Friday, April 20, 2018

The Driving Lesson

February 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Ourselves

Put yourself behind the wheel:
It’s still dark. You have been driving for hours even though it is only 5:30 AM. You are on a three lane interstate highway. Although there has been some snow in the region, the roads have been clear and almost dry.

Anxious to get where you are going, you move from behind the car in front of you into the left hand “passing” lane. Almost immediately, you are in a couple of inches of wet snow. Just as quick, you feel the car drifting towards the center median on your left.

Within five seconds of beginning the pass, you realize that you are out of control and hurtling towards a crash barrier at 60 miles per hour.

This is how I began my morning yesterday. I hit the barrier head on, ricocheted across the traffic and hit the right hand barrier, coming to a stop across two lanes of traffic. The fact that I was not hit broadside and killed by an 18-wheeler truck is a near miracle.

As the shock wore off, I couldn’t help but wonder how much my ADHD may have contributed to this. Was I too impulsive and impatient, moving to pass the other cars? Was I too distracted, lost in my thoughts, to notice the snow in time?

I have had more than a few accidents over the years. I put in many miles each year driving to and from clients – about three times the US average. The more you drive the more likely you are to have an incident like this. Right? Statistics have shown that those with ADHD are substantially more likely to have an auto accident.

So what is the impact? Thankfully, I’m alive and no one else was hurt. But that does not mean that this went without consequence.

  • I was hours late to a presentation for clients coming in from around the world.
  • My wife and I each spent hours on the phone with insurance, car rental and towing companies.
  • Between towing fees, insurance deductibles and rental costs this will cost thousands of dollars.
  • My car, which I loved and was perfectly trouble-free will probably never drive the same.

ADHD has been a costly partner in my life. But as with any setback, you just have to pick yourself up, stay focused and re-double your efforts to move forward.

The presentation went great. The car will get repaired. I will get to see my wife and kids by the end of the week. And maybe I’ve learned a new lesson: I will be a little more cautious and guarded before changing lanes the next time.

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