Post # 1
I know US cars are bigger and usually automatic, but I still want a bit of advice.
I got my car licence when I was 18 and I’ve was driving for 2 years till I went to uni and sold the car since it wasn’t something I could afford along side studying and didn’t really need one at the time. Then when I graduated I got another car and drove that for another 2 years and ditched it when it kept costing me more to fix than run. So it’s been about 2 years since I last drove a car and my fiance and I want to hire a car when we go on our minimoon next week, however for some reason I’m REALLY nervous about driving again!
I’ve never been involved in a car accident and the car hire will be a pretty new car, so it’ll be in full working order and have been recently checked for any problems- thus I shouldn’t have to worry about breaking down.
Eventually I need to get a car for when we have kids so this isn’t something I can avoid long term anyway and I’d really love a little bit of a road trip with my new hubby, but my nervousness has taken over and I’ve started thinkign but what if I kill us!
Anyone got any tips about how I might go around shaking off this silly chain of thought?
Post # 3
Driving is like riding a bike. You will not forget.
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2012 - Mother of the Bride's residence
Start out somewhere that isn’t busy, if you can! I drive a four-wheel-drive truck so it’s rear-wheel drive when the 4WD isn’t engaged, and every winter I get reaaaally nervous about driving because it’s a whole different vehicle in the snow and ice. I usually go out to a smaller, less busy area and get used to how it handles again.
Same with driving in busy places — we live in the middle of nowhere so when we have to drive in the city I get really, really antsy. So, I try to start out in a less busy residential area and work my way over to the busier areas.
Post # 5
FrannyW Is that true? That would be amazing if I got in the car and just remembered it all again. I think that’s what I’m most nervous about, that I’ve forgotten it all again!
Thanks Mrs. Dragon you have some good points. I’m actually worried I won’t be able to drive it out of the hire care forecourt withouth stalling! hahaha! I’ll definately make some time before we set off on the actual drive just to go around a car park or something just to get a feel for it again.
Post # 6
I am in a similar situation to you. I find that the only difference for me is just learning the specific car that I’m in. For example, I knew my old car really well and when I drive SO’s car (rarely) I have to get used to the size difference, the different turning radius etc.
It doesn’t cause me too many issues, just parking mainly so I try to just take my time or find somewhere I can pull up to!
I never forgot how to drive, I know everything still. I just have to get used to how each car drives/maneuvers and feels
Post # 7
@kayberry: Agreed. I don’t think you’ll just forget how to drive after two years, but each car itself has a learning curve. That is what I find the most challenging, but it is nothing too bad.
Post # 8
You do remember! Try to drive on backroads or a non-busy stretch of highway for the first 30min-hour – that’s how long it took me to get back into driving after 8 months off (school). Just drive more cautiously; don’t do left hand turns (or anything else) you’re not comfortable with; once you’ve done a few you’ll get the feel of it again and be able to drive more fluidly. I would plan for your fiance to do most of the driving in towns on your honeymoon, and then split up driving however you’d like on the in-between stretches. That way you can do it in town if you feel comfortable enough, but the onus isn’t on you to do it. When you have kids, practice for a few weeks to a month without them to get super solid in it – the mommy gene might kick in and bring some nerves back so you’ll want to be as settled as possible.
Post # 9
Thanks guys, this is just the support I needed to find some confidence to get back behind the wheel!
Post # 11
If you can pick a good weather day to get back into it too. If the roads are icy or visibility sucks you probably won’t feel too confident.
Here, I know some of the drivers ed schools also have a brush up course. Taking a 30 min or 1 hr lesson might help.
Post # 12
You’ll be fine. Just take it easy, give yourself a little while to get used to how the brake and gas pedals react. If it’s a manual, do a few starts and stops in the parking lot so you’re familiar with the clutch point.
I love to drive, so I never go that long without getting in a car, but it does come back to you. Even when I get back in my car after a few weeks’ vacation it’s like an old friend.
Post # 13
Once you get in the car, you’ll remember everything. I didn’t have a car from 2006 to 2011…I drove my parents’ cars a few times during holidays, but that’s it. I drive every day now, and it was not hard to get started up again. The only thing I was unsure about was driving long distances — since I crashed my car in 2006, I hadn’t driven more than an hour at a time. So, I decided to drive home for Christmas last year (8 to 9 hour drive) and gave myself the option of staying somewhere overnight if I needed. I did. I’m also old, though. =)
Post # 14
Rent a car similar to the last car you drove–same brand and size at least.
Avoid distractions. If you’re worried then stay away from eating, loud music, stressful conversations, texting, reaching around your car, etc. Watch the road.
Map it out beforehand. Know where you are going and move over well in advance for turns and changes so you don’t feel stressed, and don’t make sudden moves if you miss a turn or something.
If you get flustered pull over and get yourself together, and distance yourself from people who are driving dangerously (both too slow and too fast or recklessly).
Drive confidently. It’s more dangerous to drive like a mouse going well under speed limits, hugging edges and taking a long time to make any move. It’s fine to be cautious, but don’t swing too far in the other direction either. Don’t expect other people to do the work of driving for you (making spaces for you, slowing down for you, giving you the right of way).
Don’t be afraid. If you’re alert, follow traffic laws, and avoid dangerous drivers your chances of an accident are greatly decreased.
I drive in LA traffic for over an hour every day.