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October 2008
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corvi [userpic]

Note to self:
Cars have neither differential steering nor trim controls. Please adjust your driving accordingly. That was scary.

Current Mood: amusedamused

So, I have to ask, what happened?

Hee. Well, I didn't kill anyone, and probably only removed a few years from my own lifespan. As background, I drive very seldom - two or three times a year, and the car I usually drive is a tiny '88 Mustang convertible, manual transmission, the same one I've driven since I learned how to drive. In the last couple of months, I have flown a plane more often than driven a car.

My father picked me up for general family stuff. As part of that, my family had somehow gotten two cars to one location, and he wanted to drive me out there so I could drive one of them home. The car in question is a Ford Taurus, a largish car with an automatic transmission. So I get into the car, and back through a three point turn, and realize: all the muscle memory for driving is gone. I keep looking at gauges that aren't there, and reaching for the trim wheel below the radio, which, in a plane, you spin up or down to control a small flap on the tail that helps maintain level flight - like cruise control for altitude. Apparently I was worried about either sinking into the ground or flying off it in this poor car. ;)

Planes also, on the ground, have what's called differential steering: you brake each wheel seperately. So if you brake the left wheel, you'll spin in a circle around it. It makes for very tight turns. Cars don't do this. Cars require three-point turns, and don't even get me started on paralell parking.

So anyway, I realized I was thinking all wrong for the car, and I didn't feel safe driving it. So I got out, and said to my father, "I can't do this; my reflexes are all gone. Maybe a manual transmission, but not this car. It's not safe."

Much yelling and screaming and argument ensued. In the end, I drove the car home. Nothing went wrong, per se, I stayed in all the lines and didn't run any lights or anything. It was just hellishly scary driving without all the little reflexes - look in the rearview mirror check speed look over shoulder before changing lanes - that make one a good driver.


Eep. Yeah, that would be hellishly scary. I know for me, I *have* all those reflexes and drive on a very regular basis, and I *still* hate to drive.
Side note: My blood pressure goes down by quite a lot after I've had time to recover from driving form my place in Tukwila to my dr's office in Federal Way.

Glad you made it back safe, and I hope the next time isn't quite so bad for you. (But yay that you've developped such good reflexes for flying, yes?)

OT: you'll love this article

A tool-making crow

Re: OT: you'll love this article

Ooooh, that's cool! Thank you!