Tips on how to overcome this fear
The world truly works in mysterious ways. I have now been a motoring journalist for around 9 years. That is almost a decade of driving for my livelihood. I have been driving far longer than that as well, so isn’t it strange that out of the blue, I would develop a fear of driving?
A few weeks back I found myself feeling really anxious behind the wheel. It got to a point where I would avoid having to go to the shops because it meant I would be in the car longer and therefore creating more opportunity for something bad to happen. I had never ever felt this way before. I told friends and family about it as I was starting to become really concerned. How would I be able to do my job if I fear what I do?
Then today, as I was researching a completely different topic I came across an article IOL Motoring posted about this exact fear! I couldn’t believe it. Maybe I am not going mad after all!
I wanted to share my experience and what IOL has reported as it may help you. Thankfully, I have realised that my anxiety was stress related and once I knew how to handle the stress, the panic attacks and the anxiety subsided.
Of course there are many reasons for fearing driving or even experiencing panic attacks while driving. Obvious reasons could be that you have been in a terrible accident, other reasons include the fear of losing control of your car, causing an accident or upsetting other road users.
Psychologist Alexandra Baerike says, “Fear tends to get generalized. You start off by not being able to drive down the motorway and before long you can’t drive anywhere.”
So how do you break the cycle?
IOL’s article says that Baerike recommends self-help literature. He advises that you take a partner or friend when you go for a drive, or spend some time with a driving instructor. You can also try something as simple as saying out loud that you can cope or recalling successful driving situations.
And like Sven Rademacher of Germany’s DVR road safety council says, “Those who suffer from full-blown panic attacks should seek some kind of therapeutic help.”
There really is no reason to be fearful of driving if you are cautious and aware. Something my dad always said to me can also help with how you drive, “Everyone else on the road is a bad driver except you”.
Read these helpful defensive driving tips