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1994 MY04 XT Luxury
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150 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By way of background I have held a licence for over 30 years, and with a background in bike racing considered myself a pretty competent driver. My career is to the point where I am now centralised and so in the past year or so I have commuted to work on a bus, so my hours behind the wheel have considerably decreased.

For the past 10 weeks I have been overseas and did not drive. Upon returning home I confess my skills are reduced, as too is my confidence. I would have thought that driving was now in my DNA, but have to fess-up that I am now below par.

I am so uncomfortable with this phenomenon that I have booked myself in for a weekend of advanced driver training, and a few days of rally driver training to (hopefully) get my skill level back.

Anyone else experienced the uncomfortable loss of driving skills and, if so, what did you do to recover (if you did indeed recover)?
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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40,835 Posts
I think it depends on where you drive. I retired nearly 2 years ago & my driving is down to once a week, unless I just want to go out for a drive. I haven't noticed any skill or confidence issues, but than, I'm one of those people that love to drive when I do & I have a "heavy foot"! :biggrin:

I live in a small city, so the traffic isn't too bad. I have to admit I prefer not to drive in a large city, but then, I like to drive & not crawl. :wink:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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14,778 Posts
I think it depends on where you drive and how agressively you drive. At the age of 64 my eyes are not what they were once. I really just slow down and drive less aggressively.
 

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2009 Forester 2.5x
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702 Posts
Good for you not only recognizing a problem, but doing something to counteract it. Any skill will deteriorate if not practised. If you don't need to drive to work, perhaps you could drive once or twice a week to do some light errands or just to get a coffee?
Personally, I have turned the radio off in my vehicle. Too distracting now. And don't ask me about backing the car up. Okay, aske me: it's way more difficult for me to twist my neck around now than it was in 1971, when I first got my license to drive. Of course I still look, but also I make heavy use of my mirrors (all three of them) when moving in reverse. Good luck,
Steve
09 2.5X AT
 

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2008 XS 4EAT
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9,825 Posts
Similar background to you with license and background in bike racing.:icon_biggrin: Last year I injured my knee and eventually after about six weeks I was able to drive again (I actually still had access to my 99 Forester and felt it more comfortable to drive with the leg brace). From the small amount of discomfort while driving I too noticed a reduction in driving skills and concentration, but as I pushed myself to drive somewhere where I could vary my walking rehabilitation, I rediscovered those roads that put a smile on my face and re-establish those confidence levels.

I think your plan for some advanced driver training days (I'll assume race track) and some rally training will definitely boost your confidence and is on every enthusiast's wish list. As two former bike racers will remember 'while its possible to go as fast on the roads as on the track, in no way is it safe to do so, for your safety and more importantly the safety of others'. The skills you've learned and the skills you will re-establish will serve you for many more years. But do try to make plans to go for some interesting drives when you have the time, that'll make a difference too.

Cheers

PS love the avatar:huh:
 

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2005 Forester XT
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99 Posts
I've noticed after returning to school after 9 years that things like math problems that were easier before are much more difficult. Maybe certain parts of the brain need to get a workout to remain in optimum condition, after a year and a half I feel much sharper in that area now...haha...but am doing much less driving, I'll look into it this week.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X Premiu
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83 Posts
Doesn't matter how much you practice, as you age your cognitive abilities decline. I've noticed it particularly (re driving) over the past decade or so (past 40). I've slowed down a bit. I'm more cautious. I look 3x before turning whereas before I'd look twice. Details sometimes evade our eyes as we age.
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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10,784 Posts
For me it's all about practice, with it comes confidence. My driving has been improving gradually, track days help develop good habits too. For example, I no longer hold the steering wheel at 10 to 2 and instead my thumbs are resting lower like I was taught at the track. I also downshift less before turns and am smoother and faster around corners.

On the other hand, I've been riding less, so my confidence on a motorcycle isn't as high as it used to be. I used to take turns alot more aggressively, was smoother and faster -- it's a mental block and takes time and practice to get over.

Stan
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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As far as age goes -- in the Miata group I used to hang out with there was a guy named Bob, we called him Pops. I think he was 67. He had a well-sorted-out '99 N/A Miata that put down around 180whp. He ran r-compound on the street.

Sometimes it was hard for him to get in and out of the car and he would get a bit tired after 2 hours of fast twisties hammering. But the guy was crazy fast and people had issues hanging with him. This was a fast group btw, Miata guys go balls out.

Stan
 
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