September 27, 2007

Long Time No See…

Posted in ADHD, Posts by Renee at 10:00 pm by bloggingawayadhd

OK well it’s been a while since I posted because I was out of town and forgot to post an “away notice”. Sorry!

One thing I thought about while on my trip is ADHD and driving. How are you all with driving? What about long distances?

I drove 3.5 hours and back to one destination for a business trip, and the driving required intense concentration. I was taking the “back roads”, so there were lots of turns and not very prominent signs. I got there on time, though, so it went well – but then I was exhausted!

Then, the day after I got home from that trip, I drove 4 hours to visit my mom (then 4 hours back a few days later). On this trip, it was pretty much one highway the whole way. The challenge on this trip was not zoning out – miles and miles straight down a highway. I occasionally found myself speeding, and almost missed my exit at the end since I was getting spacey, but overall that went by quickly.

I felt good for “combating” the long trips, but one person on the business trip thought I was silly saying 3.5 hours was long since she commutes about an hour each way to work every day, then takes business trips that involve 12+ hours of driving at a time.

I think I’m a decent driver, though I do seem to need to “try” harder than others to pay attention while behind the wheel. I’m pretty good about paying attention to other drivers, and I always leave a large gap between my car and the car in front of me to increase the time I have to react to sudden stops, but I’m not too good at remembering when to look at signs and I often pass by my turn and have to turn around.

Does anyone else want to comment how ADHD affects their driving?



  1. Jeff said,

    Long drives put me to sleep. I’ve driven from New York to Florida and that requires stopping every 3 hours to stretch and wake up. And I too have zoned out behind the wheel.

    To stay awake I will engage fellow passengers in conversation. If I am alone I will listen to the radio, sing along, move, squirm…just about anything to stay awake. Food keeps me awake so I’ll drink water, soda, munch on pretzels, etc.

    Based on this experience, it looks like being a long-distance trucker is NOT in my future. ;)

  2. bloggingawayadhd said,

    Yeah the XM radio and Oprah & Friends definitely helped keep me alert on this trip!

  3. Yeah, I burn out quickly on long drives, especially when I haven’t taken my 8-hr Adderal. I frequently take 7-8 hr trips between MN and Chicago, and if I don’t take my adderal, I tend to get REALLY sleepy after about 3-4 hours…often times napping for 30 min when that happens. I really, really hate that. Living with ADD is all about knowing (and accepting) your limits…a frustrating exercise at times.

    Just ignore the comments from the person who routinely takes 12 hour business trips…good for her, she clearly doesn’t have ADD.

  4. giftedaddition said,

    Hmm… interesting. I actually love driving. It gives me time to sort through the unending lists of things in my head. But, I also never take a long car trip without something to DO. I often will make myself a post-it-note list of things to think about while I drive. Or, if I’m tired of organizing my thoughts, I take a passenger to talk to, a CD to listen to, or I’ll call someone on my cell phone.

    I actually concentrate better when I have both a mental thing to concentrate on and a physical one (driving is physical). But if my brain is just flat out tired, I see driving as a loose form of meditation – I concentrate on the road and focus on not zoning out.

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