Driving to see friend - terrified of motorway

(104 Posts)
Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 23-May-13 23:09:01

I'm an OK driver - not the most confident in the world but OK and have quite a lot of motorway experience.

I live near Manchester and have a good friend who lives in Liverpool. Normally, we meet in Manchester but she asked me to go to Liverpool today to see her.

The last time I went, I was around 8 months pregnant with DS who is 5 months old. I found the drive really frightening but thought it was perhaps because I was pregnant,,travelling home while it was dark and due to the torrential rain

DS and I went today and I'm still frightened out of my wits even though we came home hours ago. I can't sleep as everytime I shut my eyes I'm having flashbacks to the two crashes we nearly had. The motorway was chock full of lorries straddling the middle and slow lanes so I had to spend quite a bit of the journey in the fast lane. Even though I was going at around 90, I still had an arsehole hanging off my bumper. If I'd had to break suddenly I'd have been fucked.

I spent the whole time at my friend's house petrified about the drive home. On the way back, a car swerved in front of me from a slip road - over the unbroken line. I did the most dangerous thing - braked rather than moving out to the middle lane and was lucky not to be rear-ended by a lorry.

When I got home, I couldn't actually get out of the car for 20 minutes as my legs were shaking so much. I'm pregnant again and when I saw DH I burst in to tears as I truly thought we were all going to die on the way back. Coupled with having to navigate an unfamiliar route, my nerves are shredded v

I know this sounds totally melodramatic but I cannot go back in that motorway again. If I do, I'll either kill us all or lose my nerve so badly that I'll have to give up driving.

DH is a very confident driver but agrees that the road between Manchester and Liverpool is difficult as it's busy and there is also a lot of aggressive driving. He's said that I just need to tell my friend that I'm not happy to go on that road and to meet somewhere else. However, I feel really terrible about doing this as I'm normally a very capable person and I don't want her to feel that I'm expecting her to do all the driving.

AIBU re this? My legs are shaking again just writing this post

XiCi Thu 23-May-13 23:13:31

If it affects you this badly why not get the train when its your turn to see her? Its a 40 minnute journey and you can relax with a book instead of all this stress

Or maybe make sure you are driving at a time when it is less busy?

squeakytoy Thu 23-May-13 23:13:46

"Even though I was going at around 90, I still had an arsehole hanging off my bumper"

well you are a fucking idiot then...

you are not confident, yet you are driving at 20mph ABOVE the legal limit..

stay off the motorways before you do cause an accident and end up killing yourself or someone else..

Bumpotato Thu 23-May-13 23:15:02

If you feel this way don't drive on the motorway again. At least until after the baby comes.

Some driving schools do motorway lessons, if you have the time you could maybe try those.

Please don't make yourself ill over it,

Also, I'm sure that you can program satnavs to give you routes that avoid the motorway.

Bumpotato Thu 23-May-13 23:16:12

Oh yes don't go over the speed limit, that's dangerous.

ThingummyBob Thu 23-May-13 23:16:25

I do Leeds- North Wales a bit Gobbolin and I feel your pain sad

I would say I am a confident driver, no issues with any type of road but that stretch of M62/60 then 56 have given me my hairiest driving moments ever shock

The bloody lorries are all over and never properly indicate, and some of the slip roads from one motorway to the next are just a mass of curves and white lines.

That being said, I firmly believe that once you have cracked the M60/62 you can drive ANYWHERE you want without fear or worrygrin

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 23-May-13 23:16:38

I am a confident motorway driver - just not on this particular piece if motorway

I had to go at 90 - to get past the lorries in the slow and middle lane. It's not safe to go in the fast lane at 70 if you need to overtake.

I'm contemplating the train. Her house is a fair way away from the train station though so I'll need to investigate taxis and how that would work with the pram and whether I need to take a car seat.

CointreauVersial Thu 23-May-13 23:16:46

Why the hell were you doing 90 in the fast lane if you're a nervous driver? confused That's ridiculous.

CaptainJamesTKirk Thu 23-May-13 23:17:41

I'm sorry but I totally agree with squeaky... You are not a confident driver and you are driving 90 mph (20 mph over the speed limit) with a 5 month old in the car.

Stay of the motorway until you've taken some motorway lessons.

AngryFeet Thu 23-May-13 23:18:27

You can always get where you want to gowithout driving on the motorway. It will just take longer. And stay off them until you feel confident again. A nervous driver is just as dangerous as a cocky one imo.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 23-May-13 23:19:09

I drive regularly to scotland and have a lot of motorway experience but I've never experienced conditions like today. That was avoiding rush hour too

The car that veered over the unbroken line on the slip road (I.e where you're not allowed to move out), I've never seen anything like it

Xmasbaby11 Thu 23-May-13 23:19:27

you're not alone! I don't know that road in particular, but I find motorways scary too and feel stupid admitting this. It is really understand for people who are happy and confident drivers. This has put me in difficult situations in the past when I haven't felt comfortable driving somewhere.

I think it's best to be honest with your friend. The worst she can do is disbelieve you and think you're making an excuse, but if your demand isn't unreasonable, she should go along with it.

I know what you mean about wanting to seem capable to your friend, but we aren't perfect and there must be things your friend struggles with that you don't give a second thought (sport, money management, cooking...). Part of friendship is being honest about your feelings. A good friend will accommodate this.

YANBU!

Bumpotato Thu 23-May-13 23:19:48

Or you could drive behind the lorries. There's no rule saying you must go past them. If you need to do 90 to go past them they must be going some!

pigletmania Thu 23-May-13 23:19:54

Take te train if I were you, and mabey take motorway lessons

Cabrinha Thu 23-May-13 23:20:09

There's a lot going on there. You do seem very anxious about it - perhaps you should speak to your GP?

But otherwise:

Do not do 90mph. No wonder you're nervous if you are speeding! Stay in the middle lane, or slow lane. So what if you take longer to get back?

Why not do that road without your child, with an instructor? Dual control. Do it at a sensible (legal!) speed. Get some tips and build your confidence.

It's a bit of a flat for me, that even away from this road, you say you're not a confident driver. Get lessons. Ask about specifically focusing on defensive driving techniques. A lot of that is about anticipating possible issues - like the driver on the slip road.

Good luck! And stop driving at 90mph!

Kiriwawa Thu 23-May-13 23:21:10

If you feel you have to drive at 90 to be safe, then you're not. Is there no other road you could use instead?

AuntieEggy Thu 23-May-13 23:21:45

Defo try a motorway lesson. I've had 2 but I've not needed to go since. In fact I don't have to ever but good to have under your belt. Think about it, how do others learn... by getting on it.

CaptainJamesTKirk Thu 23-May-13 23:21:47

You don't have to get past lorries... Lorries cannot drive over 57 whatever it is mph, they have speed limiters. You don't need to go 90 to get past a lorry. Stay in lane with the lorry.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 23-May-13 23:22:14

Yes, just get the train! Problem solved!

FWIW I'm not v confident on motorways and would rather stick in the slow lane behind lorries than drive 90mph.

Lj8893 Thu 23-May-13 23:23:14

I'm not overly confident on motorways, but no where near as nervous as you seem on them.

I don't ever drive at 90mph on any road though so perhaps that's why!

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Thu 23-May-13 23:24:01

No-one has to drive at 90. Ever.

ThingummyBob Thu 23-May-13 23:24:06

I agree that you should slow down , but I will say that it is a very fast flowing stretch of road. You need balls to not freak out at the tailgaiting if you are overtaking at 70/72 mph. Then some twat will sit at your exact speed so you can't move back in at all.

No wonder there are so many accidents, it makes the M25 seem like a gentle country drive...

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 23-May-13 23:24:30

I'm not a nervous driver. My drive today made me nervous. I drive to and from Scotland twice a month and I do plenty of driving around the motorways of Manchester - hence why I know that pulling out in to the fast lane to overtake and slowing to 70 is very dangerous

I also lived in Aberdeenshire and have a lot of country roads experience.
I can assure you, if either DH or I had any concerns about the safety of my driving, I would not be driving around with DS

I was frightened today by dangerous driving that i observed - I.e a car pulling in front of me from a part of a slip road where it wasn't allowed to and a car behind me not observing safe braking distances and trying to intimidate me

My question is whether it is unreasonable to ask my friend to meet me half way.

XiCi Thu 23-May-13 23:25:47

Why did you feel like you had to overtake at 90mph OP. Why not just drive at 70 in the slow lane if that's where you are more comfortable?

Buzzardbird Thu 23-May-13 23:26:57

Lorries are limited to 50mph and can't go faster than that as it shows on their tacograph so 70mph would have you passing them easily. An experienced driver always anticipates the hazards.
you clearly are not, get some lessons before you kill yourself and others.

Lj8893 Thu 23-May-13 23:26:58

But driving at 90mph does make you a dangerous driver?!

hiddenhome Thu 23-May-13 23:27:56

I know the road you're talking about and it is crazy around there. Are there any alternative routes you could take? Otherwise, train and taxi sound like your best bet.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 23-May-13 23:28:13

I am absolutely not staying in a middle or slow lane boxed in by lorries - my friend was nearly killed in a car crash due to that.

My instructor(and my DH who is a very good driver) agreed with me that it's much safer to get away from the lorries (by way of the fast lane) and also not to be sitting in the slow lane behind a lorry with another one boxing you in in the middle lane. If anything happens with someone pulling in front of you from the slip road on the left, you have no where to go - hence my friend at uni nearly being squished to death

Oinkypig Thu 23-May-13 23:29:49

I have driven that stretch so many times and I'm not a huge fan but why do you feel you have to go into the fast lane to overtake slow lorries? You can just drive behind them?

Lj8893 Thu 23-May-13 23:30:34

But you don't need to drive at 90mph to overtake a lorry, as many posters have already pointed out.

Cabrinha Thu 23-May-13 23:30:39

You sound very defensive, when people are giving good suggestions about lessons. Are you defensive because you were speeding?

Not, it's not U to not want to use a road that is a high risk road, in fact, it's quite R to avoid it. Sensible.

BUT - you are U to think you "have" to do 90mph on it. You don't. Yes, I've driven it. And if you are as shaken up as you describe, and think you'll lose your nerve to drive completely, then I think you lack confidence enough that you'll benefit from lessons whether you go back on that road or not.

There's no shame in more lessons. Take an Advanced Driver course if that makes you feel better about it.

XiCi Thu 23-May-13 23:31:21

So you panicked and instead thought it would be a better idea to go 20mph over the speed limit - don't really get your logic

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 23-May-13 23:33:47

Ok - well some of us and I suspect the ones who have no knowledge of this particular road aren't going to agree on driving styles. I must say though, I'm amazed that it just seems to be the roads near Manchester and Liverpool where people go over 70 in the fast lane. Must be a local thing. Notwithstanding that, I couldn't overtake the lorries at plus 57+ miles per hour as there were queues in the middle and slow lanes of about 5 each. If I'd pulled out in to the fast lane to overtake them at 60, then all the cars in the fast lane doing 90 would have crashed in to the back of me and I wouldn't have been able to get past the long line of lorries.

However, any thought on the actual question - about meeting my friend?

ThingummyBob Thu 23-May-13 23:34:01

Why did you feel like you had to overtake at 90mph OP. Why not just drive at 70 in the slow lane if that's where you are more comfortable?

Its tail to tail lorries, won't leave you any room. Box you in like a sardine waiting to be canned...

I'm not advocating speeding btw, I overtake at 70 no problem. But I flip the bird to tailgaiters and don't stress.

I understand that some people would fear this as much as being boxed in by the lorries.

There is some seriously twattish driving along those stretches.

CaptainJamesTKirk Thu 23-May-13 23:34:59

You're clearly having none of it... You know best.

Whatever... But you're endangering yourself, your child and other road users. Get a gps, set it to avoid the motorway and take your time. If you're not willing to do that, take some motorway lessons. If you're not willing to do that get a sodding train.

It really isn't that difficult.

ThingummyBob Thu 23-May-13 23:35:16

missed out the * *

juneybean Thu 23-May-13 23:35:25

I'm surprised no one has rolled out the line "there's no such thing as a fast lane"

Cabrinha Thu 23-May-13 23:36:13

OK, so it possibly goes beyond a bad drive or two on this road, but fears because of your friend's accident.
Again - do an advanced course, and concentrate on defensive driving. Depending on how much of your anxiety is related to your friend's accident, maybe some kind of counselling?
My worry for you is that today it's this section of motorway, but seeing a bad accident on an A road sometime might write off that kind of road for you, and this will build.
Tackle it. By all means choose to avoid that stretch because it's high risk - but don't avoid it because you are too frightened.

JumpingJackSprat Thu 23-May-13 23:36:27

Its not slow lane/fast lane. Anything other than the nearside lane is an overtaking lane and you shouldnt let other drivers bully you into driving at 90mph. of course its safe to do 70... a damn sight safer than 90!!!

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 23-May-13 23:37:01

You sound dangerous!

There is no such thing as a slow, middle and fast lane. You need proper motorway lessons if you don't understand how overtaking works.

Using the name of the motorway as an excuse for your poor driving is ridiculous! I've driven all over the country - Manchester, M60, London, M25 - both can be busy but an experienced driver would cope.

It may be that you have an anxiety issue which affects you unduly, in which case you should investigate this. Otherwise, please don't endanger others.

Oinkypig Thu 23-May-13 23:37:52

Sorry cross post, but I've never been boxed in, if that happens just slow down so there isn't a lorry in the middle lane and be aware of upcoming junctions so again you are slowing down in time to give those behind you time to slow down as well. The statistically most dangerous lane is actually the middle lane. What happened to your friend was awful but there are other things you can do to avoid being boxed in than travelling in the 'fast lane'

ThingummyBob Thu 23-May-13 23:39:40

To those giving the OP a hard time; imagine pulling out onto a single lane carriage way (the fast lane - no others move at times as OP describes) and into the flow of traffic on that single carriageway, when the flow of traffic is 90mph.

I think that is what she is describing.

Its scary hairy stuff.

You then have to slow down that traffic yourself in order to stay at 70mph. That's what I do, but it is difficult.

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 23-May-13 23:39:52

Must be a local thing.

No. It's a dangerous driving thing. You don't need to drive at 90, you just don't. You also need to see that if you had to overtake (at 90), lorries - well, you really did not need to overtake at all.

My advice? Stay off the motorway.

Cabrinha Thu 23-May-13 23:40:58

The actual question?
Well, plenty of people have suggested the train or satnav alternative routes. You want more answers? Fly there on a winged horse.
You've clearly decided not to bother listening to people.

vivizone Thu 23-May-13 23:41:30

I feel for you op. Def not being unreasonable to ask your friend to meet you halfway

squeakytoy Thu 23-May-13 23:42:36

I know the area very well. I have lived there for most of my life.

My job involved driving on motorways all the time, and I now live in the South East and regularly drive on the M25 and other motorways that are full of lorries, mainly european ones too.

There is still no need to go at 90mph to overtake. If you were having to go at that speed to overtake, then you should have been staying behind the vehicle in front of you which cant have been going much slower than 70.

If you had a car right behind you when you were doing 90, neither of you would stand much chance if you had to break suddenly. Both of you were at fault there.

Travel at weekends when there are less goods vehicles on the roads. Or avoid motorways.

garlicgrump Thu 23-May-13 23:44:34

I agree your motorway driving could do with some serious tuition, Gobbolin. If you want to be an old lady driver who's never been involved in a crash, you have to think for the other twats (this is what another poster meant by defensive driving.) The speeding to get past lorries and the slip lane incident show that you could do with much better looking ahead, anticipation, and allowing for others' mistakes.

With that out of the way, there's no shame in finding alternative routes. I don't know the road you used - is there a parallel A-road you could have used? There often is with motorways, you just need to allow a bit more time. It's a good idea to check out the train + taxi option, as well. Would this cost much more than the petrol? Could be the perfect solution smile

Cabrinha Thu 23-May-13 23:48:02

If you don't want to be boxed in, keep slowing down. Absolutely refuse to stop maintaining the correct stopping distance. As long as you slow gradually, you are not going to have the vehicle behind go into you. Do it by touching your break as you slow down, not just foot off accelerator, as then the vehicle behind will get your brake light warning. You will find the space getting filled over and over. So keep slowing down when it does. It may feel like you're driving backwards, but of course you're always going forwards, really.

mummymeister Thu 23-May-13 23:48:06

OP I quite agree. you shouldn't go back on the motorway again. In fact you shouldn't go back on to any road again unless you are prepared to obey the speed limits which are there for a reason. You appear to have talked yourself into the fact that you have to break the law and wont listen to people who tell you what you did was absolutely unsafe. had I been in your shoes my legs would have been shaking and I am not responsible for 2 children as you are. I drive an awful lot of miles every week. on an almost daily basis there is nearby an "incident" sometimes a near miss sometimes a very near miss. how many of these have to become hits before you realise that driving at 28% above the permitted speed limit is stupid. and please, let me know next time you are out on the road and where you are going so that I know to keep the hell away from you.I suggest you google some pics now of what cars look like that have been involved in accidents due to speeding. do you have the same cavalier attitude to drinking and driving, talking on the phone maybe. posts like this beggar belief.

jacks365 Thu 23-May-13 23:48:53

My daily commute used to include the M60/62 but I've never had the issues you describe.

Rather than speed up slow down, keep a gap in front of you so you have room to react. Never feel forced to drive faster than you want. If you have to do 90 to pull iut fine but then slow down carefully till you feel in control again and don't let the idiots bother you.

Yes it us fair to suggest meeting someone halfway but it wouldn't be fair to expect your friend to always come to Manchester.

Oinkypig Thu 23-May-13 23:49:23

I don't really understand, you were in the fast lane because you didnt want to get boxed in in case of someone speeding in from a junction but the traffic in the slow and middle lanes were so congested you could only pass them in the fast lane so the traffic was so busy it wouldn't really be possible for people to be speeding in from an on ramp.

LessMissAbs Thu 23-May-13 23:52:02

OP, I think you need some motorway driving lessons (along with some other posters on this thread). Just go ahead and book them if it bothers you that much.

Then you can be taught to overtake and move back in safely. Why do people keep referring to the fast lane and slow lane? You drive on the left unless you are overtaking. Once you have overtaken, you move back in.

If you find overtaking scary, drive at the speed of the lorries in the leftmost lane and keep your braking distance.

You do sound like a terribly dangerous, panicky driver who reacts by driving even faster. Just book some motorway driving lessons!

mummymeister Thu 23-May-13 23:55:17

LessMissAbs - good suggestion but with this OP it aint ever going to happen. I am waiting for the "I have been done by the police for only going at 90 when everyone else does it and its not fair" post. It makes the case for compulsory motorway training and re-testing every 5 years does this post.

hiddenhome Thu 23-May-13 23:55:30

The M60 M62 is worse than the M25. They're all nuts round Manchester.

HibiscusIsland Thu 23-May-13 23:57:40

Could you set the satnav to "Least use of motorways" or would that take too long? Or get the train.

Barbarashop Fri 24-May-13 00:03:18

Can't you just take the A580? (East Lancs road)

jacks365 Fri 24-May-13 00:06:12

There is an A road alternative but if anything its worse than the motorway.

garlicgrump Fri 24-May-13 00:06:30

Apologies for turning this into a driving thread - I'm worried for you and some of the other posters!

sitting in the slow lane behind a lorry with another one boxing you in in the middle lane. If anything happens with someone pulling in front of you from the slip road on the left, you have no where to go

This will NEVER happen to you. Here's why. You will always keep a good long space in front of you. As you'll be doing this by gently touching your brakes, the driver behind will see that you're slowing down and have to slow down as well, and/or overtake.

So now you have a nice big gap in front of you. When somebody moves into it, brake gently again until you've got your space. Keep maintaining your space. Anyone flashes you behind, mutter "fuck you" under your breath but don't let them bully you. They'll have to wait until they can overtake you.

You will see signs announcing the slip roads and mergers. When you see these, you know vehicles are likely to be approaching from the left - so you look over there, repeatedly, as the roads come together. Now you know what's coming on, how fast it's going and you've got a rough idea of where they'll need a space.

If you've done this and absolutely everybody else on the road is acting like a selfish cunt, be the one who averts a crash, by slowing right down and putting your hazard lights on if you must. This is hardly ever needed (or never) because anticipation means you can always create a space for incoming traffic.

I do hope that made some sense ...

Barbarashop Fri 24-May-13 00:10:09

The a580 is always pretty clear once you're away from the city centres.

horseonabeach Fri 24-May-13 01:21:39

You sound the sort to leave a wake of accidents BEHIND you...

I've driven all over the country too and that stretch between Manchester and Liverpool is the most sedate roads I've ever known!

You're a shit driver OP. leave the car at home and stop pissing off the rest of us.

cumfy Fri 24-May-13 01:52:04

Sorry, but your descriptions of driving indicate that you are neither a good or confident driver.

You seem very disengaged from the whole process.

How about taking extra lessons or enrolling on an advanced motoring course ?

BonaDea Fri 24-May-13 03:36:57

Yabu because it sounds like you don't actually have the first idea what you're doing! Lorry drivers drive for a living and IMHO there is very little risk in cruising happily behind one.

Pulling out into the outside lane and doing 90 with a 5 month old in the back is idiotic and makes you vvu. Of course you shouldn't pull out and do 70 if that would make others have to break, but if that is the case you just have to wait until it IS safe to pull out.

Sorry you are upset but suggest that you get some proper lessons so you know what on earth you are doing.

burberryqueen Fri 24-May-13 04:33:50

just get in the slow lane and do not go over 60....simples.

MidniteScribbler Fri 24-May-13 05:05:33

I'm Australian, but I've driven that stretch of road. No experience of it before, but I still managed not to cause traffic chaos and accidents. Stop making excuses for being a crap driver. It's not every other drivers fault that you have no spatial awareness, or understanding of the road laws, particularly the one about overtaking lanes. Please do everyone else a favour and stay off the roads. You're dangerous.

Jengnr Fri 24-May-13 05:11:02

Go down the East Lancs instead.

And, no, you don't need to drive at 90 on that (or any other) stretch of road. You're clearly NOT confident and panicked. I'm not arsed whether you were speeding, I drive pretty fast myself. The fact you don't sound safe is a bigger issue.

CarpeVinum Fri 24-May-13 05:44:34

I don't drive. But DH does. He is a very good, safe driver. However I trust no other bugger on the road.

I have taken to going to Milan with DS by train, because I'd rather deal with the downside of timetables than be on that motorway.

However.... when fear becomes consuming, and it is stopping you from doing things you want to do with the alternatives not being really liked, CBT is supposed to help some people.

I want to see if I can do it at some point. I quiver the whole time my sister or BIL (both good, safe drivers) (same issue with all the other buggers on the road) pick me up from Gatwick. And it's a bit worse cos it's happening onnthe "wrong" side of the road.

RocknRollNerd Fri 24-May-13 06:16:52

I've driven that road - the first time I ever drove it was the first time I'd ever been on a motorway (grew up in a place where there weren't any) and I was driving MIL-to-be's car with DH and his sister in it on their way to hospital where there grandma was dying. It's a scary road and I was really worried the first time I drove it, however you seem determined not to admit that you could use some help.

A couple of years ago I had a couple of scary near-misses driving - neither were my fault. I had driven 100s of miles a week on all sorts of roads for over a decade with no accidents or points but I realised I was in danger of losing my nerve which would have made me become a dangerous driver. I didn't insist everyone changed their plans to suit me, I went online found a driving instructor, explained the situation and asked if I could have a couple of sessions just to help me get my nerve back. YANBU to have found the situation you were in scary, YABVU to be sticking your fingers in your ears and insisting you don't need any help to sort out your driving, even if it's just to get you more confidence.

AnneTwacky Fri 24-May-13 06:17:26

Which motorway was stressing you out. As Jengnr said, if it's the M62, you could swap it for the East Lancs Road (A580).

MrsHoarder Fri 24-May-13 06:23:47

My first ever motorway drive a week after I took my test included that stretch. It was terrifying, but many that I was given a very good motorway driving lesson and it was easy afterwards.

There's nothing wrong with getting an instructor, telling them you grew up in a quieter part if the country and having one or two motorway driving lessons. Because Aberdeenshire is nothing like nw England for traffic.

nellyjelly Fri 24-May-13 06:25:20

Yes the E Lancs. has a lower speed limit and lots of traffic lights so lots of stopping. Not much chance of speeding and is less busy than 62.

Trazzletoes Fri 24-May-13 06:55:12

I think a lot of good suggestions have been made. Yy to getting a motorway lesson just to get your confidence back. I have no problem generally driving on motorways but was always a bit anxious about it when I was pregnant.

I have driven Leeds - Manchester - Liverpool many many many times though and have NEVER HAD to drive at 90. If you are overtaking lorries they certainly aren't driving at 80. If everyone else in the right hand lane is doing 90 then you either join them at that speed and then gradually slow down to a speed you are comfortable with or you don't pull out. I doubt that you were absolutely the only car on the road not driving at 90. As I said, I know the route reasonably well.

The only thing you can do about tailgaters is to ignore them and make sure that YOU are driving a safe distance behind the car in front of you so you have time to react to anything. There is unfortunately nothing you can do about the tailgater's driving. Just let them get on with their stupidity and be extra aware of the likelihood they will undertake you given half a chance.

Btw, if it really was as horrendous as you describe ( which I doubt, I'm afraid) then you are being U to say to your friend "I'm not driving it because I felt I was risking my life but I fully expect you to take the risk in order to come and see me."

Either try to get your confidence back, as has been suggested or try alternative routes/ the train.

ChairmanWow Fri 24-May-13 06:55:28

Another one suggesting the East Lancs. It'll take you a good bit longer but you'll arrive feeling relaxed and won't worry about the journey home.

Tequilatequila Fri 24-May-13 06:59:42

Yabu!! You can do it. You can get over it. You really can!

I had a horrific accident on the motorway where i was very fortunate not to lose my life.. and had to overcome this afterwards to go back to work. Maybe whilst your pregnant isnt the best time to tackle this.. maybe take the train next time.

When you feel ready i highly reccomend booking a driving lesson or two. It doesnt matter how long you have been driving. If you explain you want some motorway guidance and confidence, a good instructer should be able to facilitate that. And its 20quid well spent if it can enable you to be calmer and safer on those roads and remove the panic. Just trust me in that its something you can overcome. Other drivers can be knobs but i see this just as much/ if not more on normal roads and with a little encouragement and guidance you will be totally fine.

Very sorry if this comes across as patronising.. i just hate the idea of you being scared of something forever when there are things that might help you be and feel safe.

Also look into alternative routes until you are ready.. there are loads between liverpool and manchester. If you put into google maps or a sat nav to avoid motorways i think there are still lots of routes that dont take too long.i sympathise with pregnancy hormones too. Dont beat yourself up. You can so do it!

Euphemia Fri 24-May-13 07:03:36

AIBU?
Yes.
No I'm not.
Yes you are.
Flounce.

Tequilatequila Fri 24-May-13 07:08:18

Ok just reskimmed this in my sleep deprived state. 90 when you are not confident and feeling safe and in control. Wtf? Nobody needs to get anywhere in that much of a rush to justify doing 90. Did you have to overtake? If i'd have felt that unsafe i'd have been sat doing 65 merrily theres nothing wrong with it. Yes you can overtake at 70 safely. Especially if its lorries. I use the motorway most days and rarely have to go over 70 to get past lorries. You dont have to do anythjng. Drive safely and others will manouver around you.
Yabu for driving along the motorway at 90 with a dc in the car and not confident. Very unreasonable. Go slower next time before you hurt someone else or yourself!

ParadiseChick Fri 24-May-13 07:15:27

You sound panicky, which is frightening.

ArabellaBeaumaris Fri 24-May-13 07:17:15

Get the train & meet in town? Meet halfway?

OrangeLily Fri 24-May-13 07:18:01

Please please listen. You, at the moment are a dangerous driver. You never 'need' to go at 90 on the motorway. If folk are tailgating slow down! They are going to tailgate whatever speed you go at and if they hit you at 90 you're both likely to be dead.

Don't allow yourself to become boxes in by lorries as so many other posters have said. There is no 'need' to get away from them but you do have to respect their size and considerable clout. Remember if you can't see their mirrors they can't see you so keep back. I'm sorry your friend died and can see why this would now frighten you.

However, I also have a relative who nearly packed in his job because a car refused to stay back and didn't anticipate an oncoming hazard. Tried overtaking relatives' lorry, couldn't so tried getting back in behind and smashed in to the back of the lorry ad died.

Until you are more confident and able to drive alongside other vehicles please don't drive. You need lessons or to get the train.

WMittens Fri 24-May-13 08:22:01

Oh yes don't go over the speed limit, that's dangerous.

This is false.

No-one has to drive at 90. Ever.

This is true.

Stay in the middle lane,

This attitude of shit lane discipline is what causes a large number of the problems on motorways.

RocknRollNerd Fri 24-May-13 08:27:04

I can assure you, if either DH or I had any concerns about the safety of my driving, I would not be driving around with DS

but don't you see? You are a risk driving around feeling that panicked and stressed - you are only a safe driver if you are able to identify and react appropriately to others' fuckwittery; you are shaking, doing 90mph in the outside lane and panicky - you're as much of a risk to yourself and everyone else on the road in that state as any other driver.

This was what I realised when I had lessons a couple of years ago - I was shaken up by one near-miss in particular which was absolutely not my fault (guy on the wrong side of the road on a country lane trying to overtake a tractor). I recognised that I was too nervous to drive safely after that, I was worrying about what might happen, hesitating when I shouldn't have done etc; hence I got myself a couple of lessons to build up my confidence, check my technique etc. You are a danger to yourself and others on the roads in that state, either stop driving or get some lessons - don't insist it's everyone else who has the problem.

Hawkmoth Fri 24-May-13 08:30:07

Can you post next time you're on the motorway so I can stay at home?

KatyTheCleaningLady Fri 24-May-13 08:31:50

If you're panicking on the motorway, something is wrong.

I'm confident on the motorway. I live by the M62 and I know it can get hairy. There have been times where I'm thinking, "Wow, this is crazy" and feel a tiny bit nervous. I just stay calm, stay in a safe lane, and bide my time until the lorry cluster disperses or whatever.

If you're unable to get out of the car at your destination because your legs are shaking, then you shouldn't be driving on the motorway.

WMittens Fri 24-May-13 08:35:21

I drive regularly to scotland and have a lot of motorway experience but I've never experienced conditions like today.

The M6 north of Manchester and the M74 etc. are generally very quiet compared to other motorways.

Upallnighttogetmilky Fri 24-May-13 09:33:22

I commuted from Manchester to Liverpool every day for a year.
Yes, the M62 is ludicrously busy, but rather than screeching down the fast lane at 90, if I was nervous I'd just sit behind the lorries at 55mph. Driving that way is also far more fuel-efficient.

But if you're such a neurotic driver that you sit in the car shaking for 20mins (?!) after such a short trip on the motorway then please get the train! Only 40 mins from Piccadilly to Lime St, and then your connection to wherever.

Take a lightweight buggy, you don't need a car seat in a taxi- job done.
From what you've said, you're clearly not safe on the roads and really need some motorway lessons.

badguider Fri 24-May-13 09:38:51

I live and drive in Socotland where the motorways are very quiet. On a very busy motorway like those around the centre of England - Manchester, Liverpool etc. I usually sit at around 60 behind the lorries and vans in the slow lane... it's really frustrating but in my not very powerful car it's better than dicing with the audis powerful cars who go at 100mph in the fast lane.

ivanapoo Fri 24-May-13 09:57:30

I know other drivers can be intimidating so the best advice I was given is to drive as you usually would if they weren't there.

So if you're doing 70-75 in the overtaking lane don't let them stress you into going any faster. If you feel you have to go 90 to pull into that lane, wait longer for a bigger gap so you can accelerate then settle at a more sensible speed. They are very unlikely to ram you and if they beep you, ignore it.

It's much safer they go into the back of you at 70 than 90...

RhinestoneCowboy Fri 24-May-13 10:09:42

Another vote for motorway lessons! They are fantastic. I had a double one, for the same reason as OP, and it was brilliant. It makes you a more confident driver on normal roads too!!!!

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Fri 24-May-13 10:34:43

I call bullshit on this. If the motorway was as busy with lorries as you describe there is no way people would have been doing 90 in the outside lane. I've driven that stretch many times and it does get busy, but when it's busy it's slow. Because you are nervous you are making irrational and dangerous decisions.

lydiajones Fri 24-May-13 10:41:07

Can you find a non motorway route of getting there?? I'm sure there will be one but might just take a bit longer. I avoid motorways and am always working out different routes!! I hate driving fast and having to change lane all the time so I just avoid altogether. I stick to what I am confident with.

Imsosorryalan Fri 24-May-13 10:58:27

I have to agree with the other posters here. Your dangerous. I have driven up the m1, m62 and the m60 many a time from kent and with my two dcs in the back, would not be happy to endanger them with someone like you on the road.

I've never really understood why some people are so nervous of driving on the motorway or a road they don't know. It's just a road, with people like you, driving. If your unsure of the way and don't want to take a wrong turn ( when even then all you have to do it turn around) then get a sat nav.

Driving lessons are needed for you here. For your safety and ours.

RhinestoneCowboy Fri 24-May-13 11:05:49

I think people are being very unfair and unsympathetic with Gobbo. I mean, driving on a motorway can be stressful and tiring. There are idiots weaving and speeding, sometimes recklessly. For a sensitive person who has a sense of the potential power and danger at bay, its not necessarily an easy thing to do, so you have my sympathies OP! It is not a normal thing I believe, in our human make-up, to go through space and time at that speed.

But I still recommend Motorway driving lessons. They will take the edge of things I'm sure smile.

crashdoll Fri 24-May-13 11:21:00

Refresher lessons will make all the difference. You'll probably only need a few lessons but you need to be re-taught the rules of the road - in this case, just for the motorway. I passed 6 years ago and had refreshers a few months ago, I had about 6 lessons being taught how to drive safely and accurately on the motorway in various conditions at differing times. None of what you've said is either accurate or safe. Honestly, if you can afford it, it will be worth it. You owe it to your son, yourself and other road users.

AKAK81 Fri 24-May-13 11:21:18

Sounds like some motorway lessons would do you good. BTW there's no such thing as "slow" and "fast" lanes only lanes 1,2,3 etc. This is part of the reason that idiots hog the middle lane.

MorrisZapp Fri 24-May-13 11:31:30

There does seem to be an element of victim blaming when it comes to nervous drivers. I'm terrified of motorways, I don't drive on them, and ideally wouldn't be a passenger either but sometimes it's unavoidable.

So often, the answer seems to be 'yes, loads of people drive twattishly/ dangerously/illegally, get over it, if it frightens you it's your fault'. Why not save the outrage and criticism for the dangerous drivers?

People die on the roads every day. The fear is not unfounded. Lots of people turn into aggressive tossers behind the wheel. No wonder people are nervous of dealing with them.

Kiriwawa Fri 24-May-13 12:02:33

Morris - I have no issue with nervous drivers avoiding motorways. I have an issue with the OP being so anxious that she can't sleep because of very minor incidents. And the fact that she is doing 90 when she's clearly not driving safely. A very nervous driver at high speeds is as dangerous as someone who's driving aggressively IME

MidniteScribbler Fri 24-May-13 12:22:23

I think people are being very unfair and unsympathetic with Gobbo. I mean, driving on a motorway can be stressful and tiring. There are idiots weaving and speeding, sometimes recklessly. For a sensitive person who has a sense of the potential power and danger at bay, its not necessarily an easy thing to do

Oh for gods sake, it's a perfectly normal and everyday situation to be in. It's a road, frequented by other road users. The same road rules apply as on any other road. If you aren't capable of driving safely, then you shouldn't be on any road. You get a drivers licence to be able to drive. It's not 'oh you can drive but stay off any busy roads'. Not being able to cope with everyday traffic situations means that you shouldn't be on the road....period.

HazeltheMcWitch Fri 24-May-13 13:32:02

TOTALLY agree with Midnite!

But OP has flounced now, as the majority seemed to see beyond her point that her friend could meet her half way, and focus on the more pressing issue that - if she does indeed drive as per her OP - she is endangering more people than just her own family.

RocknRollNerd Fri 24-May-13 16:04:27

There does seem to be an element of victim blaming when it comes to nervous drivers. I'm terrified of motorways, I don't drive on them, and ideally wouldn't be a passenger either but sometimes it's unavoidable.

So often, the answer seems to be 'yes, loads of people drive twattishly/ dangerously/illegally, get over it, if it frightens you it's your fault'. Why not save the outrage and criticism for the dangerous drivers?

It's not 'victim blaming' it's pointing out that if someone is so terrified of driving they are shaking and doing 90mph in the outside lane they are driving dangerously. It's fine to be a bit scared sometimes when driving in bad conditions or busy/unfamiliar roads (I didn't enjoy myself one bit the time I had to drive in black ice tracks in a single lane on the A1 in a night-time snow blizzard for example); what isn't fine is getting yourself into such a state that you become a threat to everyone else on the road and then refusing to acknowledge that you might need to do something to address your confidence and driving skills.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 24-May-13 23:48:42

I'd just like to reiterate what a load of old bollocks the 'it's the scarily busy M62' line is.

I grew up in West Yorks, spent years commuting there and back to and around Manchester and yes, it is busy. But no more busy than the M6, M1 and certainly not the M25. Absolutely no excuse for poor driving.

PearlyWhites Fri 24-May-13 23:53:59

Well I live in Liverpool and drive too Manchester I don't like the drive much but I feel safe enough prob because despite the lorries I do not go in the fast lane and speed! Just take your time you will be fine also avoid the m60 even if it takes you a bit longer.

Ceraunia Fri 24-May-13 23:54:29

I agree take some motorway lessons for future. I do sympathise, I hate motorway driving, and even being a passenger, after an accident I was in years ago (though I was unhurt).

TiredFeet Sat 25-May-13 06:17:48

I read your op and immediately thought 'you need motorway driving lessons'. So I am glad the majority of posters agree with me. Please arrange some, you will be suprisesd what a difference they make

The slip road thing, well you should be aware of who is on the slip road

The tailgating, don't speed up, slow down ffs!

AngryGnome Sat 25-May-13 06:53:22

I think OP has flounced, but another vote here to get refresher lessons. I didn't drive for nearly 18 months after complication with pregnancy and birth, and I have lost a lot of my confidence, especially on motorways and when doing long journeys. Refresher lessons really helped - they reach you how to feel in control, by driving safely, anticipating potential hazards, and just giving you more confidence.

And don't do 90 in the overtaking lane if you a nervous driver ffs. Just chug along with the lorries, you'll still get there!

Sirzy Sat 25-May-13 07:04:54

I agree with those who say use the east lancs instead.

I drive from Liverpool to Manchester a lot and although its a pita at times it's not that bad and the two incidents you describe neither seem to warrant the way you over reacted.

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