Author Topic: Maintaining driving confidence/skill in an almost driving free life?  (Read 807 times)

Moustachienne

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DH and I live in the perfect location to walk/transit (me) and bike/transit (him) almost everywhere in our city.  We gladly leave the car parked for days or even a week or more at a time.  But here's the thing.  From time to time we need to drive to pick up large items, visit friends and  relatives out of town or even just in far flung suburbs, or transport senior relatives to appointments.  And we both feel a bit rusty when that happens.  DH hates city driving the most; I've lost confidence with highway driving.  Unfortunately, we both sometimes need to drive in both situations and can't just split the task. :)

So my plan is to drive at least once a week and to maybe practice some specific skills, like parallel parking or highway merging. On the plus side, I like listening to music in the car 'cause I can sing along in private.

Anyone else find this same challenge with driving on rare occasions? How do you address it?

Freedomin5

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Re: Maintaining driving confidence/skill in an almost driving free life?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2018, 03:23:15 AM »
We are car-free for about 11 months of the year, only driving when we're back in Canada over the summer. To us, driving is like riding a bike; we don't ever really forget how to do it. The first time taking the car out is a little nerve-wracking, but we are usually comfortable with driving within the first 15-30 minutes. We may drive at the speed limit and may be a bit more alert at first.

yakamashii

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Re: Maintaining driving confidence/skill in an almost driving free life?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2018, 04:39:10 AM »
We are car-free for about 11 months of the year, only driving when we're back in Canada over the summer. To us, driving is like riding a bike; we don't ever really forget how to do it. The first time taking the car out is a little nerve-wracking, but we are usually comfortable with driving within the first 15-30 minutes. We may drive at the speed limit and may be a bit more alert at first.

We're in the same situation, no car in Japan but borrow family members' cars when we visit the US. Driving in Japan actually prepares us well for the US - the speed limits are low and you can't turn against red lights, so we show up in the States with pretty conservative habits (we figure this is better than the other way around). We also have the whole driving on the right vs driving on the left thing to worry about, so we're cautious by nature.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Maintaining driving confidence/skill in an almost driving free life?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2018, 07:40:35 AM »
Would it be an option to use an ‹ber on the occasions you need to drive? It might sound costly, but then you could do away your car completely which is a big saver.

I presume you have a trolly for your bike, to pick up bigger items within a reasonable size range?

Moustachienne

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Re: Maintaining driving confidence/skill in an almost driving free life?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2018, 10:59:05 AM »
Sounds like it's just us, lol.  We'll keep our hand in so as not to turn in to menaces on the road.   :)   


Would it be an option to use an ‹ber on the occasions you need to drive? It might sound costly, but then you could do away your car completely which is a big saver.

I presume you have a trolly for your bike, to pick up bigger items within a reasonable size range?

No Uber in our city but actually not worried about the money aspect of this at all, just the skills.  And yep, we have a bike trailer.  Not that useful for driving on the highway and/or taking the 80+ crowd to the doctor.  Although I kind of like the image of granny (plus wheelchair) in the back as we pedal along in the HOV lane!   

PoutineLover

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Re: Maintaining driving confidence/skill in an almost driving free life?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2018, 11:03:35 AM »
I learned to drive 11 years ago, drove regularly for about a year, and since then I have never owned a car. I drive a few times a year for a week or so, that's it. I'm a bit more nervous on the road because I'm not used to it, but I still remember how to do it. If you work in some extra time to get where you're going, you should be fine.

LifePhaseTwo

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Re: Maintaining driving confidence/skill in an almost driving free life?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2018, 12:16:13 PM »
There are a lot of really awful drivers where I live, and I honestly donít love being a driver or a passenger here. I usually use public transportation, but I keep my driving skills up by going out early on Sunday mornings to pick up groceries before others are on the roads. DH loves driving, so he does most of the driving in our house.

Poundwise

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Re: Maintaining driving confidence/skill in an almost driving free life?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2018, 09:32:08 AM »
Volunteer for Meals on Wheels or similar; get a side gig picking up kids from school or driving them to evening activities (if you are working during the daytime)?

Hula Hoop

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Re: Maintaining driving confidence/skill in an almost driving free life?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2018, 09:44:48 AM »
I'm in this situation.  I've never owned a car here in Italy and we don't really need one.  But I got my Italian drivers license a few months ago just to have it in case we get a car later (my husband doesn't drive).  But I've lost my confidence after 10+ years of not driving and also Italian drivers are kind of nuts.  They scare me as they are extremely aggressive drivers and the rules are seen as 'suggestions'.  But I expect that we'll bite the bullet eventually and get a car or I might start doing car sharing after I've had the license for a year and can start doing it.  I might try to do car sharing once a week or so on a Sunday just for practice.

Moustachienne

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Re: Maintaining driving confidence/skill in an almost driving free life?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2018, 11:14:36 AM »
Volunteer for Meals on Wheels or similar; get a side gig picking up kids from school or driving them to evening activities (if you are working during the daytime)?

I think a regular volunteer driving gig could be the way to go as I'm retired and have both flexible time and no need to make money. That would meet two of my goals, keep up the driving skills and do some giving back. 

The Volunteer Cancer Drivers program in my city, and everywhere I bet, is always looking for drivers.  We have family members that really benefitted from this service (taking people to chemo, radiation and other cancer related appointments) and DH and I both benefitted hugely from not having to take time off work to take people to these often daily appointments.  It let us save the time for needs that only family could provide.  It's a minimum one day or two half day per week commitment so I'd need to let another volunteer commitment go but down the road, this could be just the thing.

Moustachienne

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Re: Maintaining driving confidence/skill in an almost driving free life?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2018, 11:20:46 AM »
Yikes!  And I feel uncomfortable driving in the city where I grew up.  :)    I did go 7 years without driving when we lived in another bigger city with great transit and no senior relatives to worry about and it was a bit hard to get back into it.  I actually took driving lessons (to drive stick!) just before we left the big city because I needed to share cross country driving duties with DH.   Regular practice is the way to go, I think.  Good luck!


I'm in this situation.  I've never owned a car here in Italy and we don't really need one.  But I got my Italian drivers license a few months ago just to have it in case we get a car later (my husband doesn't drive).  But I've lost my confidence after 10+ years of not driving and also Italian drivers are kind of nuts.  They scare me as they are extremely aggressive drivers and the rules are seen as 'suggestions'.  But I expect that we'll bite the bullet eventually and get a car or I might start doing car sharing after I've had the license for a year and can start doing it.  I might try to do car sharing once a week or so on a Sunday just for practice.

Poundwise

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Re: Maintaining driving confidence/skill in an almost driving free life?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2018, 03:39:11 PM »
The Volunteer Cancer Drivers program in my city, and everywhere I bet, is always looking for drivers.  We have family members that really benefitted from this service (taking people to chemo, radiation and other cancer related appointments) and DH and I both benefitted hugely from not having to take time off work to take people to these often daily appointments.  It let us save the time for needs that only family could provide.  It's a minimum one day or two half day per week commitment so I'd need to let another volunteer commitment go but down the road, this could be just the thing.

Yes! Go you!!

Boofinator

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Re: Maintaining driving confidence/skill in an almost driving free life?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2018, 04:08:08 PM »
I agree, the less someone drives, in general the worse they get at driving. But I wouldn't worry about it, because let's look at the potential consequences. To use hypothetical numbers, let's say for every halving of your driving, you increase the chance of you causing a wreck by 10% when you do drive. If we assume you're an average driver, half of the wrecks would be caused by you and the other half by the other driver, so the actual increase in wrecks would be 5%. And since you've halved your driving, you increase your chance of those wrecks over the same amount of driving before you cut your driving in half by 2.5%.

So bottom line, even though you've increased your chance of causing a wreck when you drive by 10%, you've decreased your overall chance of getting in a wreck by 47.5%. I'll take those odds.

And keep in mind every time you go out to practice driving, you are only increasing your chance of getting in an accident.