In the last few weeks I’ve started driving on the motorway, which surprisingly has been going okish. I first drove on the M5 three weeks ago, and I only did about 60 miles before Mr B took over again. After only slightly more motorway experience, I ended up driving on the M6, in the dark and rain last Friday night. I thought I’d done alright, given the conditions. The hardest thing was the fact that I couldn’t tell how far away the cars were, when I looked in my mirrors – all I could see was lights. I’ve since been told that the central mirror has a fancy fitting which stops the light glare – nobody had ever told me this before!
I drove back part way yesterday, and got a bit flustered when the M6 traffic slowed down to an almost stop – I was in motorway driving mode, and was confused about what I should do with gears, etc on the motorway when driving so slowly. I did change down, but then changed up too quickly when it cleared and couldn’t accelerate quick enough. Overall it was alright – except when I got caught up in the roadwork signs and missed the signs which said my line was going to turn into the M42… I have a history with that motorway, although thankfully we were able to turn around before we’d gone 20 miles in the wrong direction!
Overall motorway driving is going ok – I feel relatively confident about changing lane and coping with common motorway issues. Where my confidence is severely lacking is parking and general maneuvers. When I was learning to drive I was fine with it. My instructor explained the logistics and I mostly understood it, and I didn’t have any major problem. Now though, I just mess it up. I know which way to turn the wheel in theory, but in practice I always do it wrong. And I haven’t even attempted parallel parking yet.
I think I’m going to have to find a big, empty space and just practice reversing the car round in different ways. And if that doesn’t work, I might have to get a couple of extra lessons. I know all I really need is lots of practice. But it’s difficult when I don’t particularly like driving and will do anything to get out of it.
I’ve also got to get over the hurdle of driving on my own. When I do mess things up, Mr B is the one who tells me how to fix it. So the thought of being stuck in a car somewhere, completely unable to park, just terrifies me.
The stupid thing is, I feel I was overall better at driving when I passed my test, than I am now, four and a half years later. It’s what happens when you don’t drive for four years.