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Driving night time

(65 Posts)
Luckylegs9 Fri 06-Jul-18 13:32:16

I have developed this dread of driving with passengers and can't bear picking anyone up for a lift, I don't feel I can conscentrate with somesone constantly talking and using the phone and changing radio channels, I don't ask for lifts off my friends because I dread having to do it back. I seriously considered stopping driving altogether but know it would restrict my life so much. I can go anywhere on my own and am quite confident. In my last car one night, the friend I picked up talked non stop whilst I was reversing and I hit a wall, as she got out of the car she then knocked the car door into a fence and to crown it all she slammed her door hard I thought it will come off the hinges. my nerves were in tatters. I know it might seem a strange thing to those who don't bat an eye at whatever conditions they drive in.

Willow500 Fri 06-Jul-18 13:37:11

I can totally sympathise - I'm lucky that I don't have to drive anywhere much but I've given up driving at night completely due to being unable to see properly, disorientation in the dark and just generally being very nervous. I don't even like driving with my husband in the car so would struggle to take anyone else anywhere. I hope your car wasn't too badly damaged by the wall. Was your passenger aware of your discomfort - is that why she slammed the door?

LiltingLyrics Fri 06-Jul-18 14:02:33

I understand this completely and avoid having to drive other people. If it's unavoidable I just ask the passenger(s) to be quiet so that I can concentrate. It's not always well received but it's better than risking an accident.

The notion that we multi-task is a myth. The brain functions in a linear fashion processing one piece of data at a time. What we actually do is switch between tasks and as we switch, there's a micro second of drop out when the brain is focussed on neither. That's enough time for an accident to occur. I don't know for sure but suspect the reaction time switching from task to task may slow as we age and become more of a problem in later years.

In other words, it's physically impossible to participate in a conversation AND give full attention to the road whether it's a person in the car or on the other end of a phone. There's a reason why using mobile phones while driving is an offence.

Please don't stop driving while you still feel competent to do so but do let your passengers know they need to be quiet. Don't curtail your own social activities because of this. Non-drivers may not be be aware of the difficulties they are causing you so don't be afraid to speak up.

Luckylegs9 Fri 06-Jul-18 14:08:26

I've tried asking and it's caused upset that's why I chose to make excused. People give up their cars and then take it for granted you will drive them.

LiltingLyrics Fri 06-Jul-18 14:35:26

In that case you simply stop offering and make excuses when they ask but don't give up your car on their account. It's your car, you are literally and metaphorically in the driving seat. If they can't shut up they can get a taxi.

M0nica Fri 06-Jul-18 15:27:48

Why not tell your passenger that you would prefer it if they did not speak to you when driving.

If DH and I are chatting in the car and any manoeuvre has to be performed or traffic gets heavy and difficult we immediately shut up until we are on the open road again and I do not hesitate to ask passengers not to talk when I am manoeuvring.

As for retuning someone else' s radio. I think that is beyond the pale. Why not have it turned off when someone else is in the car and if they turn it on ask them to turn it off again.

mabon1 Sat 07-Jul-18 09:12:33

Don't offer lefts - sorted

Gma29 Sat 07-Jul-18 09:38:59

I can sympathise, I get very flustered if I have a passenger, although I’m not sure why. I would also be annoyed if someone retuned ny radio, or banged the door into a fence. I don’t think I’d be offering them a lift again!

Summerstorm Sat 07-Jul-18 09:39:28

I regularly have passengers in my car because I’m the only one happy to drive into the city. They all appreciate it very much and if we hit very heavy traffic or a difficult parking manoeuvre. I will ask them the be quiet until it’s sorted, they’ve never had a problem with it. Maybe you could lie a bit and say you have a headache and would they mind if you didn’t talk

Lindaylou55 Sat 07-Jul-18 09:41:53

Willow500 if you don't like driving at night because of oncoming headlights, my mother in law was the same and I bought her glasses that go over her own but with a yellow lense, she said it's one of the best things I have bought her.

Farmor15 Sat 07-Jul-18 09:52:32

When our children were small, and had that fixed look on their face when they were doing a poo in nappy, we would comment “xx is concentrating” . One time we were in the car, dad trying to negotiate traffic with children shouting in the back, I told them to keep quiet as daddy was concentrating. The oldest one (probably about 5) looked puzzled and then said “what does concentrating really mean?”
Family joke for years🙂.
But I’ve often thought that driving with young children squabbling in car must be as dangerous as driving when tired or using phone. I wonder how many accidents are caused by drivers distracted by passengers.

4allweknow Sat 07-Jul-18 10:00:57

Why not stick a little sign on the passenger side kind of like - I would like us all my car included to arrive safely, please don't expect me to chat when driving. Maybe a little poem if you can do that.

schnackie Sat 07-Jul-18 10:02:36

I don't have my own car, so it's rare that I give someone a lift. (I do drive - a friend has me on his insurance so I can use his car about once a month.) However, I am a terrified passenger!! This is the only reason my daughter and I ever get cross with each other. Before she had children, I sat in the back, but now it's full of car seats. I have one (very good) friend that also lets me sit in the back seat. Otherwise I pretend to be seriously engrossed in my phone or a magazine. Can't say it's due to trauma - the only serious accident I've been in was whilst sitting at a traffic light and someone plowed into my side of the car! (I was heavily pregnant at the time and in hospital for 3 weeks!)

Suers Sat 07-Jul-18 10:13:51

I work as a support worker and sometimes - quite often - it includes driving a client somewhere for an outing or shopping. The trouble is as I've got older I find I get easily confused, especially at roundabouts or in unfamiliar areas. I'd much rather not have to take people out in my car, but difficult to explain this to my boss. I'm only 63 but just can't concentrate with passengers in the car. Even my husband, who thankfully prefers to do the driving most of the time. It seems to be getting worse too. And as for driving at night - please don't ask me to do that!

Lilyflower Sat 07-Jul-18 10:23:48

Keep driving and maintain your independence but don't offer lifts. Your friends are being cheeky. If anyone turned the radio or heater on in my car while I was driving I'd be livid and they would be told to desist.

My problem is that I have got a bit rusty as I have let my DH drive everywhere as he is now at home all the time after being made redundant. This means that when I do drive he makes askance remarks about the quality of my driving. And that's a bit of a cheek too - of which I have informed him.

MawBroon Sat 07-Jul-18 10:32:19

I have very mixed feelings.
On the one hand I can perfectly easily drive myself to or from anywhere, although I am not keen on long dark country roads(!) so I do gracefully accept offers of lifts from others.
I appreciate that for those who have to give up their cars it is a huge loss of independence, but when I look closely at the cost these days of running a car I suspect an account with a local mini cab firm might be a viable alternative.
I also find that friends who no longer drive have come to depend on me for lifts and it is hard to say no unless there is a definite commitment to be elsewhere. Taking them to the supermarket for instance when I would be as happy to do an Internet shop! Then I just feel guilty. I have got used to driving on my own (or with close family) and hate the attempts at small talk when I am trying to concentrate on the road or parking too.
Oh dear AIBS (am I being selfish?)

Silverlining47 Sat 07-Jul-18 10:38:28

I completel understand how you feel. I live in France but still have a right hand drive car. I have joined various clubs and made many friends and the usual suggestion is to car-share rather than having lots of single occupied cars. My dread is giving someone a lift even though I'm a fairly competent driver on my own (except in cities!).
However, I have now discovered that some people actually LOVE driving and are more than happy to be in the driving seat and have company and share the cost of petrol.
I am always very grateful and email my thanks later or if it's a particularly long outing offer to pay for lunch etc.
The one thing that drives me mad is when people (ie family!) fiddle with the radio, heating or air conditioning!

annie1948 Sat 07-Jul-18 10:41:40

I would hate to give up my car
But really do sympathise,how about “so sorry not insured for passengers, can’t risk it”I have found in the past it seemed to be always me driving people about, until I couldn’t drive for a while and the friends disappeared!!

jocork Sat 07-Jul-18 10:45:11

The thing that gets me most if I give someone a lift is if they open the window without asking. It's ok in this really hot weather but otherwise I hate the noise it makes. I'm not too distracted by talking but if I'm going somewhere unfamiliar I have to ask people to be quiet if I'm struggling to find the way.

FlorenceFlower Sat 07-Jul-18 10:49:24

Driving a car is very complex, there are so many more other drivers out there, and some of the road junctions, etc, can be confusing. Cars are also changing - it’s taken me, for example, a long time to get used to the handbrake on my newish car being a VERY small toggle, rather than the large usual handbrake lever that I could use so easily after 40 years of driving.

If I have a passenger, and it’s not every day, I politely say ‘I must concentrate now’, if reversing or parking and no-one has ever minded.

I’ve certainly not had anyone re-tuning the car radio without asking, that would be very cheeky in my view!

Keep driving while you feel able, don’t give lifts unless you want to. And perhaps say to others who want a lift, if YOU want to give them a lift, that you will need to concentrate in order for everyone to get to the destination (and back again) in one piece! 😊 🚘

Melanieeastanglia Sat 07-Jul-18 10:50:19

I am happy to speak to passengers if driving on a familiar route although I do make sure I pay attention to the road. Sometimes, when merging onto an unfamiliar road, driving in London or having to carry out a difficult manoeuvre, I just ask people if they could stop talking "for a moment". Nobody has taken offence.

goldengirl Sat 07-Jul-18 11:01:23

I'm glad I'm not the only one. For some reason I've become quite nervous about driving on unfamiliar roads and I certainly avoid driving at night. As for giving lifts - I try not to. I was concerned about picking up a GD from school a little while back. We made it home in one piece and she fortunately wasn't feeling chatty but I was anxious all the time. I'd rather just be in charge of myself when it comes to driving. Funnily enough I'm happy for my DC to take me around occasionally but with DH I close my eyes!!!!

quizqueen Sat 07-Jul-18 11:07:36

Sorry, I'm of the opinion that non confident drivers shouldn't be on the road for the safety of other road users and pedestrians and I hope I will be sensible enough to recognise that fact if it happens to me. If your passenger opened her door into a fence that's because you parked too close to it, there can be no other reason! If you reverse into walls while parking then you need someone outside the car guiding you. If you can't drive safely with passengers inside your car then refuse to have any. Everyone likes to maintain their independence, I know. I also know that people don't like to hear the truth but it remains the truth.

pollyperkins Sat 07-Jul-18 11:08:10

I don t like taking passengers either particularlyIalwaymen (including DH) who I always feel are crticising my driving ! I do say 'Sorry I must concentate here)if there's a tricky bot and they usually shut up But what gets me is if have planned my route tjey

pollyperkins Sat 07-Jul-18 11:13:46

Sorry,pressed post by mistake. Was going to say they sometimes tell me to take a short cut or park somewhere different (and more difficult). Men are particularly bad at this. I say 'No I can't get in there easily' and they say things like ' You could drive a bus in there!'. Hate it!