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I can't drive a car EDIT2: ...or actually!

Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
For some it's that fear of not trusting themselves with a vehicle that easily weighs more than 15-25 people and can cause serious harm if not handled with lots of care. One could potentially say it's a self-confidence issue.

Personally I've never liked driving because I am too aware of my own mind drifting pretty much everywhere.
THIS. You just nailed it.

I also have strong tendency for mind drifting. And I feel that I need to hold all the factors of driving in an immediate focus, all the time. If I let go, I'm afraid I'd lose control. Probably also because of this I could never get driving on "autopilot" in my mind.

Add to this a good degree of physical clumsiness... I learned to ride a bicycle a good couple of years after all other kids, and with a lot of effort and pain (literally, as I was falling of it many times until I learned).

I think I'll try to contact some driving school(s) about a "reminder" course, and have a test drive, in April maybe?... Yet another factor is that back then, I was coerced into getting the licence, so I had negative stance towards the whole thing. Nowadays there finally is some intrinsic motivation, even as it has to compete against anxiety. I need to try and see.
 

Kinare

RAWR
This is a tough one. Haven't read anything but the OP, so forgive me if you've addressed this with someone else later in the thread, but are you actually looking for tips to conquer your anxiety or just wanting to vent? In case of the former, read on. If the latter, ignore the rest of my post. x3

Anxiety is one of those struggles I understand all too well. If it takes root, it's nearly impossible to get out of my head unless I can get out of the situation. With that in mind, if I can tell anxiety is coming, I try my best to do the thing I need to do before it sets in. For example, I used to have an impossible time chatting in voice chats with people. Forcing myself a little bit at a time got me used to it so now you'd never guess I had an issue. The only time it does become an issue is if I'm in a larger group, especially if that group contains people I'm not familiar with. Too many voices just overwhelms me, not much I can do about that one sadly.

With your driving thing, little bits at a time and not letting those negative scary thoughts take hold is going to be key. Do you have anyone who can help you? Have them drive you out to a quieter area where there's far less traffic, then you just drive around for a while and get used to driving in a low stress environment. If that's not an option, perhaps try driving at a time where there's very little traffic on the road. Listen to some relaxing music or maybe some nature sounds or something on the radio maybe - not too loud to distract you from driving, but just to calm your mind. Eventually, step it up to more active times of the day. There's nothing wrong with avoiding busy times of the day to avoid traffic. Even though I'm a confident driver I avoid busy traffic because it is stressful. Why go out during the most stressful times of the day when I could just go at other times, right?

Personally for me driving was a must-learn and something I was actually excited to do, it meant the possibility of getting out of my shithole town. Still haven't managed that one... but at least it allows me a job I wouldn't otherwise have. It's all rural here, and my job is a 40 minute drive. It's not fun in the snowy weather either, like tonight I saw the road vanishing in front of my eyes because the snow was so heavy. It's times like this that the calm breathing, staying focused, and vibing with my music keeps me from being too terrified to keep going or end up making a costly mistake because I'm too hyped up to drive properly. Two choices in this instance: stay calm and get to work safely or panic and have an accident. Luckily anxiety agrees, not having an accident is the proper choice here.
 

Sam Akuchin Wamm

Roundworm In Goat Guise
yeah i'm a dwarf so..

 

Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
This is a tough one. Haven't read anything but the OP, so forgive me if you've addressed this with someone else later in the thread, but are you actually looking for tips to conquer your anxiety or just wanting to vent? In case of the former, read on. If the latter, ignore the rest of my post. x3

Anxiety is one of those struggles I understand all too well. If it takes root, it's nearly impossible to get out of my head unless I can get out of the situation. With that in mind, if I can tell anxiety is coming, I try my best to do the thing I need to do before it sets in. For example, I used to have an impossible time chatting in voice chats with people. Forcing myself a little bit at a time got me used to it so now you'd never guess I had an issue. The only time it does become an issue is if I'm in a larger group, especially if that group contains people I'm not familiar with. Too many voices just overwhelms me, not much I can do about that one sadly.

With your driving thing, little bits at a time and not letting those negative scary thoughts take hold is going to be key. Do you have anyone who can help you? Have them drive you out to a quieter area where there's far less traffic, then you just drive around for a while and get used to driving in a low stress environment. If that's not an option, perhaps try driving at a time where there's very little traffic on the road. Listen to some relaxing music or maybe some nature sounds or something on the radio maybe - not too loud to distract you from driving, but just to calm your mind. Eventually, step it up to more active times of the day. There's nothing wrong with avoiding busy times of the day to avoid traffic. Even though I'm a confident driver I avoid busy traffic because it is stressful. Why go out during the most stressful times of the day when I could just go at other times, right?

Personally for me driving was a must-learn and something I was actually excited to do, it meant the possibility of getting out of my shithole town. Still haven't managed that one... but at least it allows me a job I wouldn't otherwise have. It's all rural here, and my job is a 40 minute drive. It's not fun in the snowy weather either, like tonight I saw the road vanishing in front of my eyes because the snow was so heavy. It's times like this that the calm breathing, staying focused, and vibing with my music keeps me from being too terrified to keep going or end up making a costly mistake because I'm too hyped up to drive properly. Two choices in this instance: stay calm and get to work safely or panic and have an accident. Luckily anxiety agrees, not having an accident is the proper choice here.
There's some excellent advice here, and I was hoping for something like this when starting this tread (although venting was a purpose too).

It would be absolutely best to drive with someone trusted but unfortunately I have no such option. So, taking things slowly and gradually as you describe would be my best bet. The actual availability of a vehicle is an issue though - obviously, not feeling up to driving a car, I don't have one.

It's pretty pointless regret now, but I do regret allowing my family to force me to get that licence back then. I got a lot of negative associations that are hard to shake off. It would have served me much more to get through all the lengthy courses now that I managed to get some motivation of my own. But maybe this can suggest a solution: as said elsewhere, I could shell out a bit for some proper "reminder course" with an instructor (even if this doesn't exist as an actual program, I could probably arrange it personally to make it so and buy enough hours). And then, upgrade it to some rental cars once I'm feeling up to trying without an instructor...

It's pretty paradoxical, but the weather conditions don't bother me all that much. I remember driving in extremely heavy rain during the courses: even as the water was just flooding the windshield and the visibility got reduced to several meters, all the traffic had to slow down a lot, and I remember feeling completely surprised as I found it mentally easier to drive than when the weather was clear and everyone was speeding!
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
This might sound a little farfetched but have you considered playing gentle calming music while you do?

I find it helps me deal with performance anxiety and helps clear my mind for most anything.
 

FoxWithAName

Still new only older
Hey, I saw your thread and want to give you some advise... If you want. I will address a few things: anxious behind the wheel a few driving techniques and how to stay calm. But first a bit of backstory (insert music):

I failed the practical driving test 2 times. Why you ask, I was anxious and insecure behind the wheel. This had to do with my test anxiety, and the pressure I put myself into to finally get my driving license. My mental state at the moment was also terrible. Basically I nailed everything when it comes to driving and rules, but the test was super stressful and impossible for me (still cant handle test situations). Last Year I passed my Motorcycle License on the first try and only needed the minimal amount of training. I would consider myself a very laid back driver obeying all the rules and keeping it to the speed limit. Why? I found joy in driving and being a good driver. I watched endless tutorials on how to become a better driver and I try to teach my friends if they want to.

So end of elaboration of my life onto the tips. Get yourself familiar with the car, I know it sounds boring (if you are not a gear head) but I highly recommend it, it can help you try to understand what is going on and take away the fear of what happens when I do that. Find an empty parking lot and slowly start by learning the basics. Every car handles differently. In case of manuals find the bite point of your clutch and try to launch with minimal RPM. Try to make it a challenge! Practice up and down shifts, clutch releases and try to program your brain to do it automatically without any thinking. So do not think about changing gear, just change it. So handling tips, get yourself familiar with your assistance Systems, even shitboxes usually have ABS. If you don't know what ABS is... Its your guardian Angle. Learn to break HARD until ABS kicks in. This can be scary at first but this is a skill that can save your life and make you more assured. So accelerate (on that parking lot please when it is empty and safe) to 30 km/h in second gear and press clutch and breaks as hard as you can. Do that a few times to really sink it in. Always look where you want to go, and look into the distance. This automates your brain to go exactly where you look and you do not need to think about, by looking into the distance you reduce the effect of speed and you can focus on the traffic a few cars in front of you this helps to spot breaking cars earlier and you have more time to react. Speaking of reacting, try to expect errors from drivers but do not think there are all mindless idiots, they have a destination as well. Sometimes people make mistakes and it is normal but wealding a 2.5t object at 50km/h is dangerous for a reason, be responsible but not anxious. And my last tip in this category: Ride your own ride, be a save driver by obeying traffic laws and do not stress yourself with others. I saw friends who look in mirrors for eternities because an idiot is right behind their gearbox and they get nervous and lose focus. They don't know what to do and make stupid decisions, but it's easy just do nothing you ride at your own pace do not stress yourself with others (But do not try to block or impede someone by driving to slow thou').

How to stay calm, there are a few things to stay calm behind the wheel. General speaking: Think of driving as a program of your brain you learned the rules and just put these actions based on these rules in a sequence. But there is an override for this program this override program is filled with situations that happened before and you reacted before. Try to familiarize yourself with exceptions that happen during driving and learn patterns (This is a skill you can also acquire by driving as a passenger). I want to give you some examples but you need to find your own patterns in traffic and adapt your driving to these. Example01: You are in a rural area on a sunny day at the summer, you see that there are cars parked on the right side and you can see a party on the ride side. On the left side their are walking people. My expectations are that these people will try to cross the street without looking so I will get of the throttle and expecting to break. Example02: You are on the highway right lane with 2 lanes, there is now traffic behind you, you see that there are several cars that want to drive onto the highway. My expectations are that these cars will hesitate to drive onto the Highway because they see me, so I change lanes (safely by watching mirrors and do a shoulder check) so they can merge without hesitation.

As a last tip here a few fast things without any explanations: Have a brake if you feel not save anymore. Get yourself a thing that calms you down in the car, like a plushy or a toy or a picture (dont use it while driving thou' ^^°). Play some music, but not to loud. Plan your rides, if you need to be at an appointment at 9:00 and you need 30 minutes for a ride don't start at 8:30 and stress yourself when traffic is slow, start a bit early and get there calm. Allays ride sober, for your own safety and for the safety of others. Imagine your destination, if you drive to friend imagine that you have a good time in a few minutes (But don't daydream XD). And last but not least have fun, driving is challenging but who said challenging things can be fun.

Puhh this was long I am very sorry, I hope I could help you. Ohh one last thing... I am really sorry. In Germany we have extended safety courses. These courses teach you how your car handles in a slide or how to manage a slide with your own car. There pretty fun, and the instructors you understand the physics behind it, if you also have these I would recommend them as well, there not the cheapest but make a good gift.
 

Kinare

RAWR
It's pretty paradoxical, but the weather conditions don't bother me all that much. I remember driving in extremely heavy rain during the courses: even as the water was just flooding the windshield and the visibility got reduced to several meters, all the traffic had to slow down a lot, and I remember feeling completely surprised as I found it mentally easier to drive than when the weather was clear and everyone was speeding!
Hmm, very interesting. o: Might be due to a few things:
1. Could see less drivers and obstacles, kinda playing on that "out of sight, out of mind" thing a bit.
2. Other drivers being forced to drive slower and overall safer.
3. You really, really like rain? x3 (I enjoy it a lot myself, but not to drive in when it's that bad, hehe.)

As for the other things you mentioned in your reply, the only one I can think of a possible workaround for is to rent a car. Getting someone to then drive you to somewhere easier to drive is an issue though... Maybe... rent a person too? x3
 

Ty Vulpine

Well-Known Member
When I lived in Maryland, they had public bus service, so I never bothered getting my license, just took the bus wherever I needed to go.
When I lost my job and moved to Alabama in 2011, there was no public bus service, so I finally got my license at the age of 40 and lease a car.
 

Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
This might sound a little farfetched but have you considered playing gentle calming music while you do?

I find it helps me deal with performance anxiety and helps clear my mind for most anything.
Actually this thing with calming music never worked for me. But I have something different, which I could call focus music. It's not exactly calm (mostly psytrance tracks, though not as pounding as that one ;) ). It really feels like it's sharpening my focus and reducing mind drifting. Might be something to try...

Hmm, very interesting. o: Might be due to a few things:
1. Could see less drivers and obstacles, kinda playing on that "out of sight, out of mind" thing a bit.
2. Other drivers being forced to drive slower and overall safer.
3. You really, really like rain? x3 (I enjoy it a lot myself, but not to drive in when it's that bad, hehe.)

As for the other things you mentioned in your reply, the only one I can think of a possible workaround for is to rent a car. Getting someone to then drive you to somewhere easier to drive is an issue though... Maybe... rent a person too? x3
Yeah, I thought about it, and this thing with the rain means that it's not handling the car itself that's my biggest problem, but the traffic. The rain reduced traffic and forced it to go slower - and this made driving feel easier for me, even despite objectively rough weather conditions.

And yeah, my idea about arranging a reminder/re-training course is something like you said, "renting a car and a person". In this case, a driving instructor.

Hey, I saw your thread and want to give you some advise... If you want. I will address a few things: anxious behind the wheel a few driving techniques and how to stay calm. But first a bit of backstory (insert music):

I failed the practical driving test 2 times. Why you ask, I was anxious and insecure behind the wheel. This had to do with my test anxiety, and the pressure I put myself into to finally get my driving license. My mental state at the moment was also terrible. Basically I nailed everything when it comes to driving and rules, but the test was super stressful and impossible for me (still cant handle test situations). Last Year I passed my Motorcycle License on the first try and only needed the minimal amount of training. I would consider myself a very laid back driver obeying all the rules and keeping it to the speed limit. Why? I found joy in driving and being a good driver. I watched endless tutorials on how to become a better driver and I try to teach my friends if they want to.

So end of elaboration of my life onto the tips. Get yourself familiar with the car, I know it sounds boring (if you are not a gear head) but I highly recommend it, it can help you try to understand what is going on and take away the fear of what happens when I do that. Find an empty parking lot and slowly start by learning the basics. Every car handles differently. In case of manuals find the bite point of your clutch and try to launch with minimal RPM. Try to make it a challenge! Practice up and down shifts, clutch releases and try to program your brain to do it automatically without any thinking. So do not think about changing gear, just change it. So handling tips, get yourself familiar with your assistance Systems, even shitboxes usually have ABS. If you don't know what ABS is... Its your guardian Angle. Learn to break HARD until ABS kicks in. This can be scary at first but this is a skill that can save your life and make you more assured. So accelerate (on that parking lot please when it is empty and safe) to 30 km/h in second gear and press clutch and breaks as hard as you can. Do that a few times to really sink it in. Always look where you want to go, and look into the distance. This automates your brain to go exactly where you look and you do not need to think about, by looking into the distance you reduce the effect of speed and you can focus on the traffic a few cars in front of you this helps to spot breaking cars earlier and you have more time to react. Speaking of reacting, try to expect errors from drivers but do not think there are all mindless idiots, they have a destination as well. Sometimes people make mistakes and it is normal but wealding a 2.5t object at 50km/h is dangerous for a reason, be responsible but not anxious. And my last tip in this category: Ride your own ride, be a save driver by obeying traffic laws and do not stress yourself with others. I saw friends who look in mirrors for eternities because an idiot is right behind their gearbox and they get nervous and lose focus. They don't know what to do and make stupid decisions, but it's easy just do nothing you ride at your own pace do not stress yourself with others (But do not try to block or impede someone by driving to slow thou').

How to stay calm, there are a few things to stay calm behind the wheel. General speaking: Think of driving as a program of your brain you learned the rules and just put these actions based on these rules in a sequence. But there is an override for this program this override program is filled with situations that happened before and you reacted before. Try to familiarize yourself with exceptions that happen during driving and learn patterns (This is a skill you can also acquire by driving as a passenger). I want to give you some examples but you need to find your own patterns in traffic and adapt your driving to these. Example01: You are in a rural area on a sunny day at the summer, you see that there are cars parked on the right side and you can see a party on the ride side. On the left side their are walking people. My expectations are that these people will try to cross the street without looking so I will get of the throttle and expecting to break. Example02: You are on the highway right lane with 2 lanes, there is now traffic behind you, you see that there are several cars that want to drive onto the highway. My expectations are that these cars will hesitate to drive onto the Highway because they see me, so I change lanes (safely by watching mirrors and do a shoulder check) so they can merge without hesitation.

As a last tip here a few fast things without any explanations: Have a brake if you feel not save anymore. Get yourself a thing that calms you down in the car, like a plushy or a toy or a picture (dont use it while driving thou' ^^°). Play some music, but not to loud. Plan your rides, if you need to be at an appointment at 9:00 and you need 30 minutes for a ride don't start at 8:30 and stress yourself when traffic is slow, start a bit early and get there calm. Allays ride sober, for your own safety and for the safety of others. Imagine your destination, if you drive to friend imagine that you have a good time in a few minutes (But don't daydream XD). And last but not least have fun, driving is challenging but who said challenging things can be fun.

Puhh this was long I am very sorry, I hope I could help you. Ohh one last thing... I am really sorry. In Germany we have extended safety courses. These courses teach you how your car handles in a slide or how to manage a slide with your own car. There pretty fun, and the instructors you understand the physics behind it, if you also have these I would recommend them as well, there not the cheapest but make a good gift.
Wow, that's seriously a lot of good advice, thank you!

However this is gonna be a tough one. I can't do anything practical right now (and until April, at least). So I was attempting to somehow "process" this matter in my mind... But damn it, I'm getting more anxious again from thinking about it so much! It's seriously infuriating, all around me I see people driving like it's nothing difficult, and for me it's like stuff of nightmares (actually happened, I had a dream that I was forced to drive and collided with something).
 

Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
Alright, bringing this thread back. Cause after all those months, I finally "saved up" enough courage to sign for driving refresher lessons. Starting tomorrow. However, at the moment of writing I'm feeling quite anxious still. Some encouragement, anyone?...
 

Punji

Vaskebjørn
It gets easier after the first few tries, and especially if it's been a long time since a person last drove anywhere. You'll be okay, you'll see soon.

Once you're actually doing it, it won't be so bad.
 

Yakamaru

Your average Stand enjoyer
Alright, bringing this thread back. Cause after all those months, I finally "saved up" enough courage to sign for driving refresher lessons. Starting tomorrow. However, at the moment of writing I'm feeling quite anxious still. Some encouragement, anyone?...
Practice make the master. I've been driving a LOT these past couple of months and actually started to enjoy driving.

I never for the love of me could imagine actually liking the idea of driving, but that opinion have definitely changed, especially since last week when I got to drive a fun little Golf.

Not sure on what car to get though. Will probably be a Honda, Mazda or a Toyota.
 

ben909

vaporeon... *spills* ... wait espeon now
Alright, bringing this thread back. Cause after all those months, I finally "saved up" enough courage to sign for driving refresher lessons. Starting tomorrow. However, at the moment of writing I'm feeling quite anxious still. Some encouragement, anyone?...
good luck
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
I admit it's a strange kind of problem. Also I wonder how understandable will it even be on a forum where vast majority of userbase is American. But I need to get it off my chest..

Basically, I can't bring myself to drive a car because I'm feeling too anxious about it. Before you start wondering how do I even live - driving is not that necessary around here. Everything is either in walking distance, or there's public communication to get you there.

It's not even a technical problem for me. I even have a license. Passed on second attempt, which in the context of the local stringent exams is pretty good (as if getting B grade while A would be passing on first try). I was mostly forced by my family. But I found the whole thing so unnerving, that since then (quite a few years) I drove literally a few times, and never by my own initiative.

I know all the rules etc, can even explain them to others. Also I'm cycling quite much, and I'm not giving people any reasons to honk at me, so I'd say I know how to behave in traffic. But with a car, there's way too many factors to pay attention to at the same time and I find it overwhelming to the point of anxiety.

Locations of other vehicle on the road and their speeds and directions. The course of the road, the speed and course of my vehicle. It's own spatial extent, and distances to keep from things. The status of the road, as expressed by roadsigns. All the manipulators to use. And my arch enemy, clutch pedal and manual stick (eliminating that would shave off like 25% of the whole problem, but alas, it's Eastern Europe and automatic transmission is for rich people only)... Too much to pay attention to at once!

I can handle this, with significant effort of will, for half an hour or so (just enough to pass that exam) but after that my brain undergoes emergency shutdown from all the overload. And I need to quickly look for a place to stop and cool down. After two such periods (tried such longer drives on the courses) I'm all shaky and really unable to continue in any safe way.

The problem is made all the worse by the local driving culture, or rather the lack of it. People drive like crazy, treating it like some competition, and not paying attention to safety. Going cautious and sticking to the speed limits etc. can actually anger others. I've been a witness of several accidents resulting in complete wrecking of vehicles. So it can't even be said that my driving anxiety is completely unfounded in such environment.

Why does it even matter since I managed to find my ways around without driving for so long? Well, together with my wife we devised a *possible* way to make decisive improvements in our life. A rather big change. And there's huge probability that when it's put into motion, I won't be able to avoid driving any longer. And it is seriously worrying to me. By the way, my wife doesn't have licence yet but intends to get it.

I don't really know what to expect from this tread. I know well there are no magic bullets. Exercising driving together with someone more experienced and whom I can trust would be optimal, but I don't have such option. Shelling out for some extra paid training is an option though, and I may pursue it for the lack of other solutions. There's not much else I can think of. Tried some therapy by the way. As useful as it was for other issues, with this one it didn't help a whole lot.

But maybe someone can have some idea I have not encountered before.

Driving isn't as instinctive to some people. My lover has the same driving/anxiety issue and I fully support her decisions not to apply. Truthfully, the only reason I got my license was because my work was 1/2 hour highway away and I needed it. Main thing I guess I want to say is, you're not alone in this.
 
O

O.D.D.

Guest
I'm not worried about myself. It takes me a bit to get comfortable with a motorized hunk of killing potential, but in a vacuum I'm a decent driver.

Other drivers? Fuck them. They make me want to go Carmageddon. You ever want proof that driver's licenses are a joke, remember that granny in the SUV who can't see over her dash, doesn't signal, drives 40 in a 60 zone and can barely stay in her lane still has her DL.
 
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Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
I made it! For the first time in over a decade I put my paws on the wheel - and this time by my very own initiative...

I didn't expect it myself, but for the whole day afterwards I've been feeling really elated. Looks like over the years a lot of "bad voodoo" has accumulated around the whole matter and now got dispelled as I finally tackled it! Only today I've been going through emotions that I should have had when I passed the driving exam, those of joy and pride with the achievement. But back then, as I was practically forced to go through the whole thing, it was only a post-stress meltdown and relief that it's over - and a stone-hard resolution that I don't want anything to do with it.

Sure it was pretty scary today, especially at the very beginning. I was especially afraid that my ability to drive has atrophied completely, and that I'll be struggling with the simplest stuff. But it took maybe 10 minutes to get my bearings, and very surprisingly, it started working! Sure thing, my skills did get rusty from disuse - but I'd say, they didn't decline by more than 30%. I'm especially glad that I can keep the sideways, front and back distances, stay within the lanes with a proper safety margin, and perform maneuvers such as overtaking - something that was worrying me greatly. The "footwork" needs more attention, especially with that damn clutch pedal (why is it even a thing?...). And overall, I need to get used to driving, to stop stressing over it. Luckily I found a very nice instructor too.

It's pretty interesting that at the end she thought that I'm technically pretty good considering how awfully long break I had, and I don't need a whole lot of refresher. I'm not going to argue, that's probably what she saw. But what she didn't see was that driving is one of few things that can push my heart rate well over 100. I'm able to "can it" pretty well and only at the end of lesson, after a whole hour, I started struggling to keep my focus. So in the end, I may have limited technical deficiencies to fix - but the bigger issue is getting to feel calm and confident. And this may take some more hours than what the instructor thinks. (Which I don't mind, I put away enough cash for this project that it could probably suffice for a whole course from scratch.)

Still, the feeling of satisfaction doesn't leave me. The next drive will happen in 1.5 week from now as both me and the instructor happen to be occupied in the meantime - but I'm almost looking forward to it. Who knows, I may yet come to like the whole thing...
 

Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
An update on things. Tl;dr: is good!

It took nearly a month before I could take the second drive. The instructor was ill, but luckily it wasn't anything serious. However, with such a long break, my anxiety has returned. In a hindsight, it was a very good idea to pay for several lessons in advance: this way I had no choice but to go on. The instructor, being great as she is, made up for the break by making the lesson over 1.5 hour long. Including the refueling - they don't typically include this on regular driving licence courses. Sure this is a no-brainer once you know it, but what if you have never ever done that?... Also, the first drive was largely outside city environment - the second was right within it! I got awfully exhausted mentally and emotionally as a result. But I thought, maybe it works like physical training, it over-extended myself but should gain some strength as a result. And I did.

The third lesson was also in city traffic, but started including parking. Now, this actually was one of my greatest fears. I had to learn parking to get the licence, but my original instructor was kinda messy about that and I never got confident with parking, good that they didn't stress that aspect on my exam too much. But this instructor now, she showed it in such simple terms that it turned out to be stunningly easy, compared to how I remembered it. I feel that I'm somehow more fond of parking backward than forward now, whereas previously it was like an unthinkable stunt! This third lesson turned out to be a breakthrough, I was still somewhat anxious at the beginning, but when I saw that I can do even parking - it was like a permanent anxiety relief.

I'm after a fourth lesson now, which was much like the third one. But it was the first one done without any significant anxiety! It wasn't 100% perfect technically still, I manage to choke the engine on some occasions. But if I had a car with automatic transmission, I'd say I'm ready to drive on my own now.

With manual one, it will take a few lessons more to iron things out and get even more used to the whole thing. But overall, this whole plan is working out. I'm not in a good position to get a vehicle anytime really soon, but if/when time comes - I'll be ready.


And now, for a more "philosophical" observation. Maybe it will help someone. When seeing the traffic from the perspective of a pedestrian, or even a passenger, it all looks like freakin' huge colorful chaos. And that's how I perceived it for all these years. But when actually being right within it and driving with actual engagement and motivation - it struck me that there's an order in this mess. The road signs show what is allowed and what is not, i.e. what are your options. Traffic lights show when to go. The lanes are marked. If you go straight then you go straight, if you want to turn then you find the proper lane, or the place to turn into a side road is marked as well. Parking may require centimeter-level precision, but has a clear set of methods and is actually doable.

Taken together, there is rhyme and reason in driving, but frankly, it feels as if I needed certain level of maturity to recognize that. The right time had to come, and that time certainly wasn't when I was 25 - but only now. Strange, but true.
 

Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
Same...
Driving professionally for years probably had a lot to do with that though.

I do like autos just for the simple laziness of it, but I can drive both.
Split shift 10/13/18 speed sucks balls to manipulate in the city, glad I took my CDL in a 90 passenger auto school bus instead of the former.
I've drove the eleven western states, did that for a few years while I was in between jobs. Pulled forty-eight footers and doubles reefers. The doubles I pulled with a Pete 361 Needle Nose 2 axle with a short sleeper. I also have a Joe-Dog for it to pull forty-eight footers.
Oddly enough, I worked at the Peterbilt plant(!) in Newark, CA for a few years until it closed shop and the conventional production was transferred to Denton, TX in 1986. I've test drove a number of new trucks off the line at Peterbilt but my favorite still my Pete 361 - 3406 Cat, 5X4 Two sticker with 3.50:1 rear gears. Both boxes are overdrive so hey, lots of fun.
Planning on bringing the 361 back East next year. Some d00d here in Indiana restores Mustangs so He's got two of them in Cali that need to be transported. He's going to rent/buy/??? a fifty-three foot flatbed and he will have somebody load the Mustangs from a loading dock. He's going to buy the fuel, pay for breakdowns and pay our lodging, meals plus some coin when we get to Indy. Might be fun, the wife and I will do the Northern route from Cali to Indy. Thankfully we both still have our Class A and med(green) cards up to date.
 

rekcerW

Well-Known Member
Idk, I've found the biggest thing with driving is to pay attention to what's happening around you and expect absolute retardation and impatience all the time.

You can only get familiar with it through experience, so if you plan on driving, the longer you wait, the farther in time it sucking for you is going to be.
 

SerlisTialo

sea cucumber
i'm in my 20's but surprisingly i've never needed to drive myself until now.

i really should get a driver's license.
 

Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
I've drove the eleven western states, did that for a few years while I was in between jobs. Pulled forty-eight footers and doubles reefers. The doubles I pulled with a Pete 361 Needle Nose 2 axle with a short sleeper. I also have a Joe-Dog for it to pull forty-eight footers.
Oddly enough, I worked at the Peterbilt plant(!) in Newark, CA for a few years until it closed shop and the conventional production was transferred to Denton, TX in 1986. I've test drove a number of new trucks off the line at Peterbilt but my favorite still my Pete 361 - 3406 Cat, 5X4 Two sticker with 3.50:1 rear gears. Both boxes are overdrive so hey, lots of fun.
Planning on bringing the 361 back East next year. Some d00d here in Indiana restores Mustangs so He's got two of them in Cali that need to be transported. He's going to rent/buy/??? a fifty-three foot flatbed and he will have somebody load the Mustangs from a loading dock. He's going to buy the fuel, pay for breakdowns and pay our lodging, meals plus some coin when we get to Indy. Might be fun, the wife and I will do the Northern route from Cali to Indy. Thankfully we both still have our Class A and med(green) cards up to date.
Trucks, I reckon? My father-in-law is a die-hard trucker. I had to hide from him the fact that I practically cannot drive. Which led to awkward situations, on occasions when he found it appropriate that I could borrow his car. It happened several times, it's great that he trusts me like this - but I had to weasel my way around to avoid driving. Hopefully nevermore!

You can only get familiar with it through experience, so if you plan on driving, the longer you wait, the farther in time it sucking for you is going to be.
True, but it doesn't matter that much. It was more about dealing with a long-standing personal issue. For fifteen odd years I was considering myself too much of a messed-up coward to drive on my own. Now I found myself in a good position for fixing it, and it works. Even if I never get to own a car - which is not at all unthinkable considering my shitty overall situation - I already won.
Idk, I've found the biggest thing with driving is to pay attention to what's happening around you and expect absolute retardation and impatience all the time.
Funny, I've seen quite many claims that across the ocean, they drive so nice and well and not at all like here in Poland, where the roads can resemble a mix of Carmageddon, Destruction Derby and a rodeo. Taking this forum as a source, it appears to be opposite!
 
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Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
Trucks, I reckon? My father-in-law is a die-hard trucker. I had to hide from him the fact that I practically cannot drive. Which led to awkward situations, on occasions when he found it appropriate that I could borrow his car. It happened several times, it's great that he trusts me like this - but I had to weasel my way around to avoid driving. Hopefully nevermore!
Wouldn't call myself a diehard but I do have a few hundred thousand miles logged under my belt. Most drivers today drive trucks with "automated" transmissions, a self shifting unit. I've never drove one so I haven't the slightest clue how they work or if they have a manual clutch for that matter. the older Allison automatics were just like the transmission in a car in function. My beloved Pete 361 has a 5 speed main box and a 4 speed auxiliary box behind that. The aux box (Brownlipe or Brownie) splits each main box gear. It's an older design but ya know, it works.
 

Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
It's done!

The instructor deemed me ready to go on my own. But most importantly, I deemed myself ready. To try to show you the taste of this victory: when I was starting this thread, I was not at all sure what the outcome will be. Nowadays - if I had a car, I could get in and go, no hard feelings. Even more, I could say that - aside from the omnipresent road idiots - I started finding this enjoyable. Who could think, really!

Now of course, I'm still not very experienced. But with my history of anxiety, I really don't think I'm gonna be one of those "road pirates" - quite contrary, I take things gently and carefully. Sure thing, the best practice now would be to have a vehicle of my own, but as I said, I'm not in a good position for this. But even if much time has to pass and my skills get rusty again - a little refresher, certainly shorter what I just had, should be all that's needed to get back on track.

Be Without Fear.
 

Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
It's done!

The instructor deemed me ready to go on my own. But most importantly, I deemed myself ready. To try to show you the taste of this victory: when I was starting this thread, I was not at all sure what the outcome will be. Nowadays - if I had a car, I could get in and go, no hard feelings. Even more, I could say that - aside from the omnipresent road idiots - I started finding this enjoyable. Who could think, really!

Now of course, I'm still not very experienced. But with my history of anxiety, I really don't think I'm gonna be one of those "road pirates" - quite contrary, I take things gently and carefully. Sure thing, the best practice now would be to have a vehicle of my own, but as I said, I'm not in a good position for this. But even if much time has to pass and my skills get rusty again - a little refresher, certainly shorter what I just had, should be all that's needed to get back on track.

Be Without Fear.
Good on you! Glad to hear you got the nod to drive!

Feel like teaching my youngest grandson to drive a stick? He just can't get the hang of steering, shifting and clutching at the same time. At least I know for the time being, he can't take my Mercury Grand Marquis without permission.
 
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