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#1 20-10-09 21:56:41

WILDORCHID
Member
Registered: 12-10-09
Posts: 11

36 and learning to drive!

Hi All
I thought i would start this so i could 'chart' my progress and my mistakes, and hopefully pick up any hints/tips, useful info that will help me along the way:)
Iam 36 years old and until 2 weeks ago i have never in my life even attemted to drive a car. Apart from turning the key in the ignition, i wouldn't have been able to tell you what or where anything was or did!
I'm also a very nervous pasenger and hate being in a car, and as i've got older i just seem to be getting worse.
My partner takes the van to work everyday,so the car just sits at home all the time.We now need a new car,and my partner was saying what's the point for it to sit on the drive everyday, and that it was about time that i learnt to drive.After thinking about this for a while, i agreed as i know how bad iam as a passenger(i don't just get nervous, i get scared and cannot relax at all) My partner chose his old instructor to teach me,as he thought i would get on with him as a person as well as him being a good instructor.

My 1st lesson : Thankfully my instructor sensed how 'terrified' lol i was,and obviously as i didnt know anything about 'anything' he took me down a quiet straight road for this lesson.
I just had to keep driving down the road, changing gears then doing a full turn at the bottom, and just kept repeating this the whole lesson.
My  instructor said that because of my nerves even if the next few lessons were on this road,then that was fine.This re-assured my in anticipation of my second lesson which was 4 days later.

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20-10-09 21:56:41

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Re: 36 and learning to drive!



#2 20-10-09 22:10:19

WILDORCHID
Member
Registered: 12-10-09
Posts: 11

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

2nd Lesson :
We went back to the same road and were just doing the same thing. In this lesson and the first i never stalled the car or anything like that,but the brake.....its just so sensitive that im finding this the problem.
After a while down this road, on the way back to the top my instructor said that we were going to turn left and go onto the roads now!!!!
In the space of a couple of minutes i agreed to just do it! Up util this point id only driven straight up and down a road, so don't understand 'how' to steer a car ect.All i know is that when i saw the cars coming towards me on the other side of the road,my gut reaction is to stay well clear of that side,which made me have a tendancy to drive towards the curb. I drove quite a while, over a bridge, round a roundabout and then all the way home. After the lesson, i couldn't actually elive that he had managed to get me to drive on a road with other cars ect about!!! The weird thing was that, although i can't even drive, i felt less nervous with me driving than when i'm a passenger!! My instructor told me that from now on all lessons will be on the main roads and that i will be doing all the driving!!!
I hade to wait a week for my next lesson, and knowing that i had to go on the roads got me so nervous before the lesson last night.When he picked me up last night he drove us away from my house as its a very 'awful' road on a blind bend to get out of. Because i was so nervous he drove for 10 minutes before getting me to take over.

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#3 20-10-09 22:20:51

WILDORCHID
Member
Registered: 12-10-09
Posts: 11

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

3rd lesson cont: We drove round lots of streets last night, some with speed humps, loads with parked cars ect, and loads of turning....lol
The turning onto main roads last night i just kept 'messing' up.
I put the car into the wrong gear at the junction and stalled it sad Five minutes later, i did the same thing. I tend to go quite slowly because i don't know how to do it,and beacuse i can't 'get to grips' with the break! But when i came up to a junction and went wrong and he's telling me to do this do that....quickly you're in the road, ya can't say here...i got so confused it was awful. I drove all the way home,i didnt even do that exactly right as i went to slow up over the bridge, so the car struggled. I felt so 'crap' that the lesson went badly. I knew that i couldn't wait a week for my next lesson (I only have 1hour per week) as i would be worrying about it all week, and would maybe not want to do it, and i really don't want to be put off... so i decided to 'face it' again asap and have got my next lesson on thursday, then my normal one still on monday.
I'm not even sure if i like having the lessons in the dark...lol
I guess it's fingers crossed for thursday smile

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#4 20-10-09 22:32:27

colin166
Verified Member
From: Rushden, Northants
Registered: 31-05-09
Posts: 152

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

You will be fine, you can't expect to learn it all in a couple of lessons...

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#5 20-10-09 22:33:57

binty1968
Verified Member
From: Hants/Surrey border
Registered: 22-02-06
Posts: 1,691
Website

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

Well done!!!!  big_smile
Keep at it....and enjoy! Good Luck! (ur never too old to learn  wink )

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#6 20-10-09 22:57:09

WILDORCHID
Member
Registered: 12-10-09
Posts: 11

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

Thanks for the encouragment smile
No , i guess you're never too old....:) although i'm not that old.....yet....lol
..I never expected to learn loads of things in the first few lessons...to be honest i never even thought i'd be on roads with traffic yet...lol
The car to me seems quite big...lol and it's dark, so straight away that seems daunting to me. My instructor is a lovely fella, and i get on with him...but sometimes i think he seems to 'forget' that i know 'NOTHING'. Last night at junctions ect all the turns we did were to the left, so he was telling me where to position the car ect, on the last main junction ,just before he tells me 'we are going to turn right, so i indicate right, but i automatically placed the car where i had all the previous times,because he never told me to do anything differently, in the end i ended up having to turn left because of where the car was...but that was something that could have been avoided by telling me what to do!
Now that i have started i will stick with it....no matter how long it takes smile I just hope i can overcome my nerves sooner rather than later!

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#7 20-10-09 23:09:53

colin166
Verified Member
From: Rushden, Northants
Registered: 31-05-09
Posts: 152

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

Stay on this forum and you will get loads of good advice and encouragement.

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#8 14-11-09 17:56:05

vizzo
Member
Registered: 14-11-09
Posts: 10

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

I find these blogs really interesting. Any update Wildorchid?

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#9 07-01-10 23:40:13

WILDORCHID
Member
Registered: 12-10-09
Posts: 11

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

It's been a while since i updated.Lost the links ect to here,as im on another laptop now.
...Am i still learning to drive.? ...Yes iam.
After the 'crappy' last lesson that i posted about, rather than waiting a week dwelling on things,i decided to face it head on a booked my next lesson for just 3 days later. THAT turned out to be the best thing that i ever did. On that lesson imanaged to overcome my nervers.Once i'd sorted out my nerves i found it so much easier.I decided to stick to having 2 lessons a week, mondays and thursdays..that way i don't have to wait a week without driving.
Upto now i have had 23 lessons and some private practice too.
I went for my theory test on 29th december and i passed!!!! smile
Just the driving to sort out now...haha
Tonight my instructor told me that i drive really well, and that i now need some lessons through the day, as he wants to do some mock tests with me, and be sure i can do the manouvers. I'm still not so keen on roundabouts! He says once i get over my thing with roundabouts then i will be ready for my test as he says i drive well enough:)
...We bought a new car a cpl of months ago...a focus estate. I tried to drive it a couple of times over a month ago, and everytime i had to stop,i couldn't get it going again without stalling sad This really put me off...so i decided to steer clear of our car for a while.After leaving our car alone for a month,at the weekend i decided to give it another go...and i managed it fine smile
So things seem to be on the up! Just goes to show that even when you think that you really can't do something,if you just stick with it you will realise that you actually can do it smile

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#10 08-01-10 12:35:43

Jamie@LowPriceLessons.com
Member
From: Edinburgh
Registered: 14-12-09
Posts: 1
Website

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

Hi Wildorchid,

That is an interesting wee bog, sounds like you are getting on really well. If all your private practice is in an estate I wonder if that means you will be even better at driving a smaller nipper car? Depending on where you are the snow might have slowed down your progress, congratulations on doing so well thus far and good luck with the next phase of your lessons.

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#11 07-02-10 02:15:58

Zipper
Verified Member
From: Darwin, Northern Territory Aus
Registered: 20-08-04
Posts: 2,690
Website

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

...but sometimes i think he seems to 'forget' that i know 'NOTHING'...

An instructional technique is to back-off with the step-by-step instructions to see how you are going, we need to know what you have picked up on and what needs more attention.
When I started instructing I had an unfortunate habit of not telling my student when I wanted to watch and only help when necessary (I knew I had to advise them but this is a job where you have to think ahead and think fast, and sometimes you miss out on these things).

...if you just stick with it you will realise that you actually can do it smile

Good advice!

Good luck with your lessons Wildorchid, if you are up to the mock test phase it shows you are doing really well.


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

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#12 25-03-10 10:54:12

WILDORCHID
Member
Registered: 12-10-09
Posts: 11

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

It's been a while...thought i would update as to how things are going!
We did get a lot of snow ect, but i still had my lessons.My instructor said i could drive well enough to be able to handle it...and i did. I was nervous about the snow ect...but i figured it was good practice.After having my lessons at night...in the rain...snow and fog...Iam at last having lessons during the day...so i think i have covered all the conditions...lol
I would have prefered for us to have bought a smaller car as apposed to an estate...but OH wanted an estate.
The lessons are still going well and my test is booked for 28th april...so we shall see.
I'm actually taking my instructor with me on the test, as i'm being 'realistic' about the whole thing, and i know that nerves may get the better of me ect and i may fail...but if i do...i do. It won't put me off, i shall just keep trying until i pass...lol I just think that if i have my instructor with me and i do fail, then he will have seen first hand what i've done wrong..so then he can help me to get it right.
I know that i can drive , it's more a case of gaining experience now to deal with things that may happen. I'm just a 'careful' driver lol I don't drive too slow or anything i'm just careful with things...especially roundabouts. On a few occasions i've had busses pull out directly in front of me on roundabouts (The drivers didn't even bother to look if anything was coming) Then theres the 'boy racers' that come flying round...people that don't even bother to indicate...so all these things do make me wary at roundabouts, so i only go when 'I'M' sure that i can...just hope that this doesn't go against me on the test as i know that you can fail for being over cautious ect. I don't see that there's anything wrong with being careful smile It's the way i would drive when i pass my test .
Many thanks for your encouragement smile

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#13 25-03-10 11:04:03

WILDORCHID
Member
Registered: 12-10-09
Posts: 11

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

Just wanted to add that what has helped me the most is having 2 lessons per week.I used to have 2 1 hour lessons per week in the evenings on a monday and thursday. At £22 per hour lesson ...yes it's expensive at £44 per week..but if for example you needed 40 lessons to pass...then wether you paid for 1 a week or 2...the overall cost still works out the same. I liked it this way because everything always stayed fresh in my mind. I would only go 2 days and 3 days without driving. I knew absolutely nothing when i started and was a nervous wreck, and doing it that way was the best thing that i could have done.
These days i just have  1 1n half hour lesson a week..this is so i can get into the thick of traffic in the town centre ect. I still prefer the 2 lessons and do miss having 2. In the couple of weeks before my test i may have 2 a week again.

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#14 25-03-10 17:39:02

colin166
Verified Member
From: Rushden, Northants
Registered: 31-05-09
Posts: 152

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

Hi Wildorchid,

Sounds like you are doing well but you mention the word fail too much in your earlier update, my advice is to take that word out of your vocabulary and concentrate on the positives, think about all the things that you are going to do when you PASS not that other word.

Think positive not negative or you won't get the result you want.

Good luck.

Colin.

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#15 25-03-10 23:14:15

la.monikita
Verified Member
From: SE LONDON / KENT
Registered: 12-03-05
Posts: 3,064

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

Colin has said it great, take the negative out just focus on the positive.
My question to you is; why are you so afraid of the test? From the title, do you consider 36 to be too old to learn to drive and pass first time?


"What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself."
Abraham Maslow

21st Century Women http://www.loisontheloose.com/my-advent … /the-team/

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#16 26-03-10 20:16:39

bellydancer
Member
Registered: 06-09-09
Posts: 43

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

Wildorchid, I totally agree with you about doing twice a week
when i was learning and almost ready for test, I did 2 x 1.5hrs a week.
I find 1 hr lessons too short - they seemed to end when I was nicely 'warmed up' and 2 hrs lessons were bit too expensive.
I am over 40years old and had no other learning to drive/driving opportunities besides the driving lessons. So if I can do it, so can you!

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#17 26-03-10 21:24:13

la.monikita
Verified Member
From: SE LONDON / KENT
Registered: 12-03-05
Posts: 3,064

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

Wildorchid, I totally agree with you about doing twice a week
when i was learning and almost ready for test, I did 2 x 1.5hrs a week.
I find 1 hr lessons too short - they seemed to end when I was nicely 'warmed up' and 2 hrs lessons were bit too expensive.
I am over 40years old and had no other learning to drive/driving opportunities besides the driving lessons. So if I can do it, so can you!


Well done! 40 years young is nothing and it's never too late to learn something new! You just have to want to!


"What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself."
Abraham Maslow

21st Century Women http://www.loisontheloose.com/my-advent … /the-team/

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#18 28-04-10 21:48:53

WILDORCHID
Member
Registered: 12-10-09
Posts: 11

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

...update
Had my test at 8.20 this morning. It was a total disaster sad My nerves completely went. A few minutes from the test centre i stalled on entering a roundabout.On the following road i had to reverse around a corner..kept having to stop for school kids comin into road..then out of nowhere i started to have a panick attatck (havent had one for 3 years) i was violently shaking with my left leg completely bouncing up from the floor.The examiner couldnt have been more nicer...he told me to take a minute..i then carried on..still shaking ..hit the curb..he again told me to take a minute..i then endeded up pulling forward and reversing...twice...and then he said i could drive on. At this point i assumed i'd already failed. I was a complete nerveous wreck...could hardly get my breath, couldn't stop shaking..but carried on. On setting off from junctions etc i must have stalled the car on at least 6 different occasions (which i put down to me leg shaking so much)
5 minites b4 end of test i was on a one way street on a slight hill..the road at the top widens for left or right...i have no idea why i did it..but i positioned to the left even though i was turning right. Stalled ...again,didnt put the handbrake on...so the examiner had to place his feet on the clutch and brake.....so obviously i failed. When he gave me the sheet at the end...i was shocked to find that he had passed me for the reverse round the corner..not even a minor for it. And although i stalled quite a few times he had only given me 1 minor for that. But i got 2 serious for the one way street...and thats what failed me. The examiner had given me every chance that he possibly could for me to pass. Altogether i got 6 minors and then the 2 serious. I have never ever done anything so nerve wrecking in my life...ive never been that nervous..not even when i first started taking lessons. I took my instructor with me on test and i think that just made me worse, as everytime i looked in my mirror i could see him glaring at me sad The whole experience today has really put me off now. How am i going to get over the nerves on another test? I don't even get nervous on lessons. I also found after the test why i kept stalling.It seems that when i was setting off...because me hand was shaking so much i was selecting 3rd gear as apposed to 1st. I wish i had known after the reverse round corner thing that i hadnt failed..maybe i would have felt a bit better. I can't control what me nerves are gonna do...or when i'm gonna have a panic attatck, so i just don't know how i could get through another test.I know that i don't ever want to go through that experience that i had today ever again.

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#19 28-04-10 22:01:14

c-way
Verified Member
From: Peterborough
Registered: 03-10-06
Posts: 1,170
Website

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

Oh my what a roller coaster of a test for you  wink  Nerves will do it every time and the age you are doesn't matter one jot!  Well done for sticking through the training and going for the test, sorry you didn't get the result you wanted but I hope after you have sat down and caught your breath you will sort out with your instructor what didn't go so well for you and put if right for next time!

I have taught a young lady of 19 with the worst nerves I have ever seen and it took her 3 attempts to pass  and I have my most senior customer at the age of 61 who will be going for her test later this year - so please don't put it down to your age - get some more practice and experience and go for it again, don't give up, you have come this far, a few extra lessons will be worth the time and cost to get that licence   smile


ADI, IAM, B+E Training, CAT C & C+E Training www.c-way.co.uk

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#20 28-04-10 22:22:31

WILDORCHID
Member
Registered: 12-10-09
Posts: 11

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

Thanks for the advice c-way smile
My instructor said that if he hadn't have been in the car he would never have believed it. He said my actual driving was fine (apart from positioning to the left on the one way street, as we actually did that road on a lesson yesterday) It was just my nerves..it was like a vicious cycle...get nervous...stall....get more wound up...stall again...and on it goes.
The one thing that i thought i would fail on...which were my manouvers (cos i don't do them correctly100% of the time) ..i didnt even fail on. I never thought for one minute that i would stall the car...and on so many occasions. It's the fact that it's a test that makes me nervous...not the actual driving.When we are on lesson and im practicing reverse bay park...if we go to the test centre to do it...8 out of 10 times i do it completely wrong...yet i can do it everywhere else!!! The fact that it's the test centre just makes me nervous. I just don't know how to get over it.

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#21 29-04-10 06:36:00

Hilary Hughes
Verified Member
From: Stockport, Manchester
Registered: 25-06-04
Posts: 1,232
Website

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

I think you're focusing on the test too much. You've just proven to yourself that this doesn't work.

Next time, why not just drive and see what happens? Just give it a try to experiment and see if there's a different outcome.

I also suspect that you need more experience on roads more difficult than you may have been using. I expect a near perfect drive before letting people  take a test and that usually means they are pushing ( often more than ) 40 hours whoever they are.
Hilary.


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#22 29-04-10 20:45:37

WILDORCHID
Member
Registered: 12-10-09
Posts: 11

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

Thanks for the advice Hilary smile
I have had well over 40 hours with my instructor and private practice too on top of that. The actual test route was a simple one..one that i would loved to have had. Every driving lesson i always drive on all the more difficult roads, roundabouts etc, as that's the way my instructor likes me to do it, then now and again we spend a little time on the 'easier' roads. It wasn't the route, the roads etc that made it difficult...it was the shaking etc. The examiner and my instructor both said that my 'actual' driving was fine. I know that i 'messed up' completely at the top of the one way street...but to be honest by this point i thought i was going to pass out, i was shaking,sweating,dizzy, couldn't swallow, found it hard to get my breath etc...it was simply an awful state to be in.
A friend of mine who's a nurse has recomended that i get a 2 day course of beta blockers from the doctors for my next test. So i have now booked another test on 9th june.

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#23 30-04-10 00:19:11

Adi1234
Guest

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

Good luck with next test. You do have to remember when You pass the test You will have pressures on you when driving that will be hard. sounds like You did drive well for most of the test. 6 minor faults is not alot. as said there is  alot of positives things to take from that test.

#24 30-04-10 16:14:24

bellydancer
Member
Registered: 06-09-09
Posts: 43

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

Wildorchid, you will find that the 2nd time will be much better smile
Maybe you shouldn't have your instructor sitting in.... personally I think it is stressful enough to have the examiner alone, never mind instructor as well .....
Anyway, good luck !

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#25 10-05-10 18:31:57

itsjojustjo
Member
Registered: 10-02-07
Posts: 20

Re: 36 and learning to drive!

I agree with bellydancer, the less eyes the better smile for your own sake !

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