Learning To Drive As An Older Driver - VeggieBoards - A Vegetarian Community
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#1 Old 06-28-2010, 07:33 PM
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Has anyone here learnt to drive when they are "older"? I recently bought a car for $300, a damned good car, too, looks good, comfortable and mechanically near perfect. And it was $300!!! (Not $3000, which would be closer to what it was worth.) The only trouble is, I don't have a drivers licence. I've always biked, walked, or caught trains everywhere.



So... I am 38 and just learning to drive. Anyone else here ever learnt to drive after the usual age of 16,17 or 18? What was it like for you?

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#2 Old 06-28-2010, 08:24 PM
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I was driving a tractor from pretty young, and a car from younger than usual. (Not on the roads, but when you grow up on a farm, it's not unusual to be driving well before 16.)



My mother, though, didn't drive until we emigrated, so she was in her mid 40's. She took to it like a duck to water, and was operating all kinds of farm machinery in her first year, as well as a car.



I think it'll be easier for you than for a teenager. So much of driving is judgment, and that generally gets better with age, even though one's physical reactions might slow down a little. Most teenagers, for example, think that all they need to do is obey the rules of the road and they'll be O.K. It takes a while to realize that you can't assume everyone else is obeying the rules of the road too - you actually have to look and see whether they are, and be prepared if they're not. A lot of teenagers suck at defensive driving for that reason.
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#3 Old 06-28-2010, 08:39 PM
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I was horribly shy when I was a teen and couldn't stand the thought of someone watching my every move while learning to drive, so I didn't get my license until I was in my mid 20's. The next week after I got my license I drove up to northern California....a 10 hour drive. You should have no problem.



Oh, is it a stick or automatic? I still can't drive a stick

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#4 Old 06-28-2010, 09:52 PM
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i learned in my early 20's (and was petrified) - my bf's mum learned in her 30's, my aunty learned in her late 40's... (all driving cars with a manual gearbox- none of that automatic silliness ).



you can learn any time, and be a decent driver, as long as you have a degree of common sense, the ability to make simple decisions decisively, some kind of multi-tasking ability (like the ability to turn your head and not have your whole body follow it -that one took me a while- whenever i looked left i steered left as well for ages -, or to move something an inch or so while paying more visual attention to something else- most people can learn that- if you can walk while talking on a phone, type while looking at a screen, or similar, you're already there!) the ability to practice, and retain information and skills for more than 10 minutes, and um... a degree of common sense.



there is quite a lot of timing and spacial awareness stuff going on in a car when you're driving, but most of it becomes fully automatic after you've done it a bajillion times, just like other things you do every day do (like managing to not walk into walls constantly, knowing whether you can reach something before you reach for it- stuff you learn as a baby- etc).



just have confidence in your abilities, and plug away at it til you've got it down like a pro. some people take longer than others to become profficient drivers, but that doesn't make them better or worse in the end. it took me 4 goes to be confident enough to pass my test, and i've hit way less things than my little brother who passed first go.
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#5 Old 06-28-2010, 10:51 PM
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I know lots of people who waited until their middle twenties or older to get their license. It seems that most of them were naturals behind the wheel. I'm sure that you've picked up a lot more than you realize about driving simply by being in and around cars. You'll pick it up quick, I'm sure
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#6 Old 06-28-2010, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paisleyjane' date='28 June 2010 - 11:51 PM' timestamp='1277790700' post='2666114 View Post


I know lots of people who waited until their middle twenties or older to get their license. It seems that most of them were naturals behind the wheel. I'm sure that you've picked up a lot more than you realize about driving simply by being in and around cars. You'll pick it up quick, I'm sure



This is what I've found as well. You probably already know 98% of the rules of the road, and you've got a good head on your shoulders. You'll be fine!

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#7 Old 06-29-2010, 12:18 AM
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I actually think you will be better as a driver learning a few years later. I think no matter what your age, being a new driver can be nerve wracking. I know of a woman who learned to drive just recently, she is over 70. She learned after her husband died.
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#8 Old 06-29-2010, 12:36 AM
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Wow what a great deal you got on the car!! New cars are exciting and getting great deals is even more awesome



I think you'll pick it up fine. You have more of an advantage being older since you are more mature, responsible and experienced than most teens that get their license. I'm sure with biking a lot of places you've seen your fair share of stupid mistakes people make while driving so you'll know what NOT to do!



My mom was in her 30s when she first learned to drive. However, one thing is never learned how to do (and doesn't want to bother learning) was pumping gas. (sigh) We have full service gas stations around here so she just goes to those. Everyone tries to teach her and convince her to learn how to do it in case she's in a situation where she HAS no choice but to do it on her own but she refuses.
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#9 Old 06-29-2010, 02:26 AM
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One of my mother's friends learned when she was in her forties. I think it was hard for her, not being used to handling a car. I remember some story about her getting frustrated during the lessons. But now a few decades have passed, and she has been driving around wherever and whenever she wants, and I'll bet she's glad she got her license late rather than not at all. Go for it!

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#10 Old 06-29-2010, 03:16 AM
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I've been quite enjoying, learning. I think I am going pretty well, and so do the various people who have been teaching me. I'm pretty good on the whole road/traffic thing, having biked in heavy traffic for so many years. I've done quiet back streets, highways, freeways, a tiny little bit of city driving, some long drives, and some steep and windy mountain passes. Not long before I will be ready to take my test!



I'm just very excited about the whole thing. Buying the car was just out of the blue and getting a licence was a snap decision. I feel like a giggly 16 year old all excited about her first car (it IS my first car!) The driving part has been fine, super if fact, it's just I've got no friends going through the whole "squee!!! I have my first car!" thing. Either they did that at 17, or, for the most part, are non-drivers like me.

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#11 Old 06-29-2010, 03:41 AM
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You'll do great, Kiz, and great job on finding the car! Some of my best vehicles have been 300 dollar specials. No car payments, the insurance is cheap, you're recycling, and typically I've gotten three or four years out of a clunker without putting any real money into them except for oil changes. Just drive them until they're dead and go find another one.
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#12 Old 06-29-2010, 09:30 PM
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I misunderstood your first car excitement for new driver's anxiety. I am all excited about buying a bicycle. I haven't gotten mine yet, though. It took forever to decide whether or not I need a battery and I finally decided not. Still shopping... When I get it, I'll be doing a "squee!!!" for sure. Happy travels in your new car!

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#13 Old 06-30-2010, 02:18 PM
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to add to the gas pumping comment- please take a basic maintenance and mechanics course as well as the driving lessons- there are some aimed specifically at women if you don't wanna deal with a bunch of well... um... men.



it makes a HUGE difference to both your wallet and your confidence knowing that you can check the fluid levels, change tyres, adjust air pressure, jump start the car, patch a slow puncture, put together a basic emergency tool kit and keep it in the trunk, etc- and not having to sit on the side of a highway at night (in the car where you might get hit by other traffic, or outside where you might get dragged into a ditch by a vicious koala? ) waiting for someone to rescue you- be it a friend who you phoned, a passing stranger (and potential total nutter) or an AA dude who'll charge you silly money, for something really small and easily fixable like a flat. those basic skills might also save your life one day if you're in the arse end of nowhere with no phone reception or a dead phone battery.
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#14 Old 07-01-2010, 01:32 AM
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I'll share the first car squee part, but I'm 17. =D I got my license a couple of months ago and I love the freedom.
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#15 Old 07-01-2010, 01:57 AM
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Originally Posted by jeneticallymodified' date='30 June 2010 - 05:18 PM' timestamp='1277932682' post='2666986 View Post


to add to the gas pumping comment- please take a basic maintenance and mechanics course as well as the driving lessons- there are some aimed specifically at women if you don't wanna deal with a bunch of well... um... men.



it makes a HUGE difference to both your wallet and your confidence knowing that you can check the fluid levels, change tyres, adjust air pressure, jump start the car, patch a slow puncture, put together a basic emergency tool kit and keep it in the trunk, etc- and not having to sit on the side of a highway at night (in the car where you might get hit by other traffic, or outside where you might get dragged into a ditch by a vicious koala? ) waiting for someone to rescue you- be it a friend who you phoned, a passing stranger (and potential total nutter) or an AA dude who'll charge you silly money, for something really small and easily fixable like a flat. those basic skills might also save your life one day if you're in the arse end of nowhere with no phone reception or a dead phone battery.



Great advice jen! I have jumper cables, fix-a-flat, and an emergency kit in my car but honestly have no idea how to use any of them. I'm going to talk to stepfather today and have him teach me since he is the one I usually go to do when I need those things.
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#16 Old 07-01-2010, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fadeaway1289' date='01 July 2010 - 04:57 AM' timestamp='1277974657' post='2667265 View Post


Great advice jen! I have jumper cables, fix-a-flat, and an emergency kit in my car but honestly have no idea how to use any of them. I'm going to talk to stepfather today and have him teach me since he is the one I usually go to do when I need those things.



good job you! its really liberating to feel capable, and its not complicated stuff to do or use.



i've never really had to fix a flat myself, because the one time i got one (actually 2 at once, which was impressive) i phoned my dad to tell him i had a flat, but not to worry cos i was gonna fix it, and i was just getting the tyre iron out when he came running down the road to rescue me like a heroic dad-type old codger. .....and then he phoned my brother and made him go and buy me two new tyres and drop them off at my house, and he phoned our mechanic, and got him to come and check over the car and change the tyres when i'd got home.... and i sorta felt like i should let him feel useful and do all that stuff, you know... poor old duffer. but i have practiced it a lot, and i could have done it- an thats what counts!
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#17 Old 07-01-2010, 06:35 PM
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I'm 19. I had about 4 lessons a year ago and haven't had any since. I'm terrified of driving. I know I've got to do it one day but I can't actually afford it as it's at least £20 an hour and I am completely rubbish (I have motor skills and perception problems) so I'm looking at at least 50 lessons if not more .





Anyhoo, YAY for the first car . Good luck!
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#18 Old 07-01-2010, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by fadeaway1289' date='29 June 2010 - 12:36 AM' timestamp='1277797018' post='2666162 View Post


Wow what a great deal you got on the car!! New cars are exciting and getting great deals is even more awesome



I think you'll pick it up fine. You have more of an advantage being older since you are more mature, responsible and experienced than most teens that get their license. I'm sure with biking a lot of places you've seen your fair share of stupid mistakes people make while driving so you'll know what NOT to do!



My mom was in her 30s when she first learned to drive. However, one thing is never learned how to do (and doesn't want to bother learning) was pumping gas. (sigh) We have full service gas stations around here so she just goes to those. Everyone tries to teach her and convince her to learn how to do it in case she's in a situation where she HAS no choice but to do it on her own but she refuses.



I agree with everything Fadeaway says. You're older, you have more common sense, and that's mainly what driving is about.



As for the pumping gas thing.. I really need to learn. It's illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon, and when I lived in Guam I never learned (a lot of gas stations were full service). One more thing to add to my to do list.

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#19 Old 07-01-2010, 08:06 PM
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Filling up your car is incredibly easy. You just take the cap off, stick the nozzle in, press the "go" trigger until you have a much as you want, and then go pay. Took me one lesson to get it down pat.

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#20 Old 07-02-2010, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by jeneticallymodified' date='01 July 2010 - 08:20 PM' timestamp='1278030012' post='2667608 View Post


i've never really had to fix a flat myself, because the one time i got one (actually 2 at once, which was impressive) i phoned my dad to tell him i had a flat, but not to worry cos i was gonna fix it, and i was just getting the tyre iron out when he came running down the road to rescue me like a heroic dad-type old codger. .....and then he phoned my brother and made him go and buy me two new tyres and drop them off at my house, and he phoned our mechanic, and got him to come and check over the car and change the tyres when i'd got home.... and i sorta felt like i should let him feel useful and do all that stuff, you know... poor old duffer. but i have practiced it a lot, and i could have done it- an thats what counts!



Awww. That's really sweet of them. It's awesome that you know how to do it on your own but it made me smile to know that you are surrounded by people that care so much about you and want to make sure you are safe.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnight Angel' date='01 July 2010 - 10:26 PM' timestamp='1278037582' post='2667646 View Post

It's illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon, and when I lived in Guam I never learned (a lot of gas stations were full service).



Why is it illegal there? I could see the fear of people filling up their tanks and driving off but all the gas stations here are "prepay" to prevent that from happening.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiz' date='01 July 2010 - 11:06 PM' timestamp='1278039967' post='2667664 View Post


Filling up your car is incredibly easy. You just take the cap off, stick the nozzle in, press the "go" trigger until you have a much as you want, and then go pay. Took me one lesson to get it down pat.













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#21 Old 07-02-2010, 04:56 AM
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Here you go, Loreen. (I didn't name her, someone before me had written that name on the number plate). I've always thought that if I got a car it would be a van or a station wagon. The only time I really want for a car is when I see a bed or large piece of furniture I want to shift from place to place. The "freedom" thing... well, I still say all you need is a bike, a train and your legs to go most anywhere. The only thing I've felt the want for is goods transportation. Plus, it fits a full size single bed mattress in the back so I can sleep in it!








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#22 Old 07-02-2010, 05:06 AM
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I probably should have actually washed the car before I took photos of it, but oh well.




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#23 Old 07-02-2010, 05:31 AM
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People over 15-years old lack the basic skills- hand/eye coordination, etc.- to safely function in a mechanized world. You should either hire a smart kid to be your chauffeur, or else get rid of the car and invest in a stout pair of crutches to get you around. Face it: you're over the hill. Stop this pathetic attempt to reclaim your youth.

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#24 Old 07-02-2010, 03:57 PM
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I'm 24 and I only have my G1. In Canada, this means I took the test that allows me to drive with an instructor in the car (training) but not by myself. A year after you get your G1 (or 8 months if you sign up with a driving school), you take a road test that will give you your G2 and allows you to cruise with passengers under 16. After that, you take another test that allows you to drive with passengers under 16. I need to sign up with a driving school but I keep putting it off. I don't want to waste what little time I have off from work.
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#25 Old 07-02-2010, 05:54 PM
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Kiz- I love the color! What a bargain for $300! Looks all nice and roomy. Hope you enjoy your new ride
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