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Has MS Altered Your Driving Habits?

If you’re still able to drive, has your MS created any issues that have forced you to make adjustments as to how/when/where you drive? If so, what problems have you faced, when did you first notice the problems, and what changes have you implemented for safe driving?

Here are some of the changes I’ve had to make with driving :
I rarely drive at night due to the glare of oncoming headlights affecting my eyes. I rarely drive in inclement weather unless an emergency. Also, I don’t do long distance, nor do I drive on freeways, multi lane highways, or in heavy traffic(rush hour) because of severe depth perception issues and sensory overload.

What are some of your driving restrictions?

  1. @Mary Pettigrew this are all such important questions and topics to discuss in our community. Thanks for opening up the conversation.
    Alene, moderator

    1. you know that on this particular forum, it is NEVER "just you!" This is one of those snowflake diseases where your snowflake and my snowflake look remarkably alike, for all their individuality.

      Love, Therry, a Team Member

    2. Thank you so much Alene!! I’m glad to see so many people adding their comments and experiences on this forum!
      ~ Mary Pettigrew (team member) 🧡🎗️🧡

  2. I may not be the best example as I am still recovering from what I assume was a flare (I was recently diagnosed a month ago but likely had it for a while). However, since I have to wear an eye patch when driving, I currently avoid any on ramps and tend to drive slower to help the brain process everything. I am always hesitant as I fear that I am going to sideswipe vehicles in my blind spots.

    For myself the biggest change with driving is I have lost the ability to keep mental track of vehicles beside and behind me. Before this last spell that I am going through, I was able to mentally track about 3-4 cars on both sides of me.

    1. Driving hasn’t been comfortable for me for sometime now. When I was working I supported three states and drove a lot, this was in early diagnosis of MS. The stress of driving was too much to keep up with mentally.

      Now I keep everything close to home or have someone else drive. Night and bad weather glares bother me tremendously as well.

    2. YES!! You described this perfectly. Depth perception is such a wonky and oftentimes, it can be a scary thing. Therefore, it’s best to recognize these issues and take measures to avoid them. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!
      ~ Mary Pettigrew (team member) 🧡🎗️🧡

  3. MS has caused me to have high anxiety to driving. I will only drive a limited area/range from home. I can't even drive myself to my Neurologist appointment because her location is outside of the range. The anxiety is not limited to me driving, it is in high gear when I'm a passenger as well.

    1. I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing anxiety, especially when you're in a car - whether driving or as a passenger. Do you have a family member or friend help out on the days that you don't feel comfortable driving or need to get your neurologist?

      That's a great idea to have a specific range that you stay within. It's helps to keep you safe, and also has a clearly defined limit.

      Regarding the anxiety, have you found anything that helps to ease it? Even something like breath work or essential oils, they might not eliminate but could they help you to feel a little better in the moment? Or have you had an opportunity to talk with a therapist about the emotions before. Many people in this community have found therapy to be incredibly valuable. Either way, I hope you know that we're sending you lots of virtual support and encouragement.
      Alene, moderator

  4. Alene, for about ten years, I had at least one accident a year. I took driver retraining and discovered that I really didn't know how to drive. The retraining helped for about a year. When we moved to our new town for our retirement, I had an accident within about two months, and at that point, I said, "Oh the hell with this, I am getting off the road before I hit somebody!" I'm happy to say our new city is very walkable, things are easy to get to, and my husband is happy to do the driving. I did take it personally when they more or less gave up on autonomous cars, however.

    1. glad you can rely on husband. I did same until cancer came for him quickly. Now I take rides share but it's not as convenient. Good luck

    2. ,
      I am so sorry for your loss.
      Sending many hugs, Doreen (Team Member)

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