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rrobstet
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28 Jan 2015, 6:42 pm

I don't currently drive a car (every time I tried to learn when I was younger (I'm over 30) I got easily overwhelmed and had a panic attack) but its looking like I might have to soon. My workplace is changing locations. I am currently using public transportation to get to and from work. Its very convenient right now (2 min walk to stop 30 mins to downtown 2min walk to work) The new location will require a wait of at least 1/2 hour downtown until the next bus and walk of almost a quarter of mile from the closest stop to work. If you drive how did you get over the anxiety? I really don't want to move and I can not quit!



cberg
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28 Jan 2015, 6:54 pm

Learning to drive a manual from someone who knows the mechanicals is the best way to learn the most car control, and it can save you a lot of gas money. Things like 1st gear & hill starts are tougher on one's nerves while you practice but ultimately it builds more confidence about what the car is doing and where the wheels are.


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catalina
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28 Jan 2015, 7:43 pm

I guess that the best is practicing, taking short rides at the begining.



cberg
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29 Jan 2015, 11:15 pm

Hence my suggestion of learning on a manual. ^ That's the only way to do so.


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30 Jan 2015, 9:52 am

I suggest learning with an automatic, if you have to learn in a limited time frame.
Basically it is easier, especially for city driving, the car changes gears and you don't have to be anxious about leg coordination, dramatically reducing the chances of the engine cutting out.
Long term though, a manual license is a better option.

Find a patient instructor, ideally some one your not related to or friends with. Maybe seek some therapy to reduce your anxiety and build your confidence. Practice is crucial, be patient with yourself, and bring someone knowledgeable with you when buying your first car.



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30 Jan 2015, 10:16 am

Practice the route when there is no traffic.

If possible, try to avoid "rush hour" traffic.



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30 Jan 2015, 12:20 pm

I worked up, from bicycle, to riding lawnmower, to tractor, to off-road car. Dad told me to quit practising when all the gravel in the driveway moved to the outside of the turn. Got my chauffeur's licence at 16 + 2 weeks on ice. If you are stuck in a city, spend a lot of time in empty parking lots or industrial alleys, etc, until everything about the car is second nature, and you can focus on traffic when you get there. Practice quick stops and turns where it is safe to lose control, don't just try to get from A to B - be ready for anything. If your reflexes are hopeless, wait a few years for the robocabs to arrive.



BTDT
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30 Jan 2015, 2:07 pm

I wonder if you could ride a tricycle to work?



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30 Jan 2015, 2:11 pm

Forget about learning stick unless you have to. It's an added and unnecessary complication.
Find someone who is a good driver and spend some time as a passenger with them. Get a feel for the car and their habits.
Drive in an open area so that you can do things you can't on the street. Try doing different things with the car to see how it responds to you. Every car is different. You need to learn what to expect from the car in different circumstances.
When driving in traffic always go with the flow of traffic within 20k of the speed limit. But consider the conditions too. People often go too fast in rain or snow.
Never stop looking. Assume you are surrounded by chaos, with only traffic signs and the occasional appearance of police cars to keep the laws of physics in check.



cberg
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31 Jan 2015, 1:17 am

I'd still say learning manual is the safest way to go about it. It's dangerous to begin with a point & click with respects to any machine. You might as well learn to operate the majority of ground vehicles. It could save lives in many scenarios.


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-Georges Lemaitre
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Wildcatb
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02 Feb 2015, 12:59 pm

Granted that each of us is different, I find a manual *less* distracting to drive. Automatics never shift when and how I want them to. That 'wrong' shifting is jarring and distracting.



elysian1969
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02 Feb 2015, 1:31 pm

I don't drive automatics. If I try to, I end up slamming the brake with my left foot when I would normally push in the clutch. Then again, I grew up in an automotive shop and my Dad mostly dealt with European imports- so I had to learn to drive a manual first.

13% of American drivers prefer manual transmissions and there's not much out there for the 13%. It's getting harder and harder to find a decent car, although I lucked out when I got my 2014 Corolla S- manual, and loaded out.

I made my son learn to drive a manual first (he is neurotypical and he picked it much more quickly than I did) before he took his driver's test. Driving a manual forces you to pay better attention as you drive. You have more control in inclement weather in a manual, and it is still a valuable skill if you want to work in any of the automotive professions.



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03 Feb 2015, 12:20 am

At first, it might be best to drive around a parking a lot with a trusted, CALM person in an automatic. Loosen your nerves and get used to the idea of being behind the wheel. Then get professional instruction, you'll get better rates on your car insurance, an experienced teacher will have dealt with those prone to anxiety and a good one will know the folks at the DMV. Your local community college should offer lessons.



Kaux
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06 Feb 2015, 6:09 pm

I had a lot of trouble learning with panic and anxiety while driving. I am 32 and I still rarely have it but now I know how to control it and dont cross the point of no return. Practice, Practice, Practice :-) the more you do it the more confortable you are going to feel. It is going to be a pain in the ass at first, but believe me... the secret is keep doing it.

I crashed the first time my dad gave me the car to go alone to school and I swore to myself I wouldn't drive again. For some reason I kept doing it and now I am pretty confortable with it... I dont like it or enjoy it, but I do it. I have done trips as long as 7 hours straight driving-



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06 Feb 2015, 6:34 pm

Quote:
I don't currently drive a car (every time I tried to learn when I was younger (I'm over 30) I got easily overwhelmed and had a panic attack) but its looking like I might have to soon. My workplace is changing locations. I am currently using public transportation to get to and from work. Its very convenient right now (2 min walk to stop 30 mins to downtown 2min walk to work) The new location will require a wait of at least 1/2 hour downtown until the next bus and walk of almost a quarter of mile from the closest stop to work. If you drive how did you get over the anxiety? I really don't want to move and I can not quit!


I got a teacher who was used to teaching foreign students, some of whom had basically never been inside a car before. It worked out well. He was patient and assumed no prior knowledge, and took things one step at a time.