How to Overcome Your Fear of Driving : A Few Simple Steps
You can follow a simple sequence of steps to overcome your fear of driving. Fear of driving is something that can affect your life adversely since it prevents you from using a very important transportation tool.
Understand how your fear of driving was developed
Some phobias are genetic in nature though fear of driving doesn’t seem to be one of these. Though there is chance that you may develop this fear if you see one of your parents exhibiting a similar fear when taking the wheel. Fear of driving may be the result of having a traumatic incident or the result of number of bad experiences culminating in an apprehension towards driving. It could be one or more of the following events:. You witnessed or were involved in an accident.. You were involved in a road rage incident. You find navigating through rush hour traffic unbearable.. You made a journey which turned out to be very dangerous and this has dented your confidence in driving
These could be some of the events that led to your driving phobia.
Identify the symptoms of the Phobia
Each person can react differently to the fear of driving. Some people can barely climb into the driver’s seat and the fear is so debilitating that they have stopped driving all together. You can also suffer from physical manifestations like headaches, excess sweating, nausea, dizziness etc. A dangerous symptom is feeling detached or surreal and you feel as if someone else is undertaking the activity instead of you. This can lead to loss of focus and subsequently losing control of the vehicle. Other symptoms include planning extra-long routes to avoid paths which you find difficult to navigate or finding excuses not to drive a vehicle.
Seek help and Advice
It is a good idea to seek professional help to deal with your fear. Once you feel that you are showing symptoms, you can approach a doctor to help discern whether you in fact suffer from driving phobia. Your doctor can recommend a therapist who can help you overcome your fear. Cognitive programming is one of the techniques used to help people with such a condition. Besides therapy you can also talk to people who have faced similar driving phobia. They will be sympathetic to your cause and may provide useful tips to overcome your fear. Driving schools also help ease you onto the road with constant support and guidance.
Avoid Negative Thinking
We all know that driving comes with its sets of risks and dangers. But this should not translate to a thought process that convinces you that you will be in an accident every single time you take the wheel. You should avoid this line of thinking and convince yourself that dangers involved in driving can be minimized by driving responsibly. Drive with care, know your limits and be alert.
Learn to relax and reduce tension while driving
If you are tensed while driving there is a good chance you will make mistakes since you won’t be alert enough. It is therefore a good practice to take a few minutes to relax before you go on a drive. Also at any point of a journey if you feel yourself getting tense, try to relax and let go of the built up tension. Ask your therapist to recommend exercises which can help you to do so.
Return to driving in a step by step process
If you have not been driving for a while you should make the return to driving a gradual process. Get accustomed to the car slowly and then start taking it out for small journeys. After you build up a level of confidence then you can plan that long journey which will put you behind the wheel for a significant duration.
Improve the Safety Features of the Car
If you improve the safety features in your car you in turn reduce the risk of getting into an accident and hurting yourself. This helps build your confidence while driving and can be a positive factor in dealing with your fear. Make sure your rear view and side mirrors are properly adjusted. Adjust your seat properly to ensure that you are comfortable while you are on a journey. Also make it a point to repair any broken component of the car. Broken mirrors, broken headlights etc. can have a huge impact on safety.