View Full Version : Driving

08-01-2007, 10:42 PM
Today was my first day of drivers Ed. I had it with another girl and the teacher from 2-6.
I had never driven before so when it came to it, I was completely terrible.
I ended up crying 3 times in the car, and 2 other times later today.

I tried sooo hard to keep up with everything and do it properly and the only advice people can give me is to try harder. I am doing my best and they don't get that, and it is really upsetting me.

I don't really think I'll pass and thinking about this all is making me so upset. I feel like I'm going to be sick.

Were any of you scared drivers? How did you deal with it?
Any tips you can give me so I can stop breaking down and crying and completely embarassing myself?

08-01-2007, 10:52 PM
Is there any way you can practice?

Do you have a permit?

Have a licensed driver take you to a parking lot so you can practice pulling in and out of the lines. Practice your parallel parking in a parking lot too. Or go out on a quiet weekend morning, early!, and just drive a little through neighborhood streets.

You can do this, it's just scary because it's new and the car is big and you're not used to doing it. Get in a little practice and you'll feel a lot better when you are in class.

Please let us know when you've passed with flying colors so we can celebrate! :happydance:


08-01-2007, 10:56 PM
I'm doing this to get my permit. =\

The guy said I had improved but while he was talking about anything and everything in the car he said he was a very good liar. =\ So.. Geez.

08-01-2007, 11:02 PM
You have to take a test just to get your permit? You poor thing...

I would have your most relaxed parent take you to a parking lot, as suggested. Try some breathing exercises. Get into the whole mindset of... "I am woman, I can do this.."

When you feel like you're going to cry, stop and try to relax. Then ask yourself how you can do it better the next time.

Driving takes practice. It isn't just about trying harder. Everyone is horrible when they first start out... Just trust yourself. :)

08-01-2007, 11:12 PM
:passedout: Ask your parents if you can move to another state until you can pass the test! :wink:

WOW!!!! Here in WA, you get a learner's permit, so you can LEARN how to drive! You can only drive with a licensed adult in the car with you and there are other restrictions too.

Remember, it's only hard, 'cause it's new. Knitting was hard when it was new, right?

Just remember, we're rooting for you! :woohoo:


08-01-2007, 11:33 PM
The guy said I had improved but while he was talking about anything and everything in the car he said he was a very good liar.

Well, I don't know him, but I don't like him! Seriously, maybe you don't have a very good instructor, and that certainly isn't helping you.

If you can knit, you can drive. You just need some practice time without THAT instructor in the vehicle with you. I don't think that people telling you to "try harder" is helping, either. With practice you'll automatically feel more relaxed and less self-conscious. Trying too hard will only stress you out more and hurt your performance.

Hang in there, Sweetie! You've seen how the public drives - you know you can do it too. :)

08-01-2007, 11:41 PM
If there's one thing we have plenty of back in Mexico are buses. If you miss yours you only have to wait about 10 minutes until the next one comes around. So I was very happy riding buses everywhere I went.

My parents sort of made me learn to drive when I was 21. My dad signed me up for a class and they shoved me out the door (in hindsight, I'm glad they did).

I was a scared driver from the get go. It was a shabby old Beetle and the streets of Mexico are everything but orderly when it comes to driving. Stop signs are merely suggestions for people.

Took me a while but I somehow survived. You can do it girl, have faith in yourself ~_^

08-02-2007, 09:05 AM
The best advice I can give you is to just relax. being tense and nervous only makes it more difficult, which is true for most things.

Driving is a skill that has to be learned just like any other, but it isn't rocket science. Take your time, relax, pay attention to what you are doing, and operate the vehicle. You'll gain a feel for how the machine responds to the controls with experience. Nobody was born knowing how to drive a vehicle.

08-02-2007, 09:31 AM
:noway: You're driving BEFORE you get a permit? That's a big no-no in NJ.

I was nervous...I'm not a crier, but there was a lot of yelling. I also didn't do Driver's school, and NJ doesn't take you on the road in Driver's Ed, so I was yelling at my mom and G-pa, not an instructor.

I would ask a family member to take you out to a really quiet place to practice in an empty parking lot. In the town I grew up in, there were a lot of factories/warehouses/office buildings in the "back" part of town, and after hours and weekends they were deserted. Great for learning to drive. You don't have to worry about other drivers/bicyclists/pedestrians, so that takes the biggest stress away (don't have to worry about hitting someone), and no one else will see you mess up.

Just try and stay calm and remember to breathe. One day it will suddenly just "click." But practice as much as you can.

08-02-2007, 10:04 AM
The best advice I can give you is to just relax. being tense and nervous only makes it more difficult, which is true for most things.

Driving is a skill that has to be learned just like any other, but it isn't rocket science. Take your time, relax, pay attention to what you are doing, and operate the vehicle. You'll gain a feel for how the machine responds to the controls with experience. Nobody was born knowing how to drive a vehicle.

I agree with Mason. Lots of practice is also good.

08-02-2007, 10:54 AM
Thanks you guys. =]
I have it again today at 2. Yayyy..xD

Anyways, since it's illegal to drive without a permit or license I never did and now they want to teach me in three days so I can get my permit. And the other girl I am driving with has obviously driven before.

We're driving in the school parking lot which is hard to see where to go because they havent ever painted over their lines. And then we drive in some housing developments and I don't drive around the culdesack alright.
And then he made the other girl drive on the Interstate to go to Bojangles.

I really don't think I'm ready to go on the interstate. Haha. He said he wouldn't make me if it made me feel uncomfortable, but...I doubt it. If he was telling the truth though, I don't think he's going to pass me if I don't go on the interstate.

Ohwell. I am going to try. Thanks guys! I will keep you updated.

08-02-2007, 10:56 AM
I am usually pretty uncoordinated. What got me through learning to drive was saying the steps OUT LOUD. (That's easier when you're with friends or by yourself, though.) So, I'd be muttering to myself as I approached an intersection, "Foot off gas, press brake pedal, but not too hard. Don't forget turn signal. Check for other drivers...." Eventually it became second nature. If an experienced driver can talk you through what they're doing, that might help, too.

Practice practice practice - that's the other key. Someone once told me that after 10,000 miles you pretty much have the hang of it. Things are certainly easier after 10,000 miles than they were before. Drive around an empty parking lot. Drive in residential neighborhoods (find one with lots of stop signs so you can get used to how long it takes for the car to stop). If you can find a visual cue to let you know that you're in the middle of your lane, that helps, too. (In my dad's huge Buick station wagon, if the hood ornament was lined up with the edge line of the road, I was good.) Consider parallel parking advanced driving, and don't tackle it for a while. And make sure your mirrors are giving you just the right view. (I prefer to have mine set so I can see someone who is just off to the side of my back bumper. My grandparents preferred to be able to see who was next to them. Choose the view which helps YOU the most.) Oh, and if you're short, make sure you can comfortably reach everything in the car and you can see well over the dashboard. Some cars are just not made for short people.

And take a deep breath. You'll get through this.

08-02-2007, 11:19 AM
My mother made me "practice" driving on the beltway in Washington DC. I thought I was going to kill everyone in the car. What was she thinking? She yelled at me the whole time. I was so scared. I would think if you're not scared then you're overconfident and will get into an accident. You cry all you want. It is your bodies natural response to stress. If anyone gives you crap about it you tell them I said so. Good luck!:hug:

08-02-2007, 11:27 AM
It will get easier, I promise!

My mom was like that too. She was forever yelling at me. She still does and I'm almost 30 years old! She like literally screams in the car.

08-02-2007, 11:34 AM
I agree with the parking lot idea. Go with someone you trust, who is calm, and patient. I think just going around in circles without having other cars or distractions around, will increase your confidence and comfort level behind the wheel. I remember when my Mom took me out the first time, we went to an area that didn't have a lot of traffic, but I was constantly terrified that I'd lose control and run into parked cars on the side of the street. In a large, completely empty parking lot, you won't have to worry about that. Remember that just about everyone and their uncle successfully learns how to drive, so there's no reason why you can't. You can do it! :cheering:

08-02-2007, 11:56 AM
Mason's advice is sage!

I was taught to drive by my Dad who was a truck-driver. He was patient and firm and taught me a lot of things other girls my age didn't know about driving.

It definitely made me a better driver.

Also, I think it's somewhat healthy that you are intimidated. So many young drivers get behind the wheel and handle a (however many ton) vehicle like they've always done it. Confidence is one thing, but wrecklessness is another!

Just be careful and enjoy the process - one day you'll laugh about this!

08-02-2007, 12:11 PM
:hug: :hug: :hug:

I was a very nervous driver at first. Maybe the fact that I got hit by a car when I was young had something to do with it. I knew how heavy they were.

You've gotten a lot of good advice here. There are so many things to remember. One of the things that helped me quite a bit was remembering to relax my hands on the wheel. Tense hands mean tense arms, shoulders, back... just like knitting.

You can do it!

08-02-2007, 12:31 PM
aww, hang in there, you will do okay. it will just take more practice. as others have said, we all had to learn from scratch and a lot of us went through frustrating times. heh, like me - with knitting! the first 2 weeks idk how ny times I threw those !@#$%^&* needles across the room and screamed!

imagine my embarassment and frustration at age 29 (after having driven automatic cars for 14 years) relearning how to drive a stickshift. I did about 4 hours total in a parking lot, then "practiced" by driving to college and work in rush hour traffic. I cried a few times, but in about 3 weeks I felt okay about it. here I am 7 years later and all I drive are stickshift cars.
you can do it! :hug::heart:

08-02-2007, 12:47 PM
A test just to get your permit??:noway: When I got my permit in CT I just had to go to the DMV and sign a paper after reading the rules about the permit and agreeing to them. Then I took driverís ed and had to wait three months to get my license.

I was a kind of nervous driver when I was learning, the only time Iíd cry was when I was learning standard and Iíd stall out and have a huge line of traffic behind me.:pout: The only thing I can say is practice. Like many said, the parking lot is a great idea to practice when cars arenít around. As I practiced and got better I felt more comfortable with myself and wasnít nervous anymore. Hang in there, it'll get better.:hug:

Jan in CA
08-02-2007, 01:48 PM
We don't drive here w/o a permit either.

We took our girls to a big parking lot of a business that was closed on weekends so the lot was nearly empty. That gave them a chance to feel more comfortable in the car and how it works before taking them on the road. They'd practice turns, parking, driving in a straight line, etc. After a weekend or two of that they were ready to go to the streets that only had light traffic.

It just takes practice like anything else. Oh and one of my daughters and I both did not pass the driver's test the first time. It's not the end of the world.:hug:

08-02-2007, 02:00 PM
I started driving before I had my permit/license (yes, I know.. bad bad coastie ):oo:. When I was a freshman in high school I used to walk down to my Dad's work (a trucking yard). Well, while I was waiting for him to get done with work, I would practice driving around the yard in his 69 Chevy pick up (he kept the keys under the mat for me). Sometimes he would let me drive home too. My uncle (a cop) would see us in town and just shake his head.

When I took drivers education in school during the summer before my senior year, the instructor was a riot. Our first stop each morning was for coffee and doughnuts. The first time we went on a drive he asked me who taught me how to drive, I told him my dad. Then he asked what my dad did for a living, I said truck driver. He said he figured as much because I made such wide right turns. :rofl:

He was a great instructor. He told me that he would pass me the first day because I didn't hit anything, but being that it was a week's course, we had to continue.

All I have to say is be patient with yourself.

08-02-2007, 02:48 PM
One thing that I did to practice was "drive" my neighbor's big lawn mower. Of course, it wasn't the same as a car, but it gave me a feel for things anyway.

And I agree with everyone else; find yourself an empty parking lot (maybe at a school, since school is still out) and just practice.

I was terrified of driving on the highway after I got my license... a few "no other choice" drives across the chesapeake bay bridge, though, and I was all good.

Sometimes parents aren't the best people to drive with, either. Maybe an older cousin, or an aunt would be better; they won't be such alarmists.

08-02-2007, 03:14 PM
I love the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. It's always so much calmer than driving in NJ. :teehee:

I was terrified of driving on the highway the first few times, but you get used to it. Of course, they were super busy highways, but I adjusted quickly.

08-02-2007, 07:48 PM
As far as telling where you are in the lane, that's what side mirrors are for. When driving a big rig we use the mirrors to tell where we are in the lane, it's impossible to tell otherwise.

Use your car's side mirrors. You should be able to see where the stripes are in your side mirrors to ensure you are centered in the lane. There is something called the "Smith System" that teaches you to scan from the left side mirror, to the road in front of you, to the instrument panel, to the road in front of you, to the right side mirror, and then the whole thing in reverse in a constant scanning that ensure you are always aware of everything that is happening around your vehicle. It's the safest way of driving and is practised automatically by most professional drivers.

Driving isn't easy nor should you ever think of it as easy, that's how accidents happen, but it's not overly difficult either. Just relax and never forget about safety.

I don't want to make you even more nervous but just have to say this after my years of driving professionally, driving is the single most dangerous thing the average person ever does. It's very dangerous but if you think about safety at all times and watch out for other less safe drivers you'll do just fine.

08-03-2007, 12:10 AM
Thanks alot you guys. I sometime would quietly say the steps while doing them yesterday in class and the teacher made a comment about it.

I did better today. I only cried once and I kept going off the road sometimes and he says I still don't turn properly.
I feel like I'm doing better though.

Once I get my permit, I'll practice with my mom. She'll be real cool about it.

In good news. I have ONE more day to go. Tomorrow. Andd. I started knitting a bowl to felt because I've always wanted to but never did.
It didn't start out as a bowl, but.. <.< hey. xD whatever works, eh?

08-03-2007, 12:12 AM
It didn't start out as a bowl, but.. <.< hey. xD whatever works, eh?


I think you'll be just fine. We all started somewhere. But do try to stay on the road :oo:

08-03-2007, 08:05 AM
Awww poor sweetie! I understand how you feel. :hug:

I learned how to drive I was 29 years old. I'm now almost 32. :teehee: I was extremely nervous to learn how to drive. I have my license now, but I'm still nervous, especially after the little accident I had a few weeks ago. :pout: I felt horrible about it, I thought it was because I'm a bad driver and I shouldn't drive again. But with talking to people around me, I realized I am far from being the only one who made a mistake. It happens... What's important is that you go step by step, so that you learn to do new things when you're ready.

It's important you accept that you WILL make mistakes. Don't be too hard on yourself. When it happens, stay calm and try to understand what you did wrong. There is no way you can get in the car and just drive perfectly. You need to practice, practice, practice, and then you'll get it! :hug:

08-03-2007, 09:23 AM
I agree with what Mason says about using your mirrors. My grandfather used to work for the NYC bus company, and he's big on using mirrors...I'm lazy, so I don't usually do this, but you should be able to back out of tight spots without turning around.

Sounds like this guy needs a bad evaluation written about him. "Impatient, instruction-style not conducive to student calmness or instilling confidence." ;)

08-03-2007, 09:35 AM
I'm glad you're second day went better - practice does make a difference. I'm glad the saying the steps outloud idea worked for you - it kept me sane at first, too. I agree with Mason's comments on the mirrors - I use them more than anything for seeing where I am in the lane now. (Then again, my chevy doesn't have a hood ornament ;) Maybe my dad didn't learn on cars with mirrors on the passenger side and didn't know the mirror trick.).

08-04-2007, 07:53 PM
Well. Yesterday was my third day and I did okay..
I think I passed.

He grades you on things on a scale of 1, 2, or 3.

I got 3 on starting the car. Which...everyone does. xD I got 1s on everything else.
He even gave me a - - 1 on something. o.o

Ohwell. I'll get my permit in a few weeks and then have a year to practice before I get my license.

08-04-2007, 08:03 PM
Well. Yesterday was my third day and I did okay..
I think I passed.

He grades you on things on a scale of 1, 2, or 3.

I got 3 on starting the car. Which...everyone does. xD I got 1s on everything else.
He even gave me a - - 1 on something. o.o

Ohwell. I'll get my permit in a few weeks and then have a year to practice before I get my license.

So, by which major city will you be practicing? ;)

Congratulations on making it through! That alone takes guts when it's an effort that brings you to tears. I expect you'll do fine now that you've made it through the intimidation factor. Good luck!

08-04-2007, 08:11 PM
Thanks! =]

Haha Nooo majorly big cities. xD The busiest one near here is Denver, where I go to school. They are constantly working on the roads and there is soooo much traffic. So. I'm going to avoid that for a while until I get..alot better.

08-04-2007, 08:15 PM
Snow! Luckily, it's summer for your beginning. My SO's children live nearby there; in fact, he's visiting them this weekend.

Keep us posted on your progress. I'll cross a couple of fingers for ya.

08-05-2007, 01:00 AM
DS took driver's ed last year. They gave him a piece of paper to keep with him that said he was in the course and sent a copy to the state. After his driving portion (2 weeks book work, 2 weeks driving) they gave him another piece of paper saying he had completed and passed the course. We took that paper to the dmv and he was given his IP license. He won't drive though. He says he's not ready.
I was taught to drive by my sister, who at the time, only had a restricted license herself. We used to go out on the gravel roads.
I know it's hard to relax and pay attention to a million other things at the same time, but that's really what driving is all about. You'll get the hang of it. Just practice, practice, practice!!

08-05-2007, 06:05 PM
Pancakes, congrats on passing your test. I empathize with you. My daughter got her permit a few weeks ago. It's nerve-wracking from both sides (your's and our's). We have only stick-shift cars, so this is complicating her learning process. We live in a neighborhood with a lot of stop signs and a pool with a parking lot. I made her practice for a couple of weeks inside the neighborhood before I let her hit the smaller roads. She's getting better, but we're not ready to hit the busier roads yet.

Go slowly and gain confidence. Experience will help you get better.

Oh, and a suggestion (although as a teen you might balk). I just bought some magnetic strips that say "Student Driver" in red letters (on a white background). These are for our cars. While I know it's embarrassing, they alert drivers that the driver is learning. They will, hopefully, keep their distance and will be more forgiving when you make a mistake.

Good luck. :muah: