​How to Get Over the Fear of Driving

Published by on . Updated on 18 May 2020

Motorist Fear Driving (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

Don’t let the fear of driving keep you stationary. Learn how to overcome your fears with these tips.

Whether you’re a new or experienced driver, the fear of driving is a real problem that can manifest at anytime. This phobia can arise for several reasons. Several common causes include bad driving experiences, getting involved in a traumatic accident, the fear of causing an accident, and the inability to cope with stressful situations like traffic jams.

Regardless of the origins of your fears, there are ways for you to overcome it. Here are several simple solutions to help you conquer your fears.

1) Driving in a Safe and Slow Area


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In order to overcome your fear, you must first face it. To start, you could try driving in an area with relatively slow traffic. If you aren’t confident on the road, try driving around an empty but large parking lot instead. Once you're comfortable, progress onto short travelling routes. As you gain more confidence, you'll probably find driving to be less stressful.

2) Create a Calm Environment While Driving

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Try to establish a calm and comfortable environment before driving. For starters, you could try taking a few deep breaths in your car before driving off. Practice some light meditation and consider playing soothing music too. It might even help to wear shoes and clothes that are comfortable. Oh, and feel free to adjust you seat and hand position on the steering wheel too. The more at ease you are, the better.

3) Have Someone Accompany You as You Drive

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Nervous about driving alone? Ask a family member or friend to accompany you while you drive. Besides serving as emotional support, they could assist you by looking out for traffic or helping with navigation. If you're able to find an experienced driver as your passenger, remember to ask him or her to give you pointers to help you improve your driving.

4) Switch Off All Distractions

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Consider muting your phone or switching off the radio if you find them too distracting. If you have passengers with you, politely tell them that their conversation is distracting, and you'll need to pay attention to the road. Remember, your job as the driver is to reach your destination safely, not to engage in idle chit-chat.

5) Driving on Less Busy Highways

Motorist Fear Driving 5(Photo Credit: Unsplash)

Driving on highways can be a daunting experience, especially for new drivers. With the number of vehicles and the speeds that they are travelling, it is a fear that all drivers must eventually overcome. Similar to our first tip, you have to slowly build your confidence over time. Start by driving on a less congested highway and slowly work your way to a busier one. Eventually, you'll come to realize that driving on a highway is no different than driving on the road, less traffic lights and pedestrian crossings.

6) Focus on Your Driving and Don’t Let Others Pressure You on the Road

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If you're travelling at the given speed limit, you'll always be right. Don’t feel pressured or obligated to drive faster even if someone drives up close to you. Remember, you aren’t in the wrong. The fault lies in the person who is tailgating. As a rule of thumb, it's best to use the other lanes besides the extreme right one for cruising.

7) Constantly Encourage Yourself with Positive, Coping Statements and Phrases


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Self-encouragement is another way to tackle doubt. It might sound silly at first but repeating encouraging phrases to yourself is a proven method of dealing with stressful situations. Remind yourself why you’re undertaking this task and how well you are pulling it off. Praise yourself even for the little things like changing lanes or giving way to others. Every small victory counts!

8) Talk to a Therapist or Seek Medical Advice

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If you still struggle with anxiety when it comes to driving, it could signify an underlying disorder. Yes, there is a stigma behind it, but there is nothing wrong with seeking help for the safety of yourself and others. By speaking with a therapist or doctor, they might be able to recommend treatments that could help you overcome or control your anxieties.

Do you have any tips for overcoming the fear of driving? Share them with us in the comments! And as always, stay safe on the roads.

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