Some people love to drive, while others have a fear of driving. They just simply hate the thought of getting behind the wheel. It is a common and troubling problem. However, it is a problem that can be solved if you know the right way. This article, therefore, will discuss about the way to overcome the fear of driving. In order to do that, first, it is necessary to understand common reasons leading to driving fears. Second, some tips to get over the fear of driving will be provided.
Identify your fear
There are many reasons that make a person afraid of driving. For some people, they can be scared of driving because it’s their first time to drive. They may feel nervous, anxious and lack of confidence. However, for some others, it may be more complicated since they are worried about driving again following a car accident. It is crucial that you identify your specific fear because you need to know about it to find the way to overcome it. According to Ken Goodman – the producer of Anxiety Solution Series: Your Guide to Overcoming Panic, Worry, Compulsions and Fear, a step-by-step self-help audio program – the driving fears has five most common reasons:
- past negative experiences
- driving outside of one’s comfort zone alone
- fear of having symptoms of anxiety and being trapped
- fear of going too fast
- losing control, fear of fatalities.
Tips to get over the fear of driving
After understanding common reasons of the fear of driving, we could start our fighting against the driving fear. There are 8 tips for you to get over the fear of driving. All of these are discussed in details as follows.
Facing your fear
If you want to get away with your fear, you need to face it. The very first suggestion is to know exactly what is it. You must identify it from the list of the top 5 driving fears above and think about the reasons why you need to conquer the fear. It requires a lot of motivation to fight with your fear so you have to get yourself ready with a strong determinant. Try to create positive thinking that can help you feel more confident, and “I’m a good driver, and I will get to my destination safely” is a good example.
Taking driving course
Getting an official driving course can also be a very helpful solution because getting behind the wheel for the first time is one of the main reasons why people afraid of driving. They may feel nervous, and unsure about their driving skills. Taking a driving course can help you learn about the basic things you need to know to be a good driver. You can have time to practice driving with a professional instructor beside you. It provides you more experience and confidence when you are driving. You will know what to do in different situations and will feel less nervous about driving.
Practicing your driving
Practicing is always a vital tip. Get used to driving can help you feel more confident and comfortable. You should choose the time when the traffic is light so you can be more relaxed. First, take small steps and try driving away from others. Find some quiet streets, so you don’t have to worry about traffic and people. When you get used to starting, stopping, signaling and so on, you will find driving is not as difficult as you think.
Having someone with you
In case if you scared of driving alone, having someone with you is a good decision. Driving with someone you trust may help you be more comfortable and confident. Try to drive with your friends or family members beside you in your first few week of driving. They can help you to relax, give you helpful suggestions when you need, and can even take over when the situation get out of your control. When you think you are ready, you can try driving alone for some short trip, and after that, you can go further by yourself.
Stick to daytime driving
When you are new with ‘driving’, DO NOT drive at night. Try to stick to daytime driving because traffic is worse at night and the visibility is reduced. If you do not have much experience, try to avoid driving at night (Read my post about How to Drive Safely at Night). Until you can drive freely in daylight, you can try to overcome the fear of night driving.
Gaining your knowledge about car and driving
The next tip is that you can learn about car and traffic rules. You can know how your car works, its safety items and how to fix it when you have problems. The better you know about your car, the more comfortable you will feel when you drive it. In addition, knowing the traffic rules well makes you feel confident and be ready to solve any situations.
Try to stay calm while driving is very important. You can try focusing on your breathing, an easy and common technique. It will help you remain your serene state of mind and reduce nervousness. Another way to lessen your anxiety is to prepare well before your drive. Having your trip perfectly planed can make you feel more confident and ready for any situations. Furthermore, safe driving is also an important thing that you need to learn. Do not take any rush trip. You should always allow plenty of time to get to your destination. Avoid feeling hurried while driving, just stay calm, follow the rules, and everything will be under control. Finally, you can listen to some music while driving, remember to choose relaxing songs and listen with the low volume. Listening to music with high volume can be a big distraction and will cause troubles for you. DO NOT use your phone while driving and switch it into silent mode is a good solution because a ringing phone can make you more stressed.
If you have tried all of those tips above and do not make any good movement and your fear of driving is disrupting your life, you should find some professional help. Talking with a counselor who specializes in phobias, they can build your tolerance level and help you get a little more comfortable with one aspect of driving at a time by using exposure therapy techniques.
The fear of driving can impact one’s daily life in many ways and it is not easy to overcome. You will have to try hard and have a strong mind to help yourself. There are various tips to overcome your fear but choosing the one that makes you feel comfortable and suits you is very essential. Try to think about the future when you can enjoy the time of driving and can drive to everywhere you want. Remember that you are alone and believe in yourself.
Alvin Reyes has expertise in automotive evaluation. He collaborated with famous newspapers and is still making efforts in tire review for DrivingPress.com