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Post Reply How to get over my fear and laziness of driving?
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 4/11/16
Let me know if a thread like this one exist or not.
Thanks a bunches.


I'm studying to get my driver's license after it's been such a long time. but I am not sure how to go about it. Do I read from the driver's manual daily and take notes? Or wait until I get a job and save money for driving school? I'm also very scared to learn how to drive because I don't want to make a mistake that cost me my life or someone elses. Yet I want to get over this long term fear and start driving. I'm also lazy too which makes matters worst. Anybody on CR who drives do you have any tips and advice on what to do? I don't really know what to do. Help me!


Enjoy!!!
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Posted 4/11/16 , edited 4/11/16


For me, I got over it by just driving a lot. Try driving around in a area that has less traffic for a while till you get use to it. As for laziness try driving to a place you want to go to like to go to ... for example the mall or favorite restauraunt something...

Good luck!

Ps: moved your thread to the advice, info, recommendations ...
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26 / F / hell's grave
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Posted 4/11/16
Well first things first. Let go of that fear. Because I also had the same fears you did. I trust myself as a driver, it's other people I dont trust. But that just means you have to be careful but also go with the flow of the traffic. I never took a driver class. I learned from my dad. If you don't have anyone then perhaps it will be best too go thru one. If you never driven a car, then please do look up what signs mean, different parts of the car. During the test, you really don't get asked about signs, Atleast here in PA. You just have to turn the car on, right/left signal, blinkers, lights, horn and window wipers. Then the dreadful parallel parking, which is the most you should practice on. Then if you pass that then you go for a drive.

As for the fear, it will always be there. You just really need to be alert and careful. You see a car speeding coming your way switch to the right lane. Don't let fear control you, sometimes that can cause an accident. It almost happened to me. I almost caused an accident but that's because I wasn't being careful and not watching when merging. All the best of luck too you!!
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46 / F / Reston, VA, USA
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Posted 4/11/16
First, realize what my driver's education teacher said - you don't have to be a mechanic to drive a car, just like you don't need to be a computer repair person to use a laptop. It's really not as difficult or scary as it can seem initially.

Definitely read the drivers manual and if taking notes helps you remember things take notes, or highlight the important bits. You will need to know this information for the written part of the driver's test. I've moved a lot and had to re-take the drivers test in almost every new state I moved to. Realize that you are learning this information for the test - and also as a guide to answer questions about your driving should you ever get pulled over by a police officer who says, "do you know what you just did?"

If you live in an area with busy streets, practical driving exercises can be intimidating. This is one reason I've never actually learned to drive a stick shift also known as standard or manual transmission vehicle. Here inside the Beltway of the DC area there was just too much traffic and people get to raging if you hold them up because you didn't shift into the right gear and stalled the car. However, any car or pickup truck with an automatic transmission should be easy to learn in no matter what traffic is like around your home.

I can't tell from your message if you have gotten your learner's permit yet. You do need to have that to do the practical driving exercises. A good way to practice is in a deserted mall parking lot after hours, or in some quiet neighborhood, or even in a graveyard - just be aware some private property like graveyards or malls have rules against this kind of thing so you may be asked to leave.

Things to practice include, three point turn-arounds, parallel parking, backing up between two cones as if backing into a parking space, and getting signalling embedded in your brain so you do it automatically.

There are a lot of pros to saving up and taking a class. First, you paid money so you'll be motivated to go to the class and pass it. Second, you don't have to borrow a friend AND their car to practice. Third, when you get your own car they will discount your auto insurance for having taken the class. Fourth, some car dealerships offer discounts on your first car if you have taken the class.

However, the class is not necessary if you have a brave adult friend who is willing to take you out and practice.

One of the more important things my driving instructor taught me was to plan your drive in advance. This advice makes you think about GPS units and long trips - but in reality the planning he was talking about was things like "know which side of the road your exit is on and be in the correct lane to take it before you need it - so you don't cut across 2 lanes of traffic and cut someone off creating a road rage incident."
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21 / F / Canada
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Posted 4/11/16 , edited 4/11/16
In my area, to become a fully licensed driver. You need to take written test and in-car test (city road test and highway road test). For the written test, I did an online practice exam 3 times and comfortably passed the written test.

To the take the in-car test, you needed to wait a year after the written test and have 8 months of in-car driving experience. Anyways, I didn't go to driving school (my friend took me out and he helped to learn so as my mother). Nonetheless, the purpose of taking driving school is for cheaper insurance but it does even out in the long run if you didn't take driving school until the highway test (After completing the highway test you become fully licensed and can drive anywhere; your insurance gets cheaper).

For the high road test, I highly recommend practicing parking. If you're going into a spot, stay 1 and half parking space away and pull into the parking spot you want to park in (Make sure when you're pulling in... you're at the far side of the road and straighten out your wheels when go into a park space).

Always stay 1 car space away from other car in case you need to hit on your breaks.

ALWAYS CHECK YOUR BLIND SPOTS WHEN SWITCHING LANES, TILT YOUR HEAD LEFT AND RIGHT.... DON'T USE THOSE STUPID SIDE MIRRORS.

If you're scared of costing someone's life, you have to realize other cars don't want to hit you and practice short distances to feel comfortable.

To get rid of laziness, I planned road trips with my friends, that motivated to learn. It's an extremely convenience to switch drivers for long road trips and list out the pros of driving, that usually get rid of laziness... well good luck though!
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48 / M / New England, USA
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Posted 4/11/16
If you go the driving teacher route look for local schools with good word of mouth. A good local school will have a set of pedals and steering column on both sides of the car allowing the instructor to back you up if need be, taking some of the undue stress off you initially. Definitely read the book from front to back again and again and again until you know the rules so well you can quote them on the spot. When my friends and I went up for our permits we made a game out of learning the book (using question cards we played car rules Jeopardy". It helped pass the time and helped us learn the rules quite quickly. Winner got treated to a sub sandwich by the losers. Technically, in the end we all won; as we all got our permits together the day we went up.
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24 / F / United States, DE
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Posted 4/11/16
It's been said already, but practice and exposure will get rid of that fear.

I used to be terrified of driving, but after enough practice I can now drive for hours and I'm completely fine.
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Posted 4/11/16
Actually try to start driving. Assuming you know someone who can drive, go with them, and have them instruct you, reprimand you, reassure you, as needed. I was terrified too at first. Focus on the road ahead, and don't think about what other drivers are doing, nor the possibility of you making your own mistakes, remember that you are, after all, learning. Obviously, be wary of your surroundings, but not to the point where you are distracted. Take the plunge, actually go out and do it, have someone there to support you, and the fear will vanish before you know it.
Posted 4/11/16
I felt that going to driving school helped me get rid of that fear because they taught me the basics in detail by using guides and visuals. They taught the rules and the laws of the road, as well as some helpful tips for when you try the real thing. After getting into a car with an instructor, I felt a lot better because I got to experience driving around with other cars on the road. At first, I felt nervous because I didn't want to hit anyone. I had a hard time getting used to the gas pedal. After a few more lessons of driving, I got the hang of it and it made me feel more confident. From there, I was ready to take the test!

If you're serious about it, use every spare time you got and practice! Practice in different types weather, in different types of roads (small roads, highways), and practice different types of parking positions.
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 4/11/16
Thanks guys. These are really helpful.
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46 / F / Reston, VA, USA
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Posted 4/11/16 , edited 4/12/16
In Maryland there is a driver's ed school that guarantees your instructor is a law enforcement officer
https://www.idrivesmart.com/drivers-education.cfm

The reason I mention this was my little cousins recently finished driver's education. They initially were going to go to a driving school that cost less - but when they went in to make arrangements it turned out the school specialized in teaching immigrants to drive so all the instructors spoke other languages as their first language and their English wasn't very good and most had heavy accents - the one my cousins spoke to had such a heavy Somali accent they could barely understand him. And at least one of the instructors they were introduced to gave my cousin the creeps so badly she did not want to spend time alone with him in the car. Since you'll spend a certain number of hours alone in the car with your instructor it is important you find an instructor you are comfortable with. The instructor I had was a Mennonite lady named Faith who was completely unflappable. That made it easier for me because when my passenger freaks, panics, or starts grabbing for the "OH-SH*T" bar while I'm driving it is distracting!
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21 / Australia
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Posted 4/12/16
You going for a manual or automatic license?

When I started off driving I did so on a farm so I didn't have to worry about traffic. I then moved onto side streets practising the manual clutch techniques (Stopping and starting, gear changes), then I moved onto towns and highways. I was always anxious about disrupting, damaging or even KILLING someone while doing so and it affected my driving. I've learnt that no matter what I can't be drawn in by what the person behind me is doing, sure be aware that he/she is there but don't drastically alter your driving because of him/her. Stay calm.

These are some basic things that I do that help me.

1. Before I indicate for a turn I check the rear view mirror.
2. If I am not 100% sure I just stop and wait
3. Don't get caught up in the flow of the traffic, if the speed limit is 60 kph go 55-60 kph not above. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't make it right.
4. Don't react to everything, look ahead of time.
5. If someone is up your bumper at a traffic light with a slight up slope and you're fearful you'll fall backwards into them, just use your handbrake as reinsurance.(More for manual).
6. If you can't go you can't go, don't let the driver bully you into an unsafe situation.
7. Last but not least, enjoy yourself. You're free on the road!

Be weary that in different environments your car will act differently from the same inputs. So you have to adjust accordingly. This comes from practise.
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46 / F / Reston, VA, USA
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Posted 4/12/16
GrandMaster Tim, I've checked around in at least four states and been unable to locate any drivers schools that use manual shift vehicles. They all use automatic these days. Your only chance of learning a standard is to have a friend who owns one teach you.

Even the advanced drivers schools don't teach the manual transmissions anymore - the racing schools expect you to already know how to handle one. The Defensive Driving classes are either taught in your own vehicle or an automatic.

For the original poster - your standard driving school teaches you to drive under "average" conditions - ie following the speed limit, sunny day and dry roads. After you get your license you can take additional classes such as defensive driving offered at your local AAA which helps you learn how to drive with heavy traffic and other drivers who are aggressive or acting dangerously. There are senior skills classes teaching elderly people how to drive when their reaction times slow down. There are classes that put you on a skid pad to learn how to drive in icy conditions or on slippery roads. There are racing classes if you are interested in learning how to race on a track.
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21 / Australia
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Posted 4/12/16

Razor_Girl wrote:

GrandMaster Tim, I've checked around in at least four states and been unable to locate any drivers schools that use manual shift vehicles. They all use automatic these days. Your only chance of learning a standard is to have a friend who owns one teach you.

Even the advanced drivers schools don't teach the manual transmissions anymore - the racing schools expect you to already know how to handle one. The Defensive Driving classes are either taught in your own vehicle or an automatic.

For the original poster - your standard driving school teaches you to drive under "average" conditions - ie following the speed limit, sunny day and dry roads. After you get your license you can take additional classes such as defensive driving offered at your local AAA which helps you learn how to drive with heavy traffic and other drivers who are aggressive or acting dangerously. There are senior skills classes teaching elderly people how to drive when their reaction times slow down. There are classes that put you on a skid pad to learn how to drive in icy conditions or on slippery roads. There are racing classes if you are interested in learning how to race on a track.


Hey there,
I had no idea there was such a drought of manuals, in my state of Victoria (Australia) I had a driving instructor and he was manual only. I think it's a real shame; I'd be bored if I had to drive an automatic all day, it would also be a pain in the ass if you didn't know how to drive a manual but it was the only car there sort of work situation.
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25 / M
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Posted 4/12/16
I have done the classes and private lessons. I believe that getting driving lessons and driving with a teacher does help but it depends on how you learn in a situation like that. My teacher kind of screamed at me whenever I made a mistake so I only took two lessons lol. I went to take my test and got a 96(they gave scores at that time). I know the concern of risking your life/someone else's but this is something that will go away once you get experience. I remember I freaked out the first time I was on the highway. I do not think drilling yourself with your book is going to help as much as some think.
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