When an Adult can't Drive

Winston Salem, North Carolina
January 21, 2018 2:17pm CST
Three of my four children are adults. One of those three has left the nest, the other two are college students. For reasons I won’t go into right now, one of the college students cannot currently drive. It’s an inconvenience for me since it is has become my job to make sure he has transportation for work and class. The other college student helps as much as she can, but she has her own work and school schedule to keep up with. It’s more than an inconvenience for the young adult involved. It’s a handicap. At a time, when he needs to be stretching his wings and growing in independence his flight feathers have essentially been clipped. We live out of reach of public transportation so he can’t run the simplest of errands without having to enlist the aid another person. Thankfully, he’s pretty low-key and has taken the current turn of events in stride. No one knows what the future holds, but I do know that not being able to drive is going to be an ongoing challenge. As a parent, it is my job to prepare my children to fly from the nest. Knowing that one of those children may never have the freedom to truly fly is worrisome and raises a thousand questions about the future.
22 people like this
26 responses
@rebelann (42375)
• El Paso, Texas
21 Jan
How odd, I don't know many people who can't drive but there are a few. I couldn't wait to learn to drive even though mom tried to protest against my learning, I was 19 when I finally took drivers ed.
4 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
21 Jan
I didn't learn how to drive until after I married. The son involved, however, knows how to drive but, due to a medical condition, is not currently allowed to.
3 people like this
@rebelann (42375)
• El Paso, Texas
21 Jan
Ohhhh, well, that's different then @Platespinner
3 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
21 Jan
@rebelann I probably should have stated that he "may not" rather than "cannot." Although even when technically he may again, there is reason to not allow him to drive. But that's a whole 'nuther post.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (54860)
• United Kingdom
21 Jan
If he lived in a town it wouldn't be such a handicap, I know people who quite happily make do with public transportation. However, I do understand your worries.
3 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
21 Jan
Unfortunately, even in most cities, public transportation isn't as feasible an option as it is overseas. I suspect, though, that he's going to have to become a city-dweller when he moves away from home.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (54860)
• United Kingdom
21 Jan
@Platespinner It's likely to be a permanent thing then?
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
21 Jan
@jaboUK In all likelihood, yes.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Jan
It must be hard for your son to not be able to drive and have to ask for rides if he needs to go somewhere. Hopefully one day he'll be back behind the wheel
3 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
21 Jan
We'll see where things go from here.
@KristenH (24717)
• Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
21 Jan
I wish I could drive. I had driving lessons in the past, both in New Jersey, when I was able to drive on some streets, and back in Ohio after I first moved. My two coaches said I wasn't ready to hit the highways, due to nerves by hitting the brakes too early. My mother agreed. And though I can't afford to drive since it's expensive to buy a car and purchase insurance, I don't drive. I walk and talk the bus for doctor's appointments and have my brother take me out for errands once a month. So I feel the pain of your kids, even if they don't find other ways to go places other than driving.
2 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
21 Jan
We live in an area where nothing is within walking distance and are well beyond the reach of public transportation. I didn't start driving until I was in my 20s and then it was only at the insistence of my husband. I was terrified and for many years avoided driving in places that might be stressful. Then I had children and a husband who couldn't take time off work to run us hither and yon. There are still plenty of situations where I would really rather not drive, but I've discovered I can do a lot more than I once thought I could.
1 person likes this
@KristenH (24717)
• Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
22 Jan
@Platespinner Wow. That's a shame. Not even close to a bus route? I hope your kids can venture out and be independent.
@Elizaby (3802)
• Pensacola, Florida
22 Jan
I had driver's ed in high school, but the expenses of owning a car kept me from getting a license and even some fear of getting on the road, but I have amnage.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (81891)
• United States
22 Jan
He sounds like he's dealing with it very well right now. Perhaps, once he's on his own, he can get a job in a city where public transportation isn't usually an issue.
2 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
22 Jan
That's what we're counting on.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (81891)
• United States
22 Jan
• Ponce De Leon, Florida
21 Jan
Will he be able to drive eventually?
2 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
21 Jan
Legally, yes. But whether or not it is a good idea is debateable.
• Ponce De Leon, Florida
21 Jan
@Platespinner Sounds messy.
1 person likes this
@snowy22315 (50925)
• United States
22 Jan
I can't imagine not being able to drive in this society..but take heart, it may be a temporary thing. I myself didn't get my license until i was 21 for various reasons, but I took the bus and then when I was at school I didn't need a car. It all worked out.
2 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
22 Jan
He has his license and he even owned a car for a couple of years. Unfortunately, circumstances have changed.
1 person likes this
@Elizaby (3802)
• Pensacola, Florida
22 Jan
Not having a driver's license can be a hinderance but you learn to adapt as I have since I don;t have a license. It is not a challenge that can't be overcome.and you can fly from the nest. You learn to plant roots where you can fet to jobs if need be and other things.
2 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
22 Jan
He has a driver's license. The problem is not that he can't drive, but that he is currently not allowed to.
@Corbin5 (112826)
• United States
21 Jan
Constantly being dependent on others does not do well for one's self esteem, I would think. One's opportunities are quite limited when one cannot drive.
2 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
21 Jan
It's not an encouraging situation. He's dealing with it remarkably well, all things considered.
1 person likes this
@NJChicaa (44828)
• United States
21 Jan
I don’t know how adults who don’t drive make it.
2 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
21 Jan
What baffles me, is adults who choose to not drive. Currently, my son has no choice and the long-term outlook is frustrating for everyone involved.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (60972)
• Los Angeles, California
21 Jan
It is essential he learns to drive. Having a license doesn't mean he has to buy a car but life will be easier with that skill. Employers want people who can drive.
2 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
21 Jan
He has a license. He knows how to drive. He even owned a vehicle for a while. Unfortunately, he cannot drive currently. And without serious advances on the self-driving car front, he might not be driving again for a very long time.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (101611)
• United States
21 Jan
I have a friend with two adult children that do not drive. It is sometimes mind boggling as they do not live in her house but she keeps them moving.
2 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
21 Jan
We've made a point that each of our children needs to be driving when they are 18 (no one has expressed interest at 16). There are extenuating circumstances involved for our second son.
• Philippines
22 Jan
They tried to teach me how to drive. But I got as far as starting a vehicle, I didn't go much from there.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
22 Jan
It took me about six years of starts and stops before I was competent enough to be an independent driver.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
22 Jan
@Platespinner that long huh? wow I guess there's hope for me yet.
1 person likes this
@UncleJoe (10618)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
22 Jan
I don't know about your area but Hampton Roads Transit buses here have bike racks mounted on the front. How far is the nearest bus stop?
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
22 Jan
The nearest bus stop is 8 miles away, which isn't too bad, except that it involves riding along some busy, major roads, with little or no shoulder. He rides back and forth to work when no one is available to drive him, but even that 2-mile stretch is 1.75 miles of road that is risky for a cyclist (or a scooter). I miss living in a place with paved or even gravel shoulders, NC doesn't seem to believe in shoulders.
1 person likes this
• Yogyakarta, Indonesia
22 Jan
" No one knows what the future holds" I like this words...
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
22 Jan
That will make it tough for him if he does end up living where there is good bus service.
1 person likes this
• Canada
22 Jan
Having to rely on others is not ideal.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (130066)
• Bunbury, Australia
22 Jan
Wow, this sounds like it could have huge repercussions. I can imagine a lot of thought and not a small amount of worry going into the situation. Sending positive wishes for what they're worth.
1 person likes this
@Morleyhunt (20269)
• Canada
21 Jan
A young man I knew was unable to drive because of his limited vision.....he managed quite well....he learned to use what services were available and has not let his 'handicap' be the HANDICAP others thought it should be.
1 person likes this
@Gillygirl (17361)
• Sutton, England
21 Jan
It must be a difficult situation for you and your son. My daughter could drive but won't learn as she prefers to rely on her partner. With two children to get to different places she's going to find it hard. I hope one day your son will be able to get behind the wheel.
1 person likes this