old girl? Let’s do it all the way”. The bus will allow me to spend all the money I would have spent on car registration, tires, gas, maintenance and insurance on getting her back to stock condition.

It’ll be awile, maybe another year, but it’ll be worth it :smiley:

Not an answer to your question (in title) but an expression of sympathy for how accidents can mess up your driving even when they shouldn’t.

Yesterday, I was driving to church in rain and I stopped for a yellow light. I did not stop behind the white line that marks where one is supposed to stop because I was afraid the driver behind me would not stop soon enough in the rain and hit me. After I stopped, sticking out further into the intersection than would have been safe at some intersections, I though about it and decided that in this instance by failing to stop sooner, I just moved where the car behind me ended up. (I’m assuming that the driver judged his or her stopping length mostly on car speed and distance from the intersection but also on stopping far enough behind my little Saturn as to not endanger anyone’s bumper).

I’d laugh at myself if stopping at yellow lights (especially in rainy weather) didn’t scare me so bad. It’s been two years since I stopped for a yellow light and the driver behind me didn’t, damaging my rear bumper cover and rendering the car behind me undrivable. No one was hurt, but it took me a long time to pass that intersection without tightening my grip on the steering wheel (even when it wasn’t raining and the light didn’t turn yellow). I absolutely despise trying to decide when I should stop for a yellow light and when I should keep driving. One of these days I fear I’m going to get a ticket for running a red light. Or put my car into a ditch trying to avoid the driver who is not about to hit my car from behind. Or run into somebody else’s car while I gaze into the rear view mirror and obsess over the distance between my car and the one behind it.
BTW, I thought about starting a thread about how yellow lights are evil but couldn’t decide where it belonged. This thread gave me an excuse to write my post though, so I guess I’m spared from making that choice.

Airman: IN answer to your original question, yes, theoretically, you can stop driving. But it’s an incredible pain in the ass.

I had a motorcycle accident last July, and I got banged up pretty bad, but I’m back up and riding again now. And the first few excursions had me sweating and breathing hard with anxiety, but now I’m cruising down the highway at 65 again.

Re-learn to focus. The first few times back on my bike, I was trying to watch everything, which is nearly impossible, and almost caused myself to have another accident when an anxiety-induced fear reaction caused me to jerk the controls harder than necessary to a non-existent perceived “threat.”

Just check your mirrors, scan 2, 4 and 12 seconds ahead of you, be aware of your blindspots, and drive with traffic.

Oh, and keep a baseball bat in your car. The next time you see the garbageman, chase him around the truick a few times with the bat, screaming “What’s the frequency Kenneth?” at the top of your lungs. :wink:

Now that’s really good to hear. :slight_smile:

Look at it like this: there is something there or there is not. If not, no biggie, finish check up, go on with other advice given here. If there is a physical basis for this, then there is a way to correct or there is not. If it can be corrected, then you correct it, you have less anxiety, and go on with other advice given here. If not, then it’s really not safe for you to be driving, and maybe unsafe for you (and your fellow crew members) to do your current line of work. And if you are driving with your lovely wife or beautiful child you might be putting them at risk. Doesn’t sound like something the Airman Doors I’ve come to know here would do.

Whatever comes, you and your family have a support network, here and IRL. Use that, get everything right and get on with it.

Eureka I registered so I could offer you some help for yellow lights. When approaching an intersection there should be a solid line coming from the solid stop line down the liddle of the lane, this is known as “the zone of no return” if you are inside it you can make it thru the yellow light no problem, if it turns yellow before you enter it, feel free to stop it’ll turn red before you get to stop line. Hope this helps.