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To think maybe she shouldn’t be driving?

(65 Posts)
Beachbooty Sun 24-Feb-19 08:06:24

My good friend is a really nervous driver. She’s average height, around 5,4 but sits with her seat pushed forward so if she stuck her tongue out it would touch the steering wheel. We went shopping yesterday and she offered to drive as my dh had the car. It was truly an awful experience. Her anxiety when she is driving is through the roof, she panics monumentally when changing lanes, turning right, turning left and heaven forbid if she has to reverse. Other drivers get frustrated with as she drives incredibly slowly and is extremely hesitant when trying to navigate a junction. Yesterday I gently suggested that she maybe have some lessons to boost her confidence, but her reply was that if other drivers weren’t such arseholes then she wouldn’t be so nervous. I can honestly say that I will avoid getting in a car with her again.

PtahNeith Sun 24-Feb-19 08:09:26

"Yes, but your driving is dangerous."

hidinginthenightgarden Sun 24-Feb-19 08:10:15

She doesn't sound safe to be on the road at all!
I agree with her that there are alot of idiots on the road but slow hesistant drivers are as bad as fast careless drivers.

LoniceraJaponica Sun 24-Feb-19 08:13:00

Unfortunately her driving will just frustrate other drivers and make them take risks like overtaking when they shouldn't or drive too close behind her to "encourage" her to drive faster.

Yorkshiremum17 Sun 24-Feb-19 08:16:14

Oh I hate this kind of driver, they are self fulfilling prophecy! She will cause an accident when someone gets impatient with her and that will reinforce her view that all the other drivers are rubbish!
I have recently had to tell my once very confident driver mum, that she either needs to drive at the speed of the road or stop driving as she was a menace, it wasn't nice, she was then in a near miss incident as she turned right across a road. Fortunately no one was hurt, but since then, I have noticed that her driving has got much better again, it has scared her into driving at a proper speed again.
There really is no easy answer to this, but I think you need to be honest with your friends and tell her that she is likely to cause an accident if she continues.

Collaborate Sun 24-Feb-19 08:17:16

If she has an airbag she’ll injure herself sitting so close to the wheel when it deploys.

Are you sure she passed her test?

GloryforGloves Sun 24-Feb-19 08:18:55

Has she been driving long? I was a nervous wreck for the first 6 months after I passed (I was pregnant too, so I don’t think that helped). It did pass as I built up confidence though.

Has she mentioned whether she’s like this when she’s on her own, or is it just a case of ‘performance anxiety’?

And when you say hesitant, do you mean not pulling out into gaps that experienced drivers would use or basically sitting there until the road is clear?

It does sound worrying though but find out if it’s a one off or if she always drives like that.

Guineapiglet345 Sun 24-Feb-19 08:24:26

Drivers with this kind of attitude really annoy me, after I passed my test I took the IAM course and passed that test too. I really believe that if you’re putting yourself behind the wheel of a machine that could take a life, being nervous and panicking is just not acceptable. She should be aiming to be the best driver she can be and if that means extra lessons then so be it.

Beachbooty Sun 24-Feb-19 08:28:14

She passed her test a couple of years ago. She’s in her 40’s. She only drives to do the weekly shop, her kids walk to school. I’m going to talk to her about some refresher lessons again.

Beachbooty Sun 24-Feb-19 08:30:19

@gloryforgloves she waits until there Road is totally clear. For example yesterday we were at a junction which had a filtration system waiting to turn right and even when the green arrow flashed up she wouldn’t turn until she was absolutely certain the other cars were going to stop. Cue much honking from the cars behind.

RoboticSealpup Sun 24-Feb-19 08:34:56

Unfortunately, there's this prevailing attitude bordering on fanaticism which I've seen on Mumsnet more often than I can remember, that is an absolutely "essential life skill" to drive a car and absolutely everyone must do it regardless of how anxious and/or dangerous they are on the roads.

Just the other day I read a post from someone who said she'd been trying to learn for the last five years without being successful, but still thought that the OP (who had doubts about continuing) should get a licence because "it's worth having one, even if you never use it". WTF?

SileneOliveira Sun 24-Feb-19 08:37:19

No, she shouldn't be driving. How the hell did she ever pass a test? Definitely needs more lessons.

Cremeeggsareforever Sun 24-Feb-19 08:39:41

No, she shouldn't be driving. She should have more lessons to make her more confident.
Driving really isn't for everyone, and that is ok. It sounds like it just isn't for her. Being that anxious the whole time is more likely to cause an accident.

Brilliantidiot Sun 24-Feb-19 09:11:18

Unfortunately, there's this prevailing attitude bordering on fanaticism which I've seen on Mumsnet more often than I can remember, that is an absolutely "essential life skill" to drive a car and absolutely everyone must do it regardless of how anxious and/or dangerous they are on the roads.

Just the other day I read a post from someone who said she'd been trying to learn for the last five years without being successful, but still thought that the OP (who had doubts about continuing) should get a licence because "it's worth having one, even if you never use it". WTF?

^ this ^
I've failed four times, and because I'm anxious nervous and hesitant. I can't crack it and I can't afford to keep throwing thousands at something that's not going to happen.
Yet I'm told I should be able to do this life skill and people are horrified I can't, and all I need to do is try harder. If I took the test again and by some miracle passed I'd be like your friend. I'm the first to admit I have no place on the road. It doesn't get better the more I drive and I have tried, had many more lessons before each test than average, spent a fortune.
It's not just on here either but in real life too. I've been told it's 'pathetic' being too nervous to drive at my age.

Speak to your friend gently, maybe she already knows but feels like it comes across less like it's her fault by blaming other drivers?

Fatted Sun 24-Feb-19 09:20:36

She sounds like my sister. She is only in her 30s and drives like an old lady. I refuse to get in the car with her and actually offer to drive her car instead!

PivotPivotPivottt Sun 24-Feb-19 09:35:48

I fear I will end up being this type of driver and am considering stopping my lessonssad. I've been learning since June last year, I must have spent over £1000 on lessons now. I can not shift my nerves and posts like this just make me realise that even if I do pass I will probably continue being nervous sad. I want to be able to drive so much, I wish there was something I could do to become more confident.

PivotPivotPivottt Sun 24-Feb-19 09:38:02

Ironically my biggest fear is pissing off other drivers and being beeped at, making me flustered!

Ohtherewearethen Sun 24-Feb-19 09:43:56

She is definitely a danger and a menace on the roads. For her own safety and that of every other road users she really shouldn't be driving.

Beachbooty Sun 24-Feb-19 09:44:35

I honestly think some people just aren’t cut out for it and that’s totally ok. I remember reading somewhere if your spatial awareness is a bit off then it makes driving problematic.

Merryoldgoat Sun 24-Feb-19 09:46:54

It’s not an essential life skill, but it gives you options you otherwise don’t have.

My DH refused to have a baby until I could drive. I thought he was unreasonable. Until I developed SPD. I’d have had to stop work at about 20 weeks.

A&E trips with the babies in the middle of the night we’re easy, and if I didn’t drive now I’d not be able to work where I do as I need to do drop off and pick up.

So I understand her urge to persevere.

However, he need to have the skill doesn’t trump the need for her to be safe.

You need to be blunt I’m afraid. She could cause a serious accident. My instructor wouldn’t brook my nerves and Saudi had to match the driving conditions or I had no business driving and she was right (she obviously didn’t phrase it like that!).

EBearhug Sun 24-Feb-19 09:48:35

Unfortunately, there's this prevailing attitude bordering on fanaticism which I've seen on Mumsnet more often than I can remember, that is an absolutely "essential life skill" to drive a car and absolutelyeveryone must do itregardless of how anxious and/or dangerous they are on the roads.

Doesn't matter if it is an essential lifeskill or not. It is essential to be confident and assertive if you do choose to do it, though.

QuestionableMouse Sun 24-Feb-19 09:50:29

Just because you're nervous when learning doesn't mean you'll always be nervous. I used to shake right through my lessons but now I'll happily drive anything and anywhere.

Op's friend sounds like she needs her skills and confidence boosting. Take her on a track day op... She'll either get over her nerves or quit driving.

TheFaerieQueene Sun 24-Feb-19 09:54:04

Does she realise the injuries she would receive in an accident, sitting so close to the steering wheel ?

CurbsideProphet Sun 24-Feb-19 09:54:31

@PivotPivotPivottt what is your driving instructor like? I learnt with a woman who who gave very clear instructions and advice that I still remember now (13 years later). My sister started with one instructor who was too wishy washy with their instructions had to switch because lessons were stressful. I think that can make a difference.

bakingbernie Sun 24-Feb-19 09:55:17

I will never get in a car with someone whose driving I do not trust.

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