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Women who can't drive 2 mile radius further than their house

(663 Posts)
HenriettaSpoffer Fri 10-Jul-20 17:52:26

I have a friend who passed her driving test when she was 18, we are very late 40's now. She has only ever driven within 2 miles of her house which includes sch runs, her work, supermarket thats it. Her whole life is and has been centred around the same place. I live 6 miles from my friend.

Unless i pick her up or her husband can drop her off and pick her up or her grown up DC's can do it, i can't arrange anything with her as she will not drive where she does not know and cannot attend. She has never had an accident and lived in the same place for almost 50 yrs.

I have driven all over this country and europe, often alone, since i passed my test when i was 18. I do not understand this at all. It is getting on my nerves now that my friend cannot travel under her own steam. It means we cannot do anything or meet up without me collecting her or her family taking her. Her DC's are grown and have their own lives and her DH is now becoming frustrated also. I have had other friends over the years who have been the same.

What is this ? I do not understand this at all and it is frustrating.

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lifesalongsong Fri 10-Jul-20 17:55:19

I've never known anyone like that but I guess not everyone is as confident at driving as you are. If it's too much hassle I wouldn't bother arranging to meet up with her again. She can't really complain if you explain why it doesn't work for you

bitofasleuth Fri 10-Jul-20 17:59:30

I assume that you mean 'a woman' - your thread title is somewhat misleading isn't it?

Stop inviting her then. Or invite her, and she will have to arrange her own transport. Presumably her family will get sick of it in the end.

Happygirl79 Fri 10-Jul-20 18:02:05

Its based on an initial lack of confidence years ago but probably made worse by having willing people who will make her life easier by doing things for her because she's unwilling to move out of her comfort zone
Can't be around people like that. They probably don't even recognise they have a problem though because no one's told them

Destroyedpeople Fri 10-Jul-20 18:05:30

I have never met anyone like that so don't think it's 'women' to be fair.

user1498572889 Fri 10-Jul-20 18:05:41

I don’t know any women like this.

MellowBird85 Fri 10-Jul-20 18:05:46

I guarantee it’s panic attacks. Agoraphobia.

HenriettaSpoffer Fri 10-Jul-20 18:05:46

@bitof no, i definitely meant women as i know more than one female friend who has done this over the years, albeit a 30 yr span.

It is frustrating as when my friend comes to me i cannot have a glass of wine as i have to take her home. She, can drink merrily! It also means she rarely commits to events as has to check how she can get there first. Takes ages to ever get anything arranged.

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HenriettaSpoffer Fri 10-Jul-20 18:05:57

@bitof no, i definitely meant women as i know more than one female friend who has done this over the years, albeit a 30 yr span.

It is frustrating as when my friend comes to me i cannot have a glass of wine as i have to take her home. She, can drink merrily! It also means she rarely commits to events as has to check how she can get there first. Takes ages to ever get anything arranged.

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Toomboom Fri 10-Jul-20 18:06:06

It does tend to be more women that do this. A good few of the women I work with are the same, they will only drive if absolutely necessary, and then for a short a distance as possible.
My sister is exactly the same. She will occasionally drive to me on her own [ distance 5 miles ], but more often than not will only come to visit when he husband is home and he does the driving.
All these women rely on their husbands to do the majority of the driving.
I have driven thousands of miles over the years, including Europe. America and Canada on my own. Perhaps it's because I am single and don't have any other option, but I would hate to have to rely on someone else just to go out.

redcarbluecar Fri 10-Jul-20 18:06:44

Tbh, whilst it’s her business etc, this would annoy me too. Could you offer to accompany her on a longer drive to help build her confidence?

iffymiffy Fri 10-Jul-20 18:08:43

She could use public transport...

tribpot Fri 10-Jul-20 18:11:11

Is there no public transport? I think I would deliberately arrange a few things which can be reached by bus or train and then leave her to it. It certainly does sound as if she's lost confidence but is now being enabled by her family as Happygirl79 says. Let them either ferry her or opt out.

Lady1576 Fri 10-Jul-20 18:11:39

Yes, I know women like this too. Not quite as extreme but who make a big fuss about driving anywhere slightly unusual. Always had their husband do the driving. Otherwise independent, grown up women. I also don’t get it. Yes, driving can be dangerous but it’s just as dangerous when your husband is doing it! Have some gumption woman!!

DianaT1969 Fri 10-Jul-20 18:13:13

I don't know any women like this, but I'd assume low-level anxiety that she manages to disguise and that she isn't a confident driver. Maybe self-awareness that she scraped through her test but has always lacked road-sense. Better than she doesn't head out onto motorways and into Europe if she isn't a good driver.

ShinyRuby Fri 10-Jul-20 18:13:47

Oh yes, my SIL is just the same. Can drive but won't drive. Often needs lifts from others!
I'm not the most confident driver but I'd never let myself get to that stage.
OP, you taking your friend home after she's had a few drinks is crazy! You need to stop enabling her behaviour, make it clear she'll have to make alternative arrangements as you can't fetch her anymore.

chunkyrun Fri 10-Jul-20 18:13:55

Guilty. I passed my test at 27, didn't drive for a year until I had to because I moved. My other half at the time encouraged me to drive, I had no intention. I'm an extremely anxious driver. Just knowing I have a journey coming up somewhere I don't know brings me out in eczema. It sucks the joy out of the activity, I can't enjoy it knowing I've got to drive back. I don't mind country lanes so much, can count on one hand the amount of times I've been on a motorway.

HenriettaSpoffer Fri 10-Jul-20 18:14:35

@Toom i think if she could tackle this issue a whole load of new adventures and freedoms would be open to her. She and the other friends i have known over the years ,who have been the same ,are amazing friends and people.

It just frustrates me that they don't have the confidence. Maybe i need to be more understanding but it is so frustrating given i am a stronger character.

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mrsswayze Fri 10-Jul-20 18:16:02

How odd I've never known anyone like this. I wouldn't be good at that as I love rurally and need to drive at least 5 miles to get to nearest town. Sounds a very sad way of life

HenriettaSpoffer Fri 10-Jul-20 18:17:33

@tri no, rural living, no public transport in villages and i would not feel happy in any event if there were, i would not like her alone on transport late at night.

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totallyyesno Fri 10-Jul-20 18:19:10

Guilty here too. I hate it but I can't seem to manage it. I get so worked up if I have to drive further that I end up with a migraine and lose a day or more in bed. It's not intentional. I would love not to be like this and have tried everything.

Crabbo Fri 10-Jul-20 18:19:33

I passed my driving test almost 10 years ago but other than in the first year after passing I don’t drive. I know at least 4 others in the same position and a local fb group thread discussing it had many many replies all the same. Slightly different situation to your friend as I live in London where driving is frankly awful but still I don’t think it’s that uncommon.
In my case it’s because after passing every drive felt stressful and frightening - I’m not from London so was not familiar with the route wherever we went. My husband was unsupportive and basically shouted at me every time we drove anywhere until eventually he just took over all the driving. I talk about doing some refresher lessons but it’s too scary sad

ThatsHowWeRowl Fri 10-Jul-20 18:20:23

I think people are being quite harsh. People on these threads always like to talk about what great confident drivers they are and how they just 'can't understand' how anyone couldn't be as brilliant a driver as them.

I have experienced driving anxiety and it was becoming on the verge of severely affecting my life, but I let it take over. In the end I just had to grab the bull by the horns (or the car by the steering wheel actually) and start getting over it. I'm still not a super confident driver going long distances or places I don't know, but I am getting much better.

The problem is, and what I experienced, is that the more you avoid the driving, the worse it gets so the only way to sort it really is by just facing the fear. But taking that step is really fucking hard and it's so easy to just stay in the comfort zone. Have a bit of empathy. If picking her up pisses you off so much then just stop doing it and stop meeting up with her.

NoSquirrels Fri 10-Jul-20 18:21:26

It just frustrates me that they don't have the confidence. Maybe i need to be more understanding but it is so frustrating given i am a stronger character.

Your frustration is your issue, though. It's not on your 'friend' (you don't sound like you like her much, honestly) to do something she finds difficult just to make your frustration go away. We are all responsible for our own emotions.

I think saying you are "a stronger character" is extremely judgy.

It may well be women that often are less confident drivers, but I suspect that men who are less confident drivers either have had to get over it due to social pressures, or don't drive at all and aren't ashamed of it. My late FIL didn't enjoy driving - it became more obvious the older he got and he lost confidence.

AgeLikeWine Fri 10-Jul-20 18:21:27

I have met women like this, too, but never a man. I once suggested a female colleague drive into Birmingham city centre for a meeting. She refused to contemplate the idea. Too difficult, too scary. Me pointing out that tens of thousands of people managed to complete this simple task uneventfully every day made no difference to her.

It’s a cop-out and a refusal to accept adult responsibilities.

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