Learning to drive later in life

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Anyone else learnt to drive late?

I learnt in my 30's, in the inner city (so learnt how to drive at 10mph to a traffic light and stop, and repeat). And haven't driven since I passed my test really 7 years ago.

I'm now learning after getting a car last week.

I'm so nervous! I sometimes think I can't do this. But then I do drive and it's ok.
But I'm scared!

Anyone else learn late and get over the fear?
 
Sort of... ?

I learned young in a country where you drive on the left side of the road and there are *very* few cars.

Then in my 20s I moved to a country where you drive on the right hand side of the road and where traffic is *insane*.

I was way too scared to drive, so I ended up re-doing my driver's license at 30 and it was a nightmare.

I failed the test the first time when I was re-doing my license, cos I was so panicked in the exam, that I was too dissociated to drive.

In the second exam, I told the examiner that I panicked in exams but had done my license at 18 and never had an accident and he was verrrry gracious. He could tell I could drive and liked how much care I took of cyclists and pedestrians (i.e. my hypervigilance) and let me pass.

To this day (more than 10 years on) I refuse to drive in this crazy traffic without a sat nav. I can deal with the traffic, but I cant do that plus navigate my route in a country I'm still often unfamiliar with.

What's your driving teacher like? Finding someone who is kind and patient makes a huge difference.

Also, for anyone afraid of driving, I recommend learning on an automatic, not a manual. You can always learn to drive a manual later, when you feel confident. But learning to drive + feeling fear + dealing with a manual can be really confidence sapping imo.
 

Teasel

MyPTSD Pro
I passed when around 19 or 20 and drove for a few years. Then didn’t drive for 20! I was (excuse my language) Scared £@/£less when I started again a couple years ago. like you I had refresher lessons which helped enormously. And to begin with I chose lots of short easy journeys. Then I drove us half way up the country (UK, so not that far at all actually). Helped my confidence enormously.
I shall always be a little on the anxious side driving, but I’m a little bit of an anxious person, and I have soooo much more confidence driving now than I used to have. I would have absolutely no saliva I was that nervous! Am pretty relaxed now on the whole.

You’ll be amazed how much more confidence you have within days and weeks, good for you getting mobile! What car have you bought?
 

Eagle3

MyPTSD Pro
I didn't get my license until I was 28 (for various health and safety reasons). Once I got my license I stayed on local streets for years, but then I took a job as a delivery driver and suddenly I had to navigate the nasty interstates of the 5th largest city in America. After my 2 years of driving professionally, nothing fazes me. I still get nervous sometimes, but I tend to drive my full-size pick-up truck like a sports car and I'm VERY MUCH a defensive driver. I prefer to anticipate trouble and avoid it, so I've only had two small fender-benders in my 10+ years of driving (well, 2 that were my fault. Several times people ran into me!). Now, I love driving....its the OTHER drivers that make me nervous!
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks @Teasel ! I love them too! We've moved to the countryside so it is very rural here. So people drive really fast down the country lanes, I'm practicing them and then I want to be able to drive to the nearest town. And then I want to learn motorway driving and drive to the city. Building up! It's odd as learning to drive in the city with a bus either side of me seems easier than driving with no road markings at speed.

Thanks @Eagle3 and @just, it really helps to hear that other people have done this. Because it helps me to think there is no reason that I can't!
 

Changing4Best

MyPTSD Pro
I learned at age 29. I found if I worried about it before driving, there had been no need to worry at all after I returned home. Eventually the fear lessened and finally just went away entirely. I no longer drive now due to disabilities...
 
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