As we all know, there are lots of fears and phobias. However, what many may not know is that driving phobia affects many people worldwide. It is an increasingly common anxiety disorder where the affected person develops the fear of driving for one or more reasons. In many cases, it is associated with past traumatic experiences such as witnessing or being involved in an accident. Driving lessons for phobic drivers comes in handy for combating driving phobia.
However, there’s more to what causes driving phobia than just car accidents. The good thing is, there are several ways to overcome the fear of driving and beat driving anxiety. In this post, we will explore some types of driving fear, along with driving lessons and techniques that can help you or a friend overcome driving phobias.
Common Types of Driving Phobia:
Some common types of driving phobia include the following:
- Phobia of Driving – This is where one has a general fear of driving for no apparent reason.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Unreasonable sense of worry.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Occurs when a driver has encountered or witnessed an accident.
- Panic Disorder – When a driver is in an acute situation.
- Conditional Driving Phobia – This is when a person is afraid of driving in specific situations, such as over bridges, in crowded areas, on the highway, and so forth.
Driving Lessons for Phobic Drivers Can Help
One of the best ways to overcome driving fears is to take extra driving lessons like defensive driving. Many of these lessons have both theoretical and practical sessions. If you are suffering from nervous driving, some of the ways driving lessons can help include:
- Builds Confidence – When joining a driving course, you are probably new on the road, and you are afraid of all the big cars and honks from left, right, and center. In driving school, you are taught how to deal with all that and any phobias you may have. There are specific lessons to help experienced drivers who developed road phobia for one reason or the other.
- Practice Hours – Practice makes perfect, and some phobias occur when one goes for too long without driving. With practice, you can be better and less anxious while on the road. This is also linked to exposure therapy, which we will discuss briefly below.
- Learn Vehicle Operations & Maintenance – Driving is partly about technique. Understanding the different parts of a vehicle and how they function will help you detect when there is a problem. This way, you will have less to worry about when on the road.
- Driving Techniques and Traffic Laws – Once you learn the road signs, signals, and road markings, you can make informed decisions and avoid accidents better.
As you may have noticed, it is mostly about helping you to become more confident on the road while driving. In some cases, however, special therapy may be needed, so you can fight your fears from their root cause. On this note, below are some techniques phobic drivers can use to overcome their fears.
Driving Lessons That Help Reduce Anxiety in Phobic Drivers
1. Exposure Therapy
Sometimes the best way to deal with fear is by facing it. Driving anxiety cannot be dealt with just theoretically. Give yourself time to handle your situation, and as long as there is progress, you are winning. Start by consistently taking slow drives on traffic-free routes. That will help you flex your driving muscles, and before you know it, you will be hitting the busy roads!
2. Brutal Truth Method
Here, you have to unashamedly speak out your fears, no matter how silly they may sound. Therefore, it is advisable to have someone around you who will tolerate your fears without judging you. If you feel uncomfortable with this, you can try putting it down on paper or talk to yourself about it in the mirror.
Sometimes all you need to do is relax, focus, and unwind. Meditation is power in your hand. If used well, it can help overcome different types of fears and calm anxiety. You can try meditating before you take the wheel and put on some inspiring music while on the road. This will feed you with the strength to drive more confidently.
4. Positive Affirmations
You are what to think about yourself, and you are what you talk about yourself. Once in a while, it is okay to let your fears creep in. But you can always deflect your fears if you start feeling some chills as you start the car or approach a busy street. Firmly proclaim things like: “I can do this” “If they can, why not me” “I was made for this”. Positive affirmations can help chase anxiety away from your mind and body.
Overcoming your driving fears can take some work. It can take time before you are finally confident on the road, but it is all worth it. The above few points will hopefully help you get your Mojo back up while on the road.