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How long did it take you to get truly comfortable and relaxed with driving on your own?

(18 Posts)
Borelis Sun 25-Nov-18 11:33:37

How long (few days/weeks/months/years did it take you to get truly comfortable and relaxed with driving on your own? I know everyone is different but many people say the first few times driving alone after passing the driving test are when they are quite anxious so interested to know people's experiences.

Also, when a road has 3 lanes (1 to turn left, 1 to go straight on and 1 to turn right) and say, you are in the centre lane and decide to turn right later than you should have planned it so you find it difficult to merge into the right lane as many cars are already driving down the right hand lane with no gaps to merge into. Is it acceptable to indicate right and stop in the centre lane whilst waiting to get a suitable gap in the right hand lane to merge into? or would it be a total no go to stop like that?

Cheers

ImNotKitten Sun 25-Nov-18 11:36:40

Is it acceptable to indicate right and stop in the centre lane whilst waiting to get a suitable gap in the right hand lane to merge into? or would it be a total no go to stop like that?

No, don’t do that. If you’ve left it too late to get into the correct lane you should proceed in the current lane and find an appropriate place to turn around.

drquin Sun 25-Nov-18 12:33:03

Yeah, don't just stop .....
if it's quiet enough, it may be appropriate to move lanes last minute (or even after) without endangering anyone else. Otherwise carry on in your lane and re-route yourself.

Otherwise, there's an oft-quoted saying that your driving lessons teach you to pass your test ..... being out on your own is when you actually learn to drive.
It's not quite right, but I can see the logic.

A lot will come down to where / when / how often you're driving. If it becomes the norm straight away, whether that's a 2-minute school run or an hours commute, you'll become more confident sooner. If you've no regular access to a car and you don't drive for a months at a time, it'll seem a bigger issue than it is. Assuming you've got access to a car, drive everywhere to start with .... to school, shops .... even if you don't really need to. Small, frequent journeys will build confidence.

Without sounding like the country-cousin, there's new dual carriageway built near me, and it's apparently "motorway standard" I.e with sliproad junctions. The nearest actual motorway is over 100 miles away. We've got so many people who don't know how to join a fast road from a slip-road, because they've never driven "south" it's scary 😳 But also, you're always learning.

Borelis Sun 25-Nov-18 21:02:06

Thanks a lot for both your answers, especially drquinn for your very detailed and reassuring answer

More replies appreciated of course smile

Borelis Sat 01-Dec-18 21:55:51

bump

JimmyGrimble Sat 01-Dec-18 22:11:42

Don’t ask me I crashed on my first solo outing. I had decided to go to Tesco on my own. I have been driving for 12 years and have been on the motorway 3 times. I am a really good driver now!

Borelis Fri 07-Dec-18 20:12:16

Thanks JimmyGrimble, good to see there's hope smile

Any more posts welcome.

Emma145 Fri 07-Dec-18 20:19:23

I've been driving for about a year and I would say it's last few months i feel comfortable but that's probably because I didn't do much driving at first. I still hate driving in the dark though!

Borelis Wed 12-Dec-18 13:05:36

Thanks @Emma145 for your comment smile

gamerchick Wed 12-Dec-18 13:08:12

I've been driving over a year and I'm a lot better, sat navs are the saviour though.

If I have a right turn coming up in heavy traffic I'll get in the right lane early, if I can't just carry on in the lane I'm in and find somewhere to turn around. You can't just stop in the middle of the road man.

Lauren83 Wed 12-Dec-18 13:12:13

I feel comfortable driving my usual route and did within a few months of passing but every day I have to join a motorway that joins directly onto the 'fast lane' and I hate it! The cars being are right up your arse and there's never a gap to move into the middle lane to get out of the fast lane, causes me stress every morning especially now the weathers bad and it's dark

ja9r Wed 12-Dec-18 20:13:21

I can't remember. But... when I did my test in Northern Ireland 20 yrs ago, you had to switch your L plates to R plates for 12 months after you passed. This stood for restricted. Maximum speed allowed was 45 mph. That was a pain on the motorways but I took great comfort from knowing that the drivers around me knew I was a new driver from my r plates. Have lived in Scotland for 20yrs and that's not the case here- no idea if it still is in NI.

LadyinLavende Wed 12-Dec-18 20:16:49

Hate to break it to you OP but according to our driving instructor you are not a truly competent driver until you have done 40 000 miles or 7 years' experience.

PandorasBag Wed 12-Dec-18 20:21:40

I've been driving for years but am mildly apprehensive about driving in bad conditions and/or going through the middle of unfamiliar cities.

I do these things and it's fine - but I think being 'comfortable' and 'relaxed' is more about driving familiar routes, when conditions are reasonable. To be on high alert and drive with extra caution, when there's really heavy rain or ice or fog is just basic common sense.

Ragevibration Wed 12-Dec-18 20:23:46

I would have said about 8 months... driving back and for to work, shopping, an unavoidable trip to Glasgow (3 hours away) and a twenty minute drive around Chester (why is Chester so hard to drive around???)...

Then I reversed into a stupid wall and it took another year after that to feel confident again.

Then I bought a brand new car and was nervy driving it for a couple of weeks...

Neighneigh Wed 12-Dec-18 20:35:38

I've only been driving two years so consider myself a novice really. I'm very comfortable pottering about town, to and from the motorway junctions I'm familiar with. But driving in the dark still makes me nervous and overtaking is something I'll only do when 110% it's safe. My instructor does advance courses, would it be worth you considering one of them?

Aaaahfuck Wed 12-Dec-18 21:06:10

A driving tip I would give is if you miss a turning/get in thr wrong lane/realise your lane too late just carry on and re route. I've done this since I started to drive 15 years ago. The number of near misses I see from people cutting other up or doing un predictable stuff is crazy. These have to end in accidents sometimes!

MaxTeyon Thu 13-Dec-18 13:20:17

according to our driving instructor you are not a truly competent driver until you have done 40 000 miles or 7 years' experience

The average driver will cover 40k miles in less than 4 years though, some in 1-2 years.

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