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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.


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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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