Learning to drive; the right attitude?
This is gonna be pretty rambling so I apologise in advance.
First up I am learning to drive and I am quite a bit older than the typical age of learning to drive; I am 29. Up until now I have never wanted to drive; quite the opposite, the idea of learning to drive repulsed me. Part of this is the fact that my family have been in a number of car and motorbike accidents in the past, thankfully none leading to serious injury. Another aspect of this is the fact that I think of myself as having qualities that are very poorly suited to driving. I have poor co-ordination and very weak concentration...even in serious situations I drift off easily into daydreams. Needless to say I am very concerned about being a daydreaming driver!
However I got married and my wife feels that it is necessary for me to learn to drive so that we can move to her hometown of LA where it is impossible to commute to work without driving. I have made it clear to her about my hatred for learning to drive but I eventually agreed to learn, a situation compounded by her parents giving us their old car. I passed my written and got my permit and we've put in a few hours of practice, mostly car park time. Even after going around the car park a few times I still felt incredibly uncomfortable in the car. One of the biggest problems I felt was that I couldn't judge the size and space of the car around me. Does anyone have any good tips for this?
The major trouble is that my co-driver is my wife, who has a different approach to teaching than I do to learning. If I have to do this driving thing I want to spend as much time getting comfortable behind the wheel as possible for spending time on real roads. My wife on the other hand believes in the jumping in school of thought. She wants me to get on the road as soon as possible. This means that she is getting frustrated with the slow pace set, while I feel that she is dismissive of any small accomplishments I make. It also makes me feel like the situation is very one-sided, given that she is criticizing my learning, given that the sole reason I am learning is because she wants me to be able to drive. After I have learned I would still be happy if I had to bus or walk to work every day for the rest of my life.
I'm aware that this might all sound like a bit of a tantrum. I guess my big question is is there anyone out there who used to share my hatred of driving who managed to find some way of overcoming it, or who found when they were driving it suddenly got a lot better?
Thanks for hearing me out.
Being taught by ones spouse to drive is a recipe for trouble, divorce! Best to use a professional driving instructor.
I agree with Wagolynn. The combination of an unwilling/unmotivated student and an unqualified teacher will almost certainly end in tears.
Get an qualified instructor and/or a new wife!
Aye! I would go along with that, I must the total opposite as I really enjoy driving, and have done ever since I started at 12 years old.
My Dad used to let me drive his ice cream van on the private roads of the rural farmers he used to go to. I learned to a Thames Trader with a horizontal gear column gear shift.
I would reccommend seeking out a patient driving instructor
What if the person teaching you is a parent? I am not saying I am being taught by my dad because I passed ages ago with a qualified instructor from BSM. But on the afternoon we were meant to leave where we stay in the South Lakes at the end of our holiday my dad met with an unfortunate accident and broke his ankle so I had to drive us home. Leaving the village and about to enter on to the motorway my dad told me I shouldn't put the car into 1st gear because...we were in a diesel. Is this true? Is it wrong to put the car, which in our case is a Freelander 2, into 1st gear when stopping.
It strikes me that you should not take advice from an unqualified person for the simple reason they have a different way of doing things. My dad learned way back in the 60's and certainly iirc not from a qualified instructor.
Brakes are for stopping, gear boxes are torque multipliers. Brakes are cheap to replace whereas gearboxes and clutches are not. Simple really... You can start in any gear, on the flat depending on load and the speed of getaway required, at the cost of extra wear on the clutch. Standing with the clutch out is not a good idea (wear on the clutch thrust bearing).
Last edited by wagolynn; 17-05-12 at 15:58.
In my opinion all you can do is take it slow and steady, don't rush. You'l get there, it's just time and everyone's different.
if you really want to learn how to drive, age doesn't matter. its a mere fact your eager and able and willing to learn.. ride it with style.. have fun and always be safe.
I didn't start driving until my mid-twenties and I'd agree with those who recommended a professional instructor. As for judging the sizes and spaces around you, that only comes with practice.