How does autism affect driving?

My son has autism. And while he’s pretty high-functioning, I worry about him driving. To put my mind at ease, I want to learn more about how this condition affects a person behind the wheel. What effects does autism have on driving?

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Answer provided by
Eric Schad
Answered on Apr 13, 2022
While no state has laws against driving with autism, safety is always the primary concern. Depending on where your son lies on the spectrum, he may have extreme difficulty or little trouble learning to drive.
Here’s how autism can affect driving:
  • Motor coordination problems
  • Inability to make split-second decisions
  • Problems with multitasking and critical thinking
  • Inability to recognize nonverbal cues from other drivers (e.g., waving someone on or turning on headlights)
Some tips to help your son drive confidently might include:
  • Eliminate distractions
  • Discuss road rage and how to avoid it
  • Talk about how other drivers may break the rules and how to remain calm
  • Drive on familiar routes to get comfortable
  • Take frequent breaks
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