Friday, August 11, 2006

Poof: Driving Teacher Just Shows Up!

Okay this is scary.

I have finally, finally decided to really be serious about driving and within 24 hours, I have met a highly recommended Driving Ed instructor.

Here's the scenario:

I'm at my kids' school and I meet another mom. I casually mention that I don't drive. She looks mildy appalled; milding amused.

To save face, I mention my summer goal: TO DRIVE!

She says: Oh wow and there's even a driving school car parked in the parking lot TODAY.

It turns out that one of the part-time maintenance crew members also owns a driving school. He comes highly recommended by the maintenance chief at my kids' school.

We talk and he even offers to help me with my written test.

We have an appointment for Tuesday at 3:30 pm

Is that spooky or am I just reading too much into the universal mind?


The Spring of Life said...

Hello Again, Dear Sharon,

I just read Your stories about Your fear of driving. I understand it! Years ago when I had not yet got my licence, I drove and completely crushed my friend's car. I had a bad feeling (like a warning) within me about driving that day... and without a licence... but I did it anyway... like practicing on a country road... and ended up chashing my friend's car! It took me months of driving classes to get over the fear of driving. I made myself to go to the classes. Finally I got over the fear and completed the test successfully. Now I love driving! You will too!

I wish You great success in overcoming Your fears and succeeding in Your challenges.


Frugal Duchess: Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...

Hi Eve:
Thanks so much for the thoughtful comments.

I'm glad to hear that you overcame your fears.

I hope to follow your example.

I'm really making an effort.
I appreciate your enouragement.

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

I have complete faith in you that you can do this, Sharon. The primary thing about driving is not to be afraid of it. With any luck, your instructor will be patient. I remember before I learned to drive I couldn't see how cars stayed on the road so well. It seemed like the effort to drive must be enormous. But it's really not. Like anything, it has a bit of a learner's curve, but then you'll be going along just fine, and it won't take you long at all.

If you lived in Atlanta I would just offer to take you out driving myself. I've taught several people to either drive completely or drive a stick shift when they were very afraid.

Advice, hmmm. I am sure your instructor will have plenty, but when I take people out, I start on a back road where they can get used to driving slowly--and making the normal adjustments like checking the mirrors to make sure they work for you, and learning to come to a slow stop. When I take people out who have never driven, after they have gotten used to driving (slowly), I have them slow down to about 15 miles per hour and drive one side of the car off the road slightly so that they can feel how obvious it is when you go off the road. One fear a lot of people have when they're driving is losing control, but that's not actually easy to do as long as you pay attention.

Just always keep in mind "nice and easy"--easy breathing, easy pressing of the gas, easy pressing of the break, easy angles on turns.

Don't feel bad about telling people to be quiet or keeping the radio off when you are adjusting to driving and they are riding with you. Whatever noise level you feel comfortable with is how it should stay. You'll grow comfortable with more noise as time passes.

Make sure you leave lots of room between you and the car in front of you. A lot of people don't leave space, but when you are travelling at any sort of speed, you need reaction-time space between you and another car. I think the rule of thumb is one car length for every ten miles per hour that you are travelling.

If people want to act like fools and cut you off or something, let them. Don't get in a war with other drivers; protect yourslf and your car, and don't worry about the rest. I think a focus on defensive driving is the most important driving lesson my parents gave me. I try not to sweat the small stuff in traffic and remember that everyone around me is a human being and not just a car.

Anytime you feel like you need to slow down, do it. Don't let people in traffic make you feel rushed.

All that said, just take a deep breath, and then another one, and take the plunge. You're going to enjoy it once you get started. And if you ever make it up to Atlanta and don't know how to drive a stick shift yet, I will be happy to teach you that then. :)

sbeachmama said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sbeachmama said...

hi, I just read your story about driving and I relate to it more than you could ever know. For the 15 yesrs I have lived here I have had to make up all sorts of wacky excuses about why I don't drive, pollution/gas prices/good public transport. I really want to overcome my fear so I can take my children to their various activities. DO you know of any sort of group? How about those tapes they offer over the internet about overcoming your fear. I know the basic mechanics of a driving having had quite a few false starts but now I reeally need the confidence. I am rooting for you and I will be following your progress and if you find out the secret/key please pass it on.
p.s. reading this I sound really off the wall but I am quite normal in every other way.

sbeachmama said...

I just read over what I wrote ...sorry about all the spelling and typos. I guess I am not so great in the spelling dept. either.

Frugal Duchess: Sharon Harvey Rosenberg said...

Hey guys:

Thanks for being so supportive.
I appreciate the tips.

My driving instructor cancelled today.
Karma? HMMMM.

But I'm not deterred. I will continue to push.

Thanks for the tips.
I will use them as a post.


Thanks for sharing my pain.

I wish I could take my kids to school.

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

Have you rescheduled yet?

jeremy said...

I imagine what its like. Must be tough though.

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