How to overcome the fear of driving
Beginner’s fear of driving is nothing unusual because driving with an instructor sitting next to you in a double-command car is one thing, whereas it is a completely different matter maneuvering your ride through crowded city streets. For those of you who know sports, it is like the difference between practice and competition.
Of course, the fear of driving does not have to be associated exclusively with the driver’s inexperience – there is also a phobia of driving, caused by a traumatic experience, mostly in the form of a car accident, which is overcome by applying, more so than anything else, the right psychological approach. This is why we will use this eHow to address advice for overcoming both types of the fear of driving.
Take Additional Driving Lessons
We will explain this piece of advice by referring once more to sports, that is, a sports tale which is applicable in all aspects of life, meaning driving as well. When the legendary Michael Jordan was asked if he felt any fear while taking important shots, he responded by saying: “Work eliminates fear.”
It means that, if you don’t feel confident enough to take on the driving challenges that await you even after you pass your driving test, simply take additional driving lessons in order to brush up on the “syllabus”. In other words, use the additional driving lessons to work on the driving skills you feel you need for every situation that causes discomfort in you, such as, for example, driving a roundabout or turning at busy intersections.
The mystery around yielding in a roundabout – FINALLY SOLVED!
Have Someone Keep You Company
If, even after additional driving lessons, you feel nervous when thinking about steering your car, maybe it is just the fear of driving on your own that’s holding you back. In that case, you probably need a transitional period during which someone will keep you company while driving.
Ask one of your family members or friends to accompany you. It is recommendable that the person you’ve chosen to be your fellow passenger be an experienced driver whose advice can help you keep your calm when you get nervous, thus making your transitional period easier and shorter. If it is not possible for you to find an experienced driver to be your fellow passenger, at least make sure that the person who will be sitting next to you while driving is someone you feel good around and that, as a result, has a tranquilizing effect on you.
Drive During the Day
Driving at night is always more demanding than driving during the day, which means that, even if you don’t have the fear of driving, but you are a rookie behind the steering wheel, it is recommendable that you start with daytime driving. Of course, in time, after you master driving during the day and after you lose the fear of driving a car on your own, you will be able to work on your night driving skills.
Does nighttime driving give you the creeps? These few pieces of advice can make it more pleasant and safe.
Provide Yourself with Enough Comfort
It is really important to provide yourself with enough comfort while driving because, otherwise, you will experience additional nervousness which will make it difficult for you to make rational decisions, thus jeopardizing both your safety and that of other traffic participants. This implies, before anything else, your footwear which needs to be as comfortable as possible, seeing it as you use your feet to press the control pedals. When it comes to clothes, make sure that you choose something that feels good on your body and that that’s not too tight. Sneakers and tracksuit are a safe choice.
Providing yourself with enough comfort does not just consist of choosing the right footwear and clothes, but also keeping your car’s cabin clean. If the space you are in while driving is not tidy, you will not feel comfortable in it, which will make you fell extra nervous. That is why, before you sit behind the steering wheel, clean up the inside of your car and remove every leftover object or piece of trash from the floor and seats.
Put on Relaxing Music
Music can have a relaxing effect on you, so feel free to play the songs that contribute to your inner peace. Of course, just because a certain kind of music calms you down, it does not mean that you should turn it up all the way because if you do, you will not be able to “listen” to the road, that is, you will not be able to hear what is happening both inside and outside the car.
What effect does music have on your driving skills?
FEAR CAUSED BY A tRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE
Get Back Behind the Steering Wheel as Soon as Possible
As we have already pointed out, overcoming the fear of driving, cause by a traumatic experience, requires the right psychological approach. A lot of drivers, having gone through a traumatic experience, such as a car accident, tend to avoid getting back behind the steering wheel.
This is a mistake because the more time you spend outside your car, the more difficult is going to be for you to get back in it. That is why, as is the case with every other aspect of life, make sure that once you “fall”, you “get up” as soon as possible.
Ask for Professional Help
It is perfectly normal to feel the fear of driving after a traumatic experience, such as a car accident. This is why, if you feel that you are not immediately capable of returning to the driver seat, ask for professional help, that is, talk to a psychologist.
Don’t be ashamed to ask a competent person for help because their expert advice will help you get back in the “saddle”. Plus, who knows, maybe, while talking to a psychologist, you manage to resolve some other issues too.
“Phone a Friend”
Yes, just like in the case of overcoming beginner’s fear of driving, the fear of driving caused by a traumatic experience is overcome more easily when you have company. This is why you should use “phone a friend” option.
Ask one of the people who are close to you, whether it be a family member of a friend, to keep you company while driving. It is recommendable that the person you’ve chosen to be your fellow passenger be an experienced driver whose advice can help you keep your calm when you get nervous. If it is not possible for you to find an experienced driver to be your fellow passenger, at least make sure that the person who will be sitting next to you while driving is someone you feel good around and that, as a result, has a tranquilizing effect on you.
Many drivers make these mistakes which have nothing to do with driving experience.
What is important to remember is that, when it comes to any kind of fear of driving, as is the case with any other kind of fear, facing it is the only way to overcome it. That is why you should not avoid driving once you’ve passed your driving test or once you’ve had a traumatic experience on the road because by acting so you will only forget how to drive or you will end up additionally discouraged. Instead, use our advice for overcoming the fear of driving wisely and enjoy cruising in your ride.
We hope you found this article useful. For any questions and suggestions of topics you find interesting, feel free to contact us.