How To Overcome A Driving Phobia

4 Mins read

Overcome A Driving Phobia. In this day and age, not being able to drive comes up with so many drawbacks. If you want to rush somewhere real quick, you have no option except to rely on public transport or asking someone to drop you at the destination. Both these options are far from perfect, especially in an emergency. 

While there could be innumerable reasons why many people don’t drive vehicles or fail to take driving lessons, there is a sizeable ratio of those who are suffering from the driving phobia. In literal words, they fear the act of driving. 

Sadly, they are missing out on the freedom and convenience that comes with driving on your own. More so, thy aren’t familiar with the significance of long drives that one can take to evade their hectic routine.

However, all is not lost. Many people have made their way out of this phobia adopting the following measures:

1. Get the help of a driving instructor 

Doubting your driving skills should be the last thing to do. The lack of driving efficiency is amongst the top reasons why people develop a driving phobia. Against the contrary belief, possessing a driving license for long does not make you the master of controlling the steering.

That’s where a professional driving mentor can make much difference. Sitting on the passenger seat, they will keep pointing out your lapses. Once you are aware of your weaknesses, you can rectify them gradually. 

Moreover, they will also share valuable experiences with you, which will come in handy during a challenging scenario. As the number of sessions with the driving expert increase, you are likely to grow confident. Remember, driving is the game of confidence as much as it is the game of skills. 

2. Keep your car free from distractions 

Uneasiness can trigger panic. And perhaps nothing contributes to the feeling of uneasiness as much as the lack of cleanliness. The more mess in your car means you are likely to confront more distractions. For example, if your dashboard is cluttered with a lot of unnecessary items, you can have a hard time to catch a clear view of the highway. Consequently, you can slip into the feeling of anxiety due to the constant fear of meeting an accident. 

These distractions can’t be curbed until you keep your car nice and tidy. From a USB cable to a mobile charger, everything must be placed at their respective spots so that you are not in a panic when you are looking for them while driving. 

Noisy passengers also serve as small distractions. Their loud conversation can put you in a mental state where you are obliged to put an extra effort to keep yourself focused on the steering wheel. You can avoid all that by choosing not to drive such passengers around. 

For a panic-ridden driver, the following steps are equally effective as they can add in the air of calmness: 

  • Make sure you wear comfortable clothes as well as shoes.
  • Play relaxing music in a low volume. It can stimulate a sense of calmness and composure. 
  • Ensure you are well-rested before sitting on the driving seat. It is very unsafe to drive if you are falling short of sleep. Even the most experienced drivers find driving tough when they are sleep deprived. 

3. Try out exposure therapy 

Exposure therapy is about facing fear in a calculated way. This approach is particularly useful for those who can’t bear the sight of a car, let alone driving. Typically, a horrible accident leads people to adopt this kind of mentality. 

Using exposure theory, a therapist will ask you to sit in the car initially. If the therapist observes that you can sit without disturbing your nerves, they will then expose you to the next fear. Following this step by step process, you can end up being at the driving seat in little to no time. 

Since a therapist may not be well-equipped with the driving skills, it is pertinent to involve a driving instructor. The collaboration of both the experts can efficiently fill the mental as well as manual loopholes of the driver.  

4. Drive-in broad daylight  

Many people take their driving lessons only during the daytime. However, as soon as they get their official driving permit, they commence driving in the night too. This practice is prone to invite the driving phobia. 

The reason behind this is that driving in the night is far more difficult than driving in broad daylight. Per the well-documented figures, the fatality rate in the night accidents is alarmingly three times higher as compared to the day crashes. 

It could be true in your case, as well. You might be subscribing to the fear of driving, probably because you started driving after the sunset without considerable experience. This is particularly fitting if you tend to drive in an urban area. So much so, veteran drivers mark no-go areas in a metropolitan and avoid driving there in the dark.

The solution to this problem is pretty straightforward. It would be best if you refrained from driving in the night until you have enough experience as a driver.

5. Exploit positive affirmations

Positive affirmations refer to repeating encouraging sentences to oneself. Pragmatic people may consider it a childish practice, but coping statements have proven their worth over time. The process goes somewhat like this; when you can sense that fear is about to creep in your mind, you have to say encouraging stuff to yourself, loud and clear. 

You can see the following list of positive affirmations and then compose them on your own: 

  • Yeah, I’m a little uncomfortable with the current feeling, but I can sail through it. 
  • I have absolutely nothing to worry about because I’m relaxed and driving very carefully. 
  • No driver is ever perfect. Having a bad day doesn’t mean I am a bad driver. Don’t rely on past mistakes. 

Make a list of your fears

A sizeable section of drivers does not reconcile with the phobia until they reach a certain location. The moment they arrive at a highway, traffic signal, or any other crowded spot, they are triggered by fear. 

To avoid that, you need to make a list of all such places that negatively influence your driving. Next up, you should make your mind confront them one by one. If you don’t want to end poorly, don’t expose yourself to your worst fear in the beginning. Take your time with the process. 

The final verdict 

It is hard to speculate the exact time an individual can take to cure the driving phobia as it is a subjective matter. If you have been keeping up with the fear of driving for years, you may take a little longer to conquer the panic. The above steps are liable to trial and error, so your resilience is going to play a key role in overcoming your driving phobia.