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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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I suck at this whole driving thing. - August 6th 2017, 09:29 PM

So, I've been trying to learn how to drive.

I really can't do it, oh god. I'm ... okay? with the instructor but I only get 8 hours of lessons with them and the rest is on my dad.

And I suck. So bad. Especially with my dad. I am so nervous around him that everything goes out the window. I got so frustrated today that I legit cried. I'm so anxious that I felt sick and my fingers got tingly and now it's like a half an hour to an hour later and my fingers are still tingling.

I get nervous with my dad but I have nobody else to teach me. I can pay the instructors about $55 per extra lesson, but that's kind of a lot of money if I want them to get me driveable.

I like can't back in and my turns are all jerky and I keep driving too far to the right and I stop in a way that even that's jerky.

What have others done in this situation? :/


   
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Re: I suck at this whole driving thing. - August 6th 2017, 10:42 PM

My driving instructor kind of threw me in the deep end and expected me to swim, and I couldn't. It was all too much to learn at once.

I started driving with my mom and I started very slowly. First, I started driving in neighborhoods; basically anything 20mph or less. After that, I started going on a few back road trips that I knew well and then I did larger trips. Eventually I moved to major highways and interstates.

You said your dad makes you nervous but can you start slowly with him so you're not trying to take in everything all at once? That could help make you less nervous because you won't have to focus on so many things. You could drive in places that increase your speed over time and it could feel more gradual that way.

As for braking, I'd suggest going into the back of a parking lot and trying to get a feel for them. Brakes are different and learning how they feel can help you in knowing when to apply them. Also, you can always take your foot off the gas and coast for a little while. That way you can slow down and not have to brake as much. Practicing with the brakes can also make turning easier, because slowing down is a good part of it.

How are your side mirrors? Are you comfortable with them? If you set them a certain way, and then glance in either direction quickly you'll see the lines of your lane and you can try glancing at the right mirror to see how far you are. If you follow the white line on the right side you won't be over too far right.

Backing up is something I struggled with a lot and sometimes still do. You have to explain to yourself how to turn the wheel in a way that works for you. A lot of people explain it in different ways. One of my parents suggested that turning the wheel one way makes the front of the car go the opposite way (e.g. Turning the wheel right makes the head of the car go left) but that confused me too much. The way I look at it is that the direction your turn the wheel is the same direction the back of the car goes to (e.g. Turning the wheel right makes the back of the car go right).

I'd suggest watching some YouTube videos for some how-tos and looking into some articles also. There are a lot of helpful YouTube videos out there.

I've only been driving consistently for the last year and I remember how anxiety provoking it was so I hope everything works out for you.


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Re: I suck at this whole driving thing. - August 6th 2017, 10:51 PM

dude i used to be exactly like this, especially with my own dad too.
i can assure you that it's fine, it's all going to be fine, and that those little driving mistakes are simply mistakes -- the only thing that can correct them is experience.

do you know why driving makes you so anxious? it might be good to think about your reasoning behind all of this. why do you think driving with your dad specifically makes you more nervous?

i would always be super anxious and frustrated when driving, and then gradually i just got more and more comfortable. so i guess all i can say is not to give up. i think everyone goes through certain doubts when learning to drive, it's just something you have to power through and know that one day you'll be comfortable behind the wheel.

maybe this is something you could talk to your driving instructor about?


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Re: I suck at this whole driving thing. - August 6th 2017, 11:13 PM

I'm not sure what has me all worked up about driving, especially with my dad. I have never been in a car accident or anything like that so I've never had any bad experiences while on the road as a passenger.

And, my dad taught both my mom and sister how to drive, so logically I should know that he is a good teacher, but my mind is just like "NOOO!"

Maybe I'll talk to one of the people at my driving school Tuesday though.


   
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Re: I suck at this whole driving thing. - August 7th 2017, 12:50 PM

Talking to someone at your driving school is a good idea.

I agree about the driving mistakes correcting in time. Sometimes making mistakes or not knowing what to do when you're driving gets frustrating, so if you can, take a moment to take a breather and then return to what you were doing. Also, if you get frustrated or you're nervous about doing something (but think you could be ready for it) push yourself a little more than usual. But know your limits.

You will figure it out and it'll feel more like second nature eventually. Before you know it, you'll find driving to be exciting.


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Re: I suck at this whole driving thing. - August 8th 2017, 06:23 AM

I started driving when I was 17, but its only been constant for about a year and a half now. I've only had my license for about 11 months now. I've been finding that my mom makes me nervous in the car, I can drive on my own to another state just fine. But my mom in the car? I get nervous because I feel like she is silently judging my every move. So I totally get it. Its a scary thing, but it DOES get easier with time and practice.

Breaks are weird, they are different in every car. And they take a bit to get use to. I know when I started driving I had this feeling of "Oh breaks, I have to push the petal all the way at the exact moment I want to stop" Nope, that will cause a sudden stop that is very jerky. I tend to do this softer thing where its a slower more even pressure on the break over a longer time, when I can manage it. But this has just come from time and learning what works, seriously just go to a empty parking lot and play with the breaks and find what is comfortable.

My biggest advice about backing up: Figure out the best way for YOU to see where you are going. I've found that not everything works the same for everyone, so find what is comfortable and works best for you, and work with that till you get better with it.

A lot of driving just comes with muscle memory from doing it over and over, the hard part is GETTING to that part. I know when I was practicing and getting there, I was a nervous wreck.

I tend to go out driving and decide "Okay today I am going to focus on ___" and focus on one skill, and put other things on the back burner for the day. To just help not feel overwhelmed, and do things like changing lanes, or turning, breaking, ect. Simple things, and just focus on that for a day, and only that. Something to consider if you can, to just try and release some of the pressure.


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Re: I suck at this whole driving thing. - August 8th 2017, 06:42 AM

Hey Dez,
I never could learn with my grandpa, but the instructers really helped me. But something else that might help you maybe getting a friend or an older friend and ask them if they would be able to help you learn how to drive. Maybe you can even offer to pay them a little like 5 dollars an hour or something. Because someone times you learn better from your peers then your family.
I hope this helped,
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Re: I suck at this whole driving thing. - August 13th 2017, 09:48 PM

The way they have us back up when driving I'm so gonna fail though!! They taught me to have one hand on 12:00 and the other arm around the back of the other seat and look behind me but no matter how much I raise myself up I can't see!!
So I like the way my father does it better so Idk how I'm ever gonna do it right on the test My dad taught me a different way but I probably can't do it on the test. So I'm not sure what to do.


   
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Re: I suck at this whole driving thing. - August 13th 2017, 10:34 PM

I back up that way when coming out of my driveway but I am not particular about where my hand is on the wheel. It's kind of a pain when they teach you in really specific ways.

You might be able to use a pillow or folded up blanket to boost yourself up, I believe I did that for a period of time. You can also kind of put more weight on the brake and on the back seat when you grip it and hoist yourself up that way. When's your test? Do you have time to ask if you have to do it that specific way during the test?


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Re: I suck at this whole driving thing. - August 13th 2017, 10:36 PM

My dad uses a pillow but I didn't know if that would be allowed on the actual test. But I'll kinda push off the seat and I still have a hard time.

I am seeing the instructor tomorrow though so I can ask.


   
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Re: I suck at this whole driving thing. - August 13th 2017, 10:53 PM

You should definitely ask tomorrow.

It shouldn't matter considering the fact that everyone eventually changes things from the way they're taught to make it more comfortable for them. But driving instructors get persnickety sometimes.


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Re: I suck at this whole driving thing. - August 14th 2017, 02:41 AM

I would ask the driving instructor. I have never heard of the people that administer the test being picky about how you perform a certain action as long as you do it correctly.

Like, they want you to stop at the stop signs exactly right. They want you to Turn into a parking lot a certain way (Make sure there are no cars coming). But, that being said, I do know they are picky so it might be possible that they would care. The instructor should be able to help you figure it out.


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Re: I suck at this whole driving thing. - August 14th 2017, 07:11 AM

I've been driving since I was 14 years old. I'm 27 now. That's 13 years. I drive a stick-shift. No problem with traffic, merging, etc. However, I'm terrible at parallel parking. Why? Because I haven't practiced.

You get better with practice. You start with the basics of driving and work your way up. Always obey the rules of the road, and keep practicing. You'll be fine.
   
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Re: I suck at this whole driving thing - August 14th 2017, 08:15 PM

Hey
I went through exactly the same as you. I've been trying to learn to drive for almost a year now, and up until three months ago I could barely drive outside of calm backstreets. Other cars made me really nervous, I would agonise over every mistake. Practicing with my father was also hell, because he didn't have the patience to deal with a learner driver.

Then, things suddenly started to get better. I started to practice with my mother instead, and I saw a psychologist to deal with my anxiety issues. Now, I'll be testing in a month. I really recommend you try practicing with someone else besides your father if it stresses you to have him in the car. Perhaps your mother? It sounds like you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself to do well. Whenever something seems to go wrong, just remember that you are a learner and start again. Don't worry about it.

My instructor taught me something to help with my driving anxiety: picture it as a fire. You have two choices with that fire. Either you can pour a bucket of water on it or you can pour a bucket of petrol on it. Whichever you choose will take the same effort. So always choose the water. Think calm thoughts instead of letting your anxiety spiral out of control.

Good luck with the driving! I hope things get better for you
   
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