Hear about the Blind Driver Challenge? Some wizards have designed, built and tested a car a blind person can safely operate. Awesome! Now, here’s the acid test: find an insurance company that will cover blind drivers.
I think it would be neat to drive again. I would love to spell my wife at the wheel on long, tiring car trips. I would love to come in from the cold to heated leather seats for me and my dog. I wish I were as willing as I am eager.
Why do I not believe the blind-friendly car will enhance my life? Because I see it as another false promise. Someone, somewhere along the line from proving ground to the Edens Expressway, will throw a wrench in the works and make the blind-friendly car physically, financially or otherwise unattainable.
Driving scares me. I relive the nerve-wracking panic I felt before I surrendered my keys twenty years ago. Get over it, right? Ironic that my denial to admit vision loss then left me so traumatized today.
I fear I fall short on ability to drive a car. Of course, I feared I would be unable to master mobility using a white cane, a Seeing Eye dog or the CTA Red Line. Now I feel adept. History suggest that, before I commit to and work toward change, I dig in my heels and throw a tantrum.
Perhaps jealousy clouds my vision of tooling down the highway. I can build resentments against drivers as a class of people to which I no longer qualify. Or, perhaps I fear road rage, that I will be slower to the gas pedal than the other guy is to fire his 9 millimeter automatic.
Many friends would fight to be first in line to drive the blind-friendly car. Right now, my character defects of denial, fear of change, and self-pity are keeping me from getting behind the wheel. I hope to change my thinking. What would you do if you had the chance to drive?