Recovering from near miss left turn


Well-Known Member
My difficult child is 17 and has finished both the classroom portion and behind-the-wheel portion of driver's ed. He has his provisional license beginning August 15. In the meantime, he drives while I coach, just like before.
Today, he did something he has done once before and nearly gave me heart failure.
He turned left in front of an oncoming car.
He insists that 1) he didn't see it, 2) he's got right-of-way, and 3) if the law says yield to oncoming traffic, there should be a sign or a yellow light.
Welcome to the rigidity of Aspie living.
I had him turn around and go through the intersection again. He still didn't get it because the semaphore (by the way, driver's ed never used the expression, "semaphore." They say "Signal light") was a regular green light and had no left turn arrow.
We found some other intersections. Same thing.
He pulled over in a parking lot and discussed the whole thing (voice getting louder as he got more insistent but still, under control). I got out of the car and walked toward him, pretending I was an oncoming car. Then, between that and his girlfriend in the backseat explaining it their own special language, he "got it." But he still argued that it should have been a flashing yellow light.
We drove through another intersection after that, that had a sign that said, "left turn traffic yield to oncoming cars." He said, "There! See, I told you! They should have a sign like that!"
I explained that it's costly to do that, or to rewire for flashing yellow lights, and that he should have been taught that. Period. He insisted that he never got it in classroom or behind-the-wheel. (We have a friend whose daughter was nearly killed that way. She was never taught that, either. And our easy child said the same thing.)
Each of these kids is about 5 yrs apart, so I can see that has not changed in the school system, nor has it changed in private lessons, because easy child took private lessons.
So he said he's going to have to remind himself of that "new" rule because it's not something he originally learned.
I'm glad it didn't turn into a huge fight. We both did well. (And we happened to be on the way home from the psychiatrist, lol! The lithium really helps.)
My heartbeat is more normal now. It's been about an hour.


Well-Known Member
How scary! I remember those days of driving with Miss KT. She nearly hit a motorcycle while turning left, and of course, it was "that guy's fault." I about had a heart attack.

Good luck to you, and I'm glad difficult child accepted the correction without losing it completely.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Very scary!! Glad everyone is safe. difficult child was just asking me the other day when he could get his license. I tried to explain to him he may never be able to but I did talk to him about the fact that most brains aren't fully developed til they are 25. He is convince he will drive some day. Right now I know his impassivity and ability to take directions just wouldn't happen.


Well-Known Member
I feel for you. This is an issue I had with difficult child. She would cut it way too close. Thankfully she didn't have the aspie thing going on so she isn't quite so rigid with the rules. It did take me a while to get her to stop pulling out in front of cars. Unfortunately she still makes me nervous driving I spend half my time pushing imaginary brake pedals on the floor board and grabbing the oh shoot bar.

My favorite rule that mind boggles most people is that you can turn left on red IF you are on a one way street turning onto another one way street. I had to prove that one to my mother when I was learning to drive she almost had a heart attack when I did it.


Active Member
Hi TerryJ2! I remember a time spent with my difficult child learning to drive. One time as he was waiting at a busy intersection for oncoming traffic to pass before turning left a truck passed him on the left. It happened so quick! Scary! I think the truck just came out of the nearby apartment complex speeding to get away without noticing he did not turn into the right lane? I was so thankful that difficult child had not in that moment decided he had time to turn left and that the oncoming traffic was far enough away that this guy did not hit them head on. Does not do our mommy hearts any good when our kids are so close to danger. difficult children often live by the rules. They believe that everyone will be obeying the traffic rules as they interpret the rules. My challenge is to get difficult child to think ahead and be open to others NOT obeying the traffic signs. Just because there is a stop sign does not mean that car barreling down the street will be stopping so you best be prepared to stop even if you have the right of way.

Wiped Out, I have a friend whose daughter will never be able to drive because she is unable to predict other's actions. My friend told me that the girl's teachers at school were encouraging her to get her liscense. It is like the teachers don't understand there is more to driving than operating a vehicle. This girl can not understand many of the traffic rules and would not be able to handle the uncontrolled intersections. If everyone would 100% live by the rules then this young lady might be able to drive some day. You can go to the DMV to pick up a driver's book or have your difficult child find it on-line so he can see everything there is to read and understand in order to drive. (I think our state may have stopped printing them as difficult child needed to down load one when he was taking the class through a private instructor).

Dstc_99, That makes perfect sense to turn left onto a one way street from a one way street. I don't have many opportunities to turn left onto a one way street that it still has me nervous turning left onto a left lane which is usually the lane for oncoming traffic.

Unfortunately, my difficult child's attitude toward traffic rules (mainly speed limits) are that they are for people who can not handle their own cars. So I am constantly preaching that rules are for everyone and once you break them you will not be able to handle your car in a possible accident situation. I am also praying he said that just to fluster me as he is a good driver.


Well-Known Member
difficult child has been driving alone now for 48 hours. Let me rephrase that--off-and-on for the last 48 hours. :)
So far, so good. Just short trips.
He still makes "mistakes" and it worries me. I think he needs more experience.
I don't bite my nails but I do bite my cuticles. :(


Well-Known Member
My son made a decision not to drive. I'm glad because I don't know what kind of driver he'd be. He is on the spectrum too and does not think well outside the box and is also very cautious. Sonic gets cab rides for free because he is considered disabled. At almost 21, that and his bike is how he basically travels and he is happy doing it that way. He did take our car out for a few joy rides (grrrrrrrrr) and when the second cop brought him back, he told us he clearly did not know how to drive well (this was when we were talking outside and he was telling me my son played his disability card for sympathy, which really worked well with this cop!) He asked us to be easy on I guess Sonic never told him that he had done this once

Jumper is my only kid who got a driver's license was wasn't in at least one minor accident. Julie was in several, but she was on drugs!!! Terry, I still remember my mommy heart fluttering madly when each kid got the driver's license. Wishing you and difficult child lots of luck :)


Well-Known Member
Thank you, MWM!
He just got back from the gym. Oh, that's another new thing for him.
Of course, we tried to get him to go for many years, but only his girlfriend was successful. :)