Practical Problem: Scared to drive

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anonymous FI

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Apr 15, 2018, 4:25:47 PM4/15/18
to FIGG, fI
I am scared of driving. I am well into adulthood, so this has been an
issue for a long time. I think knowing how to drive would be useful, but
I have difficulty doing it.

One issue is I can be kind of “spacey” and inattentive. I think it
is a problem, but it is not that big a deal in many other contexts where
there’s not constant split second life or death decisions you have to
make. Inattention while driving is very dangerous. I have done driving
lessons before and just blown past stop signs and that kind of thing. I
think maybe I get a bit overwhelmed by all there is to pay attention to
while driving and just start dropping stuff randomly.

(Note: I shared some of this with Elliot off list and have included his
comments below)

Elliot’s comments:
overwhelmed as new driver is totally normal. new drivers often run stop
signs. that’s a *different problem* than spacey.
overwhelmed thing u can 100% solve with practice, is not srs problem
u will get more used to it
if ur that concerned, what u do is break driving into smaller pieces
and practice the pieces
like practice getting into the car and doing all the pre-driving stuff
and then u get out and done
do that 10 times and next time u go for drive u will have more
same technique is used in PUA and good elsewhere too
JP has said something similar with fear of elevator example
and ofc driving in parking lot is breaking it into pieces
lets u do some of driving without traffic
and not going on freeway right away is pieces

(back to my stuff)

Another issue is I can be bad at forming clear judgments in my mind
about what is happening, what to do, etc. So in the moment I can get
overwhelmed and scared and make a mistake. One example is an issue like
when you’re in a situation where you need to judge if another car is
far enough away for you to safely perform some maneuver you want to
perform (like entering a roundabout or making a turn or whatever).
Unless the other cars are SUPER far away or the coast is totally clear,
I find it hard to figure out if I’m driving safely. But you can’t
just wait till stuff is super clear when driving IRL. People will honk
and get mad. You need to be somewhat aggressive. I’m not at all
confident I could be competently aggressive.

Another issue is I am almost completely useless at directions, figuring
out where stuff is in relation to other stuff, etc.

Another issue is I am bad at judging distances.

Another issue is I am afraid of being in charge of something big moving
at very high speed. I was even super scared of riding my hoverboard at
more than a snail’s pace initially. The speed itself is something I
find kinda scary. It makes me feel not in control, and in danger.

Another issue is I have a poor spatial sense of like how big the vehicle
is, how close other stuff is, etc., and so I get scared I will hit
stuff/cyclists/cars/curbs/people (not to mention damage whatever I am
driving!)

Another issue is I have had multiple bad experiences with driving
lessons. (That is a common issue people have when they haven’t learned
to drive for a long time.) Getting yelled at for making mistakes by a
driving instructor, winding up in a ditch when being taught by a friend,
etc. And I don’t have any IRL friends/relatives/significant other with
saintly patience I can impose upon for a ton of supervised driving time.

Another issue is that I live in a city where there’s lots of
ridesharing and transit so it hasn’t been a huge issue. I don’t need
to drive to go to work or run errands, and I don’t have a kid I need
to pick up and take places. These are things of the type which wind up
motivating people who are older to learn to drive. In fact it’s gotten
*significantly easier and cheaper* for me to not drive over time. It
used to be more of a constraint than it is now. Oh and I grew up in
another city where it was even *easier* to not have a car than my
current city (where it’s pretty easy and where a significant
percentage of people don’t have a car), so I didn’t have the
motivation when i was young either. Also it seems like we will legit get
self driving cars in like 1.5 years maybe?

To be clear, not driving has been more of a constraint than I’ve
wanted to admit. But *as my life is set up right now*, getting around to
stuff I need to get around to is pretty fast/easy.

Another issue is that I find the difficulty of driving lessons scales
really fast. You typically go from driving around a parking lot to out
on the real, dangerous road pretty fast. I’ve tried a couple of
driving instructors before, and it seems like they’re okay with you
doing maybe one hour of easy stuff in the parking lot and then they’re
pushing you to get out on busy streets.

Another issue is that the city I live in is often cited as one of the
worst places to drive. There’s massive constant traffic, parking is
expensive and often hard to find, the police are very aggressive about
ticketing, and the cyclists are particularly numerous and aggressive. So
even if I got my license, I think I’d be avoiding driving as much as
possible here (especially given how much knowledge I already have about
how to get around without driving).

I don’t wanna try to drive when I have major unsolved issues and wind
up having an accident and maybe dying. But I also don’t wanna be timid
and scared about something that lots of people manage to do. (Though
note that lots of people are bad drivers. I don’t wanna drive to
*their* standard…)

I also don’t wanna repeat the cycle of spending some money on driving
lessons and then having stuff go kind of miserably.

I looked online for advice but there wasn’t much.

Mostly just “practice practice practice, hehe!”, or getting therapy,
or having a family member or spouse take you out to a sleepy area to
practice a bunch.

I was thinking of trying a driving simulation game to help.

One approach would involve getting a gaming pc, VR headset, wheel,
pedals, for as full immersion as practical on a consumer budget. Some
people get fancy car chair things but that seems like it's more for
racing games than what I want to use it for.

Drawback here is this would be kind of expensive. I'm not super poor and
could totally do it, but I don't wanna fool myself about how useful it
would actually be and spend a bunch of money on something that is not
that helpful. (Btw one way to mitigate the risk would be to buy all the
stuff at the same time from a place I can return the various items to,
and test the rig out and form a quick assessment of whether it's
helpful. THat’s kind of a hassle tho.)

Another approach is just to get a gaming wheel and pedals, and use my
existing computer (a Mac) which has big screen and a big companion
screen. This would be less immersive but way cheaper. I could still
return the wheel and pedals within 30 days if I get them from, say,
amazon.

Example wheel and pedals:

https://www.amazon.com/Thrustmaster-Force-Feedback-racing-wheel-WINDOWS/dp/B01CI97DNM

There’s a regular driving sim (not a racing sim) called City Car
Driving which supports VR devices, wheels etc http://citycardriving.com

(BTW here’s a couple of vids of people driving in the game

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihxh2oQPFdY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX8y371Uzhg

note that it has a driving school mode and it also tells you when
you’ve made a driving error when you are driving around in free mode.
and it supports US traffic rules along with overseas rules)

Here is a list of other games someone said could be helpful (the top
answer from “Karim Ewiss, Amateur Racer”)

https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-virtual-games-to-learn-how-to-drive-a-car

He mentions Euro Truck Simulator, which I’ve heard other people
mention as well. There is also apparently an American Truck Simulator.
Here are some people discussing whether American Truck Simulator could
be useful as a learning-to-drive aid.

https://steamcommunity.com/app/270880/discussions/0/1474221865201843436/

Some other approaches people have recommended I try would be stuff like
iPad driving games and IRL Go Karts. I have already tried this ipad game
some:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/car-driving-school-simulator/id1186801988?mt=8
It tests your ability to pay attention to multiple driving things at
same time (like speed limits, traffic lights, other cars etc).

Anyways right now I actually can’t even ride a bicycle† so I was
gonna learn to do that before driving. I think that will help my life
pretty directly and immediately. I’ve actually put off even learning
to ride a bike for a long time, due to some fears I had. But I got a
hoverboard a few months ago, and have used that to get comfortable with
the idea of being in charge of an object going significantly faster than
pedestrian speed. I didn’t even know that I had that specific fear (of
going like 10mph!) until trying the hoverboard. I almost gave up part of
the way through learning the hoverboard cuz i was scared of falling off
and getting hurt, but kinda made myself push through and figure it out.

The nice thing about the hoverboard is it self-balances and you can go
verrrrrry slowly. So you can just focus on controlling the forward
movement and turning. I literally spent like 2 hours going in a very
slow circle in a park (like slower than walking speed) before I started
to feel comfortable with hoverboard. For those two hours a snail could
have lapped me ;p

And I wound up getting quite comfortable and can now ride the hoverboard
at the max speed (10mph) and be fine and even have fun. (I get a little
nervous when initially stepping on, cuz there’s this initial balancing
step when you are getting on that can be a little tricky, but after that
i am okay). Note that I’ve had some issues with the hoverboard —
like I fell off once and have had a couple of scary situations dealing
with slopes and turning. But I’m not scared of hoverboard and even
figured out what caused a problem once and how to try and avoid it.

So now I think I’m genuinely okay to learn to ride a bike. Eager,
even. I am definitely way less scared of it than learning to drive. And
maybe if I learn to ride a bike and eventually get used to riding on the
road near cars and stuff, that will help with some of my issues in the
car case. And maybe I can figure out some kinda game or some other
indirect approach to help me build skills.

One indirect approach I’ve been trying a bit is to just be very
observant when riding Uber (esp when i am in front seat). Like trying to
figure out what’s going on, what I would do if I was driving -- like
when i think it's safe to turn. Does that match up with driver? Since I
already use Uber a bunch, this method doesn't cost me anything extra, so
that is nice. It doesn't lend itself to getting external crit, though!

I have also tried watching videos on youtube. I was watching some car
crash videos earlier today to see if seeing a bunch of the worst case
kinda thing would help make them see less scary. I am not sure that plan
worked very well!

I don’t like feeling pressured, so I think if I focus on working on
subskills and don’t try to make myself achieve a certain outcome in a
certain timeframe (especially when there’s nothing particularly urgent
requiring that I learn this thing in a specific time frame), that will
be helpful.

†I had a bad experience getting bike lesson from family when I was a
kid, wound up getting hit by family member :-(

Kate Sams

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Apr 15, 2018, 5:40:00 PM4/15/18
to fallibl...@yahoogroups.com, FIGG
On Apr 15, 2018, at 4:25 PM, anonymous FI anonymousfa...@gmail.com [fallible-ideas] <fallibl...@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

> Another issue is that I find the difficulty of driving lessons scales
> really fast. You typically go from driving around a parking lot to out
> on the real, dangerous road pretty fast. I’ve tried a couple of
> driving instructors before, and it seems like they’re okay with you
> doing maybe one hour of easy stuff in the parking lot and then they’re
> pushing you to get out on busy streets.

I'd tell the next one that you don’t want to do that. Find an instructor whom you can pay hourly. Explain your situation to them. Tell them that you want to proceed to the next step at your own pace.






PAS

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Apr 15, 2018, 6:32:02 PM4/15/18
to FIGG, fI
On Apr 15, 2018, at 1:25 PM, anonymous FI <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I am scared of driving. I am well into adulthood, so this has been an issue for a long time. I think knowing how to drive would be useful, but I have difficulty doing it.

I was scared of driving well into adulthood. I think it’s common for ppl who are self-aware of their own limitations and the risks involved.

But I eventually figured it out, have been driving over 2 decades now, all over the US and also in some foreign countries where they drive on the left. I have had zero accidents.

> One issue is I can be kind of “spacey” and inattentive. I think it is a problem, but it is not that big a deal in many other contexts where there’s not constant split second life or death decisions you have to make. Inattention while driving is very dangerous. I have done driving lessons before and just blown past stop signs and that kind of thing. I think maybe I get a bit overwhelmed by all there is to pay attention to while driving and just start dropping stuff randomly.
>
> (Note: I shared some of this with Elliot off list and have included his comments below)
>
> Elliot’s comments:
> overwhelmed as new driver is totally normal. new drivers often run stop signs. that’s a *different problem* than spacey.
> overwhelmed thing u can 100% solve with practice, is not srs problem
> u will get more used to it
> if ur that concerned, what u do is break driving into smaller pieces
> and practice the pieces
> like practice getting into the car and doing all the pre-driving stuff
> and then u get out and done
> do that 10 times and next time u go for drive u will have more
> same technique is used in PUA and good elsewhere too
> JP has said something similar with fear of elevator example
> and ofc driving in parking lot is breaking it into pieces
> lets u do some of driving without traffic
> and not going on freeway right away is pieces
>
> (back to my stuff)
>
> Another issue is I can be bad at forming clear judgments in my mind about what is happening, what to do, etc. So in the moment I can get overwhelmed and scared and make a mistake. One example is an issue like when you’re in a situation where you need to judge if another car is far enough away for you to safely perform some maneuver you want to perform (like entering a roundabout or making a turn or whatever). Unless the other cars are SUPER far away or the coast is totally clear, I find it hard to figure out if I’m driving safely. But you can’t just wait till stuff is super clear when driving IRL. People will honk and get mad. You need to be somewhat aggressive. I’m not at all confident I could be competently aggressive.

Super-important principle: Let people behind you honk and get mad. I’m not saying to do things just to piss off drivers behind you. But if you’re in doubt, don’t worry about what the people behind you do with their horn. This principle is important for tons of situations. Part of the reason I have zero accidents is that I’m not afraid of honks.

Also, there are ways to avoid many hard to judge situations where you’re likely to get honked at. When my route calls for me to cross traffic without a light, I will often just turn right then make a U-turn down the road and another right onto the same street I was originally on. I often do the same thing pulling out of a store where I need to go left. I go right instead, then make a U-turn. Also, sometimes I make 3 right turns instead of one left turn.

> Another issue is I am almost completely useless at directions, figuring out where stuff is in relation to other stuff, etc.

I am too. Additionally, I almost never can read street signs, and I’m bad at recognizing landmarks. So unless I’m super-duper comfortable with the whole route where I’m going, I use a GPS with turn by turn voice directions so I don’t look at the screen. I use a GPS, often, in my home town. I use a GPS 100% of the time when I’m out of town.

GPS was truly a game changer for me BTW. Before GPS, driving in unfamiliar cities was horrific. I would have to drive a bit in what I thought was the right direction, find a safe place to stop, get out, walk up to street signs, figure out where I was, get back in the car, look for that place on the map, figure out which way I needed to go next, drive some more and repeat until I got where I was going. It made business trips hell.

The first time I rented a car with a GPS installed it was like a whole new experience driving. This was when cell phones weighed a pound and could only make calls, and you couldn’t even buy a portable GPS (had to be custom installed in the car, with a trunk pack, at a cost of several thousand dollars). So I had this taste of GPS, and then went a few years of hit-or-miss having it in rental cars. Having one in my own car didn’t help, since business trips were always to far away cities.

A few years later I was able to buy a USB GPS that would plug into a laptop I could have on the passenger seat that would give spoken directions. And that’s what I did for several years. Still a pain (unpack & setup laptop, 2-3 minutes to boot & load mapping software, punch in destination, drive there, then pack everything up and stow out of sight so it didn’t get stolen) but far less pain than the method of getting out and looking at street signs all the time.

Now, you typically own a GPS before you own a car (your phone). Tiny, already booted, constantly up-to-date, and you’re carrying it anyway. Works great. Use it, and weep with joy that it exists. :)

> Another issue is I am bad at judging distances.

Same here.

> Another issue is I am afraid of being in charge of something big moving at very high speed. I was even super scared of riding my hoverboard at more than a snail’s pace initially. The speed itself is something I find kinda scary. It makes me feel not in control, and in danger.

Start in a parking lot as curi suggests. Malls are not well attended most days of the year and usually have huge parking lots. Holidays are especially good as you have the whole parking lot.

> Another issue is I have a poor spatial sense of like how big the vehicle is, how close other stuff is, etc., and so I get scared I will hit stuff/cyclists/cars/curbs/people (not to mention damage whatever I am driving!)

If I can’t positively ascertain I have room to get around a cyclist I’ll just stay behind them until the next lane opens up, the road widens, or they pull off.

Sometimes on a residential street if there’s cars parked on both sides I can’t tell if I have enough room to both not hit the parked cars and also not hit the oncoming cars. In such a situation I’ll just stop until there’s no oncoming cars.

> Another issue is I have had multiple bad experiences with driving lessons. (That is a common issue people have when they haven’t learned to drive for a long time.) Getting yelled at for making mistakes by a driving instructor, winding up in a ditch when being taught by a friend, etc. And I don’t have any IRL friends/relatives/significant other with saintly patience I can impose upon for a ton of supervised driving time.
>
> Another issue is that I live in a city where there’s lots of ridesharing and transit so it hasn’t been a huge issue. I don’t need to drive to go to work or run errands, and I don’t have a kid I need to pick up and take places. These are things of the type which wind up motivating people who are older to learn to drive. In fact it’s gotten *significantly easier and cheaper* for me to not drive over time. It used to be more of a constraint than it is now. Oh and I grew up in another city where it was even *easier* to not have a car than my current city (where it’s pretty easy and where a significant percentage of people don’t have a car), so I didn’t have the motivation when i was young either. Also it seems like we will legit get self driving cars in like 1.5 years maybe?
>
> To be clear, not driving has been more of a constraint than I’ve wanted to admit. But *as my life is set up right now*, getting around to stuff I need to get around to is pretty fast/easy.

I don’t know enough about your life to have an opinion on whether you should or shouldn’t want to drive. I think you can, successfully, if you want to.

> Another issue is that I find the difficulty of driving lessons scales really fast. You typically go from driving around a parking lot to out on the real, dangerous road pretty fast. I’ve tried a couple of driving instructors before, and it seems like they’re okay with you doing maybe one hour of easy stuff in the parking lot and then they’re pushing you to get out on busy streets.

Maybe hire someone by the hour, to go at your own pace?

> Another issue is that the city I live in is often cited as one of the worst places to drive. There’s massive constant traffic, parking is expensive and often hard to find, the police are very aggressive about ticketing, and the cyclists are particularly numerous and aggressive. So even if I got my license, I think I’d be avoiding driving as much as possible here (especially given how much knowledge I already have about how to get around without driving).
>
> I don’t wanna try to drive when I have major unsolved issues and wind up having an accident and maybe dying. But I also don’t wanna be timid and scared about something that lots of people manage to do. (Though note that lots of people are bad drivers. I don’t wanna drive to *their* standard…)
>
> I also don’t wanna repeat the cycle of spending some money on driving lessons and then having stuff go kind of miserably.
>
> I looked online for advice but there wasn’t much.
>
> Mostly just “practice practice practice, hehe!”, or getting therapy, or having a family member or spouse take you out to a sleepy area to practice a bunch.

I think you gotta go to sleepy areas to practice. Practicing in a dense area before you’re really confident in calm residential or rural area is bad. I now know more about why - it’s overreaching.

Even now I don’t generally drive in dense urban areas unless I really have to. And when I do, I’m totally in the mental state where I expect to make wrong turns, get honked at, etc. Just expect it.

> I was thinking of trying a driving simulation game to help.
>
> One approach would involve getting a gaming pc, VR headset, wheel, pedals, for as full immersion as practical on a consumer budget. Some people get fancy car chair things but that seems like it's more for racing games than what I want to use it for.
>
> Drawback here is this would be kind of expensive. I'm not super poor and could totally do it, but I don't wanna fool myself about how useful it would actually be and spend a bunch of money on something that is not that helpful. (Btw one way to mitigate the risk would be to buy all the stuff at the same time from a place I can return the various items to, and test the rig out and form a quick assessment of whether it's helpful. THat’s kind of a hassle tho.)
>
> Another approach is just to get a gaming wheel and pedals, and use my existing computer (a Mac) which has big screen and a big companion screen. This would be less immersive but way cheaper. I could still return the wheel and pedals within 30 days if I get them from, say, amazon.
>
> Example wheel and pedals:
>
> https://www.amazon.com/Thrustmaster-Force-Feedback-racing-wheel-WINDOWS/dp/B01CI97DNM
>
> There’s a regular driving sim (not a racing sim) called City Car Driving which supports VR devices, wheels etc http://citycardriving.com
>
> (BTW here’s a couple of vids of people driving in the game
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihxh2oQPFdY
>
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX8y371Uzhg
>
> note that it has a driving school mode and it also tells you when you’ve made a driving error when you are driving around in free mode. and it supports US traffic rules along with overseas rules)
>
> Here is a list of other games someone said could be helpful (the top answer from “Karim Ewiss, Amateur Racer”)
>
> https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-virtual-games-to-learn-how-to-drive-a-car
>
> He mentions Euro Truck Simulator, which I’ve heard other people mention as well. There is also apparently an American Truck Simulator. Here are some people discussing whether American Truck Simulator could be useful as a learning-to-drive aid.
>
> https://steamcommunity.com/app/270880/discussions/0/1474221865201843436/
>
> Some other approaches people have recommended I try would be stuff like iPad driving games and IRL Go Karts. I have already tried this ipad game some: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/car-driving-school-simulator/id1186801988?mt=8 It tests your ability to pay attention to multiple driving things at same time (like speed limits, traffic lights, other cars etc).

I can’t really say if any of that will help. None of it was available when I was learning to drive. The “simulators” were laughably primitive and nothing like actual driving.

> Anyways right now I actually can’t even ride a bicycle† so I was gonna learn to do that before driving. I think that will help my life pretty directly and immediately. I’ve actually put off even learning to ride a bike for a long time, due to some fears I had. But I got a hoverboard a few months ago, and have used that to get comfortable with the idea of being in charge of an object going significantly faster than pedestrian speed. I didn’t even know that I had that specific fear (of going like 10mph!) until trying the hoverboard. I almost gave up part of the way through learning the hoverboard cuz i was scared of falling off and getting hurt, but kinda made myself push through and figure it out.
>
> The nice thing about the hoverboard is it self-balances and you can go verrrrrry slowly. So you can just focus on controlling the forward movement and turning. I literally spent like 2 hours going in a very slow circle in a park (like slower than walking speed) before I started to feel comfortable with hoverboard. For those two hours a snail could have lapped me ;p
>
> And I wound up getting quite comfortable and can now ride the hoverboard at the max speed (10mph) and be fine and even have fun. (I get a little nervous when initially stepping on, cuz there’s this initial balancing step when you are getting on that can be a little tricky, but after that i am okay). Note that I’ve had some issues with the hoverboard — like I fell off once and have had a couple of scary situations dealing with slopes and turning. But I’m not scared of hoverboard and even figured out what caused a problem once and how to try and avoid it.
>
> So now I think I’m genuinely okay to learn to ride a bike. Eager, even. I am definitely way less scared of it than learning to drive. And maybe if I learn to ride a bike and eventually get used to riding on the road near cars and stuff, that will help with some of my issues in the car case. And maybe I can figure out some kinda game or some other indirect approach to help me build skills.

Bikes and hoverboards are fine as interim steps. I’m not sure how directly they translate to driving though, since there’s a lot less distance judging type stuff on a bike.

PAS

Anne B

unread,
Apr 15, 2018, 9:51:53 PM4/15/18
to fallibl...@googlegroups.com, fallibl...@yahoogroups.com
On Sun, Apr 15, 2018 at 6:31 PM, PAS p...@paipas.com [fallible-ideas]
<fallibl...@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

> On Apr 15, 2018, at 1:25 PM, anonymous FI <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I am scared of driving. I am well into adulthood, so this has been an issue for a long time. I think knowing how to drive would be useful, but I have difficulty doing it.
>
> I was scared of driving well into adulthood. I think it’s common for ppl who are self-aware of their own limitations and the risks involved.
>
> But I eventually figured it out, have been driving over 2 decades now, all over the US and also in some foreign countries where they drive on the left.. I have had zero accidents.
>
>> One issue is I can be kind of “spacey” and inattentive. I think it is a problem, but it is not that big a deal in many other contexts where there’s not constant split second life or death decisions you have to make. Inattention while driving is very dangerous. I have done driving lessons before and just blown past stop signs and that kind of thing.. I think maybe I get a bit overwhelmed by all there is to pay attention to while driving and just start dropping stuff randomly.
>>
>> (Note: I shared some of this with Elliot off list and have included his comments below)
>>
>> Elliot’s comments:
>> overwhelmed as new driver is totally normal. new drivers often run stop signs. that’s a *different problem* than spacey.
>> overwhelmed thing u can 100% solve with practice, is not srs problem
>> u will get more used to it
>> if ur that concerned, what u do is break driving into smaller pieces
>> and practice the pieces
>> like practice getting into the car and doing all the pre-driving stuff
>> and then u get out and done
>> do that 10 times and next time u go for drive u will have more
>> same technique is used in PUA and good elsewhere too
>> JP has said something similar with fear of elevator example
>> and ofc driving in parking lot is breaking it into pieces
>> lets u do some of driving without traffic
>> and not going on freeway right away is pieces
>>
>> (back to my stuff)
>>
>> Another issue is I can be bad at forming clear judgments in my mind about what is happening, what to do, etc. So in the moment I can get overwhelmed and scared and make a mistake. One example is an issue like when you’re in a situation where you need to judge if another car is far enough away for you to safely perform some maneuver you want to perform (like entering a roundabout or making a turn or whatever). Unless the other cars are SUPER far away or the coast is totally clear, I find it hard to figure out if I’m driving safely. But you can’t just wait till stuff is super clear when driving IRL. People will honk and get mad. You need to be somewhat aggressive. I’m not at all confident I could be competently aggressive.
>
> Super-important principle: Let people behind you honk and get mad. I’m not saying to do things just to piss off drivers behind you. But if you’re in doubt, don’t worry about what the people behind you do with their horn. This principle is important for tons of situations. Part of the reason I have zero accidents is that I’m not afraid of honks.

I agree. I don't do this enough. Sometimes I feel intimidated by
someone driving close behind me and I allow that to distract me or
cause me to drive faster than I want to.

> Also, there are ways to avoid many hard to judge situations where you’re likely to get honked at. When my route calls for me to cross traffic without a light, I will often just turn right then make a U-turn down the road and another right onto the same street I was originally on. I often do the same thing pulling out of a store where I need to go left. I go right instead, then make a U-turn. Also, sometimes I make 3 right turns instead of one left turn.

Yes. I do this too.

>> Another issue is I am almost completely useless at directions, figuring out where stuff is in relation to other stuff, etc.
>
> I am too. Additionally, I almost never can read street signs, and I’m bad at recognizing landmarks. So unless I’m super-duper comfortable with the whole route where I’m going, I use a GPS with turn by turn voice directions so I don’t look at the screen. I use a GPS, often, in my home town. I use a GPS 100% of the time when I’m out of town.
>
> GPS was truly a game changer for me BTW. Before GPS, driving in unfamiliar cities was horrific. I would have to drive a bit in what I thought was the right direction, find a safe place to stop, get out, walk up to street signs, figure out where I was, get back in the car, look for that place on the map, figure out which way I needed to go next, drive some more and repeat until I got where I was going. It made business trips hell.
>
> The first time I rented a car with a GPS installed it was like a whole new experience driving. This was when cell phones weighed a pound and could only make calls, and you couldn’t even buy a portable GPS (had to be custom installed in the car, with a trunk pack, at a cost of several thousand dollars). So I had this taste of GPS, and then went a few years of hit-or-miss having it in rental cars. Having one in my own car didn’t help, since business trips were always to far away cities.
>
> A few years later I was able to buy a USB GPS that would plug into a laptop I could have on the passenger seat that would give spoken directions. And that’s what I did for several years. Still a pain (unpack & setup laptop, 2-3 minutes to boot & load mapping software, punch in destination, drive there, then pack everything up and stow out of sight so it didn’t get stolen) but far less pain than the method of getting out and looking at street signs all the time.
>
> Now, you typically own a GPS before you own a car (your phone). Tiny, already booted, constantly up-to-date, and you’re carrying it anyway. Works great. Use it, and weep with joy that it exists. :)
>
>> Another issue is I am bad at judging distances.
>
> Same here.
>
>> Another issue is I am afraid of being in charge of something big moving at very high speed. I was even super scared of riding my hoverboard at more than a snail’s pace initially. The speed itself is something I find kinda scary. It makes me feel not in control, and in danger.
>
> Start in a parking lot as curi suggests. Malls are not well attended most days of the year and usually have huge parking lots. Holidays are especially good as you have the whole parking lot.

If you live in a city it may be difficult to find places to drive that
don't have other people around. If you can get to a quiet suburban
neighborhood that could be a good place. Maybe you can take public
transportation to a less populated area and take driving lessons
there. And pick days/times when there aren't many other people
driving.

>> Another issue is I have a poor spatial sense of like how big the vehicle is, how close other stuff is, etc., and so I get scared I will hit stuff/cyclists/cars/curbs/people (not to mention damage whatever I am driving!)
>
> If I can’t positively ascertain I have room to get around a cyclist I’ll just stay behind them until the next lane opens up, the road widens, or they pull off.

Yes. I do this too.

> Sometimes on a residential street if there’s cars parked on both sides I can’t tell if I have enough room to both not hit the parked cars and also not hit the oncoming cars. In such a situation I’ll just stop until there’s no oncoming cars.
>
>> Another issue is I have had multiple bad experiences with driving lessons.. (That is a common issue people have when they haven’t learned to drive for a long time.) Getting yelled at for making mistakes by a driving instructor, winding up in a ditch when being taught by a friend, etc. And I don’t have any IRL friends/relatives/significant other with saintly patience I can impose upon for a ton of supervised driving time.

You've had bad driving instructors! They should not be yelling at you.
And they should be letting you set the pace. I hope there are better
ones out there and that you can find them. Before making an
appointment for a lesson, talk with potential instructors about what
you want from them and see if they are comfortable with it.

>> Another issue is that I live in a city where there’s lots of ridesharing and transit so it hasn’t been a huge issue. I don’t need to drive to go to work or run errands, and I don’t have a kid I need to pick up and take places. These are things of the type which wind up motivating people who are older to learn to drive. In fact it’s gotten *significantly easier and cheaper* for me to not drive over time. It used to be more of a constraint than it is now. Oh and I grew up in another city where it was even *easier* to not have a car than my current city (where it’s pretty easy and where a significant percentage of people don’t have a car), so I didn’t have the motivation when i was young either. Also it seems like we will legit get self driving cars in like 1.5 years maybe?
>>
>> To be clear, not driving has been more of a constraint than I’ve wanted to admit. But *as my life is set up right now*, getting around to stuff I need to get around to is pretty fast/easy.
>
> I don’t know enough about your life to have an opinion on whether you should or shouldn’t want to drive. I think you can, successfully, if you want to.
>
>> Another issue is that I find the difficulty of driving lessons scales really fast. You typically go from driving around a parking lot to out on the real, dangerous road pretty fast. I’ve tried a couple of driving instructors before, and it seems like they’re okay with you doing maybe one hour of easy stuff in the parking lot and then they’re pushing you to get out on busy streets.
>
> Maybe hire someone by the hour, to go at your own pace?
>
>> Another issue is that the city I live in is often cited as one of the worst places to drive. There’s massive constant traffic, parking is expensive and often hard to find, the police are very aggressive about ticketing, and the cyclists are particularly numerous and aggressive. So even if I got my license, I think I’d be avoiding driving as much as possible here (especially given how much knowledge I already have about how to get around without driving).
>>
>> I don’t wanna try to drive when I have major unsolved issues and wind up having an accident and maybe dying. But I also don’t wanna be timid and scared about something that lots of people manage to do. (Though note that lots of people are bad drivers. I don’t wanna drive to *their* standard…)
>>
>> I also don’t wanna repeat the cycle of spending some money on driving lessons and then having stuff go kind of miserably.
>>
>> I looked online for advice but there wasn’t much.
>>
>> Mostly just “practice practice practice, hehe!”, or getting therapy, or having a family member or spouse take you out to a sleepy area to practice a bunch.
>
> I think you gotta go to sleepy areas to practice. Practicing in a dense area before you’re really confident in calm residential or rural area is bad. I now know more about why - it’s overreaching.

Yes.

> Even now I don’t generally drive in dense urban areas unless I really have to. And when I do, I’m totally in the mental state where I expect to make wrong turns, get honked at, etc. Just expect it.
>
>> I was thinking of trying a driving simulation game to help.
>>
>> One approach would involve getting a gaming pc, VR headset, wheel, pedals, for as full immersion as practical on a consumer budget. Some people get fancy car chair things but that seems like it's more for racing games than what I want to use it for.
>>
>> Drawback here is this would be kind of expensive. I'm not super poor and could totally do it, but I don't wanna fool myself about how useful it would actually be and spend a bunch of money on something that is not that helpful. (Btw one way to mitigate the risk would be to buy all the stuff at the same time from a place I can return the various items to, and test the rig out and form a quick assessment of whether it's helpful. THat’s kind of a hassle tho.)
>>
>> Another approach is just to get a gaming wheel and pedals, and use my existing computer (a Mac) which has big screen and a big companion screen. This would be less immersive but way cheaper. I could still return the wheel and pedals within 30 days if I get them from, say, amazon.
>>
>> Example wheel and pedals:
>>
>> https://www.amazon.com/Thrustmaster-Force-Feedback-racing-wheel-WINDOWS/dp/B01CI97DNM
>>
>> There’s a regular driving sim (not a racing sim) called City Car Driving which supports VR devices, wheels etc http://citycardriving.com
>>
>> (BTW here’s a couple of vids of people driving in the game
>>
>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihxh2oQPFdY
>>
>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX8y371Uzhg
>>
>> note that it has a driving school mode and it also tells you when you’ve made a driving error when you are driving around in free mode. and it supports US traffic rules along with overseas rules)
>>
>> Here is a list of other games someone said could be helpful (the top answer from “Karim Ewiss, Amateur Racer”)
>>
>> https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-virtual-games-to-learn-how-to-drive-a-car
>>
>> He mentions Euro Truck Simulator, which I’ve heard other people mention as well. There is also apparently an American Truck Simulator. Here are some people discussing whether American Truck Simulator could be useful as a learning-to-drive aid.
>>
>> https://steamcommunity.com/app/270880/discussions/0/1474221865201843436/
>>
>> Some other approaches people have recommended I try would be stuff like iPad driving games and IRL Go Karts. I have already tried this ipad game some: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/car-driving-school-simulator/id1186801988?mt=8 It tests your ability to pay attention to multiple driving things at same time (like speed limits, traffic lights, other cars etc).
>
> I can’t really say if any of that will help. None of it was available when I was learning to drive. The “simulators” were laughably primitive and nothing like actual driving.
>
>> Anyways right now I actually can’t even ride a bicycle† so I was gonna learn to do that before driving. I think that will help my life pretty directly and immediately. I’ve actually put off even learning to ride a bike for a long time, due to some fears I had. But I got a hoverboard a few months ago, and have used that to get comfortable with the idea of being in charge of an object going significantly faster than pedestrian speed. I didn’t even know that I had that specific fear (of going like 10mph!) until trying the hoverboard. I almost gave up part of the way through learning the hoverboard cuz i was scared of falling off and getting hurt, but kinda made myself push through and figure it out.
>>
>> The nice thing about the hoverboard is it self-balances and you can go verrrrrry slowly. So you can just focus on controlling the forward movement and turning. I literally spent like 2 hours going in a very slow circle in a park (like slower than walking speed) before I started to feel comfortable with hoverboard. For those two hours a snail could have lapped me ;p
>>
>> And I wound up getting quite comfortable and can now ride the hoverboard at the max speed (10mph) and be fine and even have fun. (I get a little nervous when initially stepping on, cuz there’s this initial balancing step when you are getting on that can be a little tricky, but after that i am okay). Note that I’ve had some issues with the hoverboard — like I fell off once and have had a couple of scary situations dealing with slopes and turning. But I’m not scared of hoverboard and even figured out what caused a problem once and how to try and avoid it.
>>
>> So now I think I’m genuinely okay to learn to ride a bike. Eager, even. I am definitely way less scared of it than learning to drive. And maybe if I learn to ride a bike and eventually get used to riding on the road near cars and stuff, that will help with some of my issues in the car case.. And maybe I can figure out some kinda game or some other indirect approach to help me build skills.

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 16, 2018, 12:07:26 AM4/16/18
to fallibl...@googlegroups.com, fI
On Sun, Apr 15, 2018 at 04:25:43PM -0400, anonymous FI wrote:

> I am scared of driving.

If you have the money and can wait long enough, maybe you will be able to buy a self-driving car. Waymo's self-driving cars "have been ferrying the public around portions of [Phoenix, AZ] without a backup driver since November [2017]." [https://www.seattletimes.com/business/riders-excitement-turns-to-yawns-in-waymos-self-driving-minivans/]

anonymous FI

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Apr 16, 2018, 12:14:33 AM4/16/18
to fallibl...@googlegroups.com, fI
On Sun, Apr 15, 2018 at 09:07:23PM -0700, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum wrote:

> On Sun, Apr 15, 2018 at 04:25:43PM -0400, anonymous FI wrote:
>
>> I am scared of driving.
>
> If you have the money and can wait long enough, maybe you will be able to buy a self-driving car.

self-driving cars as excuse not to learn to drive = NO

maybe in 15 yrs, not 1.5

buy an early generation self-driving car without knowing how to drive it yourself if you need to go offroad or there’s an issue or something? bad idea

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 16, 2018, 12:42:31 AM4/16/18
to fallibl...@googlegroups.com, fI
On Sun, Apr 15, 2018 at 09:14:30PM -0700, anonymous FI wrote:

> self-driving cars as excuse not to learn to drive = NO
>
> maybe in 15 yrs, not 1.5
>
> buy an early generation self-driving car without knowing how to drive it yourself if you need to go offroad or there’s an issue or something? bad idea

It sounds like OP lives in a city. Depending on how often he expects to go offroad, maybe he would prefer a self-driving car that works only on paved roads to learning to drive himself.

And what kind of issue are you thinking of? Non-self-driving cars have issues too. The usual response is to pull over and call someone.

anonymous FI

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Apr 16, 2018, 12:45:20 AM4/16/18
to fallibl...@googlegroups.com, fI

On Apr 15, 2018, at 21:42 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum
suppose there's an obstacle in the street and you need to go around
through the oncoming traffic lane when there's no one in sight. do you
expect early versions of self driving cars to be good at all edge cases?

what if there's seriously no parking, except a spot the software doesn't
want to use, but which could be used?

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum

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Apr 16, 2018, 2:06:29 AM4/16/18
to fallibl...@googlegroups.com, fI
On Sun, Apr 15, 2018 at 09:45:17PM -0700, anonymous FI wrote:

> On Apr 15, 2018, at 21:42 PM, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum <petrogradp...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> On Sun, Apr 15, 2018 at 09:14:30PM -0700, anonymous FI wrote:

>>> self-driving cars as excuse not to learn to drive = NO
>>>
>>> maybe in 15 yrs, not 1.5
>>>
>>> buy an early generation self-driving car without knowing how to drive it yourself if you need to go offroad or there’s an issue or something? bad idea
>>
>> It sounds like OP lives in a city. Depending on how often he expects to go offroad, maybe he would prefer a self-driving car that works only on paved roads to learning to drive himself.
>>
>> And what kind of issue are you thinking of? Non-self-driving cars have issues too. The usual response is to pull over and call someone.
>
> suppose there's an obstacle in the street and you need to go around through the oncoming traffic lane when there's no one in sight.

Pull over and wait for the obstacle to be cleared. It can be hard for human drivers as well to know when it's safe to pull into the oncoming traffic lane.

> do you expect early versions of self driving cars to be good at all edge cases?

No, but why is being good at *all* edge cases relevant? What matters is the expected frequency, danger, and inconvenience of edge cases.

Waymo doesn't expect edge cases to be be a blocker for its self-driving ride-hailing service. Waymo's self-driving cars already carry live passengers in Phoenix with no one in the front seat. [phoenix] In March 2018, Waymo announced a plan to "buy up to 20,000 [Jaguar SUV] electric cars over the next two years, a move that shows the scope of its ambition when it comes to driverless ride-hailing services... The company says the fleet would be capable of handling 1 million rides a day." [jaguar].

Maybe OP wouldn't even need to buy a self-driving car. Renting them or hailing them as needed might be better.

> what if there's seriously no parking, except a spot the software doesn't want to use, but which could be used?

Drive somewhere nearby and park there instead. That's what people already do when the only available parking spot looks too tricky to park in.

[phoenix] http://fortune.com/2018/03/13/waymo-driverless-minivans-phoenix/

[jaguar] https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2018/03/27/waymo-acquiring-20-000-electric-suvs-driverless-ride-hailing-service/461537002/

Jordan Talcot

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Apr 16, 2018, 4:38:20 AM4/16/18
to FIGG, fI

On Apr 15, 2018, at 13:25 PM, anonymous FI
<anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I am scared of driving. I am well into adulthood, so this has been an
> issue for a long time. I think knowing how to drive would be useful,
> but I have difficulty doing it.
>
> One issue is I can be kind of “spacey” and inattentive. I think it
> is a problem, but it is not that big a deal in many other contexts
> where there’s not constant split second life or death decisions you
> have to make. Inattention while driving is very dangerous. I have done
> driving lessons before and just blown past stop signs and that kind of
> thing.

You blew past a stop sign *during* a driving lesson?

How did that work? Didn’t the instructor tell you to stop, or stop the
car themselves with dual controls?

This makes me question your driving instructor. If you were coming up to
a stop sign without slowing down, the instructor should have told you to
slow down & stop. When you are taking lessons, part of the
instructor’s job is to pay attention to everything on the road and
make sure you are driving safely.

> I think maybe I get a bit overwhelmed by all there is to pay attention
> to while driving and just start dropping stuff randomly.
>
> (Note: I shared some of this with Elliot off list and have included
> his comments below)
>
> Elliot’s comments:
> overwhelmed as new driver is totally normal. new drivers often run
> stop signs. that’s a *different problem* than spacey.
> overwhelmed thing u can 100% solve with practice, is not srs problem
> u will get more used to it
> if ur that concerned, what u do is break driving into smaller pieces
> and practice the pieces
> like practice getting into the car and doing all the pre-driving
> stuff
> and then u get out and done
> do that 10 times and next time u go for drive u will have more
> same technique is used in PUA and good elsewhere too
> JP has said something similar with fear of elevator example
> and ofc driving in parking lot is breaking it into pieces
> lets u do some of driving without traffic
> and not going on freeway right away is pieces
>
> (back to my stuff)

I agree with Elliot.

Missing stuff when you are a new driver is not the same thing as being
spacey. You were overwhelmed by learning a new skill with lots of
different parts.

You need to break it down and start slower. You should be *really*
comfortable driving around in parking lots before you try to go out on
the road again.

> Another issue is I can be bad at forming clear judgments in my mind
> about what is happening, what to do, etc. So in the moment I can get
> overwhelmed and scared and make a mistake. One example is an issue
> like when you’re in a situation where you need to judge if another
> car is far enough away for you to safely perform some maneuver you
> want to perform (like entering a roundabout or making a turn or
> whatever). Unless the other cars are SUPER far away or the coast is
> totally clear, I find it hard to figure out if I’m driving safely.
> But you can’t just wait till stuff is super clear when driving IRL.
> People will honk and get mad. You need to be somewhat aggressive.
> I’m not at all confident I could be competently aggressive.

Are you talking specifically about driving here, or do you mean this is
a general trait?

If you are talking about driving specifically, then it makes sense that
you have trouble figure out if you are driving safely, or that you
don’t have good judgement yet about what to do in certain situations.
You don’t know how to drive yet! It’s silly to use your *current*
lack of driving skill & judgement as a reason *not to learn to driver*!

There are ways to deal with some of the problems you brought up. You can
do things like avoid left-hand turns at intersections without left-turn
advance lights. You can plan your routes to take the easiest streets and
intersections.

As you gain experience driving, you will also get better intuitions
about how big of a space you need, or how long it will take cars to
reach you.

You could start paying attention to this now, even without driving. If
you are in the car with someone else, pay attention when they are
waiting for a gap to turn. See what *you* think is a big enough gap. Pay
attention to when they go, and pay attention to how much space they
actually had — how long did it take the other car to reach the place
where they were turning?

Or pay attention when oncoming traffic turns in front of the car you are
in — how much space do they really have? Do they complete the turn
before you even get close? Did the driver have to slow down at all?

You can pay attention to this kind of thing while you are a pedestrian
too. Just watch cars and try to estimate how long it will take a car
coming towards you to reach you. You can count the seconds. You can also
count the seconds it takes to, say, make a left hand turn. Then you will
have an idea of if there would have been enough room to make a left hand
turn in front of that car.

As you do this, you should get better at judging and estimating how long
it will take cars to get from one point to another. You will get better
at understanding how much space you would actually have to turn in front
of a car.

> Another issue is I am almost completely useless at directions,
> figuring out where stuff is in relation to other stuff, etc.

Do you ever try to follow directions when you walk places? You could
practice this. Look at maps and trying walking different routes to place
than you normally do. Follow your maps. Or look at the map before you go
and see if you can figure out the directions, and then follow them.

Directions while driving are different that walking. I actually find
driving directions easier in general. The blocks seem shorter, and most
directions just involve turning at major/marked intersections. So you
don’t have to pay attention to all the landmarks and stuff around you.
You just look for the major intersections where you know you are going
to have to turn. You usually keep to main roads & intersections for most
of your drive. You only have to go into the side streets when you are
close to your destination.

> Another issue is I am bad at judging distances.

You can practice this too, without driving.

Figure out how long your pace is. Or how long your foot is. Then you can
measuring out distances by counting your steps.

Figure out how long a car is. Or how large of a space a car typically
needs to park in. You can look it up, or measure one by walking next to
it and counting steps.

Then you can try to judge small distances by walking them out and
counting your steps. You can try to judge if there is enough room for a
car in a parking space, then count your steps and see if you were right.

> Another issue is I am afraid of being in charge of something big
> moving at very high speed. I was even super scared of riding my
> hoverboard at more than a snail’s pace initially. The speed itself
> is something I find kinda scary. It makes me feel not in control, and
> in danger.

Do you feel that way when other people are driving you around in the
car?

Or do you just feel that way when you are the one in control of the
vehicle?

> Another issue is I have a poor spatial sense of like how big the
> vehicle is, how close other stuff is, etc., and so I get scared I will
> hit stuff/cyclists/cars/curbs/people (not to mention damage whatever I
> am driving!)

This is something you should put effort into practicing when you start
driving.

You can stop next to stuff, try to park next to lines in a parking lot,
or try to pull up next to a curb and then get out of the car and check
how close you really are.

Do this in a parking lot before you start driving on the road.

There are ways of looking at it in your particular car - figure out what
point on the windshield a curb or will line up with when your tire is
right next to it.

> Another issue is I have had multiple bad experiences with driving
> lessons. (That is a common issue people have when they haven’t
> learned to drive for a long time.) Getting yelled at for making
> mistakes by a driving instructor, winding up in a ditch when being
> taught by a friend, etc. And I don’t have any IRL
> friends/relatives/significant other with saintly patience I can impose
> upon for a ton of supervised driving time.

Try to find someone willing to just let you driving around a parking lot
until you are really comfortable.

You could call driving instructors and just explain what you want to do,
and ask if they are OK with that.

You could also try posting on your local subreddit or craiglist and
asking for someone to help you in exchange for pay. Make sure you
explain exactly how slowly you want to start. Some people will get
impatient if you literally spend multiple sessions only in a parking
lot. But talking to them about it beforehand should help you to find
someone who is OK with starting slow.

Also, when you start driving, you can start without using the gas pedal
at all. You could just spend the entire first driving session taking
your foot on & off the brake (assuming you are in an automatic, which
you definitely should be). You don’t need to use the gas to drive on
flat ground. You can drive really slowly around a parking lot just by
taking your foot off the brake. You can practice steering, practice your
braking, stop next to things and then get out and see how close you
really are.

(And before that you could just spend time sitting in the car and
getting used to the controls, as Elliot said above.)

> Another issue is that I live in a city where there’s lots of
> ridesharing and transit so it hasn’t been a huge issue. I don’t
> need to drive to go to work or run errands, and I don’t have a kid I
> need to pick up and take places. These are things of the type which
> wind up motivating people who are older to learn to drive. In fact
> it’s gotten *significantly easier and cheaper* for me to not drive
> over time. It used to be more of a constraint than it is now. Oh and I
> grew up in another city where it was even *easier* to not have a car
> than my current city (where it’s pretty easy and where a significant
> percentage of people don’t have a car), so I didn’t have the
> motivation when i was young either. Also it seems like we will legit
> get self driving cars in like 1.5 years maybe?
>
> To be clear, not driving has been more of a constraint than I’ve
> wanted to admit. But *as my life is set up right now*, getting around
> to stuff I need to get around to is pretty fast/easy.

You set your life up in a way to make it easy without driving. That
limited some of your options. It’s possible that if you could drive,
you would have made different decisions that you would have preferred.

> Another issue is that I find the difficulty of driving lessons scales
> really fast. You typically go from driving around a parking lot to out
> on the real, dangerous road pretty fast. I’ve tried a couple of
> driving instructors before, and it seems like they’re okay with you
> doing maybe one hour of easy stuff in the parking lot and then
> they’re pushing you to get out on busy streets.

You need to discuss this beforehand. Find someone who is willing to go
slowly. And it should be parking lots first, then really empty mostly
unused residential streets. You shouldn’t go from parking lots to busy
streets. You need to drive around empty streets first.

> Another issue is that the city I live in is often cited as one of the
> worst places to drive. There’s massive constant traffic, parking is
> expensive and often hard to find, the police are very aggressive about
> ticketing, and the cyclists are particularly numerous and aggressive.
> So even if I got my license, I think I’d be avoiding driving as much
> as possible here (especially given how much knowledge I already have
> about how to get around without driving).

You can learn to drive even if you aren’t planning on driving in your
current city. You could try driving in other places, or at least have it
as an option. Maybe you will want to change jobs one day, or your job
will require you to do something that driving would help with. In that
case, it would be good if you already had a license.

There are lots of things where it doesn’t make much sense to do them
ahead of time, just in case. But driving is not actually hard, it is a
relatively easy skill to learn, and it is starting to take longer to get
a license in many places (graduated licensing). Also, having years of
accident free driving experience will make it easier to rent a car or
use car sharing. And it will give you cheaper insurance rates. (And
years where you had a license but never actually drove will count
towards that.)

If you think you might want to drive at any point in the future, it
would be better to learn sooner rather than later. Driving isn’t
something that you can just easily pick up at the last minute when you
need it. Not being able to drive will just make some options unavailable
to you.

> I don’t wanna try to drive when I have major unsolved issues and
> wind up having an accident and maybe dying.

You don’t have to actually drive on your own while you have unresolved
issues with driving itself.

The point is to learn to drive. Take lessons *until you feel
comfortable*. Not to go out and drive alone while you feel that you are
still an unsafe driver.

Also, when you do drive, there are different levels of difficulty. You
can *choose* to drive only in less difficult situations. You can plan
your routes to avoid the things that you find most difficult.

For example, it is really common for people who have been driving for
years to entirely avoid the downtown core of large &/or unfamiliar
cities.

> But I also don’t wanna be timid and scared about something that lots
> of people manage to do. (Though note that lots of people are bad
> drivers. I don’t wanna drive to *their* standard…)
>
> I also don’t wanna repeat the cycle of spending some money on
> driving lessons and then having stuff go kind of miserably.

I think talking to your instructor beforehand should help with this.
Give them a clear idea of what you want, and make sure they at least say
they are OK with it.

And it might help to use a non-professional instructor. Just find
someone online who would agree to let you drive their car around a
parking lot. Maybe they won’t have as much of an agenda as a real
instructor. I think there are a lot of people who own cars who would
consider that easy money.

> I looked online for advice but there wasn’t much.
>
> Mostly just “practice practice practice, hehe!”, or getting
> therapy, or having a family member or spouse take you out to a sleepy
> area to practice a bunch.

Practice will help. You just need to start with slower practice. You
need more driving in parking lots, and then very sleepy areas or unused
areas.

[…]

> The nice thing about the hoverboard is it self-balances and you can go
> verrrrrry slowly. So you can just focus on controlling the forward
> movement and turning. I literally spent like 2 hours going in a very
> slow circle in a park (like slower than walking speed) before I
> started to feel comfortable with hoverboard. For those two hours a
> snail could have lapped me ;p

That’s what you need to do with driving a car too.

Maybe you can tell that story to potential driving instructors/helpers.
You literally spent 2 hours driving your hoverboard in a circle slower
than walking speed. You want to spend even *more* time doing basically
the same thing in a car…

[…]

> One indirect approach I’ve been trying a bit is to just be very
> observant when riding Uber (esp when i am in front seat). Like trying
> to figure out what’s going on, what I would do if I was driving --
> like when i think it's safe to turn. Does that match up with driver?
> Since I already use Uber a bunch, this method doesn't cost me anything
> extra, so that is nice. It doesn't lend itself to getting external
> crit, though!

Right, that’s what I was suggesting above.

You could see how your judgements match up to the driver. You could also
see how long you *think* it will take a car to reach a certain place,
then compare to how long it *actually* takes. You can look behind you
after completing a turn to see how long it actually takes the other car
to cross your path.

[…]

> I don’t like feeling pressured, so I think if I focus on working on
> subskills and don’t try to make myself achieve a certain outcome in
> a certain timeframe (especially when there’s nothing particularly
> urgent requiring that I learn this thing in a specific time frame),
> that will be helpful.

Right, it would be good to be at least working on it.

Write down the things that you think are issues, and some possible ways
to work on those issues. Then try to do those things regularly. Make a
file or a spreadsheet or something for this, to keep track of it.

You don’t need to have a timeframe for when to learn to drive. But you
shouldn’t just neglect it and forget about it either. You need to
either actively work towards it, or actually decide that you aren’t
going to do it. (And you should have reasons for your decision.) Don’t
just end up neglecting it and never learning it without actively have
*chosen* not to learn it.

Jordan

anonymous FI

unread,
Apr 17, 2018, 1:00:03 AM4/17/18
to FIGG, fI
On Apr 15, 2018, at 18:31 PM, PAS <p...@paipas.com> wrote:

> On Apr 15, 2018, at 1:25 PM, anonymous FI
> <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I am scared of driving. I am well into adulthood, so this has been an
>> issue for a long time. I think knowing how to drive would be useful,
>> but I have difficulty doing it.
>
> I was scared of driving well into adulthood. I think it’s common for
> ppl who are self-aware of their own limitations and the risks
> involved.
>
> But I eventually figured it out, have been driving over 2 decades now,
> all over the US and also in some foreign countries where they drive on
> the left. I have had zero accidents.

Happy story :)

>> Another issue is I can be bad at forming clear judgments in my mind
>> about what is happening, what to do, etc. So in the moment I can get
>> overwhelmed and scared and make a mistake. One example is an issue
>> like when you’re in a situation where you need to judge if another
>> car is far enough away for you to safely perform some maneuver you
>> want to perform (like entering a roundabout or making a turn or
>> whatever). Unless the other cars are SUPER far away or the coast is
>> totally clear, I find it hard to figure out if I’m driving safely.
>> But you can’t just wait till stuff is super clear when driving IRL.
>> People will honk and get mad. You need to be somewhat aggressive.
>> I’m not at all confident I could be competently aggressive.
>
> Super-important principle: Let people behind you honk and get mad.
> I’m not saying to do things just to piss off drivers behind you. But
> if you’re in doubt, don’t worry about what the people behind you
> do with their horn. This principle is important for tons of
> situations. Part of the reason I have zero accidents is that I’m not
> afraid of honks.

Good principle :)

> Also, there are ways to avoid many hard to judge situations where
> you’re likely to get honked at. When my route calls for me to cross
> traffic without a light, I will often just turn right then make a
> U-turn down the road and another right onto the same street I was
> originally on.

Can you link a pic online of a road situation where you might do this?
I’m not sure I’m super clear here. ty.

> I often do the same thing pulling out of a store where I need to go
> left. I go right instead, then make a U-turn. Also, sometimes I make 3
> right turns instead of one left turn.

What’s a situation where u make 3 right turns?

>> Another issue is I am almost completely useless at directions,
>> figuring out where stuff is in relation to other stuff, etc.
>
> I am too.

I have this dumb tendency to think I’m uniquely bad at certain stuff
so it’s useful to know other people have this issue.

> Additionally, I almost never can read street signs, and I’m bad at
> recognizing landmarks. So unless I’m super-duper comfortable with
> the whole route where I’m going, I use a GPS with turn by turn voice
> directions so I don’t look at the screen. I use a GPS, often, in my
> home town. I use a GPS 100% of the time when I’m out of town.
>
> GPS was truly a game changer for me BTW.

Me too, even as a pedestrian/transit user. I used to get lost so much
lol.

> Before GPS, driving in unfamiliar cities was horrific. I would have to
> drive a bit in what I thought was the right direction, find a safe
> place to stop, get out, walk up to street signs, figure out where I
> was, get back in the car, look for that place on the map, figure out
> which way I needed to go next, drive some more and repeat until I got
> where I was going. It made business trips hell.
>
> The first time I rented a car with a GPS installed it was like a whole
> new experience driving. This was when cell phones weighed a pound and
> could only make calls, and you couldn’t even buy a portable GPS (had
> to be custom installed in the car, with a trunk pack, at a cost of
> several thousand dollars).

Lol wow @ trunk pack.

> So I had this taste of GPS, and then went a few years of hit-or-miss
> having it in rental cars. Having one in my own car didn’t help,
> since business trips were always to far away cities.
>
> A few years later I was able to buy a USB GPS that would plug into a
> laptop I could have on the passenger seat that would give spoken
> directions. And that’s what I did for several years. Still a pain
> (unpack & setup laptop, 2-3 minutes to boot & load mapping software,
> punch in destination, drive there, then pack everything up and stow
> out of sight so it didn’t get stolen) but far less pain than the
> method of getting out and looking at street signs all the time.
>
> Now, you typically own a GPS before you own a car (your phone). Tiny,
> already booted, constantly up-to-date, and you’re carrying it
> anyway. Works great. Use it, and weep with joy that it exists. :)

:)

>> Another issue is I have a poor spatial sense of like how big the
>> vehicle is, how close other stuff is, etc., and so I get scared I
>> will hit stuff/cyclists/cars/curbs/people (not to mention damage
>> whatever I am driving!)
>
> If I can’t positively ascertain I have room to get around a cyclist
> I’ll just stay behind them until the next lane opens up, the road
> widens, or they pull off.
>
> Sometimes on a residential street if there’s cars parked on both
> sides I can’t tell if I have enough room to both not hit the parked
> cars and also not hit the oncoming cars. In such a situation I’ll
> just stop until there’s no oncoming cars.

You sound like a very cautious, wise driver!

>> I looked online for advice but there wasn’t much.
>>
>> Mostly just “practice practice practice, hehe!”, or getting
>> therapy, or having a family member or spouse take you out to a sleepy
>> area to practice a bunch.
>
> I think you gotta go to sleepy areas to practice. Practicing in a
> dense area before you’re really confident in calm residential or
> rural area is bad. I now know more about why - it’s overreaching.

Yeah.

I found a syllabus for a local driving school. They have a 7 lesson
course, each lesson is 2 hours. By lesson 3 they’re driving in the
city, by lesson 5 they’re on the expressway. I think that’s way too
fast for me.

> Even now I don’t generally drive in dense urban areas unless I
> really have to. And when I do, I’m totally in the mental state where
> I expect to make wrong turns, get honked at, etc. Just expect it.
>
>> I was thinking of trying a driving simulation game to help.

*snipped a bunch of stuff*

> I can’t really say if any of that will help. None of it was
> available when I was learning to drive. The “simulators” were
> laughably primitive and nothing like actual driving.

Yeah. Stuff’s come a long way :D

You can find youtube vids online of people showing off the headtracking
in driving sims with VR. its pretty cool….


BTW I bought City Car Driving and tried playing it some with my Xbox
controller. It worked okay. I could control the car okay-ish and easily
do things like turn signals once i mapped everything correctly to my
controller.

BTW I initially started in a manual transmission car and didn’t
realize it, and had no idea wtf was happening D:

One I switched to an automatic, the experience fit my understanding of
how cars are supposed to work based on my very few hours of previous
experience using them IRL.

I hit lamp posts a couple of times. Doh. Turning doesn’t go so great
for me. Kept going off the road. Also the game kept saying i failed at
yielding the right of way.

I’m strongly considering getting a wheel and pedal set for at least my
current computer. I think that will add another useful dimension to the
experience without costing too much.

BTW if i get a wheel/pedal set, should i bother getting one with a
shifter, or is manual something i basically shouldn’t worry about?
(I’ve seen some people say games helped a ton with their learning how
to drive manual)

anonymous FI

unread,
Apr 18, 2018, 6:35:34 AM4/18/18
to FIGG, fI
On Apr 16, 2018, at 4:38 AM, Jordan Talcot <jordan...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> On Apr 15, 2018, at 13:25 PM, anonymous FI
> <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I am scared of driving. I am well into adulthood, so this has been an
>> issue for a long time. I think knowing how to drive would be useful,
>> but I have difficulty doing it.
>>
>> One issue is I can be kind of “spacey” and inattentive. I think
>> it is a problem, but it is not that big a deal in many other contexts
>> where there’s not constant split second life or death decisions you
>> have to make. Inattention while driving is very dangerous. I have
>> done driving lessons before and just blown past stop signs and that
>> kind of thing.
>
> You blew past a stop sign *during* a driving lesson?
>
> How did that work? Didn’t the instructor tell you to stop, or stop
> the car themselves with dual controls?

Honestly I forget the details of exactly what happened, this was a
number of years ago.

> This makes me question your driving instructor. If you were coming up
> to a stop sign without slowing down, the instructor should have told
> you to slow down & stop. When you are taking lessons, part of the
> instructor’s job is to pay attention to everything on the road and
> make sure you are driving safely.

My driving instructor was yelly and not very good. I remember him having
a solid tip or two (which I’ve forgotten on account of it being so
long ago!) but he wasn’t very calm or professional. He had good
reviews too!

Lots of the adult driving instructors here are immigrants (like the guy
I had a bad experience with) so that adds another level of potential
communication difficulties/culture clash.

I guess maybe cuz there’s a bunch of uber drivers who are immigrants,
perhaps some of the more enterprising ones wind up trying to get into
driving lesson business?

And most people learn from their parents or maybe take a
teenager-oriented class, so adult driving lessons in my town are mostly
just immigrants teaching immigrants? (and a few unfortunate saps like me
:-/)

>> Another issue is I can be bad at forming clear judgments in my mind
>> about what is happening, what to do, etc. So in the moment I can get
>> overwhelmed and scared and make a mistake. One example is an issue
>> like when you’re in a situation where you need to judge if another
>> car is far enough away for you to safely perform some maneuver you
>> want to perform (like entering a roundabout or making a turn or
>> whatever). Unless the other cars are SUPER far away or the coast is
>> totally clear, I find it hard to figure out if I’m driving safely.
>> But you can’t just wait till stuff is super clear when driving IRL.
>> People will honk and get mad. You need to be somewhat aggressive.
>> I’m not at all confident I could be competently aggressive.
>
> Are you talking specifically about driving here, or do you mean this
> is a general trait?

I think it’s somewhat of a general issue. I think it’s particularly
pronounced in driving situations.
All good recommendations.

BTW just recently, as a pedestrian, i saw a car turn on a red light and
thought “wait, is that okay?”

The place where I grew up is one of the few places in my country where
it *isn’t* okay, and i think i had some background recollection of
that fact, and i haven’t really paid attention to local traffic rules
on account of not driving. (Even when I’m in an uber or other
rideshare thing, I have been generally paying attention to other stuff,
not what driver is doing.)

(It is apparently okay here btw, and virtually everywhere in the country
except the place where i grew up, assuming there’s not a sign that
says otherwise).

> As you do this, you should get better at judging and estimating how
> long it will take cars to get from one point to another. You will get
> better at understanding how much space you would actually have to turn
> in front of a car.
>
>> Another issue is I am almost completely useless at directions,
>> figuring out where stuff is in relation to other stuff, etc.
>
> Do you ever try to follow directions when you walk places?
> You could practice this. Look at maps and trying walking different
> routes to place than you normally do. Follow your maps.

I sometimes vary my walking routes.

> Or look at the map before you go and see if you can figure out the
> directions, and then follow them.

So you mean like don’t check map again while trying to follow route?
Preload stuff into brain before journey?

>> Another issue is I am afraid of being in charge of something big
>> moving at very high speed. I was even super scared of riding my
>> hoverboard at more than a snail’s pace initially. The speed itself
>> is something I find kinda scary. It makes me feel not in control, and
>> in danger.
>
> Do you feel that way when other people are driving you around in the
> car?
>
> Or do you just feel that way when you are the one in control of the
> vehicle?

I only feel in danger when someone else is driving if they seem like a
bad driver. So like someone with like a 4.6 Uber rating, say.

>> I don’t like feeling pressured, so I think if I focus on working on
>> subskills and don’t try to make myself achieve a certain outcome in
>> a certain timeframe (especially when there’s nothing particularly
>> urgent requiring that I learn this thing in a specific time frame),
>> that will be helpful.
>
> Right, it would be good to be at least working on it.
>
> Write down the things that you think are issues, and some possible
> ways to work on those issues. Then try to do those things regularly.
> Make a file or a spreadsheet or something for this, to keep track of
> it.

Good tip.

> You don’t need to have a timeframe for when to learn to drive. But
> you shouldn’t just neglect it and forget about it either. You need
> to either actively work towards it, or actually decide that you
> aren’t going to do it. (And you should have reasons for your
> decision.) Don’t just end up neglecting it and never learning it
> without actively have *chosen* not to learn it.

Yes I agree I shouldn’t just neglect it without making a choice.

Your post was very helpful. Thanks. I might reply to more of it later,
but wanted to at least write this now. I read all of the post already.

PAS

unread,
Apr 21, 2018, 6:41:47 PM4/21/18
to FI, FIGG
On Apr 16, 2018, at 10:00 PM, 'anonymous FI' anonymousfa...@gmail.com [fallible-ideas] <fallibl...@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

> On Apr 15, 2018, at 18:31 PM, PAS <p...@paipas.com> wrote:
>
>> On Apr 15, 2018, at 1:25 PM, anonymous FI
>> <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> I am scared of driving. I am well into adulthood, so this has been an
>>> issue for a long time. I think knowing how to drive would be useful,
>>> but I have difficulty doing it.
>>
>> I was scared of driving well into adulthood. I think it’s common for
>> ppl who are self-aware of their own limitations and the risks
>> involved.
>>
>> But I eventually figured it out, have been driving over 2 decades now,
>> all over the US and also in some foreign countries where they drive on
>> the left. I have had zero accidents.
>
> Happy story :)


>> Also, there are ways to avoid many hard to judge situations where
>> you’re likely to get honked at. When my route calls for me to cross
>> traffic without a light, I will often just turn right then make a
>> U-turn down the road and another right onto the same street I was
>> originally on.
>
> Can you link a pic online of a road situation where you might do this?
> I’m not sure I’m super clear here. ty.

Here’s one - first the top view:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.1769292,-110.8320678,368m/data=!3m1!1e3

If I’m on S. Winter Palm Dr. Heading North and want to continue going North across E. Escalante Rd., where it becomes S. Prudence Rd. Changing road names when they cross other streets is common here, but it’s the same road. There’s not a traffic light at that intersection for cars, just a cross walk with a stop light for pedestrians.

Here’s the street view:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.1771002,-110.8324451,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sdIqjpMksnUbBtvEFsPhUow!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

I *could* wait for both directions of traffic on Escalante to clear and go right through the intersection. Escalante isn’t that busy of a street, especially outside of commuting hours. I’ve even gone straight through the intersection a few times when traffic was really light. You can see in the street view there’s just one truck visible on Escalante when the picture was snapped - not that unusual.

But generally, tracking two lanes in each direction and making sure there’s no cars hidden behind visual barriers or about to pull out or whatever feels like too much for me. So I don’t.

What I do instead is make a right turn on Escalante, so I’m heading East. That only requires me to make sure the near right lane in one direction is clear. Now street view looks like:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.1771002,-110.8324451,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sdIqjpMksnUbBtvEFsPhUow!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Then I get in the left lane and eventually get in the left turn bay:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.1772654,-110.8280714,3a,75y,37.43h,62.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1ssJ5hiQKDgwqMTu0ePA0brg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Then I make a U-Turn from the left turn bay. Now I'm now heading West on Escalante:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.1774001,-110.828198,3a,75y,282.06h,102.34t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1spiN3_6Irge90nUoKphxulQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Then when I get to Prudence I make a right turn:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.1774115,-110.8322576,3a,75y,324.05h,99.35t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sTDfPuBSitLB-syTX5E91xw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

It adds no more than 2 minutes. But a ton less stressful. No trouble tracking when things are safe, nobody behind me honking because they think things are clear enough when I can’t tell, etc.

>> I often do the same thing pulling out of a store where I need to go
>> left. I go right instead, then make a U-turn. Also, sometimes I make 3
>> right turns instead of one left turn.
>
> What’s a situation where u make 3 right turns?

Here’s one - not a store but a post office. First the top view:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.2078264,-110.8224774,381m/data=!3m1!1e3

I’m in the customer parking lot, which is on the west side of the building facing S. Pantano Rd. There’s no way for customers to get around back of the building - the only way in/out is onto Pantano. I want to be heading West on E. 22nd St. The “fast” way to do this is to make a left out of the parking lot, heading South on Pantano and then make an immediate right on E. 22nd St.

Here’’s what the exit looks like from across the street:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.2083184,-110.8238772,3a,75y,97.4h,66.7t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sDogZii5KGBOrLgwzjLAH4g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

And here’s what it’d look like if I made the left and was heading South on Pantano:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.2082263,-110.8238772,3a,75y,171.64h,67.56t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sSF-L_OF1fDAD7XST6gUPGA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

To do that, like the other example, would require me to track 2 lanes in each direction plus a middle left turn lane. Instead of trying that, I usually turn right out of the post office, so heading North on Pantano. Then I turn immediately right again on E. Beverly St. Notice you can still see the pink roof of the post office I just pulled out of in the distance:

https://www.google.com/maps/@32.2088864,-110.8236649,3a,75y,135.16h,70.25t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1soKbBiomXFWn3KiKoqcv7JQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656.

I go East on E. Beverly St. and make the next available right, which is S. Sherwood Village Dr.:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.208603,-110.8198465,3a,75y,205.93h,102.3t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1saX3nc3k6M9tlMe6L4idcVA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Take that to 22nd St. and turn right again:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.2066279,-110.820046,3a,75y,231.31h,96.86t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1siKUR6cmAyRS7eru6tjbuUg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Now I’m heading West on 22nd St. like I wanted, but I didn’t have to cross multiple lanes of traffic, nobody was behind me in the parking lot honking while I waited for both directions to clear, etc.


>>> I looked online for advice but there wasn’t much.
>>>
>>> Mostly just “practice practice practice, hehe!”, or getting
>>> therapy, or having a family member or spouse take you out to a sleepy
>>> area to practice a bunch.
>>
>> I think you gotta go to sleepy areas to practice. Practicing in a
>> dense area before you’re really confident in calm residential or
>> rural area is bad. I now know more about why - it’s overreaching.
>
> Yeah.
>
> I found a syllabus for a local driving school. They have a 7 lesson
> course, each lesson is 2 hours. By lesson 3 they’re driving in the
> city, by lesson 5 they’re on the expressway. I think that’s way too
> fast for me.

The multi-lane streets in the two examples above are still, relatively speaking, sleepy areas. The street views show reasonably typical daytime traffic levels outside of commuting hours. The residential streets (like E. Beverly and S. Sherwood Village) are the type of place I did most of my driving at the beginning. I don’t remember how many hours but it was plenty before I got out on a street like 22nd St. with 3 lanes in each direction and 40MPH speed limit (traffic moving at 45-50 MPH).

Freeway is its own kinda thing, as is twisty mountain roads with steep up and down grades, and “downtown” type urban driving, and tight parking (especially parallel). I wouldn’t try any of those until really comfortable with basic residential and suburban street driving like in the examples.


> BTW I initially started in a manual transmission car and didn’t
> realize it, and had no idea wtf was happening D:

Ya driving a manual transmission (driving stick) is also it’s own thing. Don’t try in a real car especially until you’re already fully comfortable with automatics. I learned to drive stick in a mall parking lot, about a year after I started regularly driving an automatic.

> One I switched to an automatic, the experience fit my understanding of
> how cars are supposed to work based on my very few hours of previous
> experience using them IRL.
>
> I hit lamp posts a couple of times. Doh. Turning doesn’t go so great
> for me. Kept going off the road. Also the game kept saying i failed at
> yielding the right of way.
>
> I’m strongly considering getting a wheel and pedal set for at least my
> current computer. I think that will add another useful dimension to the
> experience without costing too much.
>
> BTW if i get a wheel/pedal set, should i bother getting one with a
> shifter, or is manual something i basically shouldn’t worry about?
> (I’ve seen some people say games helped a ton with their learning how
> to drive manual)

I wouldn’t worry about it up front. Get comfortable in an automatic. Later if you want to learn stick you won’t be worried about hitting stuff etc. and can just focus on the feel of the clutch & gas.

PAS

anonymous FI

unread,
Apr 22, 2018, 4:00:03 PM4/22/18
to FIGG, FI
On Apr 21, 2018, at 18:41 PM, PAS <p...@paipas.com> wrote:

> On Apr 16, 2018, at 10:00 PM, 'anonymous FI'
> anonymousfa...@gmail.com [fallible-ideas]
> <fallibl...@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
>
>> On Apr 15, 2018, at 18:31 PM, PAS <p...@paipas.com> wrote:
>>
>>> On Apr 15, 2018, at 1:25 PM, anonymous FI
>>> <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> I am scared of driving. I am well into adulthood, so this has been
>>>> an
>>>> issue for a long time. I think knowing how to drive would be
>>>> useful,
>>>> but I have difficulty doing it.

[…]
FYI this street view link goes to the same place as the previous one. I
think I get the idea of where you’d be from your careful description
though.

> Then I get in the left lane and eventually get in the left turn bay:
> https://www.google.com/maps/@32.1772654,-110.8280714,3a,75y,37.43h,62.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1ssJ5hiQKDgwqMTu0ePA0brg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
>
> Then I make a U-Turn from the left turn bay. Now I'm now heading West
> on Escalante:
> https://www.google.com/maps/@32.1774001,-110.828198,3a,75y,282.06h,102.34t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1spiN3_6Irge90nUoKphxulQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
>
> Then when I get to Prudence I make a right turn:
> https://www.google.com/maps/@32.1774115,-110.8322576,3a,75y,324.05h,99.35t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sTDfPuBSitLB-syTX5E91xw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
>
> It adds no more than 2 minutes. But a ton less stressful. No trouble
> tracking when things are safe, nobody behind me honking because they
> think things are clear enough when I can’t tell, etc.

Thanks for the detailed description and links.

>>> I often do the same thing pulling out of a store where I need to go
>>> left. I go right instead, then make a U-turn. Also, sometimes I make
>>> 3
>>> right turns instead of one left turn.
>>
>> What’s a situation where u make 3 right turns?
>
> Here’s one - not a store but a post office. First the top view:

*snip of detailed explanation*

Another great, detailed explanation. This level of detail is really
helpful for me. Thanks!
Yeah I agree.

>> BTW I initially started in a manual transmission car and didn’t
>> realize it, and had no idea wtf was happening D:
>
> Ya driving a manual transmission (driving stick) is also it’s own
> thing. Don’t try in a real car especially until you’re already
> fully comfortable with automatics. I learned to drive stick in a mall
> parking lot, about a year after I started regularly driving an
> automatic.

Ok. BTW I am curious why you decided to learn how to drive stick.

>> One I switched to an automatic, the experience fit my understanding
>> of
>> how cars are supposed to work based on my very few hours of previous
>> experience using them IRL.
>>
>> I hit lamp posts a couple of times. Doh. Turning doesn’t go so
>> great
>> for me. Kept going off the road. Also the game kept saying i failed
>> at
>> yielding the right of way.
>>
>> I’m strongly considering getting a wheel and pedal set for at least
>> my
>> current computer. I think that will add another useful dimension to
>> the
>> experience without costing too much.
>>
>> BTW if i get a wheel/pedal set, should i bother getting one with a
>> shifter, or is manual something i basically shouldn’t worry about?
>> (I’ve seen some people say games helped a ton with their learning
>> how
>> to drive manual)
>
> I wouldn’t worry about it up front. Get comfortable in an automatic.
> Later if you want to learn stick you won’t be worried about hitting
> stuff etc. and can just focus on the feel of the clutch & gas.

ok cool.

thanks for your helpful post.

PAS

unread,
Apr 22, 2018, 4:30:02 PM4/22/18
to FIGG, FI
On Apr 22, 2018, at 1:00 PM, anonymous FI <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Apr 21, 2018, at 18:41 PM, PAS <p...@paipas.com> wrote:
>
>> On Apr 16, 2018, at 10:00 PM, 'anonymous FI' anonymousfa...@gmail.com [fallible-ideas] <fallibl...@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


>>> BTW I initially started in a manual transmission car and didn’t
>>> realize it, and had no idea wtf was happening D:
>>
>> Ya driving a manual transmission (driving stick) is also it’s own thing. Don’t try in a real car especially until you’re already fully comfortable with automatics. I learned to drive stick in a mall parking lot, about a year after I started regularly driving an automatic.
>
> Ok. BTW I am curious why you decided to learn how to drive stick.

Two reasons:
1. I was considering buying my first car, only wanted to pay cash and at the time I was kinda poor. Cheap low-end cars with sticks performed significantly better than cheap low-end cars with automatics. Better acceleration AND better gas mileage. They were also cheaper to buy. This was well over 20 years ago and I don’t know if all that’s still true or not.

BTW - I have never financed a vehicle and do not recommend it. Find something you like and can pay cash for, or wait until you can.

2. Some larger trucks had sticks because it gave you more control over the amount of torque you need for various loading conditions. At the time, automatics weren’t great about handling a truck with a total weight that could vary by over a half ton depending on whether it was empty or fully loaded. Again I don’t know if that’s still true or not.

My current vehicles are automatics. I haven’t owned or driven a stick in a long time.

PAS

Elliot Temple

unread,
Apr 23, 2018, 2:40:59 AM4/23/18
to fallibl...@googlegroups.com, FI
On Apr 22, 2018, at 1:29 PM, PAS <p...@paipas.com> wrote:

> On Apr 22, 2018, at 1:00 PM, anonymous FI <anonymousfa...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Apr 21, 2018, at 18:41 PM, PAS <p...@paipas.com> wrote:
>>
>>> On Apr 16, 2018, at 10:00 PM, 'anonymous FI' anonymousfa...@gmail.com [fallible-ideas] <fallibl...@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
>
>
>>>> BTW I initially started in a manual transmission car and didn’t
>>>> realize it, and had no idea wtf was happening D:
>>>
>>> Ya driving a manual transmission (driving stick) is also it’s own thing. Don’t try in a real car especially until you’re already fully comfortable with automatics. I learned to drive stick in a mall parking lot, about a year after I started regularly driving an automatic.
>>
>> Ok. BTW I am curious why you decided to learn how to drive stick.
>
> Two reasons:
> 1. I was considering buying my first car, only wanted to pay cash and at the time I was kinda poor. Cheap low-end cars with sticks performed significantly better than cheap low-end cars with automatics. Better acceleration AND better gas mileage. They were also cheaper to buy. This was well over 20 years ago and I don’t know if all that’s still true or not.

I think automatics have improved a lot and gotten way more common. Also I generally wouldn't recommend buying a cheap, old car. There are some great features that you'll miss out on like electronic stability control (and some other safety features), Bluetooth speakers, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

> BTW - I have never financed a vehicle and do not recommend it. Find something you like and can pay cash for, or wait until you can.

Why?

Elliot Temple
www.fallibleideas.com

PAS

unread,
Apr 23, 2018, 2:33:50 PM4/23/18
to FIGG, FI
A rule of thumb to always pay cash for vehicles mitigates some common flaws people have. People often fuck themselves financially when car buying because of the flaws.

Some common flaws I have in mind are:
- Selective attention (to sticker price, or monthly payment amount, or interest rate)
- Being bad at math (not knowing how much additional fees or loan duration affects the total cost)
- Relying on authority (loan approvers) to say how much you can afford
- Poor life contingency planning / limiting future flexibility
- Buying for social signaling reasons - to look rich instead of be rich

PAS

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