Many individuals have a fear of driving. I know, because I once
suffered too. I remember being very excited to reach
my 18th birthday.
I could not wait for the freedom and independence of driving a car on the open road. However, once I sat inside a car and attempted to take my driving test, something happened. I became fearful to drive too fast.
When a semi-truck or another large vehicle came up behind me, I nearly froze. I will never forgot the words of the driving test examiner when she told my mother that I had failed my driver’s test; “When we got on the highway, she finally got up to twenty miles per hour. Then, she could not even park the car.”
I felt like a complete failure. I practiced and practiced and one week later, I finally passed the driving examination. However, once I took on the road alone, I remember actually pulling over if I saw a large vehicle approaching in order to let them pass. If you have a fear of driving and are ready to face your fears, you will benefit from the information contained in this guide. I can’t say I have ever been injured physically while driving. However, I have seen accidents where people were injured.
I can’t say that I am a specialist in overcoming phobias and anxiety, because I am not. All I can say is that I had a fear, I overcome it. Then, something happened that quickly brought back my fear of driving. I hope, by sharing my experience and the lessons that I have learned that I may assist you when you elect to face your fears and overcome your fear of driving.
As time progressed and I started driving more and more, I became more comfortable. By the time I was in my early 20s, I would actually just drive to relax and enjoy myself. I came a very long way from where I started. Then, when I hit my mid-20s, something happened. I was driving down a main road in my town. The light on my side of the road indicated that I had the right a way.
However, as I passed one of the streets that entered into the road from the right, a large truck came barreling through. I was lucky enough to see it in my peripheral vision. Instantly, I swerved to the left to avoid the truck. The roads were still a bit wet due to a shower that we had received that day. Naturally, wet road surfaces and small-sized cars just do not make a good combination.
As I swerved, the car spun and I had no control. I ended up in the median on a four lane road and part of the back of the car was sticking out on the opposite side of the road. Because the grass in the median was wet as well, I could not move out of the roadway. I tried, but my wheels just spun.
The truck had already made it to the opposite side of the road and was impacted by a small car on the opposing lane. It was right then and there – that my fear of driving became a reality once more. Luckily, no one was hurt in that accident and I was not considered at fault. However, I found myself always wondering about the lives that could have been harmed that day and never seemed to get past that point.
The fear of driving could result from many types of fears – such as the fear of traveling, the fear of others, the fear of the motor in your vehicle, the fear of
large vehicles, or the fear of accidents. All in all, the best definition that I have for the fear is that it is an obsession on thoughts that are considered to be frightening and negative.
I really cannot say that, like other types of phobias, that the fears are irrational. I mean, there are many dangers that lurk on roads, freeways, highways, interstates and other types of routes that we take on a regular basis in order to reach our destinations. I feel that we each should be alert and attentive to these dangers and that is not irrational whatsoever.
However, I can say that the thoughts should not consume you or overwhelm you to the point where you become mentally crippled when you think about driving or engage in driving. While trying to overcome my fear of driving, I learned it is acceptable to have fear and to respect the fact that dangers lurk on the road, but that my livelihood and happiness did not have to be impacted negatively as a result of the dangers.
I simply had to become more comfortable in the types of driving situations that we are commonly faced with and that I had to learn how to deal with the dangers that I may be faced with when driving. By learning this simple step, you will find that it is easier to face your fears as well.
By being fearful of driving, it actually proves that you have the ability to learn quickly. In my situation, a bad experience happened when I was driving. As a result of this experience, I developed fear that was relatively intense. That one small experience taught me a very important lesson. That was, that anything may happen to anyone – anywhere. My brain immediately taught me that when I drive, I am facing many dangers.
I learned that it is important that I am always on guard on the road and that I must be ready – at all times – to take actions that may assist in protecting myself and others or avoiding the situation as a whole. For this reason, I elected to take steps that were based on using judgment and logic instead of steps that were based on emotion.
Instead of sitting behind a wheel and taking my chances, I elected to enroll in a defensive driving course that taught me how to drive in a defensive manner at all times and taught me how to appropriately react – logically not emotionally – to dangers that I encountered or could encounter while driving. By equipping yourself with knowledge, you will find that you are more confident and less frightened while driving.
As I worked to overcome my fear of driving, I realized that I needed to eliminate the thoughts from my mind. I needed to find a way to de-link the apprehension that I had that were associated with driving and then re-link it with thoughts that were positive.
I mean, I could not afford to let the fear consume me. I was going to school and working and did not live near either my job or the school. Taking a taxi would eventually become too expensive. Besides, I had my own vehicle that was paid for – why waste my time and money depending on others for assistance? The procedure that I used to face the fears that I was experiencing at the time was very simple.
I would take time when I had a few minutes to think of driving. Then, I would think of a happy experience that I had in order to associate the emotions with driving. While it sounds a bit silly, it actually worked! By taking the time to reprogram your thoughts, you will find it is easy to face your fears.
In addition to reprogramming your thoughts yourself, you may also enlist the help of a professional psychotherapist in order to overcome the fear of driving. I found that just a few sessions with a professional helped me to retrain to see the act of driving and being on the roadways a bit differently. In addition to this, there are many products that you may purchase that will help you create a conditioned response to driving so that you are no longer plagued with fears and anxiety.
These products and the specialists that teach you steps like the products will help you address the phobia that plagues you, and will help you to put those fears into a totally new perspective. In addition to this, the neural pathways that assist in optimizing fears will be altered so that you will be able to effectively face your fears and reduce and completely resolve the anxiety that you suffer from while behind the wheel of a vehicle.
The fear of driving has the potential to affect every area of your life. This is especially true if you need to drive in order to get to work, get to school, see your doctor and engage in other tasks that require traveling – such as shopping. It is important to understand that there are dangers that exist on the roads, highways and interstates that you travel on.
However, you should not permit yourself to be
overwhelmed by these dangers. Instead of fearing them, have a respect
for them. By developing a respect, you will be cautious – not anxious.
In addition to this, performing the steps outlined in this guide will
allow you to face your fears head on and overcome the complications
associated with the fear of driving. These techniques helped me and I am
sure they will help you as well.