Stress Behind the Wheel: Driving Anxiety
Helpful Tips to Eliminate Your Fear of Driving a Car
2. Have a company
As I mentioned above in how I did it, I had friends with me who let me train on their cars, and two of them were going with me as passengers for a while after I got my own car. They did that, whether purposefully or just for fun, to help me gain confidence. And I can tell you it worked.
Later when I had to start driving alone I was a little hesitant, and sometimes I would rather walk than drive, but it all subsided until it’s all gone. I told you the incident when I was the confident one while my supporter friend lost it.
3. Listen to something
When I had my first car it was before the CDs and mp3 players, and definitely before the i-life that came later. So I was using the radio or the cassette to keep some background noise, just like the one I used to have at home when I wake up in the morning and tell the time from what program is running in the radio. This helps take your attention away from the anxiety. Also if you have a favorite song or music it helps relax you, which is again the counterpart of anxiety.
4. Baby steps
You don’t have to start off driving on the freeway for an hour and a half the first time you drive after overcoming your fear of driving. Start with driving around the block, then to the mall or the school, then to your friend who lives 5 miles away, then after you master driving daily for a couple of weeks in the city take a friend on a your first freeway trip. It doesn’t have to be a long one either, maybe 5-10 minutes of driving at first, and after a while start taking it further.
More help from professionals
Fear of Driving for the First Time
Here is a video that says it all.
I am a living proof, you can do it
My driving wasn’t 100% accident free though. I had my share, but they were all minor accidents that didn’t leave any damage to the car nor to myself. Confidence is the key, once you get it work on keeping it by driving as frequently as possible until it becomes a second nature to you. You’ll be surprised at how you’ll act when in a situation when you have to act fast to avoid a collision.
Also remember that you’re not driving alone. You’re sharing the road with other experienced drivers, less experienced ones, and some careless drivers who might as well drive under influence. Drive safely and resist becoming over confident. It’s arrogance that leads to dropping your guards and consequently accidents.