Knowing how to get over a fear of driving can be a challenge to anyone who experiences driving anxiety.
Recognizing that there’s a problem, and that driving just isn’t as enjoyable to you as it seems to be to others can leave anxious drivers feeling even more frightened or alone.
Many of them don’t know where to turn for help.
There are several things that can be done to lessen the effect of a driving fear, and many require no outside help, although professional assistance can be tremendously helpful. Online professional help is often much more practical.
By learning these tips and techniques for relaxation, anxious drivers can learn how to get over their fear of driving in a safe and effective way with sufficient time, patience and practice.
1) Understand Your Fear
While it’s not always necessary to get to the root causes of any anxiety disorder, including the fear of driving, it can be helpful to finding a solution.
Are you afraid because you were in a recent accident when you were behind the wheel? Are you insecure about your own driving abilities and your performance on the road? Did you experience a recent near-miss that could have resulted in an accident or injury? Was someone constantly yelling at you or berating you as you were learning to drive?
All these causes and more can contribute to a driving anxiety, and make an already anxious person worse.
While getting to the root cause doesn’t solve the problem, recognizing the source can reduce the anxiety later on, and specific steps can be taken to counter its affects.
2) Know Your Symptoms
When you experience driving fear, what physical symptoms do you have?
Do you start shaking uncontrollably?
Does your heart start to pound or race?
Do your hands start sweating?
Do you have an upset stomach every time you think about getting behind the wheel?
By recognizing symptoms before they happen, drivers are better equipped to handle them when they occur. If you’re feeling okay, then realize your hands are starting to sweat, it may be a sign that anxiety is creeping up. Without speeding or driving dangerously, try to get to a safe place where you can calm down before continuing – or get to your destination as quickly and safely as possible.
3) Express Your Concerns
It may seem silly to tell your friends or family that you’re afraid of driving, when so many of them seem to have no problem with it all.
Driving anxiety is more common than you would think, and it’s one of the leading types of anxiety in busy, on-the-go societies. With more emphasis being placed on personal transportation, and less on public alternatives like busses or trains, more people are on the road than ever.
With an increase in traffic, the instances of driving anxiety also elevate.
Voicing a fear and giving it words is a time-honored tool in coping with all types of anxiety. Simply saying it can lessen its impact.
And chances are, you may find someone who feels the same way who can benefit from knowing they’re not alone too.
4) Learn from a Class/Instructor
When driving anxiety doesn’t seem to be improving regardless of the steps you take, it may be time to seek the help of a professional driving expert.
Defensive driving classes are available online or in a classroom setting to help drivers learn to conquer their anxieties while developing tools to drive safely. Many classes start in a classroom setting, and then graduate to actual, hands-on practice.
Having a driving instructor might also be beneficial to gaining behind-the-wheel experience. By learning in a safe and controlled environment, those with a driving fear can feel secure and more comfortable than they may feel alone.
A class or personalized instruction may be the key to developing a feeling of safety behind the wheel.
Knowing how to get over a fear of driving is not as difficult as you might first think.
With programs available worldwide and lots of different options for self-treatments, more and more anxious drivers are learning to relax and enjoy being behind the wheel, rather than dreading it. By facing your fear and not allowing it to become a phobia through avoidance, driving anxiety is completely manageable, and can often be cured completely.
The key is to not allow a driving phobia – or any phobia to take control and run your life against your will.