Summer is in full swing and that may mean a few road trips this season.
I LOVE jumping in the car in the summer. Windows down, music blasting, audiobook entertaining me. Sometimes I have a destination; other times I’m just meandering around seeing where the road takes me. Road tripping with ADHD!
Most of those things can be a recipe for disaster when you are driving under the influence of ADHD.
Jumping in the car could mean impulsively heading out the door without my phone, wallet, enough gas, snacks, or any idea how to get where I want to go.
Windows, music or audiobook mean I could be easily distracted or lose focus causing me to get lost or risk an accident.
Having a destination means I could be speeding to get there on time, get impatient, slide through stop signs, or push the yellow in traffic lights.
Meandering means I could run out of gas, get lost, and struggle to pay attention.
Of course, these things could also mean a fantastic time, endless memories, laughter, and fun adventures.
So to keep us on that positive road, here’s a reminder of some ADHD challenges and how they may be impacting your driving, as well as some tips, so you’re more aware the next time you grab your keys:
Are You Driving Under the Influence of ADHD?
- Impulsivity. You leave the house before making sure you have enough gas, your keys/wallet, directions, or address. Or pull out into traffic when it isn’t safe or turn in front of on-coming cars. Maybe you take shortcuts before thinking through where they really lead. TIPS: Make it a practice to never let gas get below a quarter tank. Keep your keys/wallet right by the door in the same place so you can grab them on the way out. Develop a mindfulness habit of when your foot is on the brake that you return all your focus to the road.
- Being late. You’re late before you even leave the house so you speed, tailgate, get angry with slow drivers or ‘push the yellow’ at stoplights in order to get somewhere on time. TIPS: I’ve worked very hard to learn how to be on time and over the years it has become more natural. The result is much less pressure to speed to my destination to compensate for my tardiness.
- Easily distracted. You pay attention to the radio, your conversation, or the kids chattering in the back seat instead of your driving and the cars around you. TIPS: The nature of ADHD makes this one extra challenging. Take steps to manage your ADHD to make you less susceptible to distractions.
- Difficulty paying attention. You’re stuck in traffic and begin to daydream, oblivious to the cars in front of you. Or you miss the turn, get lost, and end up with no idea where you are. TIPS: I’ve learned that driving a car with a manual transmission captures my attention. I think it’s the constant awareness of shifting gears and staying tuned in to the sound of the engine.
My biggest ADHD driving challenges are being impulsive, late, and distracted. What are yours?
I hope these ADHD driving tips are helpful. Accepting you may not be the safest driver on the road isn’t easy, but it could save your life or someone else’s.
Join me for the final season of the ADHD Success Club to learn tools to help you be more focused and attentive, manage time, remember things, set up a morning routine to get out the door on time, and sleep better – all which impact your and your passengers’ safety. We start in September and you can sign up with early bird pricing now!
Listen to Kick Some ADHD’s Episode 116: Driving Under the Influence of ADHD to get additional tips and tools for the next time you’re road tripping with ADHD!