Wednesday, 20 August 2014

REASONS WHY I DON'T DRIVE AND NEVER WLL

This is a follow up to the post REASONS WHY I DON'T HAVE A SMARTPHONE AND NEVER WILL a.k.a I'm a weirdo that refuses to conform and this is where I try to justify why a.k.a I'm a self righteous dick and what of it? So yeah, as the title of the post suggests; I don't drive. I have never had a lesson and I have never been behind the wheel of a car. Most people have learnt how to drive by the time they reach their late twenties and a significant number of people have leant how to drive by their late teens, but I never bothered. I'm not against cars per say, I have been a passenger in cars all my life; in fact my mother told me that as a baby the only way my parents could get me off to sleep was in the motion of a vehicle, so they often had to take me out driving late at night just to get me to sleep. As a fully fledged adult, with much more normal sleeping habits, I am not so fond of those big hunks of metal, and this is why... 

 

This is a serious point, you guys. I have absolutely no doubt that if I got behind the wheel of a car serious carnage would ensue. I just... I can't steer. Maybe it is a lack of coordination or balance something, I don't know, but when I was a kid (or, you know, nineteen) I went Go Karting with a bunch of friends for someone's birthday and I SUCKED. I literally had to drive so slowly just to avoid crashing at every turn. I didn't finish last, but I did get ribbed by all my friends for sucking so bad. ALSO I used to have to drag a pallet trolley around when I worked in a factory and I was ALWAYS crashing in to things and getting the bastard stuck. I know you probably can't compare Go Karting and pallet trolleys with an actual car, but still, the signs are not encouraging.


Even if I did WANT to drive then the actual overall cost involved would certainly put me off. Not only do you have to actually buy a car, you then have to insure it (which isn't cheap for first time drivers), pay for road tax and also pay for fuel to run the fucker (the price of which is obviously always going to increase until electric cars are the norm). Not only that but then there is the cost of maintaining the car. On a budget like mine I'd only be able to afford some second hand, broken down, piece of shit so I'd be forever having to get it fixed. No thanks, I'll stick with buses and trains and my own two legs. Which brings me nicely to my third and final point...  

 

I have never lived anywhere that it was a necessity that I drive. I am lucky enough to live in a town where everything I need is within walking distance. I think that lot of people drive when they don't really NEED to and that is a major problem. Driving makes people so fucking lazy. I appreciate that people who live in the middle of nowhere do NEED to drive, or people with disabilities and such, but so many people really don't. Not only that, but looking at the bigger picture, does the world really need another fucking car on the already overcrowded roads? I'm not NOT driving because I'm trying to save the planet or anything, but if by not driving I am getting a little exercise AND not causing unnecessary pollution and congestion then I'm more than happy to keep on walking.

Tell me, drivers, why do you drive? What is so great about cars? Am I completely wrong? COME AT ME, BRO. 

19 comments:

  1. I completely agree. I live in a place now where it's really hard to get around without a car (I'm originally from Portland, Oregon, so I'm used to not needing one) and it's driving me nuts. The buses are unreliable and most things are too far to walk or bicycle...I try, but there are days I have to go start up the old engine and I hate it. Good for you for not driving. The world has enough carbon emissions and fat people.

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    1. I think we should get t-shirts made that say "The world has enough carbon emissions and fat people." on them!

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    2. I'm going to (gently) call you guys out on this :)

      1. Common but differentiated responsibilities for carbon emissions (http://fore.research.yale.edu/climate-change/ethics/ethical-considerations-in-reducing-global-greenhouse-gas-emissions/).

      2. Hey now. Fat shaming. Uncool.

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    3. Oh, now I feel like a naughty school child who just got told off by the teacher. Sorry Rishie.

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  2. I live in NC, and we have a pretty rural background. The majority of my state is still pretty spread out. I really can't imagine living without a car, my hometown had no public transportation and the town where I live has limited hours. I couldn't get to work on time if I had to depend on them. If it's not necessary to drive then and public transport is available, that's great. But it seems like a basic life skill that would be good to know, just because the majority of our country doesn't work that way.

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    1. Man, I feel sorry for you. This may sound typically British but I literally couldn't live somewhere that didn't have somewhere within walking distance that I could buy milk. Can't go without tea! XD

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  3. I so badly want to not have to drive a car any more...dealing with Los Angeles traffic makes me so sad. We have public transportation, so it is technically possible for me to take a bus or something, but it is SUCH a bad system and it would take me hours longer to get places than it does by car...which already takes long enough as is. Also, I love road trips. Oh dear GOD, do I love road trips. And the freedom to spontaneously go anywhere I want whenever I want, like a random trip to the mountains. That being said, never having driven a car is badass. High five. I like.

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    1. You're right Rachel, road trip ARE a lot of fun. Aee they just as fun for the person driving as they are for the passengers though? I have no basis for comparison :-P

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  4. I have a license I hardly ever use, as I tend to rely on public transportation (and believe very strongly in using it) but depending on where in the world I am, I know it isn't always a viable or reliable option. Even now, I have to get a lift to the bus stop because it's stupidly unsafe to walk the two kilometres to it (terrible roads, terrible lighting, no footpaths).

    I do, however, want to note that I realise how privileged I am to be *able* to dismiss some important things so easily (getting to a certain place on time, the impact the time-consuming commute can have on a person's life) and embrace public transportation (always late, rising ticket prices, restricted to certain times of day & patchy routes- again, depending on where in the world I am). I also feel- and again, this is a contextual thing- that public transportation is the absolute worst for people who aren't able-bodied. I can see why cars and modified transportation is necessary and allows mobility for people who are otherwise restricted.

    When I lived in South Africa- and in the Philippines, for that matter- I cycled a lot to get from point A to point B (within a 10 km radius...I'm not fit enough for anything else) and I think it's such a powerful mode of transportation for those who are able to a) afford a cycle, and b) are able to cycle. I've always taken being able to ride a cycle for granted, but when I was at university and we taught these two Afghani girls how to ride a bicycle; it really, really struck home and made me realise just how independent being able to ride a cycle can make you.

    I'm fairly ambivalent about driving, but I will drive when I'm going to be out really late (and again, public transportation isn't safe/reliable/available after a certain point). A friend and I got thoroughly lost a few weeks ago- we ended up driving for about four hours to get home and saw bits of the city we didn't even know were a part of it. It was dark, deserted, and pretty scary. I'm glad we were driving- I really was a lot safer in the car than outside of it.

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    1. You make some good points. I really do take for granted the safe little bubble that I live in (or, you know, England). I guess there are thousands, if not millions of people out there in the world that are desperate to drive and cannot, for whatever reason, and here I am all "I DO WHAT I WANT".

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  5. I drive because I need to. While I do live in a town that's small enough that everything is within walking distance, employers don't consider walking a 'reliable form of transportation'. Our transit system actually takes you twice as long to get to a place on one route as it does to walk across the entire town. Work options are also incredibly limited in town, and public transit from our town to the city is AWFUL. The bus only comes six times a day, and at awkward hours, and it takes anywhere from 3-5 hours to get to the city by transit. So, if I wanted a good job, I had to get a car.

    It honestly took me a very long time to muster up the courage to get behind the wheel. In Canada, we can get our G1 (learner's permit) at 16, the second level 8 months later (if we take driver training) and then the full license a year after that. I waited until just before my 19th birthday.

    Like you, I was TERRIBLE at steering. I actually flipped a go-kart in Myrtle Beach once, and took out a tower of tires. That, combined with nearly losing my mom and my brother in car accidents had me terrified. But I also knew I couldn't keep relying on my family to be my wheels. I couldn't expect them to take me on vacation when I wanted to go, or to bum rides from people, and I didn't think that was fair.

    I didn't get my full license until I was 23, due to moving to Toronto for college (and there was really no need for a vehicle when I lived there, as I wasn't doing anything that I couldn't utilize the subway or transit for).

    I've now had my license for 5 years, and I've already been in 2 car accidents -- both awfully close to being fatal. Neither was my fault (the first, I hit black ice and spun out into oncoming traffic on a highway; the second, some kid made a left-hand turn in front of traffic on a busy highway, and after being hit by the car in front of me, his car stopped in the middle of the road, and I went straight into him). After the first accident it took me over a year to get back behind the wheel. After the second, it took me two days, and that was only because I was on percasets for two days, so I couldn't drive.

    I honestly couldn't imagine not driving. The nearest city is an hour away from our town, and I like the ability to go on holidays, go away for the weekend, none of which would be possible if I didn't own a car, whether or not I lived in the city. Does it mean I sometimes drive when I could walk? Yes. But I'll usually walk if there's enough time or the weather is cooperative enough to do so.

    Also, if I want to keep my career as a journalist, not having a car is not an option. So, even if I didn't want to drive, I wouldn't have much of a choice there.

    I guess it all really depends on where you live. I know in Europe (which based on your British comment, I'm guessing that's where you're from ((I haven't made it to your about me page yet))) there are more 'public' transit options, and it's my understanding taking the train isn't that expensive. Here, if you can get there by train, it's usually a minimum of $100 one way (about 55 pounds), and bus is no better... and that's if you can get there. And by bus, most times, it takes far longer than it would to drive. Because of all the stops and turnovers, a place that takes me three hours to drive to takes over 18 hours by bus.

    So yeah, for me, no car would mean far too restrictive.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback Tabitha, I'm sorry to hear that you have lost loved ones in car accidents and that you also nearly died yourself in a couple! That is just awful. You're certainly brave to continue driving after all that, I certainly wouldn't have, even for a good job. I hope cars are kinder to you in the future.

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    2. Lol, I didn't lose, said nearly lost ;) Miracles that we didn't though. My mom was in a coma for three days, and had extreme brain damage. 90% damaged, they said she'd be lucky to get back 40% and she's gotten back over 80. So, it worked out in the end.

      But thank you though :) I do hope they're kinder to me in the future too. I sometimes get panic attacks on the road, but I'm learning to control them.

      I am pretty envious that you have the opportunity to go without a car :) Maybe one day I'll end up somewhere I can do that :)

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  6. I live in a very rural area, so I have no choice other than to drive. I do wish that the US had a better system of transportation that I could use when I'm traveling farther though. And, I'd be so much happier if towns and cities were designed so that I could walk around them better. I get annoyed when I have to drive a short distance that I could have easily walked if things had been designed better.

    Plus, I find driving to be really boring.

    My solution for the moment is to carpool when possible.

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    1. Car pooling is a really good idea. I'm lucky living in England that everything is relatively close together, like you can drive from my town on the south coast to Scotland in a couple of days. Also, our cities are very well designed for walking around which is something that I have never considered being an issue anywhere else. All these comments are really showing me how lucky I am to live where I do!

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  7. I got my G1 (Ontario learner's permit type thang) when I was 17, and could probably count on two hands the amount of times I drove in the 5 years before it expired. Mainly because walking distances were just too reasonable in those years, and because I was spending the possible car money on excessive amounts of alcohol, and when I moved to Toronto there ceased to be a reason. You think it's expensive in a town? Try a bigass city with too many drivers and a serious case of road rage. I am far too impatient to ever even attempt city driving (any time soon).

    The only part of me that wants to drive at this point in my life, is the part that hates having to carry a 7kg bag of dog food home every 2 weeks when the 16kg bag saves 8$ and lasts a whole month, but is just too damn heavy for a 30 minute walk. And the part that wants to just take off up North and actually see stars on occasion. Actually mostly that second part.

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    1. I must admit, the just taking off and going whereeverthefuck is the main temptation to drive for me. As minor as that temptation actually is.

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  8. I actually really enjoy driving. It is relaxing for me and I'm really into maps/geography so I like finding new and different routes to places. Also, my mother lives about 5 hours from me so I'd probably never see her if I didn't have the ability to drive there. I do also take road trips with my friends and we alternate who drives so it's fair.

    I also deliver pizzas, so I need a car for that. I live in a mid-sized town. We do have public transportation, but it would still take me longer to get to work and to get to the gym and a lot of other places I need to go if I were to take the bus.

    But I can't imagine not driving. Sometimes, if I'm stressing out about something, taking a drive with the windows down and the music blasting is the best medicine to clear my head.

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  9. I don't like driving either. I started taking the driver's licence because I'm in a situation when it would be good and practical to have one. But I had to take a break and I have a hard time to start again. Simply because I don't like driving, it's scary and all that. And I really like walking.

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