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to think that driving instructors dont have to be so patronising

(35 Posts)
moleskin Tue 06-Nov-12 11:16:06

Ok so I'm 31. I have 44hrs of lessons already paid for me in a lump with a driving school. I started off doing a few lessons in manual car I found the instructor slightly intimidating and decided manual driving wasn't for me so switched to automatic.

Lo and behold I have an even worse instructor who thinks women drivers are the bain of his life!!! And he tells me this constantly in a joking manner but it still grates. I'm very nervouse about driving and he makes me more nervous! I'm not normally a nervous person and today I've even bought some bloody rescue remedies!!!

I just freak out at roundabouts and struggle with the multi lanes system. I'm ok with the other aspects of driving but roundabouts scare me. It's made worse by his "why would you do something like that" comments. I realise he has to keep us safe but makes me feel terrible AMD I can't swap driving schools due to it all being paid. Aaarghhh. Are they all like this?? Is there a good website for learning roundabouts?? Or any good calming techniques? I'm worried I may punch him!

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 06-Nov-12 11:23:04

Oh, what a twit.

You do not need an instructor who makes you feel uncomfortable.

I had three (because it took me ages to learn!). One of them was a patronizing git (who also felt me up). I reported on him to his driving school (and funnily enough wasn't the only one). But aside from that creepy bit, I couldn't learn to drive from him because he was so patronizing and just did not make me feel safe. Are you sure you can't swap? It's not really appropriate for him to be saying 'why would you do something'. angry

You will get there - lots of people start off being nervous and end up being very safe, because they don't take risks.

I think if you really cannot change, you need to tell him you are very nervous and ask him how best to calm down.

moleskin Tue 06-Nov-12 11:26:39

Thanks for that made me feel better. As I'm learning in automatic there's very few auto instructors and I desperatley want to drive auto. Am going to try and get a car in next month so hubby can take me out that may help a bit I think. I can do a basic roundabout ok but the big ones seriously scare me. I've done all sorts of extreme sports but I can't drive a car its ridiculous!

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 06-Nov-12 11:34:42

You are just being sensible to be scared - it's not ridiculous. You will get there.

I really hated roundabouts but I think something that makes it easier, is realizing that honestly, the instructor won't let you hit anything. He may get fed up with you being too slow or hesitating, but eventually you will get there.

Of course it'd be much easier if he made you feel calm and as if you trusted him, so he is being a twit.

DeWe Tue 06-Nov-12 11:42:53

I had a female driving instructor who was never patronising. I believe she clipped round the ear one of her young male learners when he was trying to show off. grin

I think he liked her approach though, he got all his friends to sign up with her too. Or maybe he hoped she'd clip them round the ear too.

I was very nervous, but she was really understanding and got me through it.

WorraLiberty Tue 06-Nov-12 11:46:57

They're not all like that because they're all individual people.

My ex was a Driving Instructor and he was a patronising twat both inside and outside of the car.

I learnt with 2 female instructors...the first was a twat and the second was lovely.

It's a shame you can't shop around because you do sound as though you need to. Can you ring the school and ask for a different instructor? Just say it's a clash of personalities or something?

frootshoots Tue 06-Nov-12 11:51:44

Roundabouts aren't as scary as they seem. Remember always give way to traffic from the right already on the roundabout, not ones approaching it. Stay In the right lane if you taking a road to the right of the straight ahead road. Left lane if you are taking a road on the left or going straight ahead.

Signal left on approach if taking the first left off the roundabout. If going straight ahead or taking a 2nd exit on the left then don't signal on approach in the left lane, signal left once you have just passed the left exit before the one you are taking.

Signal right on approach in the right lane if taking an exit to the right of the straight ahead exit. Check mirrors and signal left once you pass the exit before the one you need, check mirrors again, and move into the left lane to exit.

Hope that makes sense smile think of them as a clock, anything before 12pm is left lane, anything anything after 12pm is right lane!

ClippedPhoenix Tue 06-Nov-12 11:51:47

I'd definitely ask for a different instructor. You have got to like the person teaching you in this situation.

I bloody hated learning to drive and followed buses for at least a year after passing my test grin

moleskin Tue 06-Nov-12 11:58:31

Thanks guys. I got the package granted to me through family fund so can't really shop around. I believe my instructor is the only one for this entire area! I've done about 18 hrs so think if I need anymore once I've done my block then ill go somewhere else

ZillionChocolate Tue 06-Nov-12 12:06:35

44 hours sounds like a lot of lessons, although you don't say how many of them you've done. If you've signed a contract, perhaps you ought to check the terms. Whilst you might be limited in the number of instructors with automatic cars, some instructors will teach you in your own car (possibly only when you attain a certain level of ability as they won't have the dual controls). I'd consider asking around for a recommendation for nervous drivers as it sounds as though you lack confidence. It might also be that you're trying to learn to drive at a difficult time/location as far as traffic and roads are concerened so it might be easier to tweak the lessons to make life a little easier.

Are you sure it was driving a manual that wasn't for you rather than the first instructor? I have a manual licence, but would never buy anything other than an automatic. I am pleased I have the option of driving a manual because it's occasionally needed. EG hire cars, courtesy cars, driving DH's car.

Paiviaso Tue 06-Nov-12 12:06:58

I hated roundabouts too. They were the thing I was most worried about on my test. I never felt comfortable on them until I had passed my test and had been driving my own car for a few weeks. Now I'm fine with them.

You have had very bad luck with instructors!

moleskin Tue 06-Nov-12 12:21:58

froot thanks thats very helpful.

zillion apparently 44 hrs is standard now as well as at least 20 hrs in your own car practising! I actually wanted to learn in an auto to start with but felt browbeaten into trying a manual!!!

Yes just counted ive done 18 hrs but 18 of those hrs were poodling around quiet estates in a manual car trying to sort the clutch out so i dont really count them as proper driving smile Im actually having visions of seeing my instructor out and about once i pass my test and having a serious attack of road rage directed at him!!!

FrillyMilly Tue 06-Nov-12 12:26:55

No it's not all instructors but you need to find one that works for you. Do this school have no other instructors? I had 3 instructors. First one I wasn't getting anywhere and he smoked in the car which was off putting, second one was rushing me all the time and I just felt like a failure, third was a lovely last who took her time and understood my fears. She gave me so much confidence and when I took my test (my 4th one but 1st after being taught by her) I knew I could do it whereas other times I was shaking. Good luck.

FrillyMilly Tue 06-Nov-12 12:27:22

* lovely lady

moleskin Tue 06-Nov-12 12:31:07

sorry 8 OF THOSE HRS

EuroShagmore Tue 06-Nov-12 12:36:02

It's not all instructors. I had two and neither was patronising.

Chestnuts33 Tue 06-Nov-12 12:48:59

If it makes you feel any better I passed my test 11 years ago (although I have had long periods in those 11 years when I have not been driving, and only bought my first car this summer) and I still HATE roundabouts.

Like you, I don't mind the little ones but the big ones terrify me and I always feel like it is luck rather then skill when I come out the other end without having hit anything or been hit. I think the bit I find difficult is when turning right, checking mirrors and moving over to left lane to exit the roundabout.
I also sometimes hate pulling out onto a roundabout to start with when busy and there aren't any nice big gaps.

I am going to go out with DP to practice roundabouts grin

I am pretty nervous and convinced that I am a terrible driver, and sometimes I have been 'beeped' at by aggressive drivers (there are lots of idiots on the roads - ignore them) for driving cautiously. However in the 11 years since I passed my test I have not had any accidents so maybe I am better than I give myself credit for!

Good luck. If you feel your instructor is not helping you I would definitely say have a word with the driving place and see if you can swap instructor, or even tell your instructor how he is making you feel.

My friend had an instructor who always told her how useless she was, and she just replied with something along the lines of you should be grateful there are some useless drivers out there, its keeping you in business after all ;o

moleskin Tue 06-Nov-12 12:53:57

thanks chestnut its he turning right on a roundabout i hate and moving over into left lane i dread!i especially hate multi lane roundabouts or traffic light roundabouts i get soooo confused!!!!

digerd Tue 06-Nov-12 13:38:53

I had 55 driving lessons when I was 31 and took my test. After a nightmare of absolutely everything going wrong, test and I failed, of course, my driving instructor looked at my report and said " Oh, well, there's only 2 Xs," so looked and said" Yes, but they are 'steering and meeting other cars safely'. I was not stupid and knew he just wanted me to carry on paying him for more lessons. But I was clever (?) and gave it up for good.

moleskin Tue 06-Nov-12 13:42:54

Oh poor you digerd! My instructor asked me if I normally have a problem telling my left from my right in every day life!!! He said he has a few people that have been learning for three years with him as they can't tell left from right sad made me feel awful! He said I seem to confuse them on roundabouts ie he tells me to get in left lane so I go in right lane! Hmmm maybe its just my subconcious trying to piss him off??!! I must leave her st home next lesson!!

IloveJudgeJudy Tue 06-Nov-12 13:50:02

Why can't you change to another instructor? Are there instructors specifically for automatic cars?

DS1 tried one instructor who came recommended by an adult friend of ours. Was OK, but then he tried one recommended by a son of a friend. Bingo. This instructor is fantastic, DS gets on well with him and feels really confident.

A good instructor should not undermine you. Half of the instruction is giving you the confidence to do things that you've never done before. I would definitely look around again.

If you keep getting left and right muddled, why not draw a big L on one hand and a big R on the other until you're more confident.

He has some people who have been learning with him for 3 years??? Well, that means he's obviously a rubbish instructor, then, imo.

Do something, please, before he puts you off for good.

Iggly Tue 06-Nov-12 13:54:06

Turn right on a roundabout:

Go in right hand lane, then just after the exit before yours, move across and you'll be ok to move to the left when you make your exit.

If I were you, I'd switch to a manual. More choice of instructor!

CrackleMauve Tue 06-Nov-12 13:58:40

It is the instructor, not you. I had lessons with the AA, started with one instructor who was very nice and we'd have good chats, but I didn't really learn much with him. He ended up moving away so I got a new instructor. Half an hour into my first lesson I had decided I wouldn't book with him again as his obsession with how I changed gears was driving me crazy.

By the end of the lesson, he had me on a dual carriageway doing 50 and I was determined to stick with him come what may. His attention to detail made him a great teacher. He was never patronising or impatient. I think if I'd had him from the start I could have passed my test much sooner than I did.

And I did pass my test a month or so ago. Despite still being nervous of roundabouts. I think the key to roundabouts is going at the speed you need to. I always feel I need to whizz around fast as you like. But that causes more problems and if you take it a bit slower and steadier you actually get round quicker.

DeWe Tue 06-Nov-12 13:59:28

I can't tell my left from my right.

Dh tends to say when I'm directing him and I say "take the next right"
He'll say "Do you mean -> right, or <- right?"

My instructor got used to indicating with her hand, and the tester did the same. (mind you he was keen to get me out of the car because I was 9 months pregnant. Quickest test my instructor had ever known grin)

moleskin Tue 06-Nov-12 14:05:38

Thanks all you've made me feel much better.
Automatic lessons done in auto car with auto instructor so few and far between it seems. I seem to whizz round roundabouts as well or worse I brake halfway round as I getin a tizz! Yes good idea will right l and r on my hands next time!! I always panic when halfway round when moving over to pull off that another car will be there in left lane but sh said they shouldn't be really but I still panic.

I've actually made really good progress and am going on test routes but I'm just so nervous so he has progressed me quite rapidly he's just an arse!!! No present for him when I pass my test!

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