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big decision today.

(26 Posts)
Fennel Mon 08-Apr-19 11:42:10

Driving - I've been driving regularly since I was in my 20s, but since coming back to England I've been a nervous driver.
This morning I've made a decision - to give up my license.
I was turning right from our street and saw a car coming in the opposite direction, so intended to brake and reverse, because there's only one lane due to parked cars..
But my foot got stuck under the brake pedal and I pushed the accelerator instead shock. Our car is automatic so you only use your right foot and the pedals are close.
I was speeding towards the other driver and thank God swerved at the last minute and cleared him via the left pavement . Otherwise a headon crash .
I have a problem with lifting my right foot - hip damage.
So I saw this as a warning sign. Husband drives, and public transport is good here.

Charleygirl5 Mon 08-Apr-19 11:49:00

Fennel you are being very brave but it appears to be the correct decision before something major occurs flowers

gillybob Mon 08-Apr-19 11:50:07

Oh dear Fennel I bet you were really shook up.

Tell me to shut up and go away there any point to you giving up your licence? Can you just not stop driving but keep your licence just in case of an emergency situation where you might need to drive? Obviously if you have been advised not to drive by a medical professional then that's different.

Fennel Mon 08-Apr-19 11:57:12

Yes I might have second thoughts.
I told husband about it and he said " That happened to me once". He's got bigger feet, so I'm not quite so confident in his driving now.

EllanVannin Mon 08-Apr-19 11:58:58

Oh dear, you really don't have to give up your licence for this, a probable one-off situation in which nobody was hurt in any way, just shaken. It can and probably does happen to anyone occasionally.
Get back in your car and just drive where there is less traffic to get your senses and confidence back, then perhaps drive only when necessary until you're well over your scare.

You'll be glad of your 4 wheels one day I'm sure.

kittylester Mon 08-Apr-19 12:03:38

Don't give it up fennel and keep driving! Could you have a few lessons in a dual control car to help you get your confidence back?

Being able to drive could be such a boon if anything happens to your husband's ability to drive.

maryeliza54 Mon 08-Apr-19 12:17:17

You say you have a problem with lifting your right foot - if this is a permanent problem then you should have informed the DVLA anyway. You sound very sensible and you should get proper medical advice now and not listen to anyone on here about continuing whatever. You’re the one that could have to live with the consequences of ignoring this issue.

grannyactivist Mon 08-Apr-19 12:33:36

Fennel I understand that you're shaken by your near miss and admire your decision not to continue driving. It's my opinion that many people continue to drive long after it's really safe for them to continue to do so, but choosing the 'right' time to stop is a near impossibility. Better to stop too soon than risk accidents by continuing for too long.

My mother had a motorcyclist crash into her car when she was in her mid sixties, and although it wasn't her fault she decided to stop driving immediately because she acknowledged that she could have saved the young man serious injury if her reflexes had been quicker.

Dontaskme Mon 08-Apr-19 12:34:55

Sorry to say but I think giving up is the right thing to do, especially as you can't lift your foot properly so to continue to drive, imho, is just dangerous.

Imagine if you HAD gone head on into the other car, or if there had been a pedestrian on the footpath you swerved onto.

Time to hang up your driving gloves Fennel and make use of your DH, public transport and the local taxi service smile

Katek Mon 08-Apr-19 13:03:04

I once caught a decorative zip on the sleeve of my cardigan in a groove on the centre steering wheel and found I couldn’t turn right. Had to turn left instead, park and remove cardi from wheel. These things happen and if you haven’t had any issues driving previously I would hang onto your licence in event of an emergency.

Needless to say I no longer wear said cardi when driving.

silverlining48 Mon 08-Apr-19 13:12:06

I would agree with the majority who say just stop driving for now, leave it and have a go in a quiet area / time to see how you feel. There really isn’t any need to give your licence up, just stop driving.
I have had personal experience of trying to get licence back after giving it up for health reasons some years ago, and it was a nightmare dealing with DVLA.

maryeliza54 Mon 08-Apr-19 13:12:11

I don’t think catching a zip and having to turn left instead of right can be compared to a physical problem in lifting a foot which sounds ongoing and nearly led to a head on crash. The person in the other car was someone’s dc/dp/ dgc etc - decisions about continuing to drive aren’t just about the convenience or otherwise of the person with the issue are they?

Esspee Mon 08-Apr-19 13:12:39

You have certainly made the correct decision. I frequently see people driving who are a danger to themselves and others.

silverlining48 Mon 08-Apr-19 13:13:58

Maybe not the’s a big decision.

maryeliza54 Mon 08-Apr-19 13:17:00

I’m not being critical,of you Fennel as I said you sound very sensible. I still think you need professional independent advice re your fitness to drive which none of us can give you. Driving a huge and lethal chunk of steel on our crowded roads is a grave responsibility not a convenience.

Eleanor21 Mon 08-Apr-19 13:23:21

Nobody has mentioned having a specially adapted car with only hand controls. I know several people who have this problem and have continued to be able to drive. You may be able to get a mobility payment for it.

maryeliza54 Mon 08-Apr-19 13:32:25

Good point - mobility scheme wouldn’t kick in I don’t think but there will be specialist garages who could give a quote.

Allegretto Mon 08-Apr-19 13:39:56

I knew someone whose car was adapted so that all the controls were manipulated by hand. It was an easy adaptation to an automatic car and meant that legs were not required. I’ve no idea what the cost was but this might be something worth investigating.

Fennel Mon 08-Apr-19 19:01:53

Thanks for the replies, which have made me rethink.
I was so shocked this morning as to what the consequences could have been. As Dontaskme said there could have been pedestrians on the pavement.
I won't hand in my license yet, in case there's an emergency.
We can't afford another car, or an adaption to this one. It's a decision we all have to make eventually, if we drive. I'm 83 btw. Husband is younger.

maryeliza54 Mon 08-Apr-19 19:15:16

83 - and you haven’t informed DVLA of your foot problem. Well let’s hope you don’t put anyone else’s life in grave danger next time you drive. It would be interesting if this were a reverse thread wouldn’t ?

lovebeigecardigans1955 Mon 08-Apr-19 19:21:04

That must have been frightening Fennel but don't be too hasty. Could you go out for a little drive on quiet mornings, like Sundays for instance? It may restore your confidence. If not so be it and as you say public transport is good so the decision is yours, obviously.

maryeliza54 Mon 08-Apr-19 19:49:37

I wonder how frightened the other driver was? When I was the totally innocent victim in an RTC it took me ages to get my confidence back

aggie Mon 08-Apr-19 19:56:05

Fennel if I were in your shoes I would stick to the first resolve and stop driving . If you can't lift your foot properly you are not in control of the vehicle . I hid OHs keys when he had a few near misses and said to him that killing hinself was one thing , it was who he would take with him , it could be a parent with a baby , or school children or a much loved Grandmother , think about it

petra Mon 08-Apr-19 20:12:26

You say you have problems lifting your right foot. How would you be able to react in a real emergency stop: ie a child running out into the road?

Fennel Mon 08-Apr-19 20:17:13

8maryeliza* I have thought about the othe driver - he/she must have been terrified.
My foot/leg problem comes from a hip replacement 12 years ago. Never really got the strength back in that leg, and what makes it worse now is I've had a few falls on that side.
The driving license situation is complicated as I still have a french one, valid here for another 2 years.
I really don't want to drive again.