college kid afraid to drive

Mary Lynn - posted on 07/13/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 18 and starting college. she is terrified of driving and we live about 10 miles from the college. My husband wants to charge her for rides to school and work. I feel that as a parent, it is my job to provide for her needs as long as she is working and in school. She doesn't go out alot or ask for rides anywhere but school and work. Any thoughts from others who've had this experience?

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Yvonne - posted on 07/20/2010

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my dd did want to learn to drive,but when she got onto the road found it pretty scary.
So I studied the map to find a route that would be not to busy would avoid her having to change lanes.
I worked one out. I would pick her up from school, drive to a park and park in the car park. So we started from a nice quiet spot no hassles. She needed to back out of the car spot and then hard turns to the right to head for the exit onto a quiet street. We then turned left to go past a school (40K zone) (traffic gone by now) I found this a great way to build her confidence. The wheel turning in the car park forced her to take charge and control of the car and built confidence before going out onto the road.
The route I chose was the only route she drove for some time, but it did build her confidence with being comfortable with the car and is now better on other roads. It takes time, patients, lots of encouragement, lots of reassuring and an ability to laugh when it doesn't always work out. All the best. :)

Mary Lynn - posted on 07/14/2010

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She was 12 when my cousin was killed in a car accident and my daughter was deeply affected. They showed alot of dying teenagers and car crashes during her 1st segment of drivers training so she wouldn't finish the training.

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Jull - posted on 05/17/2014

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My dad tried teaching me and it was a disaster, he screamed at me, called me names, told me i would get ran over, and made me give up on driving for about 2 years. I finally decided to try to learn how to drive again but this time I bought courses at http://education4drivers.com/. I think i have improved a lot and become more confident even though we're still practicing at a parking lot. PARENTS PLEASE DO NOT SCREAM AT YOUR KIDS WHEN TEACHING THEM TO DRIVE, it makes them even more nervous and they make more mistakes. After all I passed my driving practice exam from 1st try. If you have a nervous passenger in the car it definitely goes make a big difference.

Missy - posted on 07/27/2010

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My 17 year old son just got his driver's license. He did not like driving and was/is very nervous. We took a lot of time with him and required him to drive with us, of course. He had his learner's permit for two years before we insisted that he get his license with college quickly approaching. The first time he drove alone, I followed him which made him feel a lot more comfortable. He has been driving for a week and 1/2 now and is slowly gaining confidence and not being as scared. He has talked about going to the mall,etc but hasn't done it yet. I think he is building up his courage. We continually encourage him and require him to drive us on the weekends in order for him to gain experience and to help him feel more confident. I am not sure why he is afraid....death has hit close to home when we lost our daughter a few years back, but not related to a car accident. It is nerve wracking as a parent, but I know that in the world we live in, it is necessary to drive. I would encourage you to take it slow, but encourage her to drive. Start out in empty church parking lots or something...or drive around the neighborhood. Short excursions to begin with. Another thing that helps me and my son not to be scared is our faith in God--that He is in control. I agree with Yvonne when she said it takes lots of patience, encouragement and the ability to laugh when it doesn't work out.

Jennifer - posted on 07/20/2010

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Oh, and I totally understand the video's they show in certain driving schools as being inappropriate for certain drivers. I was furious that the high school my daughter goes to showed a GRAPHIC slow motion car accident only hours after they announced that her friend had died in a car accident over the weekend. I believe that was totally wrong and my daughter had to go to counseling to get over her fear. She was physically ill for several days after watching that traumatic video. Personally, I consider some of those films to be abusive. When you re-enroll her in the first segment of drivers training, take her to a different school and ask to see/review the video's they show before you let them show it to your daughter. Explain that she is trying to get past a fear of driving and some of those video's can be traumatic. Also, if she is seeing a licensed psychologist, they can write her a note excusing her from having to watch the graphic films and they have to allow her to pass the class without having to watch them.

Jennifer - posted on 07/20/2010

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I am an adult who has a fear of driving. From experience, I have to say, she needs to force herself to do it till she can get comfortable driving certain places. She should also get a therapist to help her overcome her fear. Babying her is not going to help her in the long run. You are not going to be alive forever and eventually she will have to learn to drive for herself. At this age, you should no longer be driving her to work or school. This is her responsibility and your job as a parent is to make her ready to be responsible for herself. At this point it might be a good idea for you to push her into counseling to overcome her fears and slowly wean her off dependence on you.

Mary Lynn - posted on 07/20/2010

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Thank you all for sharing your stories. My younger daughter is starting drivers training next week so I'm hoping that maybe it will help to ease her mind and maybe even aggravate her a bit that her younger sister is getting out and about more.

Jacqui - posted on 07/20/2010

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I am turning 43 next month and I have only been driving since I was 39, you cannot make anyone drive if they dont want to, I needed to drive once I went back to work and got the oppotunity to go further in my job, but it was my realisation, my husband only helped me in finding a driving instructor who dealt with older learner drivers otherwise he stayed out of it. I also got my own little old car, but around this time last year a red light runner plowed into the side of my car, my parents were in the car with me and he hit on the side where my elderly father was sitting, it was learning to deal with the anger and all the rolling emotions that go with it, I think your daughter needs therapy to get through the fear. It takes some time I still call the IDIOT who ran into me a few choice names every now and then, but she needs to move the experience to a life lesson not a prison to hold her back.

Lisa - posted on 07/18/2010

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I'd drive her, but then my 35 year old partner still doesn't drive and that's driving me insane LOL She does need to get the confidence but without feeling pushed. It took me years to get confidence to drive and I still won't drive to the city (Melbourne, Australia) I'm fine driving my kids around our home town, and I drive out of town and out of state, I just don't cope well with a lot of traffic.

Julie - posted on 07/14/2010

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well some of these pictures are really harrowing and couple that with a road death in the family no wonder she traumatised. gentle persuasion is the only way and if she won't do it then there is nothing you can do to she will have to come to the decision to drive on her own. the only other option is the bus. if there is no direct bus route then amybe she should change to a college nearer home or move to the campus. if none of these apeal to her then she may see that driving herself is the only option. good luck with her and i really am sorry to hear about your cousin. its tragic loosing any member of the family no matter how close a relative or what age.

Julie - posted on 07/14/2010

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she may not like driving places she doesnt know. my sister in law is like that. i know it may sound extreme but have you thought of maybe you or your husband doing the journey a couple of times over the weekend and letting her follow you. that way she will be confident at where she is going and the road layout ahead. everything we are afriad of is down to confidence and she needs to build hers. extra lessons for parking and strange roadways may be in order. she will get used to it eventauly dont push her just gently persuade her.

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