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Learning to drive but very, very nervous

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    I am a 46-year-old woman. (Whether or not my gender matters in this case, I thought I’d mention it.) Seven weeks ago I started to learn to drive and have driven for about 20 hours, total. I’ve had lessons from an instructor (in a dual control car). Then, knowing that if I did somrething wrong or dangerous, he was there with back-up controls, I felt OK. Since my lessons, I’ve been practicing with one or other of my sisters, in their car. The problem now is that I get extremely (but extremely) nervous while on the road, to the extent that I break out in a sweat. I dare not drive at more than 35 m.p.h. My sisters say I must drive faster. I say I’m not ready. Yesterday I managed to damage the car by driving into a road barrier (while moving slowly, trying to do a U-turn). It happened because I was nervous and accelerated too much, so I can say I lost control. I can tell myself a hundred times “don’t be nervous” but this makes no difference to my actual feelings.

    How can I begin to feel less nervous?
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    To be honest I was really nervous when I started but I gained confidence. It sounds like you might need another instructor if you are not progressing after 20 hours...
    Do you feel comfortable around him/her?
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    It's like letting a monkey fly a plane. :rolleyes:

    Seriously though, if you're this nervous after so many hours then you need to address it or not drive. Try to work out what's making you nervous. Is it a fear of crashing, for instance? Doing more hours with an instructor will improve your skills and confidence, which should reduce your nerves a good bit.

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    (Original post by popotla)
    I am a 46-year-old woman. (Whether or not my gender matters in this case, I thought I’d mention it.)...... I can tell myself a hundred times “don’t be nervous” but this makes no difference to my actual feelings.

    How can I begin to feel less nervous?
    Its a confidence issue not a nerves issue

    You have to build your confidence at your pace and not at the instructors pace but that WILL cost you more money and require a good patient instructor

    Confidence can be gained by doing some private driving with a friend or family member who is calm and good at putting things across but I would recommend paying the instructor/ADI for 30 mins of their time to advise the supervising driver
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    Keep trying with the instructor before you move onto private practice! Also, if being in the dual controlled car made you feel more confident then you know you can rent them? Arnold Clark have them for £9 an hour so you can go out with your sisters and still know that they can brake etc if you need them to! Works out cheaper than having a lesson with an instructor but is a step between that and being completely in charge yourself.

    Good luck!

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