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WORRied, and scared of driving


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I have to learn how to drive, bc my friends and my mom can no longer drive me to doc appts and such bc Iam moving too far away, and IAM SCARED, OH SO NERVOUS AND anxious ands cared to learn how to drive?? how have any of you gotten over the fear of driving?? I fear that my fear of driving is way out of hand, but I just dont want to be a crappy driver bc Iam so scared...I am worried...scared, anxious, and feel everytime I think about it, I am going to have a panic attack.

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I had to take a road test today because my pdoc recommended it. The waiting part (i found out last friday that I had to take this test on monday) was the worst part. I spent all weekend long wondering what I would do if I lost my license.

Firstly, you need to study for the tests. That involves getting a drivers manual from whatever state you live in. Once you have studied it, and feel confident that you can take a written and (and I think a road test?, im not sure, cant remember at this point) test, you go down to your licensing dept and take care of all the tests and whatnot.

Assuming that you pass all the tests, they will issue you a learners permit. Its good for only so long. Before it expires, you have to go down and either 1. get it renewed or 2. take a road test for your actual drivers license. The permit allows you to drive with a licensened driver while learning.

When you feel ready to take your actual test for your drivers license, you will have to take a road test. Know what I did? I pretended that I was in the car with someone who was giving me directions like they were going somewhere. Kinda like I had picked up a hitchchiker. It wasnt as bad as I thought it would be. I did three things wrong, but got to keep my license.

And if you fail, you just retest. Its not like if you fail you dont ever get another chance.

Id say give it a try. You will feel more free, and once you get the hang of it, drivings not so bad.

good luck

selene

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the US, all does vary by what state you're in (in terms of standards required to get a license), but I have never found it too difficult myself.

As mentioned above, there is the written/road rules test, which a good reading of your state driver's manual should get you 100% prepared for.

Just make sure not to answer a regulation that's stricter than what's actually law. For example, on the California test, circa 2004:

What is the highest speed permitted on California's rural, two-lane state and federal highways?

A) 50 MPH

B) 55 MPH

C) 65 MPH

D) 70 MPH

The correct answer was (D), although 70 on a two-lane road is rare and only present in the isolated desert parts of southeast CA. But, the law's the law.

Being from the East, I never thought about that, and picked 55 MPH instead, and lost a point because of that.

Also, about the driving test. Some testers are harsher than others. My personal tips include:

1) Stop signs: Come to a COMPLETE stop. As in, let your car jerk back as it stops, and wait a couple seconds at least.

2) Speed limits: There is no need to stay exactly at the limit. Stay a couple MPH below it. (My test involved a mile through a 15MPH zone, and that was hell). In most states, this holds true even if you create an impedance to traffic by going 50 in a 55 on the freeway while everybody's going 70+. Make them use the left lanes, that's what they're there for.

3) Turn signals: Use them (duh). Even for things as trivial as a turn into a parking spot.

4) Uncontrolled intersections: These are frequent in parking lots. Always come to a complete stop if you see no indication at all regarding who should stop. That was one of my mistakes on my road test.

5) Watch for testers with a bad sense of humor. At the conclusion of my test, the tester told me "Wow, you did really well. But, unfortunately, not well enough." I got a shocked look on my face. Then she said, "JUST KIDDING! HAHAHA! You actually passed!". That is something you NEVER tell a 16 year old who just finished his driving exam.

Anyways, best of luck... I know my advice seems a bit trite, but I want to make sure I'm of some help.

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I am also terrified of driving. I have my reasons though. I freeze for no reason, I turn into different people because of multiple personality disorder and a 2 or 5 year old can't drive ( that is some of my personalities) , I also get panic attacks. There are also other reasons that I can't think of right now. I don't know if I'll ever be able to drive. My reaction time is also slow so I might not be able to avoid an accident.

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In Oregon,of course,

It is different.

They ask lots of

agriculture stuff,

What do you do,

when a person on

Horseback,gives you

an open

hand gesture

My first try at

a motorcyle,

Me 160lbs

Moto Guzzi 600lbs,

Ran over the cones,

made the tester Jump

around,went back with a trials bike,

aced it,

Still if I had to show off my parallel

parking,EEEEyoooo

Good Luck,Stasis

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I share your same fear of driving. and the worst part is that that I live in a city where public transport is better than driving. SO the only time I have to drive is when I visit my relatives in the midwest which is already stressful and tremendously anxiety inducing. UGH, I think I need a few ativans for just thinking about it....

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It's better to learn early. Anxiety increases with avoidance. I've been afraid to drive for years but once I am behind the wheel I feel better. Driving schools for nervous drivers could be a good place to start, look in the phone book. Good luck!

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i'm afraid of driving too, but where i live it is mandatory. my mom is afraid of driving at night and usually if we're going anywhere at night i'll do the driving (and be terrified).

i take adderall now primarily to help my focus when i drive. i was getting into accidents because i couldn't focus. oh, pretty bird...SMACK!!!

i like herr's advice for passing the driving test.

don't knock over cones. BAD. use a little car. the first time i took the test the car i drove was huge and being a new driver, i hit a cone and flunked. the second time i knew better and used a small compact car, and passed no problem.

i got points taken for putting on my turn signal TOO SOON. WTF is that??? apparently 2 driveways before the stop sign was too soon for this dweeb. i usually always put on my signal at that distance. i don't care that i got points deducted on my test for doing it. ;) what harm does it do?

just do NOT knock over any cones. usually that is an automatic failure.

don't go around hitting things :)

i totally share your anxiety. sometimes it is worse than other times. i take the back streets because i'm afraid of the crazy driving that happens more on the main roads and highways. driving to work when i worked was a nightmare- people cutting off each other in rush hour, merging with no warning, all of those bad things that scare anxious drivers.

not to worry. i passed my test on new year's eve during an ice storm. i'm surprised they took me out in that weather. but i passed. you can pass, just relax. easier said than done!

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  • 2 weeks later...

don't knock over cones. BAD. use a little car. the first time i took the test the car i drove was huge and being a new driver, i hit a cone and flunked. the second time i knew better and used a small compact car, and passed no problem.

...

just do NOT knock over any cones. usually that is an automatic failure.

the cone-maneuvering test, to my knowledge, is not seen in most states. I had a college friend from your neck of the woods bitch extensively about this, which is probably the only reason I know this. the rest of us do parallel parking instead, which is tested, if you're lucky, by essentially pulling your car in between two cones (I actually had to put my car between one car and a cone; adding to the fun was that the car was one owned by the tester's aunt). my mom (who learned how to drive in NC) had to parallel park between two cars during her exam.

anyways, on with the show, and try not to get too scared about the cones. ;)

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IAM SCARED, OH SO NERVOUS AND anxious ands cared to learn how to drive?? how have any of you gotten over the fear of driving??

Suggestions...

* If you suffer from shaking whilst trying to park etc... See if you can't convince doc to give you a couple of beta-blockers and/or gentle tranq for the session. Don't be ashame to use it. (Calibrate your reaction to them before you try the test. Doing a test all spaced out won't help.)

* Slightly overinflate your front tires (by a factor 1.1 say) enough to make it easier to turn your front wheels. My wifey suffers some of the same problems

as you, so I thought up this trick observing her getting hot and flustered cranking the wheel around practicing parallel parking.

* Maybe get professional lessons instead of Dad / mum / .... A good professional doesn't have a self preservation instinct and doesn't care about the car.... :-)) Just makes them more relaxed and relaxing.

* Take your time learning to drive. Do it in a quiet place.

And of course, when all else fails, you can use my wife's solution....

Married a caring someone to drive for you.

Sorry, I'm taken. :-)

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Get professional lessons instead of Dad / mum / .... A good professional doesn't have a self preservation instinct and doesn't care about the car.... :-)) Just makes them more relaxed and relaxing.

I nearly got killed taking professional lessons for Driver's Ed, mainly as the instructor told me I absolutely could not exceed the speed limit (55MPH) on the Indianapolis beltway. I told her I had to go faster since I was being an obstruction to traffic (there was quite a bit, and was all moving at or above 70MPH, and they were all quite angry at me). She told me that I "shouldn't always try to satisfy others" in life. ;)

Of course, the one person I WOULD have to satisfy in life would be the final driving tester at the BMV, so I had to watch my speed then. However, it's a well known fact that in metro Indy, few BMV testers are sadistic enough to make prospective drivers get on the beltway (and therefore restrict them to only 55MPH).

My dad was a good instructor, strangely. He taught me how to drive in a truly defensive manner (including keeping with traffic on the beltway!), and even tolerated it when I accidentally drove the car into a cornfield after missing a tight turn on a country road. (n.B. - it was winter, so I drove into a cornfield with no corn... a dirtfield, if you will.) My mother, OTOH, still screams "BRAKEBRAKEBRAKE!!!!!" when she sees traffic stop a half mile ahead of me... and she never even was in a car with me until I had significant driving experience!

Anyways, enough blabbering on my behalf. I think beta-blockers would help with the situation, but you must try them out and figure out the correct dose well beforehand. They can actually make you quite intoxicated and incapable of driving at too high of a dose (it's happened to my mother several times). So do take care.

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as i mentioned, i'm afraid of driving a lot of the time too, but in my case it is an obsession that i'll get into an accident, and terror that i'll hit one of the skater brats who like to skate out in front of me in my neighborhood. :).

parallel? find out how far apart they will be for your test, and mark out that length, and use something like cones to practice with. you back into the space. around my area, you have to parallel park or you'll never find a place to park. and you have to get into impossible spaces. i learned really quick!

i'd put the cones further away than the test position at first, and bring them closer until they are actually closer than the test position by a little, so you get used to it.

i couldn't believe the BMV guy deducted points off of me because i allegedly turned on my turn signal too early. it was 2 driveways away from the turn. come on now, that's the courtesy i'd expect. ;)

my mom was constantly freaking out when she tried to show me how to drive, but my dad was cool and collected. he got me to go through the cones and parallel like a pro. this doesn't make me less afraid of driving, just confident that i can, if that makes any sense :cussing:

find someone calm to go in the car with you, and pick a big parking lot at night where you won't hit anyone, and put out those cones and practice. practice will make you better and make you calmer. you'll be more confident. try to get in a lot of driving time in all kinds of conditions and many types of areas before the test. you may want to do a few test runs of the BMV course too.

i took my test on new year's eve during an ice storm. i'm surprised the BMV was open. they probably just wanted to flunk me :wtf: anyway, i did pass. now, where's that confidence now? maybe i should hit the skater brats that skate in front of me!

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Wow, and I thought I was the only one! I've come up with various excuses/reasons over the years why I don't drive (at 41, I have some 'splaining to do). I was in a bad accident at age 5, so there's some PTSD there (though not my main PTSD trigger); my migraine sx include possible SPS (spacing out), which is definitely dangerous, and frankly, I'm just plain terrified, which makes for a bad driver.

When I was 18 (pre-dx) and learning to drive, I saw my sister on the sidewalk and instinctively turned towards her, nearly killing myself, another driver and my sister in the process.

Oh, and when I went to driving school, my instructor turned out to be a man who had sexually harrassed me in another context (badly, over several months). I called the school to complain, and they basically said, "What's the problem?"

My sister has severe anxiety issues and has managed to drive for 20+ years, though she's still a nervous driver and has had a few accidents.

None of this really helps you, but I really thought I was the only one who didn't drive thanks to anxiety.

I love the country, but my whole adult life, I've lived in cities where public transit gets me where I need to go.

[/random thoughts]

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