Learning to drive driving you mad?

(1000 Posts)
ShowOfHands Sun 27-Jun-10 07:33:55

So here it is, a learning to drive thread.

I think there are a few of us. I predict much swearing. Is it only me that goes one step forwards, only to go 8 steps backwards?

I'm SOH, have been learning for the grand total of a fortnight. DH is teaching me. My aim is to be driving by the end of September when dd is supposed to start nursery and they change the driving test again.

I live rurally (very rurally) and rely on dh for lifts everywhere. Even a supermarket trip is reliant upon him being home from work. And as he's a police officer, he's never home on time, works long hours and as a consequence, we're fairly isolated.

I am trying to focus on the new lease of life for us.

I don't have a provisional licence yet (still waiting for it) but live on private land with tracks of about 3 miles so am driving round a farm atm.

I'll kick off the swearing so there's no illusion of standing on ceremony. How the buggery feck do you look in 3 mirrors, one windscreen, at the speedometer and not cry all at the same time? Answers on a postcard.

Picklepants Tue 29-Jun-10 16:37:14

Hello, another learner here! I'm Pickle, I'm 30 and have been learning since November. My lovely DH offered to pay for my lessons (he's not that generous really, just wants lifts home from the pub) and I think he's starting to wonder if I'll ever pass... blush

My instructor is lovely, and I think he'll start talking about putting in for my test soon, the nutter shock. I still sweat and feel shaky after lessons, and slip roads scare the bejesus out of me, but I'm starting see light at the end of the tunnel I think...

TejasGal Tue 29-Jun-10 17:42:55

So I had a mock test last night during my lesson. I failed it by bumping the curb when I parallel parked. ARGH! Why does it matter if I got in between the two cars without hitting them or anything fragile like a bicyclist??

So I started crying! My poor instructor didn't know what to do, and it's so out of character for me, but I haven't told him that I'm pregnant and my hormones are all over the shop. Poor guy. blush

Gauchita Tue 29-Jun-10 21:34:27

Oh, Tejas, it's so frustrating they take those silly things into account, isn't it? angry Don't worry, if that's the only thing he failed you for it means you're driving really well!! <hopes she's cheering Tejas up a bit and not annoying her further grin>

SpeedyGonzalez Tue 29-Jun-10 21:37:59

Haven't got time to post properly but just want to join this thread! Am 35...am I the oldest non-driver?

Have had about 4 driving instructors (first two were hideous, second two were good but one left the company and then other stuff happened which made me stop learning).

Haven't been behind a wheel in 3 years but am doing a marvellous job of genning up on Theory Test stuff.

Stupid thing is, I actually enjoy driving.

Are they really changing the test in September?

Gauchita Tue 29-Jun-10 21:40:27

Speedy, they're introducing the changes as of October this year. Don't know if changes apply also to the theory, though.

Cicatrice Tue 29-Jun-10 21:46:24

Hi

Can I join? I'm 40 and I have had 129 hours of lessons so far and haven't booked my test yet. I passed the theory in Dec 08 so if I don't pass my practical before Dec I will have to sit it again!

I am very nervous. I have improved since I started - I no longer sit and cry or have to have a little sleep when I get in after my lesson.

But I just find it so hard.

I tried in my early thirties but made no progress and just couldn't be arsed with it. But it would make life with DS so much easier ..........

So I need to pass. Soon.

SugarMousePink Tue 29-Jun-10 22:37:41

I told my instructor I had to get through the test before October. I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning so my chances of remembering a load of directions are ZILCH!

Tejas My tip for not reversing into the curb when you do the parallel park is to set your passenger wing mirror down slightly so that you can see the backseat passenger door handle. Then when you are backing in, keep taking a sneaky look in the wing mirror and when the backseat door handle looks as if it is sitting on top of the pavement kerbstone then it's time to take the left lock OFF and put the right lock on!! It takes a bit of getting used to but since my instructor told me that, I haven't hit the kerb since. Reverse really slowly so that you give yourself as much time as possible to get in and round.

So Turkeyboots has T day on Tuesday...anyone else?

SpeedyGonzalez Wed 30-Jun-10 00:23:35

I see, Gauchita, thanks.

Well, perhaps now that DD is very small and sleeps a lot would be the time to start lessons again...

Good luck to TurkeyBoots!

I sometimes take DD with me for a lesson. She is fine when we are just driving along. But as soon as I start to do any sort of maneuvers she starts crying!

Ive got my theory test on the 14th. gah.

turkeyboots Wed 30-Jun-10 08:52:32

Oh god test day is getting far too close now. But was in London for work yesterday, DH picked me up and I drove us all home, round all the huge scary roundabouts. So that made me feel better. Have another mock test on Friday which will be fun. My chatty teacher spends 40 mins in silence which freaks me out by itself.

Apparently the new test will have "free driving" in it. As in you have to get yourself to a location! Have to pass before then - can't drive under test conditions and route plan!

blondiep14 Wed 30-Jun-10 09:03:17

Oh I'm glad I've found this thread!

PlasticCenturion Wed 30-Jun-10 09:56:41

Morning all! Tejas, try not to worry. That's what the mock tests are for. They highlight any potential weak points and you know what needs practice. I said it earlier on in the thread but don't be afraid to move your mirrors for manoeuvres. It's much easier if you can use your passenger wing for lining up. Don't rely on it, still look back and use the other mirrors but it's fine and good sense to adjust your mirrors while doing parallel parking, bay parking and reversing round a corner. As long as you put them back before you start off again, it's fine. DH is an advanced driver for the police and they are taught to use their mirrors this way.

The annoying thing about the new element is that it doesn't actually matter if you go the wrong way, you won't fail. They just want to know that you can drive independently. Well, why fricking bother then? Said it on another thread but I'm just going to break the examiner's spirit and convince him that the way he wants me to go is wrong and I know a much better way. I've got no chance with my driving getting me through but I might be able to plan a sustained psychological attack. As soon as I feel a mistake coming on I'll distract him/her with a cunning 'ooh look a squirrel' or 'can you hear a clicking sound from the engine?'

I really want to pass before the end of Sept. One so that I can take dd to nursery. Two so that I don't have to do the new element.

Right, off for a lesson with dh. Still haven't got my provisional through so can't go on the roads yet. Been a couple of weeks.

TejasGal Wed 30-Jun-10 17:41:15

Gauchita, not annoying me at all!! I'm in much better spirits now that I've put a full 48 hours between me and the mock test.

Turkey, I know what you mean about your instructor going silent - mine is lovely, and I think it made me nervous that he was so quiet.

Thanks, Sugar and Plastic, those are good suggestions
re: the mirrors (and the mental subterfuge!)

My practical is on the 16th...far too close...

How's everyone else doing?

Gauchita Wed 30-Jun-10 20:29:55

Hi all

Tejas, glad to hear you're in better spirits smile

PC, sounds like a good strategy IMO. I also want to take it before October, at the moment whenever my instructor gives me directions I can't seem to hold more than 2 at a time <shame>

Blondiep14, welcome to the thread!

Turkey, that was good practice, I bet. Will be thinking of you on Friday for the mock test. Those of you driving in big cities, very courageous of you. I live in a town and whenever I've driven to the nearest city I go into panic mode grin

Amazing, I've never dared take DD with me, in fear she'd go in full crying mode. I bet my instructor would start crying as well! grin How are you coming along with the theory? The part that scared me the most (even on the day of the test) was the hazard perception section. I was so scared of clicking too many times and having a question annulled. And it did happen, on the video that had 2 hazards! Fortunately they tell you you haven't scored any points on that video right after it finishes so I went into full click-awareness mode. I ended up with a huge migraine after the test grin

Sugar, yes, that's the same tip my instructor gave me, and it does work.

Cicatrice, I think the main reason why I started learning was what you said, realising going out and taking DD places would be so much easier. In a way, I guess having the December deadline might help a bit? Maybe it's the nudge you needed smile

Wow this looks long! Sorry!

My lesson yesterday went quite well, my instructor agreed with me taking the test in August so we'll see! Excusing the swearing, bloody roundabouts!!! And bloody people who indicate wrong, make you think you can go and then you realise they're coming right your way! <breathes>

SugarMousePink Wed 30-Jun-10 20:32:41

Plastic - loving your "break their spirit" plan. Think I may have to keep that one up my sleeve just in case.

Tejas - no problems. I can parallel park and do the turn in the road but it's the corner reverse that is my nemesis <shudders> so if you have any tips on that I'm all ears!!

Turkey - OMG am nervous for you which is so bloody unhelpful I know! However it sounds like you're getting loads of extra practise in which is brill. Unfortunately DH drives a truck and it's far too massive for me to practise in so am very jealous as I only have one lesson a week. Know what you mean about the silent instructor as well - I find it really nerve-wracking when he doesn't talk!

Anyone I've missed - hope everyone is doing OK!

I'm telling myself over and over again that I MUST get through this bloody test. I'm 31 and normally very capable and I can't afford to keep re-sitting theory tests every time they run out. I got a hell of a shock when I went back to do the theory - it used to be 35 questions and now it's 50! Not to mention the hike in price...

VirtualPA Wed 30-Jun-10 21:27:05

Hi everyone.

I have my test tomorrow and i am REALLY scared. I simply can't mess it up because i'm 36 weeks pregnant and live in the countryside

Gauchita Wed 30-Jun-10 21:44:48

VirtualPA, everything crossed here for your test tomorrow!!!

VirtualPA Wed 30-Jun-10 21:56:46

thankyou, they really should have a scared icon on here!

SugarMousePink Wed 30-Jun-10 22:34:16

Virtual - glad you found it! Good luck for tomorrow. Keep breathing (sounds stupid but when nervous your breathing tends to become more shallow which means that there isn't as much oxygen circulating which doesn't help concentration!). Check, check and check again in the mirrors and don't reverse too quickly - the slower you go the more time you have to complete the manouvre.

Let us know how you get on [fingers crossed emoticon]

Hi there, can I join this thread?

I'm 30 and have been having lessons since January. I did have lots of lessons in a manual when I was 17 but never really got to grips with driving. I live in Central London so it's never been much of a problem (also one of the perks of my husband's job is that we get free travel throughout London), however I am 35 weeks pregnant with our first and decided it was now or never.

I am now learning in an automatic and finding it much better than a manual. Unfortunately I have taken the test twice and failed both times. sad I think due to nerves both times - I messed up at junctions so on each test I had 1 serious fault and a few minors. A problem I have encountered is the length of time I have had to wait for a test slot. My instructor told me to book a test in Feb - the first available was the 11th April. When I failed that one, I immediately tried to rebook and the first available was 22nd June! Luckily I managed to grab a cancellation spot for next Monday (5th July) and I really had better pass this time as my baby is due on 5th August.

We don't have a car so I am not doing any private practice - just lessons with my instructor. I hate hate hate driving but I am determined to do this.

Good luck to everyone, I hope we can support each other.

VirtualPA Thu 01-Jul-10 10:09:28

I failed, I didn't check my mirrors on a mini roundabout

Great, I don't feel such an outcast any more (being 32 and not driving yet)!

I have started and stopped lessons about 3 times now - really need to start them again ASAP and just get it done. The lessons themselves do take it out of you, physically and emotionally knackering if you as me - but maybe that's cause I am learning in central london hmm.

if you ask me that was meant to be

blackflyinyourchardonnay Thu 01-Jul-10 13:45:50

Sorry VirtualPA sad

Must be so, so annoying and disheartening when it was for 1 thing.

But, first is worse, second is best, third is the one with the hairy chest.

I hope you get another test date soon-that'll be your winner!

smile

PlasticCenturion Thu 01-Jul-10 13:58:53

Oh VirtualPA, how rubbish. There's bugger all I can say that lessens the disappointment is there? How was the rest of it? Are you holding on for a cancellation to take it again asap?

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