Scared of driving (NYC)

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
906 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

You *have* be to confident on NJ highways, or you’ll be ran off the road.  

Keep up with NJ traffic, even if it means staying in the right lane and doing the speed limit or a bit over.  

It’s a new car, it will take some time to get used to – but when you do get used to it, it will be like a second skin for you.  Practice makes perfect.  How about driving on 287 across Rhode Island?  Or, head across the Goethals and drive down the NJ turnpike for a bit – go into the cars only lane, you’ll feel more secure there.  Take traffic cones (or use garbage cans) in an empty parking lot and practice parallel parking – the real trick to parallel parking is getting your car 45deg.

Make a few practice runs on the route you will be taking to the wedding – itll help get the ya-ya’s out and help you feel more confident, too.

No doubting yourself.  I bought my car at 16, didn’t really start driving until 19 because I doubted my ability to drive, and I was so nervous to do so – I was forced to drive from Northeast PA to Boston (5.5 hour trip) one weekend (alone) and that absolutely was a game-changer for me – I can say I “knew” my car after that.  Haven’t looked back since, and have traveled all over the country!  

I’m from NJ (by the Goethals), so I definitely get it.  NJ/NY/NYC can be a headache when it comes to driving.  But you can do it!  Baby steps, and a lot of confidence can take you a long way.

Post # 3
549 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I’ve never had anxiety while driving. I was on the turnpike at 17. But my gf does and it’s normal. 1st you need to make the car comfortable for you. Find music you like, that relaxes you and tell your FI to shut up. His yelling at you is only increasing your anxiety and more dangerous than you doing 60 mph in a 65 mph zone. If he doesn’t like it tell him to get a license than he can drive however he wants. 

There will always be cars driving faster than you. Always. Find a speed you’re comfortable with and stick with it until you feel more confident behind the wheel to go faster. My gf would do 55 mph on the highway, now she cruises at 70 mph and there’s still cars flying by. 

I’d put up 2 trash cans in front of my house and practice parrelel parking there. This is how I learned when I first got my permit and license.

Post # 4
869 posts
Busy bee

I hate driving too! It scares me, not the driving part but the other drivers. Every time I approach a junction or have to switch lanes I’m like arghhhh!!! I’m just scared of crashing or near crashing or something. I havnt drove since I passed my test 4 years ago. I tried once and cried so had to go back and I havnt tried again since. Im in the UK and we drive manuals and I hate it so much, I feel like its just added stress when trying to remember everything. Luckily I live in an apartment in the city that doesnt even have parking so I dont have to… for now. 

My FI says its because I learnt to drive in a city. He learnt in the countryside and said he loves it, but he hates driving by my parents house (where I learnt) because its a big city and stressful. If you learnt in NYC then that may be the reason for you too. On the upside, we learnt in the worst driving conditions possible- so whenever we have to drive in the country we will be fine! FI says it gets easier with practise and took him a year to feel fully comfortable – but the practising is the scary part!

I cant wait until self driving cars become a common thing. Until then I will take a few more lessons before I try driving again- maybe you could book a few extras as well just to get some more confidence? 

Post # 6
716 posts
Busy bee

I used to fear NYC driving, until I rode in taxi cabs in India and China and realized NYC is nothing.  Just stay in the middle lane and drive at your own speed.  Don’t go too slow though, that’s equally hazardous, and some highways do have minimum speed limits.


Post # 7
2414 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

kitty_cupcake: Can you take a safe driver’s refresher course?  Maybe being with an instructor will help you gain confidence in your own abilities. 

Post # 8
42135 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

kitty_cupcake:  You wil get better and more relaxed with experience. Just keep driving safely at or near the speed limit. Don’t go too slow or you really wil be annoying.  Don’t worry about other drivers who want to go faster than the speed limit. That’s their problem- they can pass when they are able.

I remember the best tip I learned years ago for merging onto the freeway, which I found scary. If the cars are going by you at 55 mph, the spaces between them are also going by you at 55 mph. That’s why you have to get up to speed to be able to merge.

Parallel parking is a skill you can learn, just like any other. Practice.

Post # 9
2670 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 1996

My advice is that you should tell your fiance to shut the f*ck up because he’s contributing to your stress, which does NOT help. I would also suggest that you tell yourself in advance that you will be anxious and stressed for part of the time, because this is new to you and that’s NORMAL. Don’t beat yourself up for being worried; I think that makes it worse. Tell yourself, “I might feel a bit anxious, but I will get through it, just like I got through the drive last weekend” etc. Create a little script for yourself and repeat it.


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