..to feel like I am getting worse, not better, at driving?

(22 Posts)
FuntimeFuschia Sat 16-Feb-13 20:50:41

Well today I went with my mum on a trip up to where we are staying next weekend - happy(ish) with the route and very glad to have some idea in my mind as to where I'm going/ dodgy junctions etc. It involves about half an hour on the motorway, but I think I'm just about ready as I'll ever be to tackle it! Have been reading the thread about Middle Lane Drivers and picking up lots of tips and what-not-to-do's. It is ridiculous that motorway lessons aren't a legal requirement after passing, I wouldn't even contemplate going on the MW without having gone out with my instructor first!

Really appreciate all the advice, I'm 30 so this has been a late thing for me. Next it's DH's turn haha! grin

katkit1 Sat 16-Feb-13 12:27:21

I drove me and a friend to Zumba this morning - it was only a 15 min journey but it was nice to be able to do it. Busy roads on a Saturday, especially outside the church hall - trying to find a spot to park but it felt brilliant.

diaimchlo Sat 16-Feb-13 08:05:11

I didn't learn to drive untill I was 31 so was a late starter. I passed 2nd time and I did exactly what you have been doing working out routes that I assessed as being safe. I was extremely nervous every time I got in a car to drive, especially when I had my children with me. So to gain confidence I would drive the same route at night every night on my own, till I felt safe...

One thing I realised is that all the lessons I had taught me how operate a car safely on the public roads and the highway code..... You learn to drive by experience and anticipating what other drivers are going to do, this takes a little time and comes with the more driving you do as WilsonFrickett said it does become second nature

StickEmUp Sat 16-Feb-13 07:49:28

I passed my test last year. They do say the first 2 years are beginners years. Im not too keen on it either, ive have a couple of situations i didnt like.

Heres the thing for me - you dont have a soren on your car screeching 'i just passed my test!' I felt like i did for a good few months.
You havent, you blend in.

If you took a wrong turn, what would happen? I have! Yu find a place to turn around and go back. No one knows, and laughs, they just see aother car for the few seconds your going past.

I was talking to my manager about a road i find hard. Its a dual carriageway through a town, 30 limit. Anyway he gave me some advice bit he said to me 'driving is hard' and he's a really confident bloke. It is something you have to do with 100% concertration all the time. Its a lot of work.

Dont beat yourself up.

WilsonFrickett Sat 16-Feb-13 00:04:04

Also the time you buy a car? get an automatic

WilsonFrickett Sat 16-Feb-13 00:03:08

You just have to dive In and keep going. Eventually it just becomes an automatic skill. Like walking. And cooking. Doing stuff on the computer. It all just slots into place, really. That said, when I used to drive DP's huge car, parking would freak me out. I had to separate 'getting there' from 'parking'. Deal with one, then the other.

FuntimeFuschia Fri 15-Feb-13 23:27:22

Thank you all again...ok, so really I need to just give it more time I guess. Good luck to everyone else struggling! I have seen many many worse drivers than me out there, and I did pass my test so I must be a decent driver...
Last time I got this wound up about something it was the supposed end of the world in December, and that worked out fine grin

katkit1 Fri 15-Feb-13 23:11:14

I've just renewed my licence, I've driven very little since I passed my test 8 years ago. I'm seriously considering taking a few additional lessons to refresh my memory re bypass driving - multiple lane roundabouts where the paint has worn off are not a favourite but I'm determined to stick with it.

Phineyj Fri 15-Feb-13 22:55:51

I've been driving 20 years and still have days like that! The more you do it the more confident you'll feel -- it's a skill like any other. I actually think drivers that are a little nervous are probably better, safer drivers overall than the ones that are over confident/on their mobiles/tailgating/speeding. The best advice my DM gave me when I was learning though was "if you're going, go!" e.g. don't hang around dithering at junctions.

FuntimeFuschia Fri 15-Feb-13 22:49:58

I'm really not sure about P plates - had several idiots targeting me when learning, once I actually cried because of mean boys sad so am a bit worried that might happen again. I have a sat-nav now so hope that might help - you're right I think, have been so used to having the instructor in the car that I guess as time progresses and the lessons are becoming a distant memory the reality that this is all on me becomes even bigger! DH doesn't drive, so although he is very encouraging, when I'm at a traffic light going 'Have I got priority?! Can I go?!' he really can't answer me grin

Am glad it's not just me though! I will keep on trucking then. My brother has just kindly reminded me that the final part of the journey next week involves a bloody great hill - hoping I don't have to stop/start as hill starts are not my thing sad and my car is only a 1.1 teeny wee thing grin

Tryharder Fri 15-Feb-13 22:36:16

This brings back memories. I have never driven so badly as in the few months after I passed my test. Had so many near misses and prangs.

You will get better as your confidence increases. In the meantime, have you got some green L plates so other drivers know you're new?

Twattybollocks Fri 15-Feb-13 22:31:40

Oh, and everyone I know thinks I'm a very safe and considerate driver!

Twattybollocks Fri 15-Feb-13 22:31:10

I've been driving 20 odd years and still freak out about going places if I don't know the route. The only reason I don't stall the car is because it's an automatic. On a brighter note I've never had a crash that was my fault, so I figure I must be doing something right.

Sharkie45 Fri 15-Feb-13 22:29:19

firstly congratulations on passing.
I became very nervous after passingly test.
If you've had a lot of lessons them you have probably got used to having an instructor sat next to you telling you if you are going wrong, to suddenly have that person not there can be quite daunting!
Keep up the adventures and soon enough you will realise up are worrying less and less.

NurseySA Fri 15-Feb-13 22:22:23

Definitely try the hypnotherapy, made a huge difference to me almost immediately. I will drive anywhere, M25, airports, anything, nothing freaks me out!! You can download them for pennies, definitely worth a try. Good luck for the new job too.

sydlexic Fri 15-Feb-13 22:19:33

That sounds like a good idea, I might try it. I have been driving for over 20 years, DH recently bought his dream car and I am so nervous of damaging it that my driving is awful.

FuntimeFuschia Fri 15-Feb-13 22:09:13

Thank you, thank you! I am probably being a bit hard on myself - I kind of assumed once I had FINALLY got through the test then actually driving would be a breeze...how wrong I was! I still keep thinking if I make any mistake then I'm going to get told off, and I'm always half expecting someone to tap on the window and ask me what on earth I'm doing on the road...smile

I'm also starting a new job on Monday, and previously couldn't find a parking space when I went to collect my uniform (hospital) so am going to have to get there on the bus on Monday morning and ask around about staff parking, which makes me feel a bit useless. I think the anxiety about the job may be contributing to this somewhat, kids in nursery etc.

I may look into hypnotherapy to be honest, it can't hurt, can it?!

anniroc Fri 15-Feb-13 22:06:47

Big kiss - I completely feel your pain!

I passed first time 2 years ago after loads of lessons and I feel less confident, not more. So wish I had passed when younger. Parking is my bugbear too and I have had the odd scrape as well.

My only advice, and this is for me also, is to keep at it! I know someone who passed her test and never drove again. It's scary, but you are a better driver than you think. Take it slowly and don't panic. Feel the fear and do it anyway! Driving gives me freedom I didn't have before, particularly with taking out my kids.

Good luck.

NurseySA Fri 15-Feb-13 21:59:47

I think the way you are feeling is completely normal. I was always a nervous driver, passed my test at second attempt after around 45 lessons, but hated driving and avoided it as much as possible. Got to the point where my legs would be shaking so much that I could hardly control the car when I was driving!! After many years I got an new job which meant having to drive every day, I knew I had to get over my driving fear, so bought a hypnotherapy CD which completely changed my attitude to driving.

It sounds like you are being a bit hard on yourself, most people make small driving errors however experienced a driver they are. I clipped the kerb a few months ago and completely blew my tyre. I didn't think that my driving was getting worse though, just put it down to rushing around too much. Give yourself a pat on the back for passing your test and pushing yourself to try new routes.

franbella5 Fri 15-Feb-13 21:49:16

It will get better- you're probably over-thinking it. Everyone has the odd day when they shouldn't be allowed on the roads, but you improve. Be confident, but know your limitations- mine is definitely parallel parking.

franbella5 Fri 15-Feb-13 21:49:00

It will get better- you're probably over-thinking it. Everyone has the odd day when they shouldn't be allowed on the roads, but you improve. Be confident, but know your limitations- mine is definitely parallel parking.

FuntimeFuschia Fri 15-Feb-13 20:58:26

I have previously posted about my many, many driving tests and finally passed just over a month ago on test number 6 blush. I have had a car for just under 2 weeks and have been out every day. I had some issues at first with the car being very different to drive to my instructors, but got the hang of quite quickly. stalling much less and felt like I was in charge of it. I have pushed myself to try routes I don't know, driving alone with the DC (2 and 3) and parking badly in new places.

I have figured out that if I can visualise a route, and where to park, I am generally ok, but am becoming increasingly nervous about just getting into the car and setting off, even on routes I know well. I thought that this would lessen as I became more experienced, but I feel like it's getting worse sad I am still stalling every now and then, usually at traffic lights or junctions so I get people beeping me which gets me flustered...and I shamefully clipped the kerb coming off a roundabout yesterday, which I have never done before, even as a learner! And it was a roundabout I know well!

I have had one motorway lesson with my instructor which went ok, terrible weather conditions but certainly allayed some fears, and I am due to drive a a good hour and a half next weekend to a completely new destination for a weekend away. This will involve major A Road, dual carriageway and motorway. I am very, very nervous. I know I need to do it, I think if I keep putting it off I'll just avoid this kind of journey until it becomes even more of a 'thing'

So, any tips? Will I get more confident? Is it normal to feel like an absolute beginner, even after squillions of lesson and almost as many tests?! I really don't want to let The Fear in, but also don't want to have a massive panic attack whilst whizzing along at 70mph!

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