Ask the Best and Brightest: When Do You Let Your Wife Drive; What's THAT Like?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Wow, how sexist is that? “Let,” as in “a man is naturally in control of conveyances”? No, of course not. “Let” as in “my wife always lets me drive.” Or, to be less British about it, “I always drive, for whatever reason.” If so, there comes a time in every driver’s life when they have to let their significant other take the wheel. Outside of alcohol-related designated driverdom, I’ve faced this, uh, transition twice. First, when my UK license was suspended. Second, on Friday, when a nature walk turned into knee destruction. And now I know why the minivan’s stoppers are shot; hurry-up and brake is not the best way to ensure pad life. It’s not that Sam’s a lousy driver; it’s just that I’m a horrendous passenger. So the answer to the above question is “only when I have to” and “hell.” You?

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Mar 30, 2009

    Excellent video; I may show it to my 16-year-old son with his fresh learner's permit. My wife drives when I'm too tired or sick (rare) to do so. She was my driver for a month when I lost my license due to a misunderstanding with the state (long story). An attorney friend advised it was best for me not to drive until the issue was cleared up. That was a difficult month because I like to drive; driving truly is a privilege. My only complaint about her driving is that she's heavy on the gas with a cold engine.

  • Frizzlefry Frizzlefry on Mar 30, 2009

    My girlfriend is an excellent driver. Safe, never had a ticket or accident. My only issue is that I finally got my dream car after busting my hump for 12 years. I bought it with 50k kms on it and because I live and work downtown, it was going to last me a long time as its not used for commuting to work. It was basically purchased for fun and I love driving it. The girlfriend sometimes needs it and will take it on errands etc. No problem there. Now she decided to apply for a part time job located 30 minutes away from the house. She really wants the job for numerous reasons. Transit does not go there so she needs the car. Sometimes she will need to go back and forth twice a day adding up a shwak of kms. A lot more than I would have put on it, about 13,000 more a year (I only put 18,000kms on my last car over 3 years). I voiced my concern and she took it as me not trusting her to drive my ("our") car. I compared it to me wanting to use her future wedding dress all the time, as I LOVE the car I worked so hard for and do not want it to retire early so to speak. That did not fly at all. Guess I might just have to sell it while I can still recoup most of the money I spent on it and lease a GTI or something rather than have all the extra wear and tear put on a car I love and own. *sigh*

  • Riz Riz on Mar 30, 2009

    Surprisingly low key thread. My wife's a fine driver, but not great at rapid response or taking in a lot of info while driving. So a 10 lane freeway (like the 401 in Toronto) has me driving and her closing eyes and praying. Something about male vs. female brains I guess. I could make a better passenger, though.

  • Brandloyalty Brandloyalty on Mar 30, 2009

    Usually my wife wants me to drive, but then complains she can't drive well because she doesn't get to drive enough. Can't parallel park - I either get out to direct her, switch places, or sit in the passenger seat laughing. Speed varies by +/_ 10kph on the highway. Drives me nuts, not to mention all the other drivers who have to pass and repass us. Tends to stay in the passing lane even she shouldn't be there. People have to pass us on the right. Drives me nuts. Doesn't watch very far ahead or compute a comprehensive picture of what traffic is doing. This results in frequently jamming hard on the brakes. Can't figure out how to pass slow vehicles on 2-lane highways. So we get stuck behind the slowest, largest, smelliest trucks. On 1 lane streets, she drives far from the parked cars, in the way of oncoming traffic. Doesn't signal until she's starting to turn into a corner. Gads, it's CRAZY! Added to that is the knowledge that she's one of THOSE PEOPLE who piss off other drivers and me. The sort of person who at the grocery store blocks the isle with their shopping cart. Despite all this, I'd say she's less likely to have an accident than I am, because she's more risk-averse and does not respond to being bullied by aggressive drivers. When we have to make time on long drives, I tend to drive because I can maintain a steady pace with minimal delays. But when I get tired and hand it over to her, I can't sleep because of the unpredictable and frequent brake stabbing. Nodding-off is always abruptly interrupted by the sensation of the car braking hard, and I'm shocked to full awakenness expecting we're about to crash. So when I go back to driving, I'm tired. Off-road stuff and driving in really bad conditions (mountain highways in snowstorms at night) are purely my job. More issues. She never ever services the vehicles. Before we met, she'd run her car without service until it broke down. She ran it until the timing belt broke. It was not easy to figure out what happened because the gas guage hadn't worked for years. She never fixed anything. One time a garage failed to secure the lug nuts on one wheel. She was the first to drive the car, and reported to me something sounded funny. It took me about a second to diagnose the problem, but she'd been highway driving. Actually, that one shut her up for a while. She never cleans the vehicles and seems to make the biggest mess in them. She objects to me maintaining over them, but fully appreciates having a nice vehicle to use. Oh, and did I mention she SLAMS the doors? Then there's my sister who lives in Alberta. She believes that if a man and woman are in a car, it's "not right" if the woman is driving. Stone age, huh?