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Refusing to drive on the motorway?

(260 Posts)
ZoyaTheDestroyer Sun 18-Feb-18 20:17:29

We had a minor family crisis this weekend which was exacerbated by the fact that a family member refuses to drive on the motorway.

On discussing the matter further it turns out that this is true of pretty much every woman in the extended family over the age of about 60. They are all in good health with decent eyesight, they own modern, reliable cars, and have had their driving licences for 40+ years on average. Yet every single one of them flatly refuses to drive on a motorway.

I'm curious if this is a family quirk or if this is common for men or women over a certain age?

happinessischocolate Sun 18-Feb-18 20:19:08

I drive on the motorway regularly and I don't blame them, there's some absolute nutters out there and you have to be constantly ready for someone to just pull in front of you

Crispbutty Sun 18-Feb-18 20:19:55

It’s a confidence problem I think. As you get older you do get less confident, and the roads are a lot busier now than they were 30 or 40 years ago. Probably even 20 years ago. I know many women of that age who don’t feel comfortable doing motorway driving even if they have previously.

Sirzy Sun 18-Feb-18 20:20:27

I would much rather people who weren’t confident to do it said so and didn’t than add to the danger on the roads.

I know a few people who don’t, I don’t think it’s age or gender related though

ruleshelpcontrolthefun Sun 18-Feb-18 20:21:30

That's so weird. Motorways are easy. I hate the A66 and narrow country lanes but motorways?

ImListening Sun 18-Feb-18 20:22:12

I’m in my 50s I regularly drive on the motorway sometimes 200 miles in one go. I do it but hate it. If I didn’t have to I wouldn’t!

dinosaurkisses Sun 18-Feb-18 20:25:01

It’s interesting how it’s usually women isn’t it? Usually accompanied with a caveat saying they don’t like driving in the dark either.

Having said that, my dad has a (male) friend who won’t drive across bridges...

Pinkkahori Sun 18-Feb-18 20:25:46

I am in my mid forties and passed my test 10 years ago.
I hate motorway driving. I feel my reflexes and decision making are too slow to make me feel safe.
I know some people judge me for it but I don't care. They'd judge me much more harshly if I made an error that killed someone.
It doesn't impact my life too much. I take public transport for long journeys.

Casmama Sun 18-Feb-18 20:25:58

I knew a woman who stopped driving in her 30s after a scary experience with a lorry on the motorway- never drove again to my knowledge.
I can understand that the greater speed on the motorway can make it scary but statistically speaking I think it is the type of road where you are least likely to be in a fatal accident.

PurplePotatoes Sun 18-Feb-18 20:26:42

I avoid motorways whenever I can and I'm in my 30s! blush I don't know why really as when I first passed my test I wouldn't have given it a second thought but now I avoid it at all costs, even a few junctions down to work I'll go the long way round! I think it's the joining that I hate actually esp when really busy....once I'm on it I'm not too bad. Ha I'm weird really aren't I!

k2p2k2tog Sun 18-Feb-18 20:26:44

This is my mother. She passed her driving test in her 40s, about a year before I passed mine. She has never driven on a motorway. She was taken on a dual carriageway during lessons and as part of the test but has never been on it since.

After she passed, she would plan her routes avoiding rounadbouts, avoiding turning right across traffic and most definitely avoiding anything with two or more lanes. She has not changed since then and quite honestly I'm glad she's not on the motorway - her driving skills are awful and she has no awareness whatsoever of what's going on around her. She is safe tootling along the very quiet A-road into the nearest Tesco, anywhere further and my Dad drives. He's a much better and more competent driver.

Motorways are not scary at all, it's much easier driving on a motorway than on an A-road.

IfNot Sun 18-Feb-18 20:27:52

As you get older your reflexes get slower and travelling at speed can be problematic. Eyesight is a big thing too, even with glasses glare can be a problem.
I think more older women opt out of motorway driving than men because they are more realistic and less ego driven than men tbh.

mercurymaze Sun 18-Feb-18 20:29:20

i think motorways are pretty aggressive now and i agree that if they're not confident then that's their prerogative. though I drive on the m25 and london motorways which i think are probably alot worse than some more sedate ones.

IfNot Sun 18-Feb-18 20:29:52

I hard driving in the dark too because my eyes are shit. I'm honest about it. I'm a very good driver though!

IfNot Sun 18-Feb-18 20:30:09

Hate obv

Ivymaud Sun 18-Feb-18 20:30:20

I don't like driving on the motorway to be fair, I find it more stressful nowadays, still do it though. My father in law (over 70) has just given up motorway driving.

ImListening Sun 18-Feb-18 20:30:36

Well my mum is in her 70s & drives on motorways but my dad doesn’t. My nan did well into her 70s. Clearly I take after my dad!

trilbydoll Sun 18-Feb-18 20:31:17

I don't drive on the motorway often, and can go a few weeks without using a dual carriageway, and I always notice how quickly I lose the ability to judge speed accurately. Especially in the dark, I can't do it at all. I'm generally a confident driver but if you rarely have reason to do something it's easy to lose confidence in your own abilities.

My MIL can only drive to certain places. I am not entirely clear on the criteria, she can do dual carriageways and most roundabouts!

Pinkkahori Sun 18-Feb-18 20:31:29

I'm actually a good driver. Very law abiding, conscious of other road users and observant.
It's probably those same qualities that allow me to recognise my strengths and weaknesses and driving at high speed surrounded by lots of cars whizzing in and out of lanes and making fast decisions about lanes etc. is one of my weaknesses.

happinessischocolate Sun 18-Feb-18 20:32:19

I can understand that the greater speed on the motorway can make it scary but statistically speaking I think it is the type of road where you are least likely to be in a fatal accident.

Statistically you are less likely to have an accident on a motorway but if you do its more likely to be fatal, was told this on one of those speed awareness courses

Itchytights Sun 18-Feb-18 20:32:31

I have family members like this.

Older family members I can understand Due to their age - slower reflexes etc.

Definitely a confidence issue but to me, if you can drive, you should be able to drive anywhere.

I know people that avoid motorways/ roundabouts/ A roads etc

It irritates me to be honest.

MyBrilliantDisguise Sun 18-Feb-18 20:32:45

One thing I will never do again is to sit in my car when it's being towed. I don't care what I have to do, I will never do that again. Being towed at 40 mph through a tunnel with cars going in both directions, then being towed down back streets where I was an inch from banging into cars on every corner just did it for me.

Ivymaud Sun 18-Feb-18 20:32:54

My parents both still drive on the motorway. I'd say they were good drivers, better than me.

Efferlunt Sun 18-Feb-18 20:33:57

My mil is the same never drives on motorways and never has! DM is 70 now and has recently started planning routes to avoid motorways which I can sort of understand.

fluffiphlox Sun 18-Feb-18 20:34:38

I am 60. I will drive on most roads home and abroad. In my own or a hire car. Your relatives need to get a grip.

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