On Driving

On Driving

Posted under Guest Blogger, Living With Low Vision

If there’s one major disadvantage to being visually impaired, it’s that getting behind the wheel is nothing more than a pipe dream. If you’re reading this blog post, chances are good that you’re familiar with the dream. Driving is a luxury that folks with similar circumstances will never be able to experience.

While I do have my moments when I wish I could just hop in my non-existent car and go on an impromptu road trip, the fact is not being able to drive really doesn’t bother me. I’ve accepted the reality that driving isn’t an option for me. It does suck that I’m effectively at the mercy of others for transportation, be it public transit or family and friends, but it is what it is. I’m thankful that my family and friends are gracious enough so as to not mind giving me rides, to the point that they get upset when I dont ask for help when I need it. Still, I think I get around pretty well by way of the bus or BART or my own two feet — all those mobility and orientation lessons in school have paid off big time!

Instead of moping about the DMV never in their right mind signing off on my license, I choose to look at being a non-driver more positively. Not having a car means that a) I have no car/insurance payments or car maintenance; b) I don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for gas; and c) I don’t have to deal with the stresses of rush-hour traffic. Obviously, paying nothing for a car, insurance, and gas saves me a lot of money. And not having to worry about traffic saves me from crazy man road rage. So, all things considered, the benefits of not being able to drive far outweigh the drawbacks.

If I had perfect vision, I can’t say that I wouldn’t be driving like everyone else in the industrialized world, but I can appreciate those who don’t by choice. I was forced into this position, and I’ve come to realize it isn’t so bad.