How do you lessen the fear of driving? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-23-2012, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am 23 going on 24 years old this Thursday...and I still have the fear of driving. I have been practicing a little at a time since I was 20 years old. I shake, my breathing gets rapid, heart beats faster... So far, I have been driving in the rural areas during the daytime and practice on the highways at nighttime. Getting on the highway, driving in the parking lots, and turning the car freak me out the most. I have terrible depth perception. I haven't gotten my driver's license yet...but I am getting tired of relying on everyone to drive me somewhere. It's my only motivation really. 

 

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#2 of 8 Old 09-23-2012, 10:20 PM
 
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The thing that caused me to get more comfortable with driving was when I literally had no other choice.  I moved about an hour away from my family and a half hour away from my school.  Public transportation was not available in that area--so if I wanted to get to school or visit my family then I had to drive.  The fear diminishes with time.  Good luck!

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#3 of 8 Old 09-24-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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I purposefully tried to have a kick-ass attitude when I was a teen, learning to drive.  "YEAH! I can DO this!"  It's not the same as the typical teen invulnerable-to-death attitude. I remember being so scared about driving into the intersection to make a left turn, while cars in the opposite lane were doing the same.  For a moment the driver opposite and I are going straight at each other. It's mind-bending!  We're driving straight at each other!! Then we both turn left (driver opposite is turning to my right) and it's fine.  And hundreds of thousands of people do this successfully every day.

 

People everywhere are driving all the time. This means you can, too. You're probably going to be an even better driver than most.  Psych yourself when you get in the car -"I'm really good at this, I trust my self to drive correctly, and I'm going to get better and better at it."  Get defiant.  And push yourself, because as you've probably already discovered, you've built up a nice little confidence block where driving is concerned.  You've convinced yourself that you're bad at it. But you're not, you're on your way to being a really good driver.  

 

Have you had professional training?  Beyond the usual drivers training to get your license?  You would really benefit from a Supplemental driving course.  It would build your confidence.  Maybe something like this is available in your area:

 

http://www.drivesafesacramento.com/supplemental.html


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#4 of 8 Old 09-26-2012, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I remember being so scared about driving into the intersection to make a left turn, while cars in the opposite lane were doing the same.  For a moment the driver opposite and I are going straight at each other. It's mind-bending!  We're driving straight at each other!! Then we both turn left (driver opposite is turning to my right) and it's fine.  And hundreds of thousands of people do this successfully every day.

 

I haven't experienced this yet but it is scary for the moment. Also, I give myself that feeling like I am a teenager and give myself a little defiance talk. lol. At first, I'm like "okay, I can do this" but then after awhile, there is that other side of me that says "You can't do this." Then I have a constant battle of whether I can or can't actually do it. It's rather...frustrating.

 

And the thing is...I care what other people think. I know I shouldn't but it sucks when I have someone who is driving behind me and then they zoom past me and scream out their window some "lovely" words of advice. It puts a damper on my self-esteem. greensad.gif


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#5 of 8 Old 09-26-2012, 09:07 AM
 
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I haven't experienced this yet but it is scary for the moment. Also, I give myself that feeling like I am a teenager and give myself a little defiance talk. lol. At first, I'm like "okay, I can do this" but then after awhile, there is that other side of me that says "You can't do this." Then I have a constant battle of whether I can or can't actually do it. It's rather...frustrating.

 

And the thing is...I care what other people think. I know I shouldn't but it sucks when I have someone who is driving behind me and then they zoom past me and scream out their window some "lovely" words of advice. It puts a damper on my self-esteem. greensad.gif

 

Yuck.  You do have an obligation to everyone else on the road to drive safely, at the average speed of everyone around you.  My friend's mom got pulled over on the freeway once for not driving fast enough. rolleyes.gif  But driving is a bit like posting on the internet. People think it's OK to be rude and call each other names from the anonymity of the internet, and the same is true for interacting with their fellow humans from the comfort of their cars. Rude is just so unhelpful!!  It's good practice for the rest of life, especially for us gals: you are never going to please everyone, so just forget about it and focus on doing what you know is right.

 

It's going to get easier.  I know it's hard to believe 'in the moment', but you are already a better driver than you were the first time you got behind the wheel!  You gain experience every time you drive. Let that accumulation boost your confidence, don't block it. 

 

Edited to add, it seems to be a developmental thing.  Just like you can expect 3 year olds to have tantrums and teens to be moody.  You can expect young adult women to go through a transition phase where they're discovering that they have no obligation to please everyone they meet; in fact it is impossible to do so. Most importantly, they can't reach their adult potential as long as they're shackled to the impulse to please everyone.

 

I urge you again to take a supplemental driving class.  It's just the thing to sharpen your skills in a safe environment, which will boost your self-confidence.  orngbiggrin.gif


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#6 of 8 Old 09-27-2012, 10:37 AM
 
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you do not worry, you can change the fear of driving with a little courage. I hope you can find the answer here http://www.fearofdriving1.com/

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#7 of 8 Old 09-28-2012, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yuck.  You do have an obligation to everyone else on the road to drive safely, at the average speed of everyone around you.  My friend's mom got pulled over on the freeway once for not driving fast enough. rolleyes.gif  But driving is a bit like posting on the internet. People think it's OK to be rude and call each other names from the anonymity of the internet, and the same is true for interacting with their fellow humans from the comfort of their cars. Rude is just so unhelpful!!  It's good practice for the rest of life, especially for us gals: you are never going to please everyone, so just forget about it and focus on doing what you know is right.

 

It's going to get easier.  I know it's hard to believe 'in the moment', but you are already a better driver than you were the first time you got behind the wheel!  You gain experience every time you drive. Let that accumulation boost your confidence, don't block it. 

 

Edited to add, it seems to be a developmental thing.  Just like you can expect 3 year olds to have tantrums and teens to be moody.  You can expect young adult women to go through a transition phase where they're discovering that they have no obligation to please everyone they meet; in fact it is impossible to do so. Most importantly, they can't reach their adult potential as long as they're shackled to the impulse to please everyone.

 

I urge you again to take a supplemental driving class.  It's just the thing to sharpen your skills in a safe environment, which will boost your self-confidence.  orngbiggrin.gif

Hmm... I hope that stage of development where I don't feel obligated to please everyone comes soon. In fact, it is exhausting. I wish I don't care about it so much. 

 

But I will look around for a supplemental driving course. For now, I have DBF teach me. He used to work for 2 years for a flooring company and had to drive across the country. I say he has more than enough experience to teach me the general stuff.

 

Thanks for the tips!


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#8 of 8 Old 09-30-2012, 06:30 AM
 
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It does get better.  What helps me most is to know exactly where I'm going, what lane I need to be in, even alternate routes.  I don't like to just trust a GPS.  I like to KNOW. 

 

When I was first learning, I had to really train myself where to look.  Like if I was turning left, I needed to look at oncoming traffic, not the right, not behind me...  I think I still have this problem knowing where to look when it comes to changing lanes and merging. 

 

I understand the what people think bit.  I'm really pretty comfortable with myself now, but I **** don't feel good about any driving limitations (like avoiding the freeway).

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