• Fur Affinity Forums are governed by Fur Affinity's Rules and Policies. Links and additional information can be accessed in the Site Information Forum.

Driving Tips for someone with severe ADHD and Anxiety?

HarpyFeather

Writting Commissions Are Open <3
This might be weird, but it's been on my mind recently, and I don't want to use this site just for advertising.

But, driving is something I have always fumbled, I have crippling ADHD, and my meds I am on now for the most part do their job though it is still a little hard for me to focus. I want to know if anyone else with ADHD has any driving hacks that helps make it easier to focus when driving a two ton machine. Anxiety also doesn't really help, it's hard to feel confident when you know what could happen if you make a fatal mistake, especially to someone else who did nothing wrong.

I appreciate any helpful answers! I also hope I put this in the right place.
 

Muttmutt

Absolute Menace
I find my anxiety helps settle my ADHD a bit. Helps keep me stimulated enough to focus on the task at hand. A lot of people with ADHD thrive in high-stress jobs because of this.

I just make sure to do “check-ins” every minute or so. Makes sure I’m not losing focus or becoming complacent. Keep a strict routine and stick to it. That’s all I can suggest.
 

tuxedo_fish

how i mine art?
One of the reasons I drive stick is because it keeps me engaged the entire ride. The few times I've had to make long drives in an automatic, I've noticed myself zoning out/getting distracted, which never happens in a manual car.
 

LameFox

Well-Known Member
My solution right now is not to do it. I mean I have, for years, and never actually had any accidents, but in busy environments with signs and signals and other cars and pedestrians all over the place, I always felt like it would happen eventually. Controlling the vehicle isn't a problem for me but keeping track of everything is bad.

Before that I used to just pick the least complicated routes to drive, and maybe stop a bit further from my destination and walk if it meant I could avoid some of the busier and more weirdly designed areas in town. When I had to drive to unfamiliar places for work in my teens I'd actually go out late at night when it was quiet and get used to the routes I'd be taking later.
 

HarpyFeather

Writting Commissions Are Open <3
My solution right now is not to do it. I mean I have, for years, and never actually had any accidents, but in busy environments with signs and signals and other cars and pedestrians all over the place, I always felt like it would happen eventually. Controlling the vehicle isn't a problem for me but keeping track of everything is bad.

Before that I used to just pick the least complicated routes to drive, and maybe stop a bit further from my destination and walk if it meant I could avoid some of the busier and more weirdly designed areas in town. When I had to drive to unfamiliar places for work in my teens I'd actually go out late at night when it was quiet and get used to the routes I'd be taking later.
The driving at night thing sounds helpful! I wouldn't if I didn't have to, as I live in a place where things are so far apart it be impossible to walk everywhere.
 

Wodenofthegays

Fascist Dictator
I give myself little rules that make me safer.

I'm coming up on a light? If its yellow before I reach this point I stop, after I keep going.
Somebody's tailgating me? I change lanes or stop for gas / a drink.

As said by @LameFox, night driving can help if you're worried about other cars.

I also sing along to music on the drive. If you talk yourself up in your head a lot, you'll find its really hard to do if you're singing. Human brain just isn't the best wired to talk and think in words at the same time.

I also keep the songs I play in the car shorter too so its less likely I get bored.
 

Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
Practice, practice, practice. Practice helps to relieve anxiety, and develop automatic habits.

I found it helpful to take a defensive driving course that actually taught me how to handle various scenarios.
 
Not sure about the ADHD aspect but I had a lot of anxiety about driving when I started. I would only go to places that I absolutely 100% knew how to get there and back, didn't have some complicated merge or turn along the way, and only during daylight hours. I was always worried about getting lost or the car breaking down.

Some things I do now:
I keep some quarters in the car in case I need it for parking (though parking machines that take credit cards seems to be more common now).
I used to keep some cash for tolls but I signed up for EZPass.
I always fill up on gas at a quarter tank or before any long trip.
Learn how to change a tire and jump your car if the battery dies, or sign up for triple A.
Getting lost was probably my biggest fear but when GPS was available, that faded.

And practice. My job requires me to drive all over the state to places I'd never been to and at first it was nearly panic attack inducing. Now it's not a big deal. I've gotten lost, I've made wrong turns that put me on toll roads, I've had flat tires and dead batteries, and I've been in accidents (that were not my fault).

I try to avoid driving at night. I have a tough time seeing with glare and lens flare from my glasses.


I started taking flying lessons before I learned to drive and oddly, I had no anxiety about flying.
 

Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
I agree with Marius! Make sure you have a spare tire, an emergency kit, change, extra warm clothes, food, and other necessities in the car so you don't have to worry. I also fill 'er up when I'm at or below half a tank.

Knowing how to change the tire and do basic checks and minor repairs and having all of the important emergency numbers on hand will also help to alleviate some anxiety and panic especially when there's an emergency.
 

HarpyFeather

Writting Commissions Are Open <3
I really appreciate all the advice! Being my age without a license is a little embarrassing for me, and I wanted to rectify it, as well as have easy transportation for myself, and more job possibilities.

Practice, and being prepared seem to be a running theme, and honestly it does make a lot of sense. It helps that my new ADHD meds are helping me with focus a wee bit.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
I really appreciate all the advice! Being my age without a license is a little embarrassing for me, and I wanted to rectify it, as well as have easy transportation for myself, and more job possibilities.

Practice, and being prepared seem to be a running theme, and honestly it does make a lot of sense. It helps that my new ADHD meds are helping me with focus a wee bit.
I know car culture differs between countries, but I was about your age or older when I got my license. If you're still learning, it's going to be overwhelming. Cut yourself some slack (by which I mean try to internalize that it's okay to feel insecure or anxious about driving) and learn at a pace where you feel you're in control of the vehicle. If it means you keep mostly to back roads for a year or two after getting your license, that's fine.

@Troj's suggestion of taking a specific defensive driving course is also really good.
 

Kinguyakki

Alignment: Chaotic Stupid
Oddly enough, I found that driving a stick shift is really good for my ADHD because it forces me to have something to think about. When I drive an automatic, my mind just wanders too much.
The learning process is a bit more, it takes some getting used to but I prefer it.
It's not necessarily a bad thing to be cautious or a bit anxious when you drive, it means you're at least paying attention. I'd rather be around drivers who have some sense of self-preservation than those idiots who think they're Speed Racer.
You'll get more comfortable with it over time, and with practice. You'll be okay.
 

Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
I have my own thread for this kind of situation. Not ADHD in my case, but general anxiety. For me, it simply wasn't the time - until about now. More than 10 years ago I was basically forced by my family to get a license. And I hated it wholeheartedly. I came to dread driving and was avoiding it altogether. Only recently I felt courageous and interested enough to try again. I'm past the first reminder lesson and it went well!
 
Top