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#1 Thursday 5th May 2016 10:44:59

Registered: Thursday 5th May 2016
Posts: 4

Learning to drive at 42!

Hi all!

I'd be interested in your thoughts on a few things.  I had my first driving lesson last week in a manual and I really enjoyed it. I wasn't nervous at all, I had a talk with my instructor about the usual things, cockpit drill, mirrors, clutch control and how a car works etc, and then I drove/stopped/drove/stopped around the block a few times in first gear.  I left the lesson feeling really confident and excited and on a high. I didn't stall once!

Had my second lesson this morning and it was a completely different experience.  We had to do it earlier, around 8am, and the previously quiet roads and pavements (same area as last week) were full of schoolkids, parents and there was a greater volume of traffic (although admittedly not much by usual standards).  We moved to second gear and did right turns this time as well.  I just kept going blank and admitted to my instructor that I felt intimidated by the extra traffic and people.  I was so conscious of what was going on around me I kept forgetting what I was supposed to do and stalled several times.  Instructor had to intervene with the brakes a few times.  Talk about down to earth with a bump!

My question is: Will things fall into place eventually?  I know I'm only on my second lesson and probably expecting too much, but I was shocked by how nervous pedestrians and a few extra cars made me.  My third lesson will have to be taken at the same time because that's the only time my instructor has free.  I have no intention of giving in to fear and I'm going to keep plugging away, but to be honest I really didn't enjoy this second lesson and couldn't wait for it to end.

I want to make it clear that I'm not criticising my instructor, I know it's not an ideal time of day to learn to drive, but this is the only time she can do at present.  She's very patient and easy going and I think I'm going to get on well with her, so I need to power through this nervousness somehow.

Any tips or ideas?  I'd really appreciate your thoughts.  Thanks!


Thursday 5th May 2016 10:44:59

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Re: Learning to drive at 42!

#2 Thursday 5th May 2016 21:05:51

Verified Member
From: Darwin, Northern Territory Aus
Registered: Friday 20th August 2004
Posts: 2,700

Re: Learning to drive at 42!

Hi Lubberkin, I'm from Down Under but driver training here is pretty much the same as in the UK.

What you went through is very common in the early stages of learning in manual vehicles.
Your brain has to independently control your 2 hands and 2 feet, a 4-way split, while at the same time taking other road users into account.
It does take a while for things to settle down, and instructors can't always have access to ideal lesson times and ideal training locations.

Be positive about this ...
(1) Not stalling on your first lesson shows that you have good control of your feet (and that your instructor is a good teacher).
(2) Being worried by traffic on the road is normal for your age group because of your mental maturity and your recognition of actual and potential dangers (young learners, especially young men, are very poor at recognising danger).

I'm sure things will fall into place eventually, good luck with your driving.

Zipper ("G'Day Mate!")
I'm not 65! I'm only $59.95+tax


#3 Friday 6th May 2016 10:05:57

Registered: Thursday 5th May 2016
Posts: 4

Re: Learning to drive at 42!

Hi Zipper, thank you for taking the time to respond!

You make a very good point about my age and being more aware of potential dangers--my instructor said something along the same lines.  It's good to know that I'm not alone in this experience.  I suppose I thought it was going to be a breeze after the first lesson, but I do appreciate that my instructor's not holding me back too much and is trying to challenge me a little bit.  I'm a bit more hopeful now that everything will just 'click', but I won't expect it to happen immediately!

Thanks again!  smile


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