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Driving Challenges

honeytoast

Member
I hate driving. I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate it. I got my license at 18 but I did not have access to a car until I was 23 years old. I had to re-learn how to drive on my own, and I was quite scared. Now as long as I have my route memorized, I can get where I need to go.

I used to live in a big city where traffic was awful and drivers were worse. I hardly left my apartment to do anything except go to grocery stores, work, and a mall that was easy to get to. My time there sort of honed my skills.

However, since I moved to a town where I can walk to most places and work at home, my driving time has decreased dramatically. I drive once or twice a week for only a few minutes to the same location. I no longer drive long distances for hours at a time, (which I didn't mind), or wrangle my way on the interstate hoping that no one slams into me. I feel as though I've regressed and my anxiety has gotten worse with driving. Looking back a few months, I don't even know how I handled driving in my city when now, I get anxious about driving in general.

Tonight I offered to drive to get groceries, because my boyfriend drove the entire time during Easter weekend, except for when I was back in my hometown. Even then I felt so anxious and I couldn't drive a ton. Maybe it was just a reverse culture shock of going from such a tiny town to a bigger town and I had to get used to people again. Pushing that onto him made me feel like a horrible person. I /know/ how to drive. I know that I am a decent driver. I've never gotten into any accidents.

I guess I am trying to ask for advice/vent about my regression. And yeah, the more you drive the more better you feel. I can agree to that. I just have never felt good driving.
 
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First of all, relax. Automobiles were meant to be driven by the masses, not just by astronauts. You've done it before and you can do it again. Have faith in yourself and take your time. Perhaps playing the radio or some soothing music might help.
 
First of all, relax. Automobiles were meant to be driven by the masses, not just by astronauts. You've done it before and you can do it again. Have faith in yourself and take your time. Perhaps playing the radio or some soothing music might help.
I constantly overthink and I wish someone could throw a brick at my head to calm myself down lol.

I do listen to music or a podcast. When I drive by myself, it's better. With other people, it gets worse.
 
Sounds almost like stage-fright. Maybe your nervousness is that subconsciously you feel pressure to do well in front of others. While it's healthy to want the approval of others, in the end you need to be happy with yourself. ;)
 
Sounds almost like stage-fright. Maybe your nervousness is that subconsciously you feel pressure to do well in front of others. While it's healthy to want the approval of others, in the end you need to be happy with yourself. ;)
Yeah, I feel the pressure of "I must keep them alive" on my shoulders.
 
Focus on safe driving and try to put self-doubts out of your mind. I know that's easier said than done, but you need to relax. Pretend you are alone in the car with no one watching. :cool:
 
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This is how I feel driving lol
 
If you were to ever have the misfortune of being in a car with me driving, you'd feel much better about your ability!
 
Just understand that there's a straight path to feeling more secure and confident about driving an automobile:

1) Practice.
2) Practice.
3) Practice.

If so, eventually in time you will find that point in time when you have attained that certain sense of confidence and comfort as a driver. And to use a lot of patience knowing it isn't an instant process.
 
I hate driving. I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate it. I got my license at 18 but I did not have access to a car until I was 23 years old. I had to re-learn how to drive on my own, and I was quite scared. Now as long as I have my route memorized, I can get where I need to go.

I used to live in a big city where traffic was awful and drivers were worse. I hardly left my apartment to do anything except go to grocery stores, work, and a mall that was easy to get to. My time there sort of honed my skills.

However, since I moved to a town where I can walk to most places and work at home, my driving time has decreased dramatically. I drive once or twice a week for only a few minutes to the same location. I no longer drive long distances for hours at a time, (which I didn't mind), or wrangle my way on the interstate hoping that no one slams into me. I feel as though I've regressed and my anxiety has gotten worse with driving. Looking back a few months, I don't even know how I handled driving in my city when now, I get anxious about driving in general.

Tonight I offered to drive to get groceries, because my boyfriend drove the entire time during Easter weekend, except for when I was back in my hometown. Even then I felt so anxious and I couldn't drive a ton. Maybe it was just a reverse culture shock of going from such a tiny town to a bigger town and I had to get used to people again. Pushing that onto him made me feel like a horrible person. I /know/ how to drive. I know that I am a decent driver. I've never gotten into any accidents.

I guess I am trying to ask for advice/vent about my regression. And yeah, the more you drive the more better you feel. I can agree to that. I just have never felt good driving.
I remember the first time I drove in downtown LA City traffic. Very close to a panic attack. All my driving had been open freeways, country roads, and small towns. What an effing nightmare!

You just have to keep doing it until you are used to it. Take it is small doses and build up. Or at least, that's how I did it. I dislike city traffic and often find it stressful - but I'm still functional and safe. I'll take the Metro if I can and have been known to walk several miles instead of driving.
 
This isn't an option for everyone (obviously), but smart car technology is very good at preventing a lot of the most common mistakes these days, like hitting people or rear-ending a car.
 
Seven failed tests across as many years. It would seem the multiple-stimuli and focus-splitting is too much for my brain & body to cope with, resulting in either disassociation, freeze responses or panic attacks. Having a first teacher who was abusive didn't help either (though my second was lovely, arguably too nice and lenient, more of a friend in the end than a teacher).

The hardest and most annoying element of this is that I'm a rural-based and raised person, and it is a pain to live in the sticks if you can't drive. The city is not a habit I can survive in, though! It's a quandary.
 
I can really relate! I didn't have a car to drive until many, many years after getting my license and had to relearn. It's been about 5 years since then and I still feel uncomfortable with it. I'm sure I would regress to even greater anxiety if I drove less (I go out twice a week, once for groceries and once to take my daughter to dance lessons). I mean I am less anxious than I was at first, but it always feels like I'm doing this crazy out of control thing and I'm just really lucky to have not crashed yet. I'm freaked out about changing lanes, or getting lost and having to renavigate because I missed a turn or got stuck in the wrong lane and had to go a different direction. I feel like my attention so easily, naturally, constantly slips into internal focus that it takes a great deal of effort to remain aware enough of my surroundings. For me it's actually a little easier to stay externally focused when someone else is in the car, but by myself I can be seeing a memory or something in my imagination and then suddenly realize I haven't registered the last two blocks and can only hope I didn't run a red light. I'm also paranoid about going the right speed and feel like I constantly have to check the spedometer, but then feel like I don't have my eyes on the road enough. They say just follow the flow of traffic but people speed so much here I don't feel like I could trust that even if I did feel like I could determin that I was going about the same - I don't feel like I can judge that. I don't think I seem outwardly anxious to others while I'm driving provided it's a well memorized route, but internally it's like the picture you shared. People have encouraged me to Just Do It and practice freeway driving or going to new places driving but they don't understand how I become unable to think or do anything in those situations and HAVE to simply pull over as soon as possible. I can tell that I am veeeeeery gradually becoming better and more confident at driving, so provided I keep up what I'm currently doing I can imagine myself someday feeling less stressed by it and some day feeling able to try more challenging driving, but it's going to be a very slow process for me.

I don't really have any helpfull advice, but I wish you luck, and hope you can rebuild your confidence!
 
Perhaps you are not trusting your automatic reflexes. We usually don't need to consciously think about how to walk and balance on two legs, how to put on clothes, or how to wash a dish. We decide to do those things, and a subconscious "body memory" does the work. Driving should be the same. You should be able to watch for problems like traffic and signals while automatically keeping in your lane, regulating the speed, and operating other controls.
 
There's nothing wrong with telling passengers in your car to stop talking and distracting you. There's nothing wrong with turning off the radio or other music in the car so you can better focus. The most important thing in that car is YOU, your focus on your task, and your peace of mind and comfort zone.
 
I wanted to say a thank you to everyone for the kind messages. I was driving to a new town for the first time yesterday and today (different town) for an appointment. I really do overthink and assume the worst possible result. Driving yesterday went smoothly! And dare I say it will be the same today.

It is just getting out there more and driving.
 
I can really relate! I didn't have a car to drive until many, many years after getting my license and had to relearn. It's been about 5 years since then and I still feel uncomfortable with it. I'm sure I would regress to even greater anxiety if I drove less (I go out twice a week, once for groceries and once to take my daughter to dance lessons). I mean I am less anxious than I was at first, but it always feels like I'm doing this crazy out of control thing and I'm just really lucky to have not crashed yet. I'm freaked out about changing lanes, or getting lost and having to renavigate because I missed a turn or got stuck in the wrong lane and had to go a different direction. I feel like my attention so easily, naturally, constantly slips into internal focus that it takes a great deal of effort to remain aware enough of my surroundings. For me it's actually a little easier to stay externally focused when someone else is in the car, but by myself I can be seeing a memory or something in my imagination and then suddenly realize I haven't registered the last two blocks and can only hope I didn't run a red light. I'm also paranoid about going the right speed and feel like I constantly have to check the spedometer, but then feel like I don't have my eyes on the road enough. They say just follow the flow of traffic but people speed so much here I don't feel like I could trust that even if I did feel like I could determin that I was going about the same - I don't feel like I can judge that. I don't think I seem outwardly anxious to others while I'm driving provided it's a well memorized route, but internally it's like the picture you shared.

This is the best description of why I hate driving yet. I'm going to save this, this is so well articulated. That everyone is speeding is particularly annoying.

I really think smart car tech is underrated in dealing with these stresses. The cool thing about self-driving tech is that highways are the easiest place to train this tech on. Highways feel the most "dangerous" to us but from a computer's point of view, they are very controllable situations - no pedestrians or bikes. Tesla and Cadillac are capable of fully autonomous self-driving there.

The one place I will never drive into is really crowded cities but thankfully my state doesn't have any of those.
 
I wanted to say a thank you to everyone for the kind messages. I was driving to a new town for the first time yesterday and today (different town) for an appointment. I really do overthink and assume the worst possible result. Driving yesterday went smoothly! And dare I say it will be the same today.

It is just getting out there more and driving.
Whelp my appointment got moved around to a different date, so no driving today. /shrug

I think I might have my boyfriend come along with me this weekend for a drive. I want to try driving to that town, since I've never driven in that area before.

This is the best description of why I hate driving yet. I'm going to save this, this is so well articulated. That everyone is speeding is particularly annoying.

I really think smart car tech is underrated in dealing with these stresses. The cool thing about self-driving tech is that highways are the easiest place to train this tech on. Highways feel the most "dangerous" to us but from a computer's point of view, they are very controllable situations - no pedestrians or bikes. Tesla and Cadillac are capable of fully autonomous self-driving there.

The one place I will never drive into is really crowded cities but thankfully my state doesn't have any of those.

I agree. I think a lot of my anxiety comes from driving in the middle of a town with lots of people and stoplights versus the interstate. On the interstate, there are fewer distractions and it is much easier to focus. I think there are interesting additions to new cars, but I don't think I would be comfortable in a self-driving car. I like having control.
 
A few things I've learned from my failures in getting my licence and from watching others drive, is that:

- The written test and driving test are two different animals.

- Driving requires a level of focus and responsibility that I am not ready for yet.

- That what we are taught isn't going to leave us. It becomes second nature.

- That you, as the driver, are less likely to be the reason for any potential accidents that can happen. Unless inibrated or otherwise.

It's a interesting thing, driving. And I know I can pass the written test easily enough. It's more the execution that gets me. But I think alot of it was my Dad imposing his desire for me to drive on me. Which didn't help. The other part was my lack of self-worth and self-trust. I had zero trust in myself to do it, and only did it to appease Dad.

This is the WRONG mindset to have. Drive because you want do it and learn for yourself. Not because of anything else.
 
Today I drove out to the location where my dentist appointment was - I was incredibly nervous and unsure of where the hell I was going. The wind was strong too. The car was being jerked all over the place. Somehow I found it and I was too anxious to drive back home so the BF stepped in. I feel bad about not driving back, but I really was not comfortable. My hands were shaking a bit.

Regardless, I know where I am going and I am satisfied that I made it in one piece. Thanks for reading my driving diary entry lol.
 

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