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calling all non - natural drivers

(37 Posts)
Gileswithachainsaw Mon 08-Dec-14 21:47:42

Can you give me any advice on how to get more Confident with my driving. how did you get from nervous learner to fully fledged "I can go anywhere day or night" driver.

I've been having lessons a few months. now. It's going well bit I'm. Still not consistent I still make.stupid mistakes. I. make things far harder than. They. need to be and I find it hard to relax and enjoy it all.

I'm very Conscious of the fact that I'm responsible for what's basically a lethal. weapon and an very Over cautious.

I can do it. I do do it. but one bad lesson sets me back weeks in Confidence gained.

I need to know. There's an end to all this that my hard work wont be for nothing and ill stop planning all these long winded routes just because they will be easier should I actually pass my test at some point.

how did you get over the final hurdle and not he a nervous wreck at the thought of another lesson.

nervous wrecks a bit if an exaggeration tbf but it still does make me nervous.

Funkytown Mon 08-Dec-14 21:49:29

can't help I'm hanging here for tips
i did pass my test, i have a car, i just can not for the life of me get the confidence to drive so it just sits there gathering leaves

GahLinDah Mon 08-Dec-14 21:55:07

I passed my test four years ago and absolutely hated driving, I'd put it off constantly. I was always so nervous about other drivers, cutting me up, tailgating, generally being impatient with me. (Some of the threads on here didn't help with the self proclaimed wonder-drivers sneering at anybody they deemed as lesser than them). fgrin

My new job is very much car based, something in me has clicked and because I have to do it, I don't mind iyswim?
I've also stopped caring what others are thinking and it's made such a difference. As long as I'm driving safely and confidently they can do what they like.

tertle Mon 08-Dec-14 21:59:46

I passed my test years ago but then went years without driving. When I did then start driving again I was terrified. I was actually sick once before leaving for work in the car and mostly left it in the garage while taking trains and buses everywhere.
After a while I realised that it couldn't go on, so I started getting more practice. I started on easy journeys, easy car parks, no big roundabouts etc. Then I just built my confidence up more and more by going on longer journeys. And if I made a silly mistake then I tried to forget it and not dwell on it.
I still do get nervous and do silly things like take a different route to avoid certain things (like a hill start!) but as long as those changes don't add time to my journey, I allow myself them.

Practising is the only way forward. To the pp who has passed their test; maybe pass plus would help?

Good luck. Driving is a weird thing - so many people can't understand how it can be scary but I know exactly how you feel.

Honsandrevels Mon 08-Dec-14 22:04:22

I'm not a natural driver. I took ages to pass (well over a year of weekly lessons), failed twice - once with a dangerous fault, drove into some roadwork barriers and broke my instructors wing mirror off.. I could easily go on.

Once I started driving by myself it just got easier. I still got confused (the first time I drove on a motorway I'd joined by mistake) but the more you drive, the more you force yourself to do manoeuvres you hate, the better you get.

I'm now a really good, safe driver! Honest!

TheDogsMissingBollock Mon 08-Dec-14 22:04:39

Two words- automatic car!

whyhasmyheadgonenumb Mon 08-Dec-14 22:11:12

Yes I've been driving a long time but will still take alternative routes if there's a tricky hill start or a nasty junction (I hate right turns).
I got a job quite far away so had to bite the bullet and drive and my confidence came from being in the car a lot, it's not really your driving its the other road users! I pull over if I attract a tailgater and I just don't let myself get flustered. Traffic upsets me still, all those people trying to get somewhere and prepared to try anything to get there.
It can be relaxing to have a drive and it is lovely to have your own space to wind down after a busy day, I like to have the music up (not obnoxiously loud) on the odd occasion it's just me in the car.

whyhasmyheadgonenumb Mon 08-Dec-14 22:14:23

Oh and I still can't park, I will pick the space furthest away with no cars anywhere near and walk instead if doing a manoeuvre!
I used to live in a row of terraces and my neighbour would laugh at my attempts to get in tight spaces, I ended up walking much farther than I needed to with a toddler and a newborn.

Imnotaslimjim Mon 08-Dec-14 22:19:51

I was awful learning to drive. Bounced off a kerb so hard I damaged the instructors wheel rim. Got so nervous before each lesson I would vomit, and made so many silly mistakes. In the end my instructors suggested asking the GP for help. It was a bit extreme, I went on beta blockers to help with the nerves, but it did the job and I passed my test with just 3 minors

I drive every day now, pretty much. After a near miss recently I've become a lot more confident

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 08-Dec-14 22:27:54

I did think about automatic but the gears aren't a problem for me. my doubting my decision making which I would have as a problem no matter what vehicle I drove.

stupid thing is I can do all the manouvers. not perfect but well enough to pass a test on.

I have no reason to doubt myself in all honesty it's just automatically going through my head that it's my fault if something happened because even though someone. else was in the wrong I'd still blame my inexperience for it happening blush

I. just need to get on with it but I can't quite switch off my negative brain.

I still can't see myself doing it own picking kids up or going shopping which surely I should be by now

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 08-Dec-14 22:29:28


Yes I've already allocated 7:00 on a Tuesday night as shopping time so it's dead and I won't get someone parking to close to me grin

Trinpy Mon 08-Dec-14 22:39:22

My instructor told me to start by driving familiar routes at quiet times (like late evening) and slowly build from there to gain confidence.

I haven't driven for 8 months because I'm so nervous, though I'm apparently good enough to take my test now.

avocadotoast Mon 08-Dec-14 22:44:36

I passed first time but I don't know how. I was lucky I had a turn in the road as my manoeuvre because I'd have been fucked with anything else.

I've been driving for about a year now, and... I'm still not fully confident, I can't park for shit (DH has to talk me through it and he hasn't even passed his test blush), but I definitely have improved. This weekend I drove for an hour and half in the dark on a badly lit country road and was really pleased with myself!

All I can say is practice. And don't let anyone push you into taking your test before you're ready. If you need extra time to build that confidence, that's totally fine. It's completely up to you. Good luck!

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 08-Dec-14 22:48:08

I'm definitely not ready for my test. Every time I think. actually I. might just be ok I'm. presented with something I'm. Not quite sure how to deal with.

I hate hate driving area. It somehow manages to contain every confusing traffic system known to man. I understand it now as I've done it but I do it from.memory rather than being able to work it out from signs and markings so I really want to get out of local area just to check if I know it or not blush

ICantFindAFreeNickName Mon 08-Dec-14 22:56:40

I think it's just practice. It took me 3 attempts to pass and even years later, I don't really like driving. The thing I noticed though, is that the more I drive the more confident I get. So when I had a 40min drive to work on the motorway it was not really a problem, but now I hardly ever drive on the motorway, its find it quite scary. I still cant park either

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 08-Dec-14 23:02:09

I wish I could practice more. I'd have daily lessons if I could. I alternate between wanting lots more lessons in the hope it will suddenly start feeling more natural and wishing I could hurry up
and pass so I could say good by to sodding buses

Branleuse Mon 08-Dec-14 23:04:23

dont worry what other people are thinking. You follow the rules, they follow the rules.

BreconBeBuggered Mon 08-Dec-14 23:48:13

I'm not a natural driver. In fact, I'm a bit shit. So I try to drive as if I'm on my test (and hope nobody asks me to parallel park). Fact is, once you've got some experience under your belt, you notice that most drivers are a bit shit sometimes. If you're not too arrogant to admit you make mistakes sometimes, you can learn from them. Ignore the superdrivers who sneer at lesser mortals. Overconfidence can be more hazardous than nervousness.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 09-Dec-14 07:00:26

Oh I see plenty of mistakes.

yes it's finding the fine line between confident and cocky isn't it.

have lesson this afternoon wish me luck

cansu Tue 09-Dec-14 07:11:56

I really struggled. I took ages to pass but have become much more confident. Started by driving short distances like to shops and back until I felt comfy. Then branched out further etc. I still however dislike driving at night and in bad weather conditions. However I need to drive for work and live in rural place. It has just got easier over time.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 09-Dec-14 07:21:35

Well I guess I'm expecting to much of myself. I thought I should be feeling all ready for it. but least I'm not alone in actually being petrified and unsure of driving on my own

SugarPlumTree Tue 09-Dec-14 07:29:11

I'm not one of life's natural drivers. But I've been driving for 28 years now and am competent and have recently managed to tow something and drive abroad, both of which the idea scared the living day lights out of me.

My first trip out alone after passing my test I got hooted at on a roundabout that wrecked the little confidence I had. But I stuck at it. Carefully avoided routes I didn't feel comfortable with and slowly gained confidence until I didn't really think about it anymore and it became second nature.

Tzibeleh Tue 09-Dec-14 08:10:01

How comfortable are you with your instructor?

Mine had a lovely, placid manner and an incredibly soothing voice that helped keep me focused and reduced my anxiety. He also used to say outrageous things (in his soothing, placid voice) like "Ah, moving targets" when we turned on to a famous tourist-trap road, or "Tempting as it may be, do try not to hit the policeman" when we were still far from the policeman. I heard his voice in my head coaching me for years after.

I passed first time, which in hindsight was not the best thing to do, as I was a terrified driver (totally relate to the awareness of driving a deadly machine).

I refused to drive anyone who raised my stress levels in the car (Dparents!). For new experiences, such as motorway driving and countryside night driving, I got a friend whose driving and manner I trusted, to come with me and encourage me.

But, basically, it boils down to practice practice practice. Read up on good driving skills. Talk to people whose driving you feel is good to pick up tips. Never feel pressured by your perception of other drivers' attitudes into joining traffic if you are uneasy.

But, equally importantly, never feel satisfied with your current confidence. Once you've mastered the local A road, and feel confident driving on it, try a different A road. Move on to motorways.

It will come. May take years, but you'll get there. And probably be a better driver for it than a brashly overconfident driver.

Jinglebellsarenearlyhere Tue 09-Dec-14 08:36:52

I was you when I started driving in my 30's. I love driving now although I still panic sometimes. So what worked for me. I had lessons after I passed to tackle all the things that scared me like getting onto a motorway from a slip road. I tackled driving like an academic excersise. I drew up a road system and used toy cars to reenact scenarios! DH would be other drivers! And then I built up slowly with practise. I still 10 years on have panic moments and just recently had to have a lecture on how to use lights in the dark in the country. But understanding how it works makes it less scary

chemenger Tue 09-Dec-14 08:47:45

I found learning to drive the hardest thing ever, failed six times etc. I only passed when a friend kindly insured her car for me and we just went out and randomly drove round every lunch time, I think it somehow normalised driving as something I could do. To be honest if I had passed first time I don't think I would have been confident enough to drive by myself. After I passed and bought a car I forced myself to go out in the evening and at weekends and just drive round, starting on quiet roads and building up to motorways etc. I am still hesitant at times but I think that is better than being overconfident in many ways. You also learn to accept that scary things happen, sometimes you make mistakes, but generally the collective skill of the drivers around you will compensate for your mistakes, as you do for theirs.

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