Aspie World 11 – Driving

2013-10-24  Aspie World 11 - Driving


For many years I couldn’t understand why so many drivers seem not to be able to correctly calculate the speed of the different cars around, and the speed differential between them, so to move between traffic (like when changing lanes) without forcing someone to brake or another to avoid a collision.

After learning that I’m an Aspie I started analyzing my perceptions from the Aspie point of view, and I have discovered that many things I didn’t understand before had a simple and logical explanation when considered from the different wiring of an Aspie brain. One of those things is my own driving compared with other people’s driving.

When I drive, usually I drive fast between traffic. I like the “gliding” feeling when passing cars. It is like a game with certain rules like: never going faster than 5 miles per hour above the speed limit; trying to use the brakes the least possible; turning the smoothest possible, so the direction changes cannot be perceived by the body, etc.

To do this it is necessary to anticipate the movements of the cars around, so to know before it happens which car is changing lanes, when, at what speed, etc. so to be able to “glide” my car between the opening spaces to jump ahead of others without disturbing them and abusing my car.

I believe the two keys to do this in the most efficient possible way is to be able to anticipate other cars movements, and being able to “perceive” rather than calculate the speeds of the other cars and the speed differential between them.

I can do that!

Analyzing how it happens, I discovered that most of the times somehow “I know” about 5 seconds before it happens when a certain car is going to move, change lanes, the direction and the smoothness or roughness with which the driver will do it; and I even can anticipate if the driver is going to use the turning lights or not!

After analyzing my wife’s driving (and how she gets scared when I drive!) (my car has marked the brake pedal in the passenger side floor, and my wife remains extremely silent when I drive), and even my son’s reactions to my driving, considering that he is young (25) and with excellent eye vision and reflexes, and can only conclude that it seems I have a special ability to anticipate other people’s movements and sort of visualize the different movements of all the cars around me at the same time, so to know where, when and at what speed should I move.

I can’t deny that some times my senses fail and I have to do a hard braking to avoid a collision, and some other (the least of times fortunately) I seem to get it all wrong and position my car in the slowest place, making me loose time rather than gain it. Also, this “anticipation” thing seems to work only when driving and nothing else.

Still, it is strange that I can anticipate other people’s movements, considering that those people move without even thinking! So this whole Aspie driving thing reminds me of that T shirt for aspies that reads: “I’m an Aspie. What is your super power?” LOL




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8 Responses to Aspie World 11 – Driving

  1. Kelvin Kao says:

    I wonder how useful this kind of skill is if you use it for, say, basketball. I bet there are basketball players that are very good at anticipating defender’s movements so he can cut all the way through the gaps to make a basket!
    Kelvin Kao´s last post ..Marionette Workshop (Advanced): Weeks 1, 2

    Raul Reply:

    Hi kelvin,

    I assume in any profession must be something similar. I’m really bad at basketball, but I did race cars many years ago and did pretty good. I guess it helps that being a car mechanic sort of understand cars “behavior”


  2. Patricia says:

    With dyscalcula I had an awful time learning how to drive. I do not think I could pass a driving test again. I can not judge distance or speed of other cars and I find it extremely difficult to make a left turn – I go to the lights.

    I had a wonderful fellow teach me how to drive to pass the test after my 10th try as his daughter had dyscalcula also.

    It is so very difficult to explain it to others. I needed assistance merging on to the freeway at night, but my husband thought it would be best for me to just practice this skill – I got on before the end of the ramp and the Columbia River but not without a honk from another driver. Traffic was heavy. Then I used my expletive/ Nixon words to yell at my husband for a minute.

    I have never had an accident or caused one. Snow is impossible for me to navigate in and I can not see to go down the back stairs of our deck. I am not supposed to be able to swim – but I have no problem with that.

    My husband drives slowly right at the speed limit and uses cruise control a lot. His goal is to save gave and CO emissions. In the city, riding in the back seat is a jerky experience.
    Patricia´s last post ..THE HOURGLASS: a novel ~Sharon Struth

    Raul Reply:

    Hi Patricia,

    We all have abilities and problems, and if driving is one of your problems, I can see that when it comes to explain the essence of a book you are very good! I’m sure there are many more traits you have that you haven’t mentioned :)


  3. Patricia says:

    gas not gave
    Patricia´s last post ..THE HOURGLASS: a novel ~Sharon Struth

    Raul Reply:

    If you hadn’t mentioned it, I wouldn’t have realized. I just read it as “gas” and went to check on it after your clarification. I guess the subconscious correct automatically for what the eyes see.


  4. Sara says:


    I loved this post!!! Especially how you describe your gift, which I do NOT possess and admire you for having it. I loved the words “I can do that!”

    I think we all have some special gifts. It’s discovering them and appreciating what they give us. So many people discount their gifts and don’t talk about them, but I like that you have given respect to your gift. I’m sure it’s one of many:~)

    p.s I like what you said to Patricia and agree completely!

    p.s.s. You are one of the most special people I know and I learn new things from you and about you every time you post. Please keep posting! Have a good weekend, Raul:~)
    Sara´s last post ..SPC: What Did the Chickens See?

    Raul Reply:

    Hi Sara,

    Thank you for your kind comments :)

    For many years I didn’t appreciate what I have and only gave thought to what I don’t have, but since I discovered that I have Asperger’s, and after the depressive state, I just don’t give a *@# and so now I’m free to enjoy what I have and even what I don’t!


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