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To think some people just cannot learn to drive?

(106 Posts)
Edenviolet Sun 01-Feb-15 22:24:42

I can't drive. I just cannot do it.

Tried manual lessons in 2003. Was useless. Gave up.
Tried automatic in 2011. Still useless. Kept getting migraines as got so stressed before/during lessons then got a stomach ulcer (apparently from the stress).

Tried again last year (and still continuing) and after seven months I am still nowhere near test standard. It can't be the instructors as have changed each time I restarted lessons so it must be me!

Iam seriously starting to wonder if some people just can't drive?? I seem to have a combination of anxiety and no coordination/awareness.

At least I've got over the feeling of "if I drive faster the lesson will be over quicker" as that really didn't work and resulted in a few scary lessons.

Is it possible, can some people just not be taught? AIBU to think that there must be others like me and a reason for the inability to be able to drive?

AlpacaMyBags Sun 01-Feb-15 22:28:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YouTheCat Sun 01-Feb-15 22:29:18

Hedgehog, I could do the very slow moves - reversing and all that stuff. But I could not drive to save myself. My awareness as a passenger is spot on but as a driver is non-existent. I even got top marks on the theory test.

I gave up.

I reckon the only way I might be able to do it would be with a 2 week intensive course.

Dropdeadfred2 Sun 01-Feb-15 22:30:46

possibly...but before you give up I thought I'd say I used to feel like you. I failed tests 4 times then I had a break for about 5 years and decided to try again
I know new that I was not ready for any of those tests...I couldn't drive!! take your time..ask questions of your are paying them so if there's something you want to attend a whole lesson doing then ask. you can only gain confidence once you are in full control of the car and that takes practice..practice practice. I passed and Nye love driving!!

AliceInHinterland Sun 01-Feb-15 22:31:46

I found a hypnotherapy CD useful for the anxiety and the awareness/coordination just took a lot of practice! Don't let your instructor rush you, take it at your own pace. If you're not comfortable with your instructor, keep going until you find one that you like and makes you feel confident, your instructor is make or break.

Edenviolet Sun 01-Feb-15 22:32:02

The first instructor I had was not great and I wonder if that contributed to my nerves a bit. Things were said like "please drive carefully somebody is using the car for their test tomorrow" and similar made me lose confidence.

Second instructor was very patient as is my current one. I just feel useless but I don't want to give up as driving would make my life so much easier. I try hard, I concentrate, can pass the theory test easily but actual driving, I'm terrible at it.
I can't seem to judge where the car is, the speed before turning, distance between me and other drivers. I'm just dreadful. My nerves are bad too. I end up drenched in sweat and tears every lesson, I'm considering hypnotherapy.

SaucyJack Sun 01-Feb-15 22:32:03

I've never even bothered trying. I know I'd be awful- just don't have the co-ordination or focus.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 01-Feb-15 22:34:20


I know how you feel. up until a month ago I thought I could.

now I've hit a wall I'm. getting worse and worse and I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing in carrying on.

you have my sympathies brewcake

Aeroflotgirl Sun 01-Feb-15 22:34:30

Yes your totally right, driving is like any other skill, some people have it, and some people don't. Some of those that don't, have even passed their driving tests and shouldent really be on the road.

merlincat Sun 01-Feb-15 22:35:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Edenviolet Sun 01-Feb-15 22:35:52

I have wondered about an intensive course but that would be a couple of weeks and then dh would need to book time off work.
Perhaps I should do an extra lesson during the week. I want to try and give it my all but I really feel like it is just something I can't do, my brain can't seem to process all the things it needs to, judge things and then co ordinate what my body needs to do as well. I get in a complete muddle.

steff13 Sun 01-Feb-15 22:36:32

No, I think everyone is capable of learning, barring some sort of disability. I don't know any adults who can't drive, but that's common in the US. The anxiety will ease as your confidence increases.

Where are you practicing? Have you tried starting in an empty parking lot? My mom took me out every day after school to an empty church parking lot until I was ready for the road. Do you have a friend who can reach you, someone your comfortable with?

MoreBeta Sun 01-Feb-15 22:36:49

Yep. I did actually learn to drive. Didn't like it at all. Gave back my driving licence nearly 30 years ago. Never looked back. My DW doesn't drive either.

We live in town and take planes, trains, taxis and buses but walk a lot.

We once even took a taxi into the Atacama desert to visit a ghost town.

Edenviolet Sun 01-Feb-15 22:38:41

I'd love nothing more than to just give up but on a couple of days last week, pushing the double buggy home with two of the dcs in (combined weight of seven stone between them) my fingers were so cold I couldn't feel them and I just thought how much I wish I could drive and how much easier it would be! But it seems to be easier said than done.

Everyone I know can drive, I just wonder if there's actually something wrong with me that I can't do it

stayathomegardener Sun 01-Feb-15 22:39:04

Have you ever played a sport well,am thinking spatial awareness.
And what are you like at computer games,thinking coordinating different movements?

Aeroflotgirl Sun 01-Feb-15 22:39:14

Yes steff that is the general consensus in the US, my American Aunt feels the same as you.

Edenviolet Sun 01-Feb-15 22:42:26

No, was terrible at sport at school and I am clumsy. I am very short sighted too.

Computer games, don't really play very often but when I do I'm not terrible but really not very good either!

YouTheCat Sun 01-Feb-15 22:45:00

I can do the coordinating (I play the piano). I play a lot of computer games as well. But I really have very poor spatial awareness.

TheHoundsBitch Sun 01-Feb-15 22:46:05

I think I might be one of those people. I have failed the test 4 times, and now the thought of driving just plain scares me. I don't even like being a passenger tbh.

magpieginglebells Sun 01-Feb-15 22:46:10

It took me ages to learn (and 7 tests) and I am now a confident driver. It just took time for me. I hated it with a passion, cried for an hour before every lesson because it was so stressful. Once I passed I drove every day and it took 6 months for me to chill out but now 4 years down the line I am 100% fine. I still sometimes talk about hating driving and have to remind myself that I don't hate it anymore!

puddymuddles Sun 01-Feb-15 22:47:36

Think how much fitter you will be pushing the double buggy than your friends getting no exercise driving around!

I hated driving lessons at 17 so gave up and live in London so no need to learn (and DH is a great driver). I also used to push a double buggy and will be doing so again when DC3 arrives.

I think if you really really want to you will probably get your test but why push yourself to do something you so clearly hate unless you live in the middle of nowhere and absolutely HAVE to drive!

I am also short sighted and wasn't great at sport at school and DETEST computer games.

bluecheque4595 Sun 01-Feb-15 22:48:36

If you can afford it you might have to fail the test a few times and then just when you just dont care anymore, then you will pass.

Some people take longer than others.

Don't beat yourself up about your mistakes. Celebrate your victories every lesson and keep in mind the times when it does actually work well. Dont harp on in your own mind about failures. All this does is cause panic. Panic leads to rigid thinking and driving involves being able to make hundreds of micro decisions every second. Rigid thinking is the enemy of that!

Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Dont catastrophise or use black and white thinking.

I statements, avoid saying "I will never do this".
Say "I have not passed my test yet."
Don't put yourself down even in jest.

meandjulio Sun 01-Feb-15 22:49:01

I think that everyone of normal intelligence can learn to drive but it will take some people an awful lot longer than others.

How much time do you get just driving, with e.g. your dh/other driver in the car, but not lessons? Must be pretty tricky with kids though? I think you need to get lots of miles of practice under your belt.

OwlinaTree Sun 01-Feb-15 22:53:51

It took me years on and off and I finally passed on my 7th attempt. I'm so glad I persevered with it. I had many different instructors and one in particular was very patient with me and calm. I used to get so stressed and nervous and made stupid mistakes.

What helped me eventually pass was extra practising in between the lessons. I could only afford one lesson a week, but my bf at the time used to take me out to let me practise in his car. Do you have someone who would do that for you? Practise and experience really is the key.

I am still a bit of a nervous driver, but I'm so glad I kept going with it, it has opened up opportunities for me, such as where I can live and work.

Good luck, keep it up.

Edenviolet Sun 01-Feb-15 22:54:44

The only practise I get is during lessons, I was doing 1 2 hour lesson a week, I then added three months ago a 1 hour lesson midweek too and am now thinking I should increase that to two hours as well.

I need to drive due to dcs having health problems. On a day when all four are having a bad day its virtually impossible. I'd also like to be able to get them to appts myself instead of dh having to take time off work. For now the double buggy plus a buggyboard is working but it is exhausting, my arms are only skinny and they feel like they will fall off some days!

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