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To just want a supportive driving instructor?

(86 Posts)
BoyMeetsWorld Wed 24-Apr-13 20:03:05

I think this may be all my fault but I'm really not sure & DH is saying he's going to phone the driving school & complain because I make myself sick worrying about my lessons and end up in tears after every one....

I'm a terrible terrible driver. I've tried to learn 4 different times with 4 different instructors (I'm now 28) and given up each time as the instructor basically said they couldn't teach me.

This time is the worst - I really desperately want to pass so I can do the school run with my DS. I'm trying so so hard to do everything the instructor tells me. But he says everything I do is wrong: I use a 'pathetic action' when I steer, I grab at the gears, I go too fast when I should be going slow and too slow when I should be going fast, I can't judge distance and he says I don't look anywhere. He shouts at me all the way round or else huffs and puffs and tells me I'm making everything difficult. At the end of my lesson today he told me he just doesn't understand me, I'm very unusual and he thinks I don't look at all. I tried to tell him I do - im constantly looking as im petrified of hurting myself or anyone else, but I don't understand what I'm seeing.

I know he hates teaching me. But when I joined, I told them I was awful & very nervous. I suggested I might be better with automatic after 4 lessons but he said that was stupid. But he can't fix me.

DH says I need to change instructors but I think it's just me. I'm awful & no matter how hard I try I'm just no good. The saddest thing is, in myself, I'd started to feel I was doing much better than ever before. But he still says everything I'm doing is awful.

Is there a driving school or an instructor out there who could work with me? I really do want to learn, I don't want to be useless at this anymore confused

Thank you for listening & for your thoughts

ICBINEG Mon 12-Aug-13 13:27:56

zombie thread unless the OP comes back and tells us she passed....

ComposHat Mon 12-Aug-13 13:22:12

I have no wish to be horrible but are you sure driving is really for you?

You current driving instructor -who sounds like a total arse btw- plus three other driving professionals seem to be of the opinion you shouldn't be out on the road.

If you're getting flustered now in a controlled driving environment, how are yoi going to be in the organised chaos of parkong outside school with other cars arriving and departing left right and centre and kids running between cars. Throw in a small child acting up in the back and it seems like a recipe for stress.

Maybe think if you really need that in your life.

NutcrackerFairy Mon 12-Aug-13 12:13:16

Oh learning to drive sucks OP!

Driving is so much easier once you have your license and can do it for yourself with no-one breathing over your shoulder.

I know what you mean about looking and not knowing what you're looking at. This is because you are trying to hard to second guess the instructor, who no doubt will tell you you got it wrong anyway hmm

I had an instructor like the one you described, would huff and puff and criticise constantly. It seemed to me that the instructor's requirements changed every lesson, so one day I'd be too close to the car in front and the next, when I tried to correct my previous mistake, I was told that I was driving too slow and too far away from the car in front.

Honestly it SUCKs and you end up feeling such a failure and like you can't get anything right.

OP, I would ditch your current instructor and keep trying to find someone you click with. I went through four instructors until I found the right one... but when I did I grew in confidence and actually started to enjoy my lessons. And I finally passed my test!

Good luck OP, you'll get there I promise. Just find the right instructor for you!

trinity0097 Mon 12-Aug-13 12:13:09

I would recommend spending lots of time as a passenger talking out loud what the driver should be doing, what hazards they should be aware of etc... When I learnt to drive as a teen this is what I had to do a couple of times with my BSM instructor. That way you can start to learn to read the road without also having to do the driving.

LimitedEditionLady Mon 12-Aug-13 11:53:36

Ive had two instructors,the first from a big company and my current one is independant.I think.it is a case of finding one you gel with as the first one was a goid one but his teaching style wasnt right with me and i dont know why but i felt anxious with him but i dont know why cod he was a nice bloke.so i tried another one and its going great,we have the same style and actually have a laugh while im learning and now i love my lessons.Everyone has good and bad driving days and some things take longer to learn.persevere and youll get there.All the best,believe in yourself hun x

cazcastles Mon 12-Aug-13 10:49:53

I am a Driving Instructor and find it strange that other instructors make their pupils cry or tell them to give up driving. I deal with nervous pupils all the time in an automatic and not one has given up. I lve the Ely area of cambridge.

HerrenaHarridan Sat 27-Apr-13 09:11:51

Don't worry op done people are just knobbers, they can't help it!

Fwiw my instructor said he'd rather teach someone who was over cautious to be more confident than someone who is blind to potential hazards to spot them.

dexter73 Fri 26-Apr-13 22:50:05

Good luck with your new instructor!

BoyMeetsWorld Fri 26-Apr-13 18:30:57

Thanks to all who have pm'd me..I've booked to go with a lady who talked to me for a good half hour on the phone & seemed lovely. She was recommended by lots of people, including on here. So fingers crossed!!!

Last lesson with terrifying instructor tomorrow, eek.

Thank you so much for your kind words & support - & for those who have suggested some people should not be on the road: I would say that, if there is no physical or mental disability present, anybody should be capable of learning anything, with time patience and a teacher who gets how to help them understand. When you have children depending on your transport in order to be able to take all the opportunities available to them, including getting to a decent school, failure is not an option. So I will persevere...

SaveWaterDrinkMalibu Fri 26-Apr-13 09:23:42

OP I've messaged you

Liskey Fri 26-Apr-13 07:56:58

Another one voting to change instructor. DH learnt to drive at the age of 35 - first instructor was happy to just drive around but didn't want to work on his poor points, only when he stopped instructor did the new one let him drive around watching him and then agree on points that needed attention - DH then passed test at first attempt.

ZolaBuddleia Fri 26-Apr-13 07:33:58

"Getting through" the test isn't ideal, I'd think about continuing lessons if you pass this summer to help build your confidence and road awareness.

Everyone learning in automatics, do you have automatics at home? Seems pointless to learn in automatic if you then won't be able to drive your own car.

I learnt with bsm I was nervous and bsm made me feel very stressed! But I learnt in automatic after several disastrous manual lessons! Take the pressure off and learn in auto its fab!

ilovesooty Fri 26-Apr-13 00:54:13

Change your instructor. I was petrified of my first instructor and failed four tests through sheer nerves before I had the courage to ditch him. I found out later one of his other pupils had stopped the car halfway round a roundabout to abandon him. It took my next kind, patient instructor ages to undo the damage. I've been driving for over 30 years now and clock up miles in my job, but I really thought with my first instructor I would never pass.

cuppateaanyone Thu 25-Apr-13 21:35:25

There is hope, I failed my first 4 tests spectaculary, one I think I failed in the first few mins of the test.
I was also in my 20's and was facing a horrible, unsustainable commute and thought I was never going to get it.
I found a local instructor who had been doing it for years, he had little hints and tips for the manuoveres that I still use today....

I also booked my final test during the day on a weekday, less busy and acknowledged that I was getting more a more nervous so also used some relaxation techniques. Good luck.

HerrenaHarridan Thu 25-Apr-13 21:10:12

Mansview shock odfod

frogspoon Thu 25-Apr-13 20:02:13

You need to change instructor to one who is more reassuring and patient. You are paying alot of money for these lessons- you deserve to be taught by someone who is patient and tolerant of someone who isn't a natural driver.

I am not a natural driver and had a total of six driving instructors, over 200 lessons, and 3 tests. However that was for complicated reasons including an instructor getting cancer and me moving 200 miles away.

I also eventually switched to an automatic, and I would suggest you consider this.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 25-Apr-13 18:38:46

I had three different instructors, due to moves, failed 2 tests. If I had had the third instructor I would have passed first time.

My dad passed on his 5th attempt - and what did the trick was swapping to an automatic

LimitedEditionLady Thu 25-Apr-13 18:32:14

Im swapping mine too.we get on fine but his teaching style just doesnt suit me.have you got anyone in your family you can go in the car with to practice basic skills?i practice in our family car and it makes me more calm because i feel like im not under as much pressure.im a nervous person too but im not going to give up,look how many people are driving on the roads.you can do it too.everybody has to learn and it doesnt matter if it takes a while youll get there x

ophelia275 Thu 25-Apr-13 13:55:20

Have you thought of going with one of the special driving instructors that use hypnosis to help ease nerves for nervous drivers? There are a few on Google, just type in "hypnosis, driving phobia" or "driving fear". They are supposed to be quite successful.

Branleuse Thu 25-Apr-13 13:51:03

go for an automatic. I have now after 3 years learning and several failed tests. it's revolutionary. wish I hadn't wasted 3 years on bloody clutches and gears when I didn't have to.

are you dyspraxic

Thepursuitofhappiness Thu 25-Apr-13 13:44:56

OP that all sounds very stressful for you, I don't envy you and your driving instructor sounds like an idiot.

I am not saying you are in this category, but I do think some people need to review whether they will ever be safe on the road for others. One of the responders to the OP stated...
'I think she will get me through my test and I am a terrible driver - no sense of direction, poor spatial awareness and can't tell left from right or understand where people are going at roundabouts...'

Unless this poster is confident that she will improve dramatically, is it safe for other road users??

Maureen from driving school from the documentary years ago did pass her test on the fiftieth something test... I don't necessarily think she should be on the road as she has managed to fluke a test, but is a danger on the road.

My cousin lives locally and cannot pass his test. He makes ridiculous decisions on the road and has had to be driven back to the test centre by he instructor on one occasion. Much as it is inconvenient for him not to drive, I'm glad that he doesn't for the safety of the community! Of he managed to one day get 14 rather than 16 minor faults one test won't mean his special awareness suddenly improves.

Not saying your in this category OP, but you do need to think whether you honk you can become a safe road user.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 25-Apr-13 12:17:40

Mansview is right it isn't for everyone but the OP says,
I'd started to feel I was doing much better than ever before... I really do want to learn so a change in instructor could be the answer. The tests should prevent dangerous or flakey drivers from being on our road.

Fwiw I think that everyone holding a driving licence should sit with an instructor to see if they have any bad habits and if necessary, re-take their test after 25 years on the road.

TheVDM Thu 25-Apr-13 12:07:56

MansView: I know a few people who were terribly nervous as learners but have gone on to pass and become very good drivers, I feel those that are over confident should be taken off the road. Those who are nervous tend to be considerate drivers.

IEatCakeInBed Thu 25-Apr-13 12:07:19

BoyMeetsWorld I'm in Marlow, so quite near to you. I had my 5th lesson today (and I'm 37), nerve racking but good. Roy from MSM is teaching me (someone linked to him above) and he's thankfully patient and understands I'm a bit of a panic-er grin

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