How to Overcome the Fear of Driving for the First Time
Get Comfortable With The Vehicle. Sit in the driver's seat and learn about that particular vehicle
Adjust Your Seat, seatbelt, and mirrors Like That
Pretend You're Driving. If you were driving Go over stopping procedure, turning procedure
Remove distractions. Make sure you are driving with a person you can trust
and kick everyone else out of the car Leave the radio off Or play classical music
Remember that driving should be fun, Don't treat the vehicle like an enemy - it will get you wherever you want to go, if you know how.
How to Overcome a Driving Phobia
Understand how phobias arise. Phobias can be genetic in nature although a phobia about driving is probably not likely to have this cause; however, if you're a parent displaying this phobia, it can be easily passed on to your children. Phobias are also grounded in witnessing or experiencing something traumatic and then developing an avoidance to doing or dealing with the feared object or situation. A driving phobia could develop gradually or quickly, and might arise because of the following experiences or situations:
You were involved in, or witnessed, a car accident.
You were yelled at or provoked a lot when trying to learn to drive a car.
You were a victim of, or even a perpetrator of, road rage.
You find the stress of traffic build-ups unbearable.
You are frightened by reading or hearing news stories about bad vehicle accidents.
Seek to recognize symptoms of a phobia in yourself. When suffering from a phobia, you can experience a range of emotions and physical reactions, some of which are mild, some of which can be debilitating. Common phobia responses include
Feeling surreal or displaced, as if it's not you undertaking the activity but someone else, or you feel as if you're automated rather than switched on. In its most dangerous form, these feelings can be accompanied by thoughts about swerving across the road into the path of another vehicle with feelings you can't stop yourself from doing so.
There may be feelings that the car is unbalanced, that it'll tip over as you go around corners, or will slip off the road down an embankment or cliff, etc. Braking a lot when braking isn't needed is a common reaction from anxious drivers, even down to doing this suddenly in the middle of a lot of traffic.
You plan driving trips that are very elaborate and perhaps even much longer than needed, just in order to avoid dreaded roads, especially freeways, and motorways, or any intersections and other areas where there is a lot of traffic.
You may become argumentative with someone who wants you to drive them somewhere and rather than owning up to being afraid, you find all sorts of excuses and difficult reasons to avoid it.
Seek advice and help. It can be very hard to overcome a phobia on your own, especially if you've let it grow over a period of time but phobias can be easily treated and not seeking help will cause you to suffer needlessly. Your driving phobia renders you vulnerable because your judgment can be easily clouded when driving when you seek any way out of whatever makes you anxious while driving (such as avoiding freeways, speeding up to get away from cars or trucks, feeling dizzy in narrow tunnels, etc.).See your doctor first and discuss your feelings, so that your doctor can confirm that you have a phobia. Your doctor will probably then recommend a course of action that includes seeing a therapist who deals with cognitive reprogramming. In conjunction with the help you're gaining from such a person, the remaining steps will help you to overcome your driving phobia.
Seek to talk. Talking about your phobia is important because it is a key means of facing it and having to accept that you need to do something about it. At least one of your therapy choices should involve talking.
Consider driving school or defensive driving classes. Some people specialize in helping anxious drivers return to the road, with practical, hands-on lessons in safe places that graduate out into the roads or places you fear most. Look them up online or in the phone book and talk with them about what they offer.
Avoid black and white, or absolutist, thinking. Convincing yourself that being in a car will attract a car accident is a type of black and white thinking. It often arises after the "one trial learning" of being involved in a single-car accident. Basically, you're suggesting to yourself that when you're not in the car, you're safe from car accidents, but when you're in a car, you'll have one. And while saying things like "roads are dangerous" and "long distance driving is dangerous" might be factual truths, repeating these statements over and over to yourself as justifications for avoiding driving does nothing to alleviate the potential dangers; it simply confirms the problem and avoids the reality that you can do things to minimize the dangers.
Make changes to the car to improve the safety of your driving. There are a number of things you can do to help increase your sense of safety in the car: