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Or is this both childish and dangerous?

(36 Posts)
l39 Mon 08-Jun-09 09:14:10

Background - I've never learned how to drive. As a passenger, I know my place and I don't attempt to criticise or distract the driver. I am uneasy on motorways - used to be very scared years ago but mostly got over it. Then yesterday dh and I went to London. The weather was very changable - bright sunshine one minute, then driving rain, and I was nervous. It didn't help that I'm 21 weeks pregnant and so at least 3 weeks off viability if I was injured and went into premature labour.

So, as drivers, what is the best course of action if you see your passenger is afraid (though keeping it quiet) -

a) 'If you're that worried, I'll get off the motorway, even though it will take twice as long to get there.'

b) 'I'll be really careful and stick to the speed limit most of the time.'

c) 'Look at you, you're terrified! I'm a safe driver! No one does under 85! If you don't talk to me I'll doze off! I'm closing my eyes! I'm taking my hands off the wheel! Stop holding your seat! I'm doing 95 now and if you don't calm down we're going to crash!'

I would've said b) but then, I'm not a driver. What happened, obviously, was c).

Is a worried passenger really so insulting to a driver that it's reasonable to throw a tantrum while driving? He wasn't exaggerating about being tired, either. He went to sleep as soon as we got home in the middle of the afternoon, which he only does a couple of times a year. It seems to me even worse to drive at 85mph and over when you know you're tired than if you're feeling fine. What do other people think?

Tommy Mon 08-Jun-09 09:18:49

Well I suppose you could argue that you are not a driver and he is so he may think you should just trust him.

or you could argue that he is being a t**t and it isn't that "no-one does under 85". It is illegal and dnagerous - there is a speed limit for a reason - they don't just pull a number out of a hat.

You could learn to drive yourelf or refuse to get in the car with him until he starts being a more sensible driver

sweetnitanitro Mon 08-Jun-09 09:22:17

I'd go with b). I only took my test a couple of years ago so I can clearly remember what it;s like to be a non-driver.

When I first got together with DH I was furious at how fast he went and made him promise to slow down in future- and I wasn't even pregnant then!
If he'd have done what your DH did while I was 21 weeks pregnant I would've opened up a can of whoop ass. Making you feel in danger like that is not on.

As for 'no-one does under 85', I beg to differ! hmm

WhaleOilBeefHooked Mon 08-Jun-09 09:23:44

I'm completely with you on this one. I too am a very nervous passenger and I hate motorways. I actually had an argument with my dh yesterday because he was driving at 75mph on a dual carriageway in awful rain. I got very upset because our two children were in the back and I felt that he should take a bit more care. It's not like we were in a rush to get anywhere.

And the "I'm a safe driver" thing doesn't fill me with any confidence because it doesn't matter how "safe" you are; if you come across someone who's not driving safely you may not be able to stop in time or keep in control of the car if you're driving at a speed beyond the limit.

YANBU and I would be very angry if I were you. Your dh should be considerate of your fear, particularly as you are carrying extremely precious cargo. Will he drive like that when your child is in the car?

Jux Mon 08-Jun-09 09:27:05

DH drives from Devon to London and back in less than a day every couple of months. He tells me (and I believe him) that he rarely breaks the speed limit, it isn't necessary. He does drive responsibly when he has me or dd in the car. His response to fear - for instance if his mum was in the car - would be vague annoyance, but he would do b).

TrillianAstra Mon 08-Jun-09 09:28:55

He was being a twat to say that. But you were probably being really annoying too.

In the case of other (non-twat) drivers I'd like to point out that actually it is quite insulting if you grip your seat and squeal when they are driving perfectly normally.

slowreadingprogress Mon 08-Jun-09 09:51:54

he was being an idiot

my mum is a very nervous passenger so I never take her on motorways. I understand (because it only takes a teensy bit of imagination and thoughtfulness) that as a non driver you DO feel more out of control when you're a passenger. So I act accordingly.

driving at those speeds on a wet motorway with his wife and unborn child is just so awful of him.

mayorquimby Mon 08-Jun-09 11:16:29

i would have done none of the above. i'd be slently pissed off that someone im giving a lift to doesn't trust my driving and is sitting their grabbing on to the door handle as though it's alton towers.

Goober Mon 08-Jun-09 11:28:21

After I had a nasty car accident, as the driver, I became a very nervous passenger in DHs car, though I remained calm and competant in my own car hmm. I found the only thing that helped me was reading. I would engross myself in a book and not talk to anyone!

However, in your case, YES, your DH was being unreasonable.

madwomanintheattic Mon 08-Jun-09 11:29:26

um. i've been both tbh.

i was a really nervous passenger/ driver - a real 40 mph girl, regularly bleated and whinged to dh about slowing down (it did get worse when i was pg - hormones do def play a part), but i've been a lot more relaxed since getting more confident behind the wheel myself. we've lived in mainland europe where in a lot of places if you drive under 85 you are likely to end up with a stream of cars on your bumper flashing their lights and eventually hooting their horns at you - and their crash stats are actually (i am led to believe) much lower than uk. (can't be bothered to check, however)

so, i do now understand why dh got a bit testy every time i bleated if he went over 70. i do try to take the conditions into account though...

for me, i had to learn that just because i was feeling more precious/ nervous, didn't necessarily mean that the actual driving experience was any more dangerous. yes, ask him to slow down if it's wet, but i'd really be trying not to perform 'anxious' every time i got in the car. i remember feeling petrified on motorway bridges especially, but really, most of it was in my head. not pregnant i'd not have been quite so unnerved.

tallulahbelly Mon 08-Jun-09 11:31:35

Did he really say (c)? What a prat.

If you're an excellent driver, like what I am, it's --road rage-inducing-- quite annoying having a passenger who's sweating, gripping the seat and stamping on an imaginary brake.

But I'm far too nice to say that. I just wouldn't drive that person again. Difficult, if they were a non-driving spouse, granted.

tallulahbelly Mon 08-Jun-09 11:33:21

mucked up the crossing through bit.

Obviously I'm a better driver than a MNer smile

mayorquimby Mon 08-Jun-09 11:39:00

oh should have said, that doing option "c" was a really stupid and dangerous thng to do.i wasn't trying to condone that.

wishingchair Mon 08-Jun-09 11:40:41

Very annoying to have petrified passenger in car constantly telling you to slow down, watch out for this that and the other. However, I am v.sensible driver and rarely go above speed limit, maintain distances etc etc.

But think he was being irresponsible and a bit cruel to be honest. No ... majority people do drive under 85 mph and 95 mph far too fast.

The "talk to me or I'll go to sleep" thing really bugs me. If DH is driving I have to keep him entertained with scintillating conversation. If I'm driving he either has head in paper or is asleep. hmm

Poppity Mon 08-Jun-09 11:42:23

I'm a very sensible shoes driver and a nervous passenger. My DH does get a bit testy about my fear sometimes, but not to the extent you mention. He understands that sometimes it is an irrational fear which comes from me and isn't a criticism of him, and sometimes it's a difference of opinion about what's safe, either way, he takes it into account because he wouldn't want to upset me.

Perhaps try talking to him about your fears when he is not driving, and put the onus on you and it being 'irrational'(even though it wasn't in this case)so it doesn't dent his egosmile. Maybe it will bring out his protective side?<hopeful emoticon>

barbarapym Mon 08-Jun-09 11:57:34


I'm with you. I'm not a nervous driver or passenger on other roads but I hate, hate, hate motorways, particularly in the rain. Lots of people do, and imo it's a perfectly rational fear, especially with dcs or when pregnant. I avoid mways on my own and usually make DH do the motorway driving when we have to. He gets a bit irritated with me when I ask him to slow down, but he wouldn't do 'c'.

willowthewispa Mon 08-Jun-09 12:16:34

If l39 was "keeping it quiet" about being nervous then it doesn't sound like she was bleating or whingeing or telling him to slow down. He was totally unreasonable.

You can't help being nervous - and it's not exactly an irrational fear, is it?

lucky1979 Mon 08-Jun-09 12:54:35

OK, he was horrible and rude.

But my (non-drivers license holding) DH still uses an imaginary brake and winces when there is a car in front he deems too close and it drives me insane, and that's coming from a 17 weeks pregnant lady point of view - I have come very close to pulling over and suggesting he walks on a number of occasions.

On the other hand, he's on a deadline to get his license before this DC arrives so I am planning on being a nightmare passenger for years, just to get my own back.

OrmIrian Mon 08-Jun-09 12:57:44

He was being very unfair. And childish.

In his defence however it is incredibly annoying driving a passenger that winces every time you go near another car or gasps when you go over 60 mph grin It is a teeny weeny bit insulting to imply that your DH is that bad a driver that you in mortal danger from him.

LupusinaLlamasuit Mon 08-Jun-09 12:59:19

1. If he was falling asleep at the wheel, he was an idiot and VERY dangerous

2. He shouldn't defend 85/95 at all but it is possible to drive competently at the lower of those speeds in the right conditions, which it wasn't.

3. Learn to drive. It will make you more aware of how much in control he is or not and will allow you to criticise.

It will probably make you less nervous also.

Nancy66 Mon 08-Jun-09 13:01:25

I've been driving for 20 years and I still get anxious on motorways. People (and when I say people I mean men) just turn into such arseholes on M roads.

chubbleigh Mon 08-Jun-09 13:16:26

It is seriously irritating having someone second guess your driving all the time. Has he ever had any points for speeding?

But on the other hand what are you going to be like when you have got an actual live baby in the car? You sound like you couldn't cope with the idea of him going out alone with your child. If you can't drive there is going to be a lot more of this.

You need to learn to drive and face it yourself.

Bombus Mon 08-Jun-09 13:19:22

YANBU. If he was driving at 95mph when the road was wet and he was tired, then he is a dangerous driver.

Glitterknickaz Mon 08-Jun-09 18:11:46

If he was tired enough to be in danger of falling asleep there's no way he should have been driving full stop let alone at 85.

When he was at 95 he was 5mph away from getting an instant ban, does he know that?


Although I hate it when someone is a back seat driver.

3littlefrogs Mon 08-Jun-09 18:23:51

Childish and nasty IMO. Is he like this with regard to other situations? Or just this one?

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