Penny: Chapter 10 talks about how to make your wheels run smoothly, how to problem solve, how to handle things when your transportation is late. And sometimes when you're a nondriver, it's hard for folks who are drivers to relate to some of your issues. And so in this photo we see a man and a woman, both of whom happen to be cane users talking with each other and using each other for support. And I think it's really important that our nondrivers think about how we can plan for those times when, hey, I really want somebody that I can talk to.
We have the objectives and you'll see that we talk about thinking about the idea of that it can be positive, um, being a nondriver. So what, what can be the positives? It's not just all negative. I'm also thinking about how to share your feelings with others.
Now remember in Chapter Two we had the scenarios of the five travelers and we had Ana Maria. And here in Chapter 10, the travelers asked to reflect back on Anna Maria and her experience.
Do you remember how Ana Marie was nervous about texting Mateo to ask him for rides? She felt isolated and her mom thought she was also spending too much time alone or just with Mateo. Think about it. What types of frustrations do nondrivers have? How did their frustrations compare to those of drivers? We need to help travelers recognize that drivers actually do have frustrations. So a traveler can reflect on this on their own. Again, a small group of travelers can discuss or a traveler can discuss with a family member and/or professional.
There are definitely frustrations of being a nondriver. Happening to be one myself, I definitely can share those with you. Um, some of the ones are having to carry objects throughout the day with you. You don't have that trunk to put things in. Of course, lack of spontaneity, as we've already been talking about. Thinking about housing. What is important to you? Where are you going to live and how does that impact your travel decisions? Sometimes people who are nondrivers will feel isolated or feel left out when others don't ask them if they need a ride or offer them a ride.
And then sometimes as a nondriver you get stuck waiting for rides. Whether this is that the bus is running late, whether this is your family member who's giving you a ride is running late. Um, travelers need to recognize that there are going to be times where they are going to be waiting for a ride and they're going to feel frustrated. Also when first getting into a dating relationship, it's not uncommon for a traveler to question, hey, is this person going to accept me because I don't drive and how are we going to handle transportation because it's going to fall on the shoulders of the person in the relationship who does drive. Also when a traveler's in a carpool, he or she may feel like, I'm not contributing because I'm not taking my week to drive.
So what are other ways that a traveler who's part of carpool can get involved and help others so that they don't feel like they're taking advantage? Maybe the traveler, the one who brings the snacks every week is the one who sets up the schedule or make sure that the maintenance on the vehicle gets done through through the company's maintenance program. So it's important for a traveler to recognize that not everybody is going to recognize that hey, you're a nondriver.
So sometimes the traveler may feel frustrated when people don't understand the logistical or emotional impact that they are going through because they just can't get in their car and go. There's a balance that travelers do between not wanting to burden people with explaining all their frustrations and how they're feeling about being a nondriver with at the same time, people aren't going to be supportive of them if they don't understand the issues that they're facing.
Now, low vision drivers also have frustrations and for those people who are thinking, driving is, you know, the gold standard, they may not realize that there are frustrations for low vision drivers. So one of the first is when a low vision potential driver starts to explore whether low vision driving is an option and finds out that it's prohibited in their state or province. They may find that they can drive, they go through the process to learn to drive and then they find out once licensed that driving's very fatiguing. So they end up having to limit themselves to maybe trips of no more than 20 minutes each way.
Then there are times as we talked about when a low vision driver will also be a nondriver. Perhaps their license is limited by the licensing agency or perhaps they choose to limit where they don't drive at night or they don't drive in poor weather. So they're having to do both roles. The role of low vision driver and the role of nondriver, and that can be very emotionally draining. Some low vision drivers may lack support from families and friends who even once they're licensed still do not believe that they should be driving. Um, so they're going to be hearing some of those negative comments.
They also may find that people don't want to be a passenger in their car or when somebody is a passenger in their car that they're really evaluating them all the time, trying to give them free advice. You know, giving some of those nonverbal signals that, hey, I'm not really okay with this even though I am in your car and you are the one driving. So that constant feeling like they're continually being evaluated and being critiqued whether or not the person says something to them.
Now of course there are benefits to being a nondriver and I think it's really important that travelers think about the fact that there are benefits. Um, one big benefit, and I know this is for me personally, is that you get to socialize with people more because you're in a vehicle with them. I have made several good friends over the years, where it initially started out as getting a ride home from somebody that we were taking the same graduate course from, for example. I ended up becoming friends with this person and still am to this day.
Many drivers experience stress. Whether that's with the actual act of driving, whether it's looking for parking, the cost of driving and trying to make decisions about do I get that clutch replaced or not. So nondrivers don't have those kinds of stresses. Also in a situation where people are going out and socializing, there may be alcohol being drunk, the nondriver never has to be the designated driver.
So that can be advantageous, as can having more money in your budget to be able to live, let's say in a city where housing costs are much more expensive and now you're not paying for parking, you're not paying for maintaining a vehicle so you're able to pay more money for rent, for example. And in some communities, whether we're talking suburban or urban, searching for parking can be a real challenge. And I know people in Seattle who might spend 30 minutes driving around looking for a parking space in their neighborhood.
Nondriver gets off the bus, walks right up to their house. There also are times for all drivers when their vehicle breaks down and then they have to figure out, well what do I do while my vehicle's getting repaired? All of a sudden they find themselves as nondrivers and they haven't had the preparation for that. Many nondrivers choose to walk, to bike, to rollerblade and therefore they're getting some more exercise than folks who typically drive. And as we already said, the cost of being a nondriver is often less than the cost of being a driver.
Now I like to show a really funny commercial. I'm going to set this up and tell you about it before you see it. So we have a middle aged man with his cane going human guide with his wife. Middle aged and I would say they look a little on what we call the frumpy side, kind of boring middle aged kind of people- not to make stereotypes.
They're going to go into a motorcycle shop and they're going to be met by a man in his leathers and he's going to kind of look at the wife like, what are you guys coming in here for? She's going to kind of shrug and point towards her husband. He's going to start going down the aisle of motorcycles, feeling them all. At one point he hands his cane off to um, the gentlemen in the motorcycle shop and we see him on a, on a bike in the shop.
The next thing we do is we see him on his leathers outside on the motorcycle and we're thinking, wait, he's a blind guy. How's he riding that motorcycle? Well, the camera pans away and we see that the motorcycle on a trailer and his wife is driving their blue car and she has a nice smile on her face. And this is actually a commercial for lotto. So it's a, um, a lottery commercial, but it makes me laugh, but it is very visual. So I want you to enjoy the commercial.
Commercial: Commercial plays [no speaking]
Penny: Did you get a good laugh there from our motorcycle guy? Let me just end by talking about having a backup plan. It's really important that you know what you're going to do when things don't go well as a traveler. So one important thing is to have things preprogrammed in your phone so you can call or text people if you need support.
Knowing about public transportation options in your area that you can take if you have problems with other forms of transportation, so you do want to make sure that you carry enough money for a bus fare. Also thinking about having enough money to take a taxi. I never leave home without $40 in my purse. For $40 I can get home from anywhere in Tucson, in a taxi. I also make sure that I have my Uber and my Lyft apps up to date, so making sure that you have those apps up to date and if you don't have a credit card as a traveler, that's okay.You can either get a prepaid like Visa card and use that for your rideshare app or you can get a gift card for the rideshare company you choose to use and set it up that way.
And wherever you live, you want to think about carrying some extra necessities. In Tucson, Arizona, for me, that's always carrying water and I always like to carry a snack or two in case there's a delay. You may live in a place where it's rainy or cold. So you want to think about having an umbrella or an extra jacket to put on. Having sunscreen, whatever it is that's going to allow you to maintain your safety so that if things don't go quite as planned and you're out traveling for a longer period of time, you have what you need with you so that you can maintain your safety.
So we have another Finding Wheels activity, which is about your frustration. And what we want our travelers to do is to think about the things that are negative for them when it comes to travel and then what are the positives. And then looking at that negative list, what can you do to change those into positives? Maybe you can't make them totally positive, but how can you minimize those frustrations so that you're not feeling as negative, as much anxiety, about travel. So that's one of the last activities in Finding Wheels.
I would like to thank you for riding along with me for this presentation. We see a picture of me on my bicycle, which is where I will be shortly. Again, The book Finding Wheels we hope will be out later in 2020. Please check the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired website. That's tsbvi.edu. Thank you for your time and your intention today. Enjoy the road that you travel!