Adults who don't drive?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Em_Catz, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    I LOVE being able to drive. The day I turned 15 and 9 months, I was at the Motor Vehicle getting my learners, then at 16 I took my test to drive. I hated having to wait for my parents to take me places, then having to wait around to be picked up from places. Whenever my car is in the shop, it makes me appreciate the ability to drive that much more.

    Anyhow, I assume most people feel like that (at least all my friendds do) except 1. She is almost 30 and doesn't have a liscense. When she lived at home, her parents drove her everywhere or she'd call me and another friend to ask for a ride. When she moved out last year, her boyfriend (and roommates I guess) drove her around. She doesn't use public transit (bus/taxi/subway). Her line of work allows her to work from home, but requires materials that you'd need to purchase from the store.

    I don't know how she does it. I've only known one other adult who opted not to drive but his reason made sense to me...he once drove drunk and killed someone so he refused to drive after that

    My friend has never experienced any trauma and she even gripes about how annoying it is to have someone else drive u all the time and she wants her freedom. She says she doesn't have a phobia of driving, she just never got around to it. She always says she's going to do driver's ed or that she's taking driver's ed, then I never hear any follow up or whether she's passed or failed the course.

    Do you all know anyone like that? What's their reason for not driving? Just curious.
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My BIL doesn't drive for medical reasons--he has epilepsy. One of the teachers at my previous school didn't drive but I'm not sure of the reason.
     
  4. bison

    bison Habitué

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    It's nearby impossible to live in Southern California and not drive. The only people I know who don't are transplants from major cities where you don't need to (like New York) or have medical issues that stop them.
     
  5. TeacherNY

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    My mom didn't drive until she was in her 30s because up until then she lived in NYC or another large city and she always just walked or used public transportation. When we moved to a suburb she knew she had to drive or she (and us kids) would be stranded.
    There was this one guy I worked with in retail when I was in college who didn't drive. He was in his late 20s and his mom or sister or co-workers always drove him and picked him up from work. He also lived with his parents so 99% of the time he had a ride or would call a taxi. My mom actually knew his mom and she said there was never a "reason" for him not driving but he did not seem "interested" in it, whatever that means. I have since moved about 40 minutes away from that town and now that same guy actually works in my town so I think he might drive now or else has found someone else to drive him around since his parents don't live around here (every time I see him I wonder if he drives!!!).
     
  6. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I used to always drive until we moved down here. The city traffic scares me a little, plus I let my license in CA expire and would have to get a licence here. I do plan on eventually getting my license here and hopefully my own car so I can be a little more independent. I suppose I can learn to drive in the city since all my friends do it. : )
     
  7. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I know several adults who don't drive, and for most of them in revolves around being nervous to get lost, not knowing what to do, fear, etc.

    My middle son didn't drive until 18 because he saw me taking the car away from his older brother at times. He said it gave me too much power, so he waited. Whatever...it saved me money and he went to the same school I taught at so it was no big deal. He learned to walk, take public transportation, etc. because I said if it was his choice not to drive, it was his choice to get places other than school.
     
  8. TeacherNY

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    My grandma never drove in her lifetime. She passed away a few years ago so I can't ask her why but I'm thinking it had to do a lot with being the "nervous Nellie" type LOL That's how she seemed to me most of the time. She also lived in NYC most of her life so there was always public transportation or my grandpa would drive her (they worked together) so she probably had no need to drive. On a side note I know a few 80+ year olds who still drive and it kind of makes me nervous (one recently got into an accident) but that's a totally different topic!
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    The adults I know who don't drive either have medical issues (including extreme anxiety), are broke, or prefer to walk/bike.
     
  10. Jerseygirlteach

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    I didn't drive regularly until I was in my 20's. I lived and worked in NYC and used public transportation. Now I live in the burbs and a car is definitely a necessity. However, my daughter has a friend whose mother doesn't drive. She is a SAHM and walks everywhere she can walk and leaves the driving to her husband when he's home. I don't know her reasoning for not driving and I honestly don't know how they make it work, but they manage I suppose.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I was like you, Em, and couldn't wait to get my driver's license! Both of my nieces waited until they absolutely had to get a license, which was after they turned 18. I do have a friend that lives in England that doesn't drive, 1) because he can't afford it and 2) because he can take public trans everywhere.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I have a couple of friends who live in the San Francisco area and don't drive. They use public transportation for everything. In SF, they have cars you can share (rent) if you need to stop by the grocery store, IKEA, etc. and can't necessarily carry things home.

    Personally, I can't imagine not having a car. I don't like to rely on others for anything and enjoy my independence.
     
  13. Alesia

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    I didn't learn to drive until I was 26. Even now, when I don't have to go to work I only drive when it is absolutely necessary.
     
  14. live

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    While I do like my freedom, I don't think the inability to get places when I want would bother me MOST.

    If I didn't have a car/license, the thing that would really make me anxious is that I wouldn't be able to get somewhere right away in the event of an emergency or some kind or urgent matter (though I have no idea what that might be).

    The only adults I know who don't drive either live in the city, or are older and no longer feel comfortable driving.
     
  15. Ima Teacher

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    My mom didn't drive for 8 years due to epilepsy. My neighbor doesn't drive because he lost his license. Two of my aunts don't drive. They just never learned.
     
  16. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    One of my aunts doesn't either nor does her daughter...
    I drive, but on road trips I like hubby to!!!
     
  17. bros

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    Hi. I'm an adult who doesn't drive.

    I don't drive because of my multiple medical issues. I went through 15 hours of driving lessons and I was told at the end of the lessons that I had not progressed since around the third lesson, but they wanted to go to 15 hours to make sure (and probably to get the full 5k out of the state)

    My grandmother doesn't drive because I think she had an accident ~30 years ago.

    And she's a bit suicidal at times, I believe (I remember once when I was young, she took a *lot* of ibuprofen, around when my great-grandfather, her father, was dying).
     
  18. ku_alum

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    We don't have public transit (except for people with disabilities).
    Everything worth going to is too far to walk, or for most too far to bike.

    I can't think of anyone who is of driving age who doesn't drive.
     
  19. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    WOW thank you all for the responses.

    I noticed a lot of people mentioned medical issues and that's definitely a possibility. I don't know much about epilepsy (when I was a camp counselor, one of my fellow counselors had the condition and I had no idea until the last week of camp when we were getting off the bus from a field trip and he was passed out in the back). Our other friend has known her even longer than me (since they were 5) and never mentioned her having seizures, so not sure.

    Even though we've known each other a long time, maybe she has a condition that prevents her from driving comfortably that she doesn't want to share with me. Either that or it's nerves.

    We live in the suburbs too, which is why driving is such a big deal (imho) here. I had the biggest heap of junk car in high school but I LOVED it and drove it until it would drive no more. I didn't care what it looked like, it was just the fact that I could now get places.

    While we do have buses, everything is a little spaced out, so it's faster to hop in your car and drive 5 minutes to Wal-Mart, then to walk a few blocks to the bus stop, wait 10 - 15 minutes for the bus, ride another 5 - 10 minutes b/c the bus stops, then to shop and do it all over again.
    Omg, being able to drive is the best! I remember I used to have recurring dreams about being able to drive from the age of about 8. I'm not big on long car rides, but I do enjoy my freedom.

    I also had a friend from England (back in college) who moved here when he was 17 and didn't get a license until about 25 because public transit is so good there. We went to visit his relatives and I met all his childhood friends and though they were all in their mid to late 20s, none of them drove either.

    Thank you for sharing and I'm really sorry that they wasted both your time and money. :( I can understand how having an accident can make a person afraid to drive. A few years ago I was merging and a mac truck didn't see me and it knocked my car across 4 lanes and I completely lost control and was facing on coming traffic. It was a miracle people managed to swerve and not hit me head on.

    After that I was terrified to drive, especially in the rain. The guy I was dating at the time is probably the reason why I'm not afraid to drive, because he was like, "Em, you can't let this fear become a 'thing'. I know you're scared, but you HAVE to get back in the car and drive again, even in the rain. If you don't push yourself through it, the fear's going to get bigger and bigger and pretty soon you'll be scared to drive in the rain, at night, long distance, on the highway, by yourself, and so on."

    Anyhow, I hope your grandmother has found some peace from her pain. Suicide is serious
     
  20. bros

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    They didn't waste my money - NJ Department of Vocational Rehabilitation paid for all of it except the $500 paper & behind the wheel evaluation my wealthy aunt paid for. It was $350 an hour for each lesson and it took an hour to drive there. Took like a year and a half to do the lessons. I was one of the younger clients they had - most were 60-80 year olds recovering from strokes and other ailments.

    My third time driving I crashed (My third time driving was my third driving lesson). It was interesting. Turned a corner, tapped the gas instead of the break, pushed down on the gas, then hopped the curb going like 25 miles an hour, popping both passenger side tires and bending the front passenger rim. Wasn't hurt, which was good.

    My grandmother is better now. She has gotten more involved with the Girl Scouts since her father died in the late 90s - they pretty much keep a roof over her and my alcoholic step-grandfather's head (At one point, they lived in a 700 sq ft house on girl scout property).

    She gets a very tiny amount of money monthly from a retirement fund she has through them, along with her very small SSI payments and my step-grandfather's almost-nonexistent SSI payments - as he employed himself for many years and failed to pay taxes properly/appropriately, leading to the eventual failure of his business and foreclosure of the house my mother grew up in.

    Also, I live in the suburbs, so my not driving pretty much means I only go out twice a week - once to my therapist and my father and I usually go to Costco on the weekend. Other than that, I am inside for days at a time. I haven't been outside since Saturday.
     
  21. MissScrimmage

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    I have a friend who is in her late 20s and currently doesn't drive. She has very wisely recognized that she can't afford a car so she hasn't driven in years. She uses public transportation and we carpool when we are going to the same place. I respect her decision; too many people go into debt trying to keep up with their friends, so I am happy to help. I think she has kept her licence up to date and she is currently looking to purchase a car so this season of 'not driving' will be over soon.
     
  22. Loveslabs

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    My grandmother turned 98 in May. She has never driven any vehicle. She recently told me she has never even ridden a bike! She has a sister that is 100 and she has never ridden a bike or driven a car.

    Heck, my grandparents didn't even have a phone until the mid 80's! Also, my grandmother has never been more than 25 miles away from her home. She has never left the state she was born and raised in. To me, that is so difficult to comprehend!!
     
  23. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I waited to get my license until spring (we have snowy roads & my bday at beginning of winter)... I wanted winter driving under my belt for one season. LOL!!!

    A kid that went to same school as me (much younger though) was in recent accident that he was killed in... I held my breath where accident was & got a few tears in my eyes....

    My gpa was well into 90s & still drove...slow, but did it. He mowed until way after 100 (partly because he didn't drive car).
     
  24. YoungTeacherGuy

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    My grandma is in her 80s. She's hanging on to her license because she's afraid to lose her independence. I was in the car with her a few years back and it took her 30 minutes to get to my mom's house (it should normally be a 10 minute drive). She drives far below the speed limit. :crosseyed
     
  25. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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  26. TeacherNY

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    I say if you can figure out a way to get where you need to go without putting a burden on others then you are definitely self-sufficient. Even if a person can't/won't drive they CAN depend on themselves to get to work, school, or wherever. If that means public transportation, walking, paying for a taxi, etc. Honestly, if I lived in a big city like Nyc I don't think I'd want to drive. I might be one of those people riding the subway to work. I don't think it would bother me as long as I didn't put anyone out (like begging for rides from people) because then I would feel badly about it.
     
  27. bros

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    I was not aware that the lessons were worthless - I was only told after the completion of the final lesson that he was not going to recommend I receive more lessons - as the way DVR does it is after the initial evaluation, they pay for 5 lessons upfront. After five lessons, the rehabilitation hospital (In this case, Kessler in West Orange), submits a report to the DVR counselor with their recommendation and the DVR counselor reviews the report and sends the report + their opinion to the people in Trenton who decide whether or not to pay for more. After the first five, policy is to pay for ten more lessons upfront, then pay for them on a case-by-case basis after that.

    The report stated after the first five that I might be able to improve, but more lessons would be needed to determine that.

    And I was learning to drive WITH the restrictions placed by my eye doctor - driving only during the day on local roads on sunny days. I just progress very well after the amount of lessons the state paid for.

    The state also paid around $10,000 for 39 sessions of occupational therapy - they had to discontinue after 39 sessions because I plateaued after 23 weeks - the state pays in groups of 13 sessions - OT wanted to see if I would improve after session 26 - I didn't, but it was worth a shot.

    They also paid around $25,000 for my education (and that was after Christie's budget cuts).

    I'm in the highest category of... need with DVR, as I am multiply disabled, but I have a good chance of being able to hold down a job.
     
  28. waterfall

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    I like the freedom that driving offers, but I do not enjoy driving itself. I especially hate driving with other people in my car- I'm not sure why, I just do. In college my roommate loved driving, so she always drove us around. It wasn't really fair for her to pay for gas all of the time, so I just let her drive us in my car pretty often. It worked out well for both of us! I applied for a job smack in the middle of downtown last year and considered that I could give up my car if I got it, which would help me afford the downtown rent. Anything I wanted would have been within walking distance or I could have taken public transit. Unfortunately I didn't get the job.

    I live in the suburbs so a car is necessary. However, I do live right next to the light rail station, so I walk over and take that anytime I'm going into the city. I love not having to worry about parking, getting lost, or heavy traffic. On weekends I can also have a few drinks and not have to worry about driving at all to get back home. I definitely need my car for work and running general errands though.
     
  29. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Besides, my Maid of Honor from my wedding doesn't drive because she DOES panic behind the wheel. She is right on a bus line and close to a rail line. I am FINE with her choosing to be off the road and do not judge her. If anything, I'm happy that she's chosen a safer commute for herself and others.
     
  30. Portulaca

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    Well, I'm not sure I really want to wade into this one, but...I'm an adult who drives extremely seldom, though I do have a license. I will try to explain.

    So, I took driver's ed at 15, like most people do. The very first day I panicked and caused a minor accident, which ended up being of the kind-of-funny rather than injurious variety, but could have gone either way. I did all right for the rest of the course, but in the end they failed me due to what had happened early on. Failing driver's ed was unheard of at my high school, so I basically seemed to have empirical evidence that I was terrible compared to most. I took it again the next year and passed. Obviously, I was getting better, although I was still not good at it, uncoordinated and given to panicking and making dumb movements. Here is the other thing, though. I have OCD, which in my case often manifests itself as being very finicky about safety, my own but especially other people's. I am always the one running to double check the oven, the curling iron, the stove, washing and re-washing and re-washing utensils and my hands when I am cooking for other people, and so on. I have gotten better at controlling it, but it is hard to completely control it when it isn't completely irrational in the first place. When people roll their eyes at me and tell me to just get out there and drive, to stop enabling my fear, and just see how it goes, it's really hard for me not to hear, "So what if you are worse than usual at it and it's a leading cause of death and dismemberment for everyone in the vicinity...just see how it goes! What's a few bodies! Grow up!!!" I take their point, and I don't deny that I have a problem, but to me it isn't exactly the same as "enabling" a phobia of butterflies or clowns or something (although I have empathy for people with all phobias, needless to say). There are very real consequences if panic sets in at the wrong time at 65 mph.

    That said, even though I have arranged my life to accommodate pretty well (walk a LOT, including to work, go places when my family is already going, compensate $$$ for road trips) I have made it a priority to work on this summer because I know that I do cause inconvenience at times and that definitely does make me feel guilty.
     
  31. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    As a driver and passenger on NJ roads and highways, I'm glad neither you nor your grandmother drive. :sorry:
     
  32. Proud2BATeacher

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    My friend's husband paid for his mother to get driving lessons when she was 65. It was a good thing because she was able to drive to the hospital to see her husband whenever she wanted when he had a heart attack 1 year later.
     
  33. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    This is the second thread I've had to heavily moderate today. I'm growing weary.
     
  34. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    As the OP, I have to say I'm sorry that things got out of hand. I didn't want to incite people to argue with one another, I just have been wondering for years why my friend (who appears to be of sound mind and body) doesn't drive. I've asked a few of my real life friends, but they didn't know either, so I decided to bring it to A to Z because we're all so diverse and I always get thoughtful answers here.

    However since we're all just words on a page, I feel a lot of things got lost in translation. Which resulted in some negative posts which meant you had to moderate heavily.

    So...yeah, I think we're all done here. :2cents:
     
  35. TeacherGroupie

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    No apology needed from you, Em_Catz.
     
  36. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Have you asked your friend why she doesn't drive? I'm sure she has her reasons. Truthfully, I'm comfortable if someone feels like they shouldn't drive then they probably shouldn't...I'm more concerned about those Who shouldn't but do.
     
  37. bros

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    Have you considered finding a driver rehabilitation clinic/service - they may be able to help you with your anxiety associated with driving.

    Yeah. My eye doctor was shocked when we told him I wanted to have driving lessons back in 2008, but he signed the paperwork and the neurologist didn't report me to the state even though I wasn't 12 months seizure free, since I was just doing lessons at Kessler.

    My vision is *right* at the limit for NJ - 20/50 in right eye with corrective lenses, 20/150 in left eye with corrective lenses.

    My step-grandfather is one of those people. He drinks rather frequently, even though his liver has to be shot by now. One time, he abandoned his car somewhere and decided to walk home drunk, cops picked him up after he had walked like a mile while holding his car keys and took him to the hospital thinking he was an old man with alzheimers or something - luckily the cops didn't test his BAC - it turned out to be like 0.2 when the hospital checked him out.

    Now my grandmother has him drink his alcohol two nights before he has to drive her somewhere important like a family party.

    My family is odd.
     
  38. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Bros...truthfully...your family is not much odder than the majority of families out there :(
     
  39. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    My son, who is 18, has several friends who haven't learned to drive yet & a couple who have just learned in the last year. No real reason, just not interested. Their parents or friends take them where they need to go.
     
  40. bros

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    I suppose so. It just seems odd from the inside - because I mostly observe at family parties, too many people around for me to really interact with more than a few people at once - otherwise I get overwhelmed by the incredibly small spaces and all of the adults (which is why I love family parties at my rich aunt's house - we usually go outside, so people are spread between the living room and the deck, rather than my other aunt's house, where everyone sits at their table in their giant kitchen, or the old people watch sports on the TV).
     
  41. TeacherNY

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    It's ok, bros. It's not like we get to pick our family! I certainly have some branches I'd like to trim off of my family tree LOL
     

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