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Something’s not right

Senior Contributor

Never learned to drive

I'm long past the age where I should've learned to drive. I had a couple of lessons with my parents but have always been too afraid of not being able to know the physical dimensions of the car in relation to other objects/cars. Even in driving video games I use 3rd person view. I was always expecting self driving cars to come much quicker than they have - back when I was in highschool I thought we'd have them everywhere by 2010-2015 or so, so there was no real need for me to tackle it if I could hold out til then. Clearly that was too optimistic. 


In the past I've always been able to make do with public transport or walking, but now not being able to drive is costing me the ability to apply for a really cool job. It really sucks. I know people say you get used to it and you will have a few accidents while you're learning and it's not a big deal... But it IS a big deal and I don't think it will ever not be a big deal. Smiley Sad


It just really sucks. I wish I could get a motorbike license without needing a car license because motorbikes are so much less conceptually difficult in terms of the main thing that's causing my anxiety. 


Re: Never learned to drive

Hi @TheVorticon ,

It can be tricky to know the dimensions of vehicles, I struggle with this still and I've been driving for a long time.  Do you have a friend that can teach you to drive on country roads or even a farm?  I learnt on country roads and found it a lot less daunting than it would have been on busier roads or in a city.  I don't think I'd have been able to cope with doing it that way.  


If you take it slow and easy you shouldn't have any mishaps or accidents.  It does get easier with practice like most things.  Wishing you well.


Take care

Re: Never learned to drive

Hey @Gazza75 thanks for your post.
I don't really have a friend in general, let alone one that I'd be comfortable with in a learning to drive situation.

My dad used to take me to parking lots and around relatively quiet neighbourhoods, but I hated it when there were parked cars on either side and a car coming the other way. I think it's emotionally too difficult to learn with my parents (I live interstate now anyway). So I dunno other than forking out for professional lessons.

Re: Never learned to drive

@TheVorticon  Hey TheVorticon my daughter has decided that driving is way to scary for her. She has chronic depression, aspergers and epilepsy and with all that going on she is just way too scared of hurting someone, having an accident .... just the responsibility of being on the road is too much for her to cope with. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. She depends upon me, walking or catching public transport and funny you should mention driverless cars she is depending upon those as well.


I cannot help but think that the people like yourself and my daughter probably would make the best drivers because you are so serious about the respnsibility of driving compared to other people who think it is their right. greenpeaxx

Re: Never learned to drive

👋 @TheVorticon

I read your post and wanted to say that I agree - it is a big, big deal (for some of us). Very much so.

I am another who didn't get my licence for ages as my anxiety had a field day with anything road/car related. It took for me to have more babies than hands to think it was worth it. Like you, I had massive issues with getting my head around where my car was as far as lines, gutters, other cars, roundabouts (I still oopsies around them sometimes!) etc. Then there were the other 60 bazillion 'bad things that could happen on a road' that my head was fixated on. Until we moved here I stuck to a very small space of where it was OK for me to drive to. Slowly I'm venturing out and about more, but it took for me to be forced to with the move to get to this stage.

When I first started driving it helped me to have professional lessons, knowing someone could take control if I lost control. I also got a small car as my first car which helped as I didn't feel like I had to worry about squeezing in and around things as much as I would have in a bigger car. Up until the last few months I've had a small car for that reason. Getting our new big SUV was a big deal as it is nowhere near as easy to move around in, though I like being up higher (it's easier to see around that way) and it feels sturdy on the road. Parking sensors have and do help me hugely with this one and now I definitely feel more confident in this car than my little old one.

I've been driving for a while now and every time (without kidding) I drive any further than the local shops, I'm proud of myself for being able to do it. It was and still is a big deal to me and I'm sure that's the case for a lot of us with anxiety/other tricky head stuff happening.

Long story short - it seriously sucks when driving is scary but you need to be able to do it. It is a big deal. I hope you can find a way to get to do what you need/want. And self-driving cars would be way better 😉

Re: Never learned to drive

Thanks @greenpea, I can definitely relate to your daughter being afraid of being responsible for damage or an accident. It's a whole lot of machine and very little force-feedback. There are a lot of people who would be helped by autonomous vehicles so I hope the regulations and technology come along soon.

Thanks for your reply and sharing your experience @CheerBear. It's really cool that you were able to overcome your anxiety enough to get your license and drive the small car and even the big car Smiley Happy

Re: Never learned to drive

My mother learned to drive in her 50s and had over 20 years driving. She preferred an automatic.

Driving lessons with parents is usually extra tricky.

Having a sense of the spatial awareness is hard but you do gain it by making comparisons, with distances like keeping 3 car lengths (or white lines) apart on the freeway.

Some people never do it.  Caution defintiely has its place in a world where most people go too fast.

take Care

Smiley Happy

Re: Never learned to drive

Thanks @Appleblossom.
I think my best bet is to start with finding a driving video game to get used to the perspective. I can't afford lessons at the moment with what I'm paying for seeing my psych (unless I stop seeing him but that's another can of worms).

Re: Never learned to drive

@TheVorticon  Good idea.  Just notice distances when you are walking around. How far a car can be and still allow someone to turn etc ...


I know what you mean about about paying for mental health people. Takes a wallop out of the budget, even if there is medicare support.  Only getting a social life recently.

Smiley Happy

Re: Never learned to drive

I to have never learnt to drive. Held a learners back in the day. When it was a lot easier.

i felt the same about being in this contraption on the inside and the outside. Massive anxiety when made to do it. People get surprised when I say no drivers license. I put it down to my o.c.d interfering. And we have made it a lot harder for ourselves by not being able to drive. Who knows maybe one day you’ll surprise your self and just do it. Good luck.

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