Driving ?

Hey ...I have been on here for years but usually just read and learn from you all as your honesties are so enlightening ! I have had two brain injuries, one quite considerably worse than the other ... They both happened in car accidents , never me driving. My first and worst one happened when I was 11 (12 years ago) and the second when I was 15 ... I'm now 23 ... and have such a fear of driving as a passenger and I still can't quite gather the courage to begin driving myself ! I was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience with car accidents and if and how they overcame the fear afterwards ? I live in rural Cornwall now and it is quite apparent that driving in a necessity here. Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

Hope you are all as well as can be x

8 Replies

  • Hi Rikic.....I understand exactly where you are coming from and what you mean! Been through similiar events. I had my SAH, a nervous breakdown, fall backwards

    , and then another driver drive into me - all in space of 9 months in that order.

    I now know and accept I shouldn't have even been driving. I thought I was ok, but had emergency stopped on wrong side of the road here in France, on a rural country road just like you! I remember everything leading up to my decision to do that, but my brain had not processed the fact I was on the wrong side, I kept saying it was other drivers fault (it was a contributory factor, he was elderly and said he hadn't Seen me) although I'd seen him long before I'd stopped, his brain perhaps wasn't working as well as it should have either but the airbag and cover went off straight in my head because I was leaning over and gripping g the steering wheel, I was registering the fact he was going to hit me! Result several months later, much worse effects of already existing BI! Yes case went to court, cos it was my fault and it happened here in France, although I'd been driving over here for 6 years. I'd just driven 600kms up a motorway to my new home, having done same but return journey, 4 weeks earlier to find and look at it - then bang 4 days later, the accident in an unknown country road!

    Problem is, too many people started nagging me to buy another car and drive again, but like you, living in an isolated community,yes a car is essential! Also I'm more scared, as a passenger now of what other drivers will do, as well as what I could potentially do again.

    I know I won't drive again, I've accepted that, but I am 68, not 24! The best solution for me as to move again to avillage with a few local shops ( by taxi for my search, I advertised on a local website, and got a reply). I have better and marginally closer access to transport, we do t have bus services here but I can get to a train station to go into the County town, all of 25 mins away! A journey Ive only done once, with a friend, but I'm determined to do it on my own in the New Year (she has gone back to UK fir 3 months).

    My 1st BI was almost 3 years ago, the car accident 2 yrs ago last month. I was only banned from driving for 2 months so had to surrender my French driving licence, but also was supposed to take one of those in-class, Highway Code courses - here it's a 2 day course, v expensive, all in French - and I'm s..........g myself - NO WAY - not with my short-term memory now!

    The other important thing I did was, 2-3 months after accident,before court case, I took 3 refresher 1 hour driving assessments - not easy because it was a LHD school car, I felt comfortable actually driving again, but a different car (mine was 16 yrs old Clio written off but only done 62,000kms in it from new well maintained all that time in UK and here). My reactions to road signs and directions were too slow oncoming drivers liked to hug centre of road rather stay more on their right where we stay more on our left in Uk. So no confidence on my part to drive again.

    I think that is where you are Now, lacking in confidence, but feeling pressurised by the need and or desire to drive again. Try if you can, by talking to a driving school first, explaining the situation, some have dual control cars as my school had , take comfort from knowing they can operate the pedals if necessary and just grab the wheel, they would not let you have an accident! Get used to facing others drivers in their vehicles again, see how you feel, take things in YOUR OWN TIME time to decide if you can or want to drive again.

    If not, you may have to consider if a move to a better location is possible and/or explain to your friends and family why you can't or won't drive again yet. Ask for their understanding, tolerance, patience and hitch a lift from them as and when needed.

    It's what I do here now, I'm fortunate I can book a taxi when essential, the lady who runs the firm is very good to me, it doesn't cost me a fortune now because we have become very friendly and I help improve her English, lol.

    I hope above help you sort your feelings out and improve you confidence, with the knowledge that YOU are in charge of what you decide and do whatever, when and how you can.

    That's the 1st step to boosting your confidence and releasing the stress, and I wish you well in your decisions and actions. Bon chance!

    Happy Xmas, Shirley X

  • My solution to passenger phobia is to always be the driver. I was a passenger in a bad smash many years ago on the M1, where the car turned over and was a write-off, so I trust no one since then.

    If you are legally fit to drive and live in a rural area perhaps you might try a few lessons and see how it feels. I know lessons aren't cheap, but it would be well worth it if it leads to your independence & freedom to travel wherever & whenever you choose.

    Otherwise, all you can do is explain your fears to whoever's driving and hope they'll show due consideration. Cat x

  • I also prefer driving as I went through the windscreen of a car when I was 17, bounced on the bonnet and back into the car so it now takes a lot for me to trust others at the wheel! (can you believe the hospital stitched me up and sent me home but that's another story)! I just feel so much safer if I am the driver and everybody knows it as I can't stop myself telling others who are driving to brake, keep their distance, watch out, etc etc. I am def the worst back seat driver around! I agree with Cat, maybe get a few lessons and see how you go. You need your confidence built up again in order to gain independence. Driving certainly allows for more freedom and if you are able please try not to shy away from it. All the best. xx

  • Well, I can't drive - I am 'blind': my eyesight is horribly damaged, and if I am looking straight forwards, I can see nothing to my right.

    But to be honest, even without the eyesight problem, I suspect I am not confident enough to drive, and/or I may have forgotten a lot of what needs to be done. It's a bit of a relief that I don't have to see if I am brave enough to try. Sorry, but I'm a coward!

  • Hi flumptious no you're not a coward, Just realistic, for your circumstances, that makes you hero!

    Also I bet your other senses are heightened, and if suddenlythe gear box get scrunched because the driver misses the slot, or suddenly brakes quickly it must jangle your nerves a bit, because you don't see, but feel a change from the norm. For me that would be scary.

  • Hi M's Flump,

    Please accept my advice.

    I'm a driving instructor and have been one for many years. Getting behind the wheel can be terrifying for many many people of all age groups.

    You are NOT a coward.

    Do you know what scary is ?

    It's sitting next to someone, you know full well has absolutely no idea what they're doing, who is barreling toward a busy roundabout at the end of a dual carriageway sliproad in 5th gear, you pleasantly remind them to begin braking for the 2nd time, they respond with ," OK " , C'mon, brake, brake hard.....NOW ! They still look blissfully unaware of the impending doom.

    Still doing about 70 mph, you suddenly realise that they're not going to do anything to avert the forth coming horrific crash, you stamp hard on the brakes and literally stop on the white line before the roundabout, they turn to you and calmly ask, with a confused look, why did you do that ?

    Now that's scary.

    If your eye sight ever is good enough to drive, look me up, I'd love to help.

    Trust me, you'd have a laugh.

  • Hi Riki,

    What an awful situation 2 car accidents and you weren't driving. Yes fantastic on here to get knowledge and understanding of whats happening. I too really struggle to be driven I very really am a passenger. As Cat said solution to passenger fob is don't be one and thats completely me. I would rather take 2 cars than be driven.

    Not overcome my fear of being a passenger and I'm sure I won't. When I had my bi back in May this year I couldn't drive for about 10 weeks and it was hell as my wife had to take me everywhere. Although I wasn't really with it most of the time I still hated being driven.

    Have a fantastic Monday. XX N

  • I had a few crashes when I was younger, all caused by other people doing stupid things in front of me in very poor weather eg, snow and ice.

    Yes, I admit that my speed at the time was a factor in it, but in my defence I really didn't expect to see a lady doing a 3 point turn on a dual carriageway.

    Alot of drivers on the road are really bad, but you just have to accept it and get on with life, after all, what good is life if you don't live it ?

    Be brave, I know it's hard.

    P.S. I'm alot more observant on carriageways now.

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