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Old 12-08-2011, 01:16 PM
 
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Do you know anyone who is 30 or older who went to an official driving school? How did it go? How much did it cost? Was it worth the money over just having a family member teach them?

My wife, who is fifty, never learned to drive and is considering a job offer where there is no mass transit. (For 25 years she has taken the bus to work in DC.) I have driven a car for 32 years but still admit that driving in the DC traffic scares me and many times I have to use all my skills not to get in an accident. (Rain, snow, incredible drivers, traffic that moves in and out of lanes without notice, road construction, lanes that end abruptly--we have it all in the DC area and it scares me to death sometimes. I can't imagine how scary it would be to a new driver.

What advice would you give to a middle aged woman who wants to learn how to drive in the most challenging metro area for traffic and auto navigation?
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Workaholic? View Post
Do you know anyone who is 30 or older who went to an official driving school? How did it go? How much did it cost? Was it worth the money over just having a family member teach them?

My wife, who is fifty, never learned to drive and is considering a job offer where there is no mass transit. (For 25 years she has taken the bus to work in DC.) I have driven a car for 32 years but still admit that driving in the DC traffic scares me and many times I have to use all my skills not to get in an accident. (Rain, snow, incredible drivers, traffic that moves in and out of lanes without notice, road construction, lanes that end abruptly--we have it all in the DC area and it scares me to death sometimes. I can't imagine how scary it would be to a new driver.

What advice would you give to a middle aged woman who wants to learn how to drive in the most challenging metro area for traffic and auto navigation?
Check your local junior college for a driving course that will get an older adult trained to drive in a calm safe environment at a reasonable cost.
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
9,411 posts, read 16,072,872 times
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Definitely have your wife go to an accredited, professional driving school. I know people who did not learn to drive until they were older, living in NYC and DC, and it was much more of a challenge for them. You do not need to try to instruct your wife, at least initially, because it will be easier for her coming from a professional. When she does begin to drive, make sure that you are patient with her, and help her gain confidence by driving with her to the grocery store, the mall, her new work site a few times, and reassure her that she is doing very well for a beginning driver.

The other thing to encourage her is that alternate routes can be a blessing for a newer driver. The Beltway, 270, Dulles Toll Road, 66, and especially 95 South can be very intimidating for any driver in the DC area, but if she plans her route, and factors appropriate time, she can take another road, like Route 50, to her destination, without worry. When her confidence improves, she can then take lessons with her driving instructor again for pointers on highway driving, which is never a bad thing to consider for after she receives her license.

My cousin did not drive until she was in her 30s, always taking a taxi, car service, being driven by a family member, etc. She had to learn to drive, even living in NYC, because it was getting annoying for her when she wanted to go several places that were nearby, but for which she did not want to have to burden a friend/family member, or employ a car service for the afternoon, as public transit would have taken hours. She had a car at her disposal, so it was a question of getting over her fears, and having a professional instructor made all the difference. The freedom was liberating, and while she may not be the fastest driver, preferring city streets to roads like the LIE or Cross Bronx Expressway, she gets around Manhattan, Westchester, and New Jersey without issue. I often joke that she is not impatient when she drives because she started driving later than many, and as such she never had the youthful impetus to have to get there as fast as possible, damning all consequences. She's just absolutely thrilled that she can get somewhere on her own!
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Teaching family members to drive in a car you own, particularly in an area like DC, is wrong on several levels. My wife (from Ukraine) had not been driving much, and not at all in the States, sent her to a local driving school, was money well spent.

Although. I can hardly imagine a job that would be worth the hassle of commuting by driving a car in the DC area.
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:46 PM
 
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It is definitely worthwhile to pay for professional driving instruction.
The primary reason for this suggestion is that family members will be far less forgiving of mistakes than someone who is not related to the driver-trainee.

I know of a woman (professional, mid-30s), whose husband "taught" her to drive recently.
Unfortunately, every time that she did something counterintuitive or...less than skillfully...he would shout something like..."NO!"...or "How can you be so dumb!"...or "That's not how you do it"...or something equally unhelpful. The result is that this woman totally lacks confidence in her ability to drive, and the 2012 car that was purchased for her use just sits in the driveway because hubby destroyed her self-confidence with his lack of patience.

No matter how much you have to pay, it is well worth the expense to have someone other than a family member do the driver training!
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:54 PM
 
10,395 posts, read 17,161,002 times
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Yes, PROFESSIONAL DRIVING SCHOOL - can't recommend that enough, it is SO worth the money. It was how my mother learned to drive, and it was so good she paid for me to have professional instruction when I was a teen (many, many years ago, lol!) I think I had a license within a week.
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:59 PM
 
Location: United State of Texas
1,709 posts, read 2,576,437 times
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A driving school is a great idea, but time behind the wheel is everything. Driving is a learned skill but it's not rocket science. Any reasonably alert adult will master it in no time.

Bottom line is that she is going to have to set her mind to doing it. If she's scared of it... the results aren't going to be all that good.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Earth
1,480 posts, read 2,961,293 times
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Go out for a drive on Sundays. Get out of D.C. so that she doesn't have to learn to swim by getting thrown in the deep end. Go check out Annapolis or something and enjoy the ride.

You should also check into diving school, though. I don't think women like taking instructions from their husbands. I've never been able to teach my wife anything.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
10,536 posts, read 14,059,997 times
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Let me know how it goes. I would like to teach my wife to drive and want to know if a school is the best way. I keep telling her how to drive but she doesn't like my advice. LOL
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