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Driving anxiety

(32 Posts)
ineedamum Sat 24-Aug-19 18:10:16

I've had refresher lessons and the feedback was your driving is fine- but your confidence had gone today, (I am stressed)
He didn't suggest further lessons but said have you thought about a small automatic just to deal with your confidence first? He said if I'm honest you may not pass your test (I passed ten years ago) but it's just your confidence.

I did drive two hours through a city centre though after a stressful week (I had a bout of IBS, which is rare that's how bad my week was!)

I'm not in a good place to buy a car today- but how have other people coped with driving anxiety?

DanniRae Sat 24-Aug-19 18:25:47

I have it too so am interested in any answers!

phoenix Sat 24-Aug-19 18:33:21

I would fully endorse a small automatic!

No worry about clutch, changing gear etc, leaves you more able to concentrate on where you are going, looking out for other vehicles and what they are doing!

I was "lent" an automatic about 10 years ago, possibly more, and even though I'm "only" 61, I would never consider going back to a manual!

Sara65 Sat 24-Aug-19 18:36:15

I very carelessly caused a lot of damage to my car a few weeks ago, several thousand pounds worth, no one else involved, on my own property, just a matter of trying to avoid one thing, and hitting something else. But since then, I do wonder if my judgements a bit off, it was such a stupid mistake.

Sara65 Sat 24-Aug-19 18:37:44

Totally agree about automatic though

mosaicwarts Sat 24-Aug-19 18:38:15

Will you be driving a regular route? I had anxiety about driving to Newcastle, but then got a job at Newcastle Airport and HAD to do the drive. Eventually it became automatic, and my nerves went, I even enjoyed listening to the radio.

I've got a manual car, but would like an automatic, saves your knees!

ineedamum Sat 24-Aug-19 18:38:41

Thanks DanniRae, I feel embarrassed admitting in real life!

Phoenix- I have a very small budget- are they more expensive? How do they work in practice?

phoenix Sat 24-Aug-19 18:40:40

Meant to add, once you have your small automatic, start with short trips where you really know the route (obviously) no need to push yourself. Even if you just drive around the block, to the end of the street and back, it doesn't matter, just keep doing it until you feel ready to venture further afield.

My ex husband was mainly responsible for my lack of confidence, I used to drive from Middlesex to Cornwall in a manual car with not a care, but that's another story.........

ineedamum Sat 24-Aug-19 18:43:16

Initially I will drive a regular route, but today I was struggling with the handbrake when I haven't before. It looks like I use it correctly, even the instructor was confused!!

Diane227 Sat 24-Aug-19 18:59:52

I gave up driving when I retired at 60.
I started to feel panicked drivng over 50mph.
It began after an attack of vertigo and I just lost confidence.
DH now drives everywhere. It is a bit restricting but luckily I live on a good bus route so can also get around independently.
I didnt think this would ever happen to me and it has been difficult explaining to other people but rather that than have/ cause an accident.

ineedamum Sat 24-Aug-19 19:20:48

Thanks Diane227

I wish there wasn't a stigma in driving anxiety. There are people who are too confident - causing crashes, driving when drunk etc

shysal Sat 24-Aug-19 19:23:16

Another fan of small automatics here! I have a Honda Jazz. You will never stall or find yourself in the wrong gear, and hill starts are a doddle.
Of course there could be the option of a new electric car, I think they are even easier to drive, but of course they will be expensive and you need a convenient charging station.
Good luck, I hope you will persevere.

phoenix Sat 24-Aug-19 19:25:12

ineedamum any car is as expensive as you choose it to be, automatics might be more expensive than the same model/year/mileage, but it's a bit like "how long is a piece of string"!

I would urge you to do whatever you can to get driving again, feel free to pm me if you would like to.

Diane227 you are lucky to have a husband who will drive you, and good bus services!

My husband leaves for work at 6am, I work fairly close by, but there is no bus, I have to drive. There is no way that Mr P could drive me to work!

Sara65 Sat 24-Aug-19 19:30:28

I too have to drive, and in truth, I still want to, I couldn’t bear to lose my independence, but I’m finding myself more and more often avoiding certain places,

Alima Sat 24-Aug-19 19:38:03

I wish you luck ineedamum but I am certainly not the person to advise! I finally got shot of my car three months ago, for the last 11 months I had hardly driven it at all, felt so panicky. Even now, though I would love to be able to drive I cannot do it. DH doesn’t drive and we live in the middle of nowhere so it is a pain. I was reading an article the other day about driving phobia. Think that is what I have. The advice was to drive short distances and gradually build up. That didn’t help me by the way! Really not sure an automatic would help, it wasn’t the actual driving that frightened me more like the thought of driving. Need to change my username to staticgran!

Luckygirl Sat 24-Aug-19 19:47:01

I have had an automatic VW Polo for many years - this is Mark 2. I was so glad I had an automatic as I fractured my left foot several years ago and I would otherwise have been housebound.

I do not think that driving anxiety is as pathological as some people believe - anyone with half a brain should be anxious about driving - you have a lethal weapon in your hands, and, worse still, so do the people around you driving - and some of them leave a bit to be desired in terms of patience and intelligence.

Grannyknot Sat 24-Aug-19 19:59:48

I'm not the best motorway driver (I'm happy to potter along locally, also in an automatic). But there have been occasions when I need to or want to drive some distance and I put my mind to it and I do it. I plot the route on Google maps, print it out in text, listen to the instructions beforehand, I take the printout with me plus I use the GPS in the car (being aware that it sometimes doesn't quite get it right, hence the printed instructions as back-up!)

I find that if I prepare thoroughly as described, I'm okay and I do not get anxious.

flowers and good luck.

LadyGracie Sat 24-Aug-19 20:11:33

I have an automatic Hyundai, it’s great, I used to get anxious but had to get myself over it when DH had cataracts which prevented him from driving.

We’d booked a holiday in Cornwall in June, we would have lost quite a lot of money if we’d cancelled, so it meant I had to drive there and back, a total of 816 miles.

We stopped every 50 miles or so for coffee or just to stretch our legs. I quite enjoyed it really now I think about it!

phoenix Sat 24-Aug-19 20:21:30

Alima not sure your post is actually going to help ineedamum!

Alima Sat 24-Aug-19 20:36:01

It could help by showing there are worse cases Phoenix!

ayse Sat 24-Aug-19 20:41:53

I’m so glad I’m not alone in getting anxious. My biggest worry is driving on fast roads and joining the carriageway. I’m ok if I know the road and where I’m going but I’m aware that my reaction times are slower than they used to be. I prefer my manual car to an automatic but it’s comforting to be in the good company of nervous drivers.
I’m also a nervous passenger so I can’t win.
Never mind, just one of the little irritations of creasing age.

ayse Sat 24-Aug-19 20:42:08

Increasing age

Grannyknot Sat 24-Aug-19 21:14:03

Ayse "creasing age" made me grin ... I'm definitely creasing with age!

Tangerine Sat 24-Aug-19 21:47:11

Perhaps go for some test drives in a few automatic cars. You won't be forced to buy one but you'll find out if it helps you with your problem.

I suspect it will help you. At first, if you buy one, drive at the weekends on easy routes.

I wish you the best of luck with it all.

crazyH Sat 24-Aug-19 21:55:17

Automatic is the answer. I failed my test 4 times on a manual and almost gave up until everyone suggested I try an automatic - so, had a few lessons on auto, passed and haven't looked back.. I must say though, I don't drive too far, but it serves my purpose, shopping, visiting friends etc.