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Passed driving test, too scared to drive!

(18 Posts)
Bonbonchance Tue 13-May-14 16:09:32

Totally understand, I felt the same the first time I was completely alone (& wasn't nervous at all during lessons or tests really). I still felt a bit shaky for a few months, but it got easier gradually, I found the actual dread worst than actually doing it, once I got in the car I was ok. I kept the radio off for the first month or two, I just felt it was a distraction. I got P plates - mixed advice from people as to getting them or not, but I did find that generally people were more patient & understood if I was going a bit slower or stalled now & again. And a sat nav has been so helpful, I've not hot a good sense of direction & worry about lanes, so it helped a lot.

Caterina99 Tue 13-May-14 15:54:29

I used to hate driving and barely drove for several years after I passed my test. I have to drive everyday now and was really nervous about starting up again.

My tips are start off with small trips every day, quiet and familiar roads. Plan your journeys so you know exactly where to go and what lane and where to park so you can focus on the actual driving and not stress about getting lost.

And ignore that moron driving like a nutter and beeping at you. As long as you are safe and sensible and not driving at 20 on the motor way or anything then they can just wait that few extra seconds you need to pull out and make turns etc.

You will get more confident with practice, but as long as you are safe then there is nothing wrong with your driving

MrsRuffdiamond Tue 13-May-14 15:20:42

Well done for passing!

I know just how you feel. The first time I ever drove the car on my own was to the One Stop two minutes away (walking, that is!). It took me about 40 seconds to drive it, but the feeling of achievement was immense!

As others have said, maybe practise on your own first with smaller distances - round the block, or to the local shop? Once you've done it the first time, however short the distance, you'll start believing in yourself. Good luck!

goodasitgets Tue 13-May-14 15:12:52

Yes to tiny journeys and keep doing it, every single day. Eventually it will become normal
I was a bit nervous but as I was 17 it was different because well - FREEDOM!!! grin
I love driving, it amazed me when I was younger that if I fancied a shopping trip, just pop in the car and away you go

MsTwankeyToYou Tue 13-May-14 15:09:57

Thank you all for the encouragement and advice! You've all (very kindly) given me a much-needed boot up the arse, and I really appreciate you taking the time to do it grin.

DandelionGilver Tue 13-May-14 15:08:45

Congratulations on passing. So now you know you CAN do it, the only way to get over nerves is just to keep doing it.

If you're nervous sounds a good idea to do a trial run with your DH.

My only advice is to take it at your own pace. Do not feel hurried by other drivers. And, if you make a mistake, take a deep breath, put it behind you and carry on.

And, good luck, not that you'll need it. You PASSED, so you're obviously competent, now you just need to prove it to yourself.

haggisaggis Tue 13-May-14 15:08:32

It is something you just have to get on with - if you can, practise driving to familiar places along familiar routes first. Also - remember that when you're on your own only YOU know about any mistakes!! I remember when I first passed my test and drove on my own I could have told you every gear change on my route - but believe it or not after a while you do become used to it and do things without thinking.

everlong Tue 13-May-14 15:02:18

Well done!

You learn to drive by driving. A lot.

Go out tonight with DH. Do the run you need to do tomorrow there and back.

Then go in and have wine

Charlesroi Tue 13-May-14 14:59:25

When I first passed my test I didn't drive for ages but a couple of years later I had no choice. So I drove to our nearest 24hr supermarket at about 2am on my own a few times. After that I carefully planned my journey to avoid heavy traffic - leaving early for work and finishing slightly early etc. It just helped ease the pressure a bit. I felt a bit wobbly for a month or two and then it just clicked I think I just stopped giving a toss about what other people thought because, you know, there was fuck all wrong with the way I was driving
Worrying about crashing and hurting someone - yeah, I had that. I found that slowing down a bit and thinking ahead helped me deal with it (risk reduction). Driving near a school at start/finish time - look to the side of the road etc. Give yourself room to overtake by dropping back.
It'll be fine, but if you do feel wobbly slow down a bit and Give Yourself Time. Nobody died from being 30 seconds late for work.
All the best.

Mckayz Tue 13-May-14 14:58:36

I learnt in a nice new diesel. We have a 10 year old petrol car. So I'm still getting used to that.

Last week I drove to the nearest city. Just 25 miles away and all I wanted was milk and bin bags but it was great knowing I could get there on my own if I fancied a day out.

grumblepuss Tue 13-May-14 14:46:02

Unfortunately it's a situation where you need to take the bull by the horns (or the car by the steering wheel) and woman up and do it!

My first alone drive was 15 miles along a duel carriage way in a car I'd just bought.
I was bricking it... But it was all ok! I took it slow and steady, stalled at every opportunity but made it home in one piece.

MsTwankeyToYou Tue 13-May-14 14:44:52

Bless them! I know DH is longing for the day when we start going halves on the -hellish-- 3hr drive to my parents' house - all the more incentive to get through that Pass Plus course, I suppose... wink

Mckayz Tue 13-May-14 14:36:48

They were yesterday when it was absolutely chucking it down!!

MsTwankeyToYou Tue 13-May-14 14:31:33

Thank you all!

You're definitely right - if I don't start doing little journeys straight away, I'm just going to de-skill and turn the whole thing into another big mental stumbling block. I nearly canceled my test at the last minute because I was so convinced that my "exam nerves" would cause me to crash the car and I cried at the end of my last practice drive because somebody cut me up in a dangerous place!

I think that getting DH to sit in the back tonight would really help, so we'll definitely do that when he gets home - thanks, AMumInScotland!

Mckayz - congratulations on passing, and on conquering the fear! Your DC must be so pleased with you smile.

TheGrassIsSinging - thank you for the congratulations, and for the reassurance. If you don't mind me asking, how did you get through the first three months of feeling terrible whilst driving? Every time I get out of the car, I feel like I've just stepped off a rollercoaster... blush

GrassIsSinging Tue 13-May-14 14:12:48

Get in your car and drive, alone, every day. Go around the block. Build up to short journeys that you will have to do in future (local supermarket etc). Build your confidence gradually. But the only way you'll ever get confident is by driving.

It took me about 3 months of driving to not feel shaky and sick and paranoid I was going to crash, and probably a year until it felt automatic and easy.

Well done on passing, btw!

Mckayz Tue 13-May-14 14:03:28

This could have been written by me. I passed about 3 weeks ago. I am still a bit nervous but the joy of being able to go where I want when I want.

My DH works away so the car used to sit for 2 months while I got soaked etc on the school run. Now I can drive on rubbish days.

You should certainly drive tomorrow. Even if just to the shop, petrol station, garden centre etc.

How about a practice run with DH tonight, but have him sit in the back and not say anything at all? That will be as close as possible to being on your own, while not actually being alone.

Beyond that - just do it! It is weird being on your own in a car for the first time, but I have no doubt you are capable of it.

MsTwankeyToYou Tue 13-May-14 13:51:20

After years of trying (approx 60 hours of lessons in a manual, making hardly any progress, and then approx 40 hours of lessons in an auto alongside probably another 50 hours of supervised practice in my own car), I finally passed my test yesterday ( grin grin grin ).

The entire route was comprised of unfamiliar areas, and I dealt well with bad weather and a few unusual hazards. I got 10 minors but only 1 for each kind of fault (and 1 was because a speed limit change sign was obscured so I was going too slowly), and the examiner said that there weren't any obvious issues with my driving style.

I've also driven lots in the dark on country roads, in <100m visibility with hail, in very slow-moving rush-hour traffic for hours, along double-parked roads with blind junctions and lots of pedestrians near a hospital, in heavy traffic with multiple emergency services vehicles trying to get through, etc.

I'm a pretty considerate and defensive driver for a newbie, I think - I'm always looking a long way ahead, planning, avoiding competitive drivers, and leaving good stopping distance. My family are all happy to be driven around by me, and my instructor never needed to use dual controls.

Based on this, I know I should feel pretty well prepared. However, I need to drive somewhere 6 minutes away tomorrow, along decent roads that I know very well, not in a rush, and I can practice with DH tonight, but I just cannot imagine going on my own. Walking isn't an option as it's a fast road with no pavements, public transport isn't an option as there isn't any, and my only alternative is to defer a commitment until I feel ready to drive there.

I know I'm going to have to do this sometime, but I'm terrified of hurting somebody/pushing our insurance premiums up to ridiculous levels/losing my license/something horrible happening.

As soon as I can afford it (and find an auto instructor covering my area), I intend to do Pass Plus. In the meantime, does anybody have any advice about: A) how I can become more confident, and B) whether I should do the drive tomorrow or not, please?

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