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Nervous driver

(109 Posts)
morethan2 Wed 07-Dec-16 20:04:11

I had to drive somewhere I haven't been to for a few years. I wasn't sure of the route and I knew it would be dark coming back. I was really nervous and anxious. I still went but these feelings of becoming anxious before driving are getting worse over the last year. I wondered if others had these feelings. I'm determined not to let it stop me as a matter of fact I think it's important that I face up these anxieties and perhaps set myself some driving goals but it's scary. Anyone feel the same and how do you cope

sara4 Wed 07-Dec-16 20:33:34

I hadn't driven for nearly a year due to ill health. I found a very good lady driving instructor and have had about 5 lessons. Still don't enjoy driving my confidence is still low. I've been driving for 55 years to work and longer distances, I feel I should keep it up in case my DH can't do it and we live in the country.

tanith Wed 07-Dec-16 20:36:18

morethan2 get yourself a sat nav and use it so that you don't add worrying about the route to your anxiety. Facing up to your fears and making some goals will help I'm sure. I found that I was tending to let OH always drive when we went out together it was nice to sit and be chauffeured around but I had to stop it as I could feel myself not wanting to drive. I hope you overcome your fears and keep your independance.

Greyduster Wed 07-Dec-16 20:41:52

I'm sorry to say I'm exactly the same. I duck out of driving whenever I can. I know when I have no choice I can and will do it, and my problem is not really driving in itself; it is our car. I simply don't like it. At the end of the day, though, I am very glad that it is a skill that I can fall back on, even if I do have to have a man with a red flag walking in front of me! Your determination does you credit, morethan!

Jane10 Wed 07-Dec-16 20:45:01

I'm another whose confidence has taken a dive. I'm not sure if I'll be allowed to go back to driving yet after my knee op. Will just have to make myself get on with it. I won't drive in the dark though.

cornergran Wed 07-Dec-16 20:46:05

It's not just driving with me, morethan. Since giving up work a year ago my confidence has dropped in most areas of day to day life. I think you have hit the nail on the head by saying it's best not to avoid scary things, set some goals but don't make them too huge. Nothing will be achieved if we set ourselves up to fail! So if I feel under the weather (like now) I reduce my aim accordingly. I try to build up to anything that feels huge with small steps. I know it helps if I remind myself of what has worked well and, without self blame, consider what would have helped if something doesn't quite work out. I have begun to keep a little notebook where I jot down a couple of things each day that I am pleased with. Nothing huge usually but something to help when I have an 'I can't do it' day. I'm getting back some belief that I can do things, most of the time the reality is nowhere as bad as I feared, I am so pleased that I worked out what was happening and didn't just opt out of anything challenging. You sound as if you have a really good approach, so be pleased about that. I'm sure others will have helpful thoughts, for me too. I know you will get there, dont worry, it isn't just you.

wot Wed 07-Dec-16 20:50:00

I only drive to two little towns near me as too scared to drive into the " city" I didn't actually pass my test until I was 49. I used to be a complete daredevil so I don't what's happened.

Welshwife Wed 07-Dec-16 21:39:23

I am another one in the club! I do drive locally but not far - however last summer OH was rushed to the ITU dept. of a hospital 70 Kms away - so I had to bite the bullet and go - DD was coincidentally staying with me so I was not alone on the drive. I only knew where the town was and not the hospital so the sat-nav was a great help in getting us to the hospital.
I needed to drive quire a bit over that period but once OH was better he wanted to drive again - he is a dreadful passenger ! I was glad though that I had done the driving.

rosesarered Wed 07-Dec-16 21:46:15

Am somewhat the same these days.Used to be a happy motorway driver but hate it now.Prefer driving to local towns, and luckily DH loves driving, so does any longer drives.If I was living alone I would get the train or coach to further off places.

NanKate Wed 07-Dec-16 22:03:48

I too have lost my driving confidence especially on motorways. I paid for a driving lesson and the instructor kept getting me to drive on and off the M40 shock. He told me that there was nothing wrong with my driving, other than driving too slowly. He explained that lorry drivers have a maximum speed of 55 miles an hour so that when I join the motorway I must be driving at that speed and just slot in when a space was available, sometimes having to speed up and other times having to break. I wish I had been told that years ago.

Unfortunately I have been ill for the last 6 months or so and have not driven much. Anyway I have now started again and need to practise regularly.

Finally I depend on my sat nav and couldn't cope without it now.

Best of luck Morethan

Nelliemoser Wed 07-Dec-16 22:13:59

I am less confident after a dreadful journey down the M6 a couple of years ago when there were hellish roadworks all the way down to Birmingham.

tanith Wed 07-Dec-16 22:18:57

Ladies you know what they say "use it or lose it", don't lose your independence. Keep driving as long as you feel you are a safe driver.

Anya Wed 07-Dec-16 22:28:27

I agree tanith due to injury I was unable to drive for a couple of months and felt stranded.

I have found that letting others do the driving all the time is not a Good Thing to Do. If there are two of you in the car then offer to do the driving more often. Having someone in the passenger side can boost your confidence and is useful navigating - even with a SatNav.

grannyactivist Wed 07-Dec-16 22:41:13

My husband and I have shared a car for a few years now. Nearly two years ago we changed from a little runabout to a Ford Focus CMax and I hate it. It's just too big for me to drive it comfortably and I feel very stressed whenever I get behind the wheel; as a consequence I've only ever driven it half a dozen times and then only to pick my husband up from the rail station. I don't really miss driving, but do wish I could have got my bus pass when I turned 60 instead of having to wait until I'm 64!

annodomini Wed 07-Dec-16 23:38:02

I've been driving for 56 years but tonight, driving on unlit roads, I began to feel less confident than I used to feel in the dark. However, I rarely go far afield in the evening and still feel in full control in daylight. The day I don't feel confident is the day I surrender my licence.

chelseababy Thu 08-Dec-16 07:49:32

I really don't like driving either. I am ok in daylight and familiar routes but there are so many new roundabouts and bypasses being built that even the familiar is becoming unfamiliar. Developing cataracts make night driving difficult.

glammanana Thu 08-Dec-16 08:00:30

I still enjoy driving my little car but at the moment rarely get the chance because of the discomfort after breaking the dreaded shoulder/arm O/H has taken control of driving at the minute he does however always seem to take control of the driving I think it is a man thing really wanting to be in the driving seat so to speak.wink

Greyduster Thu 08-Dec-16 08:01:00

We have a Honda Civic and it is the second one we have had. I would drive the first one, though I didn't care for it, but even after making all the necessary driving adjustments to accommodate me, this car simply doesn't feel as if it "fits" me, and every time I go out in it all I can think is "if anything hits me I'm going to die in this car". It doesn't make for a confident experience. I have driven bigger cars and never had a problem with them. But it is DH's car and he loves it. Before the Civics we had a Jazz. If anyone had said "can you drive me to Lands End, I would have said "Hop in, lets go"!

ninathenana Thu 08-Dec-16 08:07:32

I have no choice as H never learn't to drive. Iv'e driven all over the country and fortunately it dosen't phase me. The sat nav is my best friend smile I used to be concerened for a few days before driving somewhere new unless I was going to have a navigator beside me but I'm fine now.
I don't much like driving in the dark though

M0nica Thu 08-Dec-16 09:08:06

Two places to look for help; 1) the Institute of Advanced Motorists run assessment courses for mature drivers

2 The AA run courses to help those getting nervous about driving.

shysal Thu 08-Dec-16 09:18:24

I have never enjoyed driving but like it less these days, especially after dark. If I have to do an unfamiliar journey which is not too far, I will do a trial run at a quiet time to give me confidence. I use a sat nav and do an AA route too - belt and braces!

Katekeeprunning Thu 08-Dec-16 09:44:23

My mum's friend learnt to drive at 80 as her husband lost his sight. I think she deserves a medal.

Bellanonna Thu 08-Dec-16 09:47:03

Why do so many of us dislike night driving? I don't need glasses and I'm not aware of my vision having changed particularly, but night time driving is definitely something I now avoid. Even if it's local, which is the most I will attempt, I don't feel happy. Rather than acuity of vision I think it's how may brain interprets what it sees - bends in the road, etc. Things that are not a problem by day take on a very different aspect at night. So no driving after about 4 at the moment unless it's a quick nip up to Waitrose or at the most into (or more likely home from) local town. Why is this?

jellybeanjean Thu 08-Dec-16 09:48:23

I love driving, but find that so many other drivers are very aggressive. Also do not enjoy driving at night because headlights seem so bright. I get very angry with tailgaters; there's a lot of them about and they're usually driving Audis, Mercedes, BMWs etc. Seems to me if you stick to speed limits you're considered an old nuisance.

LottieSweetpea Thu 08-Dec-16 09:49:15

A TomTom will really help, one less thing to worry about
I don't like driving much either especially at night and on motorways but have to sometimes , the more you do the easier it is.
I also take an up to date road atlas ( £1.99 from petrol station), a piece of cardboard with roads and junctions written on in thick felt pen and have got new glasses with anti glare coating
Good luck