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guzzle
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06 Feb 2015, 6:59 pm

Been driving over 25 years now and on stressy days I think of it as a game. Used to play arcade type racing games in my late teens though so suppose that helps. And I can dissociate at will pretty much. I go on automatic I suppose.

I prefer manuals as you have more control over your engine. Also try to 'feel' your car, with the right shoes clutch control becomes a lot easier and listening to the engine helps with gear changes. At one point I made it a mission to understand the internal combustion engine, suppose that was more of a special interest.
I've driven diesels for years now, I prefer it over petrol cars not that I can explain why. Once I made the switch I never looked back really.
Figure out a route that is comfortable to you. And stick to it. Venture into unknown territory only if you really have to or really want to. Personally I don't like traffic light junctions and have all routes covered to pass as little of them as possible :D
And when you do find yourself in a stressy situation there is nothing wrong with swearing even be it at your own stupidity. With time you will find your own ways to relieve the tension. Sometimes it calms me down to listen to the radio.
Like someone else said, the more you practice, the more confident you will get in your own abilities. I learnt to drive in Central London. My driving school was in Baker Street and I remember going there because it was like diving in the deep end. I sort of had the idea that if I could learn to drive in Central London and pass the test I would eventually manage everywhere. And it worked out.
I refuse to drive in cities that have trams though because I never sure what direction they may be coming from.



Caelum
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10 Mar 2015, 11:58 am

Having a good trainer is the only way I was able to get over my anxiety. I was very fortunate that my father is very patient and understanding. He told me when I was ten or so that if I wanted to drive he would be happy to take me over to a big parking lot and we could practice. His stated reason was that if I was going to be learning to drive anyway it should be with him, and he kept making this offer for years. I was too afraid to drive, so I didn't take him up on that until I was 15 and had my learners permit. If he hadn't been gently pushing me I'm not sure if I would have ever gotten my license. Learning to drive with him was very helpful, whenever I would get anxious he would help me calm down.
Since then, I've been fortunate to have been placed in situations where I was able to get solid driving training. For one of my jobs they wanted me to drive a large truck, and I was very uncomfortable doing so. One of the more experienced guys took me under his wing and we went out driving till I was more confident and able to start driving that vehicle on a regular basis. I've become very comfortable behind the wheel and it's become harder for me to be a passenger, but that's a different issue.
Often when going to functions with my family, we'll take two cars these days. I'm not typically able to stay as long as my wife would like, so having the second car there give me the freedom to just bolt whenever I need to, and sometimes just having that option makes the whole situation more pleasant and I'll stay longer than I would otherwise.

I would say find a good driving school and go for it. I hope you are able to find a resolution for this.
Good luck and stay safe.



kraftiekortie
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16 Mar 2015, 8:54 am

I don't advocate this for everybody!

I learned to drive pretty much on my own.

Perhaps the 70-or-so instructional sessions helped--they didn't in 1993.

But maybe they helped in a cumulative sense in 1997-1998.

I was forced to get in a car and drive it somewhere in 1997. I learned pretty much "on the go."

I failed the road test after 70-or-so lessons in 1993. I passed it after three sessions on my own in a car in 1998.

But please.....don't risk getting a ticket for "driving without a license" like I did in 1997. My insurance rates went through the roof for probably 8 years afterwards.



rascalboy
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24 Mar 2015, 8:24 pm

I'm surprised you are so happy to take public transportation. I'm terrified of public transport. There are so many variables! Doesn't it distress you that the bus might be late, or that you might have to walk in funky weather conditions? What if you oversleep? Then you will be extremely late to work. Not to mention that there are people everywhere. No matter how you're feeling, you're stuck being in close proximity with people. And they might talk to you, even if you aren't in the mood to talk to anyone. You could end up with crazy people, or cranky people, or some depressed person who wants to tell you their life story. People could spill coffee on you or you could forget your things on the bus. What if you get a new driver and he doesn't know your usual stop and you aren't sure whether you should pull the cord or not because then people will know that it was you who did it.
Yeah, no, public transport is not for me. I have always driven myself and prefer it. I drive a very large, very heavy, very aggressive pickup truck. I can see above everyone and people stay out of my way. I can't really take it to the city (but who wants to go to Chicago anyway? It's full of people), and it can be fun to park (once you figure it out, it'll boost your self-confidence), but it's mine and I love it and I feel awesome driving it around.



cberg
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25 Mar 2015, 11:17 pm

Got a turbo'd Volvo wagon now with a 6 speed stick. All wheel drive is a huge advantage just about anywhere. I can carry as much as most people ever use their trucks for and be fast, comfy & frugal about it.


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Subjekt_9
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27 Mar 2015, 5:59 am

I was basically forced in to driving. My dad was very persistent....and extremely brave and patient.

Basically he did to me what I guess people do to others trying to learn how to swim: Just push them in.

I had a lot of anxiety about driving for I think a month or two but when I started to realize I could go ANYWHERE......there was just that sense of freedom. After that I rarely stayed home as I was out meeting girls, going to parties (with close friends only), going to stores, etc.

Now that I'm in my early 30's and have been driving for over 10 years......I only leave the house when I have to *shrugs*.



Aniihya
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29 Mar 2015, 6:50 pm

I didn't have issues learning how to drive. My driving instructor even taught me how to drift (controlled drifts, which was cool and terrifying at first). Even though my car looks like that of an Italian or Belgian nowadays because I may have gotten a couple scratches while offroading, I enjoy driving. People often complain about me being a fast driver though, but I tell them: "I am not the one who got any driving tickets though."



invaderhorizongreen
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09 Apr 2015, 7:04 pm

I am fortunate that there is a bus system and I could just walk if need be, or get a ride with a co worker. I have never been able to handle driving myself.



SilverProteus
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10 Apr 2015, 8:08 pm

I love to drive! I got my first car even before I got my license and have been driving ever since. I don't recall ever feeling any anxiety over driving, not even during stressful rush hour periods (which I recommend you avoid while you're learning, the added stress won't help).


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LillyDale
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10 Apr 2015, 10:34 pm

There are some driving schools that cater to teaching adults to drive.

I learned when I was 16. The driving instructor I had made it far less stressful than it could have been. Lesson day 3 was downtown freeway during rush hour. My dad insisted he ride with me a bunch of times when I got my first car (I already had my license). He spent most of it yelling at me so that probably made things worse rather than better. IE: Trying to concentrate on traffic and rules with someone screaming in your ear.

I have been driving for 30+ years. I find driving in a big city like Chicago easier than I do in the smaller city we currently live in. Drivers in a big city are more predicable because they have to follow the rules of the road. The smaller city has less demanding driving but way more people who are careless drivers who don't follow the rules, making them unpredictable.

I find taking back routes can sometimes be faster and less stressful than taking the expected main road somewhere in a city. There are certain streets or intersections I avoid not because they scare me but to avoid the more crazy traffic so it is less stressful.



ajpd1989
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12 Apr 2015, 1:46 am

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

Some, such as myself, have a very hard time trying to drive a manual.
I've tried many times and I can't usually make it more than a few feet without stalling.
I don't seem to have the capacity to move all four limbs in a coordinated manner, much less in a thoughtful way.
My father gave up trying to teach me because he didn't want me to wreck the clutch.


I can drive any sort of automatic fine though. FWD, RWD, 4WD, AWD, tiny, or huge. Makes no difference to me.
I only steer with my right hand, because it hurts to use my left arm for more than a minute or two.



Sorry OP, I can't really help you. I didn't really have any anxiety about learning to drive, except with regard to merging onto a highway.