Driving School Therapy

In order to avoid getting “points” on my drivers license and to maintain my “safe driver” status I had to take a four-hour online driving course after my accident.  If you haven’t read about the accident that’s ok, you can read it HERE.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

So I got a ticket for careless driving (lame).  However, I will admit that I learned a few things from my FOUR HOUR online driving class.  Don’t worry, it won’t take you four hours to read this (your welcome).  I’ll share some interesting facts I learned at the end, but what surprised me about this class was the therapuetic approach it took.  Yes, you read that correctly, there was a therapuetic element to driving school.

There I was, reading statistics about crashes when I came across this…

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Um… did I suddenly get transported to a different website?  Nope.
Let our therapy session commence!

Now I’m not sure I agree that we need stress to add flavor and opportunity to our lives, but perhaps I am just too stressed.  But lets go with this and see what’s next…

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Correction, I must be distressed.  They’ve used a good example here, as this seems to happen to me daily, and I’m definitely exhausted – the human body is complicated.  So how does one deal with stress, you might ask?  Well, here you go…

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Really great advice, all much easier said than done!  Additionally, sharing my stress often causes extra stress – when does sharing become whining?  In my experience, most people are too distracted by their own stress to share in yours.  I am all about cooperation vs. confrontation (confrontation makes me anxious) but frequently such things are out of my control, which leads us to the last bullet point.  I am quite familiar with my limits but would undoubtedly lose my job(s) if I walked out when distressed.

Moving on, how to cope with emotional trauma…

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I definitely experienced shock after my accident, both immediately and for the following few days (a week?).  I vividly remember repeating, “This isn’t happening, this can’t be happening, I am going to wake up any second.”  Unfortunately it was not a nightmare and there was no waking up from it.  I dealt with recoil and impact kind of at the same as the shock stage, or at least I don’t know when I transitioned from shock to recoil and impact.  If you read the post about my accident then you know I hung out in the attribution stage for a bit, trying to understand how it happened – I still don’t know for sure why my brakes didn’t work (though a commenter on that first post helped with possible scenarios).  And now I’m afraid I am stuck between attribution and resolution.  I mean, I have accepted the situation and, begrudgingly, the consequences; but emotionally I have not obtained total resolution.  I am still distressed about the accident; still extra nervous behind the wheel (or any time I’m in a car) and seemingly unable to enjoy things I loved doing before (i.e. jewelry-making).

Ok, so who would have thought you would learn all of this from driving school?  I certainly didn’t, but it made those four tedious hours a little more interesting!  Here are a few more tidbits I learned along the way…

  • In 2009 there was a traffic-related injury every three seconds in Florida
  • Whiplash is an event, not an injury – this event occurs when your head is accelerated faster and harder thank your torso (did you think whiplash was in injury, or is that just me?)
  • 47% of crashes in Florida are caused by speeding, driving carelessly (which I was doing, according to my ticket), and following too closely – these are avoidable people!
  • In Florida if you are pulled over for erratic driving and have a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of .02+ you will be charged with a DUI – it makes sense, but I thought you had to have a BAC of .08+ to get a DUI
  • A 1 oz shot of 80-proof liquor = 5 oz of wine = 12 oz beer
  • Your body can eliminate .015 oz of alcohol per hour
  • 32% of Florida crashes involve drugs and/or alcohol – also avoidable folks.
  • If you refuse a blood/urine/breath test when asked your license will be suspended for one year – I definitely did not know that

They pack A LOT of info into those four hours, and you can’t speed through it – you have to stay on each page for a specific amount of time, so it really does take four friggin hours.  How much of this stuff did you know before reading this?  Are you surprised by any of the included material?  As usual, your comments are more than welcome! 

*Side note – there were no drugs or alcohol involved in my accident!

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6 thoughts on “Driving School Therapy

  1. Great post!:) I’m glad you’re ok. Big or small, car accidents are terrifying. The ‘we need stress’ part was surprising. I guess it’s that whole butterfly getting out of the cocoon thing. I have enough stress to pass around, so I never feel the need to add more.:)

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  2. I, too, had to take a defensive driving course many years ago after being in a small fender-bender.I did it for the same reasons as you, but I was living in Dallas, Texas, at the time and had the good fortune of opting for a class taught by stand-up comedians. It was held at a comedy club during the day, and was educational as well as funny. I almost ran a red light in front of a cop several months later just so I’d have an excuse to take the class again… 😉

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