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Lost confidence in driving

(59 Posts)
TrishaJ Tue 14-Jul-20 20:27:33

We have moved down to Devon and also had a new car i have notice lately i don,t feel as confident when i drive i am ok when i know where i am going but make excuses to drive when i don,t i never use to be like this.Any idea,s how i can regain my confidence.

25Avalon Tue 14-Jul-20 20:30:25

You could take some driving lessons or do the advanced driving course which I believe is run under the auspices of the police.

Nonogran Tue 14-Jul-20 20:44:56

Hello TrishaJ, I think your lack of confidence might be linked to your move to Devon? I know from experience that new territory can be a bit challenging/daunting until you get used to the rythms & foibles of the roads around your new place & further afield. Why not get a Satnav which I find very useful when driving somewhere unfamiliar. I also agree with the up post about taking a course. No doubt a local driving school would know how best to help your confidence? 'Use it or lose it"... .isn't that what we're told? You go girl. Get out there and enjoy the new wonderful Devon scenery. Good luck.

tanith Tue 14-Jul-20 21:14:59

Could be a combination of new car, new territory and stress of moving as the others have said just keep doing and the newness of those things will gradually die down and taking a course also may help. Don’t give up keep going.

Jane10 Tue 14-Jul-20 21:31:45

You're not alone though. I feel I've lost a lot of confidence in my driving. I don't know why, as I used to drive all over the place. I find myself avoiding going to certain places because I'll have to drive. I had quite a bit of time off driving after my knee ops but even so I don't understand my new attitude to driving. I know several others who feel the same. No excuse. No new area or new car.

Calendargirl Tue 14-Jul-20 21:59:48

I only want to drive local places really. Always let DH drive if we’re going far. That’s bad, I know, because if anything were to happen to him, I would be stuffed.

Passed my test at 17, 60 odd years ago, but driving has always been a necessity, not a pleasure.

Nannarose Tue 14-Jul-20 22:12:37

I don't like driving either, and do it out of necessity. I agree that the change in your life is probably what has caused you to lose confidence.
Are you otherwise well?
Can you share your concern with DH - would he be helpful?

I second getting a 'confidence boosting' lesson - I know several people who have done this.

Useful tip if you don't want to share with anyone else - this is something I do every so often, to keep me aware 7 alert as a driver:
go out on your own, begin on familiar ground, and narrate your driving as if you were talking to an instructor "I am going to turn left, I look in the mirror, am aware of a car some distance behind, I signal, I look ahead, glance to the inside, .......I see traffic lights ahead, they are green, I take my foot off the pedal, aware they may change, I check the cars near me...."
Keep going as you take a slightly less familiar route.

JackyB Wed 15-Jul-20 10:45:19

Those narrow Devon roads with their high banks really are a challenge. Try to plan your routes so you are on wider roads with better vision and clear markings and signage.

Keep at it, take it a little at a time.

TwiceAsNice Wed 15-Jul-20 10:54:19

I felt like this when I moved from Wales to Surrey a few years ago. It is daunting finding your way around a new area after knowing another one all your life. I still don’t know my way around further afield as much as I’d like but use the location app on my phone when I’m not sure, I have a holder for it and it works like a mini sized sat nav , I find this helps.

I drive back regularly to Wales and am fine on the M25/M4 going “home”. ( or I did until Covid haven’t been back since Dec ) but I’ll go when I can and that doesn’t bother me

I do think it’s the new move that’s the main point although do regular short drives that you know to get used to your new car. Maybe practice parking etc somewhere really quiet. Good luck I do understand how you feel.

glammanana Wed 15-Jul-20 10:56:09

I'm finding it hard to get back behind the wheel after selling our bigger family car after loosing my lovely John 7 months ago I had intended on buying something like a little Mini or similar but my confidence has gone completely the stupid thing is I used to drive 40+ miles a day to work and back and to places like Birmingham or Newcastle where the Rds are awful but I never bothered then now I am so worried about getting behind the wheel again.

Nonogran Wed 15-Jul-20 12:24:35

I am a Devon resident and one thing which really is a bit of a challenge for older drivers us reversing down a narrow Devon lane. If you meet a milk tanker you have no choice so to add to my earlier post of yesterday, please please practice your reversing & if travelling in our lanes, make a conscious note of passing places or recessed field gates as you go along. If you then have to reverse, you have a rough idea how far back you need to go! I am a Devonian & we can always tell who's a tourist & who isn't by their ability to reverse or not. I can't rotate my neck & shoulders very well but I'm an excellent reverser because half the time I'm either confronted by a lorry or another driver who can't or wont reverse. Reversing is a skill which helps confidence too. A lesson or two will help I'm sure. Go for it!

Katyj Thu 16-Jul-20 05:54:17

Me too. It must be playing on my mind because I dreamt last night I had two car accidents ! Not serious ones thank goodness just scrapes. I would think in your case, and probably mine you’ve been under stress, this can cause you to lose self confidence and concentration. I would try and Keep going just doing small trips until you feel better. Good luck.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 16-Jul-20 07:16:13

One thing that women are less good at is spacial awareness, so tight squeezes can be problematic on lanes. My DH confidently drives through gaps which makes me close my eyes in terror.

I play it safe and stop, tuck into the gap and let the oncoming vehicle do the manoeuvring.

NanKate Thu 16-Jul-20 07:54:47

Over the last couple of years I have lost some of my confidence in driving. I did have one refresher lesson with a driving instructor and it did help. However the Lockdown has put me back a lot.

Recently my DH has hurt his Achilles’ tendon and he is finding driving any distance uncomfortable.

I then realised that I can’t always rely on him to drive and volunteered to drive to a recent hospital visit involving driving onto the dual carriageway. I made it ok and realised that if I gave up driving my life would be so restricted so I am giving myself a talking to and slowly but surely will up my amount of driving.

Gingster Thu 16-Jul-20 08:17:34

I hate driving too. Only do it if I have to. I would be lost without my car, but I only do local journeys, never drive on dual carriageways or motorways. Almost have panic attacks at the thought of it. Other drivers have no patience, always drive too close behind and are so aggressive.

BlueSky Thu 16-Jul-20 08:28:52

At least you have all passed your test and been driving for years! I've never ever had the confidence to learn, even when I was a teenager. Now worse than ever so without my DH I would have to cope with public transport. And yet I've seen my DC and now DGC learning to drive like nothing, I see people 9 to 99 driving, so is it just me??

Grannyguitar Thu 16-Jul-20 08:46:06

Invest in a satnav and input your home address. That way, if you get lost, you can ask the satnav to take you back home. It might help take away the feeling of being adrift in a strange place.

Oldwoman70 Thu 16-Jul-20 08:48:11

Since coming out of lockdown I find I have lost confidence when driving. Currently I am only driving local well known routes. I need to drive to the other side of the city and I keep putting it off - hopefully my confidence will gradually return.

Bonny12 Thu 16-Jul-20 08:54:55

I know how you feel Trishaj, my husband and I have moved 11 times in 15 years. Two international moves to the USA and back.
I was gently going through the menopause as well during this time.
I used to ‘make’ myself go on a drive every day, where ever I was. To build up my confidence and get out of the house. It definitely worked. I don’t do long journeys on my own anymore because my internal sat nav doesn’t work. I think my mother must have dropped me on my head at some point as a baby!
My sister is two years older than me, she stopped driving about 5 years ago, she is practically a recluse now and hardly leaves the house.
So be brave and hang onto your independence.
Good luck 😉

Luckygirl Thu 16-Jul-20 08:57:56

Devon is a difficult place to drive - lots of little winding lanes; and also a dual carriageway that cuts straight through the middle. My parents used to have to get on and off that busy road, and turn back on themselves to get to the shops; then repeat it all on the way back.

I loved Devon as a child, and lived there for a while, but I would not want to be there now.

Good luck with your driving. I do as little as is necessary now. I do not enjoy it one bit.

TanaMa Thu 16-Jul-20 09:06:57

I do feel sorry for any one who has lost confidence in driving. I am 85 and of necessity have to drive as, not only am I a widow, but there is absolutely no public transport where I live. It would still be necessary to drive on the single way mountain roads to get to the nearest bus or train! Luckily I still like to drive and, because of where I live, am an old hand at reversing into passing bays. The problem lies with visitors to the area who have no idea how to use the narrow roads, regardless of age or sex, and usually wait for 'the locals' to do any reversing needed! The banks at the sides of the ròads are quite kind to the amount of contact they have with these cars and their 'drivers'!

MadeInYorkshire Thu 16-Jul-20 09:12:55

Over the years I have become the same and worry if I have to go somewhere I don’t know- used to drive from Scotland to Yorkshire once a fortnight and once did to Northampton in one go! Loved driving , still do to some extent but the worrying about if I get lost and panic is still there. One thing I always used to do is if I moved area was to just get in the car and drive around the local area just so that I would have a bit of a clue and that did help. My brother is a hypnotherapist and can do things about anxiety etc if you need some help? X

Patticake123 Thu 16-Jul-20 09:16:21

I was the same when we moved 3 years ago. What I did was to take over all of the driving . This helped me to find my way around and about relatively quickly but also stopped me building a wall around myself and my ability to drive. Good luck, use satnav and local maps, plot your route beforehand and go for it. You are a capable, competent woman, don’t lock yourself into a cage!

timetogo2016 Thu 16-Jul-20 09:18:43

Tanith is spot on.

Froglady Thu 16-Jul-20 09:24:36

I always drive on my own and found that a SatNav was invaluable to me. My family gave it to me as a 60th birthday present as it is the best present I have ever had as an adult. It has taken me round France a couple of times. I always use it if I'm going to a new place as I don't want to get lost.
Have you tried driving with someone as a passenger to give you confidence? Try and pick someone who won't give you a hard time; nothing worse than a passenger who is always finding fault with what you do. Don't give up the driving, just try it bit by bit, to get used to it again. Are the roads less wide than you were used to before? I hate 'thin' roads as I call them. Good Luck with driving again.