A woman who has been learning to drive for 30 years hasn’t passed her test after 1,000 lessons – because she’s terrified of being behind the wheel.
Isabelle Stedman, from England’s Bedfordshire, first started taking driving lessons when she was 17, however, she has struggled to make any progress. The 47-year-old suddenly becomes overwhelmed by the experience and finds roundabouts particularly difficult, Daily Star reported.
Her phobia, which she finds difficult to explain, would cause her to sweat and shake before breaking down in tears. Sometimes, she loses consciousness and faints.
Over the years, Isabelle estimates she’s spent more than £10,000 (Rs 10 lakh) on lessons but has never got close to doing her test.
“I’ve been learning for 30 years, but still whenever I get in a car it feels like I’ve never been in a car before and it’s terrifying,” she was quoted as saying by Daily Star.
“I don’t understand it but it’s like I get so anxious and overwhelmed that my brain cuts out and I lose consciousness for a few seconds – and roundabouts are the worst. When I wake up, we’re at the side of the road because the instructor had to grab the wheel – and I’m so overwhelmed that I end up in floods of tears and have to go home,” she adds.
Isabelle says she is desperate to drive so she can take her daughter to university and visit distant family. “My children will probably both pass their tests before me. I can’t help but feel I’ve missed out,” she said.
Her most recent blackout came as she approached a roundabout during a week-long intensive course.
Isabelle recalled: “It was the most traumatising week of my life. I got to day three of the course and I was nervously approaching a roundabout – and then I felt myself get really light-headed. “Before I knew it, we were at the side of the road and the instructor was telling me he’d had to grab the wheel after I just slumped.”
What is more baffling is the fact that she has never been in a car crash or had any bad experiences on the road prior to starting lessons.
She has spoken to doctors and even they have been unable to explain her phobia.
It has left her speculating “maybe I died in a car crash in a past life – it’s the only explanation.”
Her own children, Dominic, 22, and Stella, 17, are now taking lessons with no issues, and the she now fears she’ll never manage to get her licence.