View Full Version : Driving

02-07-2007, 12:22 PM
I'm hoping to start driving in June/July when I return to the USA. I had a few lessons in England last year, but I don't have a license. I was wondering how people manage when reversing/backing and merging/changing lanes. I currently find it very hard to look behind me, and I imagine this'll be a big problem with learning to drive. I can't see them giving me a license if I can't look behind when reversing. Can I expect this to improve within a few months? I haven't actually tried sitting in a car and looking behind me.

02-07-2007, 01:44 PM
hi robbie.

i read in another thread that you only had surgery a month ago. i was under the standard BLT restrictions until i was 7 weeks post op and the next day i got back in my car and drove. it was difficult at first, mainly because i hadn't twisted for so long but i got used to it within a couple of weeks. the strange thing i initially found difficult was the handbrake, because that can be like doing some heavy lifting (but i also know that it tends to be on the steering wheel of american cars like an indicator wand, and a lot of americans i've met don't use their handbrake anyways!)

oh and i'd passed my test seven months before having surgery and had been driving for 9 months before that, so it was easy for me to get back into it. i know loads of people who've learnt since having surgery though so i don't think it's something to stress about.

02-09-2007, 11:13 AM
I had some trouble turning my neck to look over my right shoulder when merging or changing lanes, but after a couple of months of driving, my neck felt fine and I am able to turn it as much as I did before surgery. A

As for backing up, I found that I have to my bottom (almost like sitting sideways in the seat). It's not easy (not painful either), so I look for spots where I can pull through so that I don't have to worry about it. If I do have to back up, I just sit sideways and back up very slowly.

02-09-2007, 12:00 PM
I was able to start driving again at 4 weeks post op and while it isnt easy to move in all directions, your body somehow manages to make accomodations so that you are still able to do the things you need to do. When backing, like Heidi I turn my whole body in the seat because I am not allowed to twist yet. For lane changes I make sure to look over both shoulders VERY well (don't have a stiff neck...go to the chiro once a week) and also check all three mirrors (multiple times).
At the driving school I worked at before surgery we have a special rearview mirror for people with limited motion abilities so that it extends the amount of view seen through the back mirror (it is about double the size of a normal rear view mirror). That way if you have difficulty turning around, you don't have to turn AS far (you still have to check blind spots, they are still there) but the mirror allows for more to be seen.
With time you should become more comfortable with driving. Don't worry about it too much, just take your time.