Author: Eddy warta
I was never a big risk taker; I wasn’t one of those kids you see all the time who seem to not understand the concept of getting hurt, always running straight into danger smiling and laughing. But I was usually a pretty calm and normal child, EXCEPT when it came to cars… I always had this subtle fear of driving. I would drive around with my parents a lot with this feeling of uneasiness, always looking at the road waiting for the accident to happen.
What made matters a lot worse, is that when I was 16 and finally ready to get my license (despite the fear, I was excited about getting my license because the concept of being independent, being able to go wherever and whenever I please sounded good enough to surpass my anxieties). I took some lessons, and in one of those lessons, I saw a child running fast towards the car from the sidewalk. He was planning to stop (I think), but nevertheless I freaked out! I swerved to the left and got hit by a car driving in the opposite lane (the car was wrecked, but mostly minor injuries).
For a long time after that, I simply couldn’t get back into a car, the thought alone terrified me and I just accepted the fact that driving is not going to be one of the things I can do.
But after a few years living completely dependent on rides from friends, public transportation, and my good old rusty bicycle, I finally decided enough is enough, there was a point when I realized I couldn’t let fear control my life any longer, and I had to get back to driving.
I bought a book about how to deal with driving anxiety, which had some really helpful tips like breathing exercises and visualizations you can do, and I started small… a drive around the block with my wife next to me, then alone, then I started driving further outside the neighborhood, and eventually I got to a point where I now drive freely to work and back every day, through a very busy and hectic freeway.
I’m not saying I love driving now… I still would rather have my wife or someone else do the driving if at all possible, but the point is I can! And the reason I wanted to write this is because for a long time I was very embarrassed, I always excused myself by saying I hate driving, as opposed to being afraid of it, and I accepted this situation as a given.
But the truth is driving phobia, or whatever you want to call it is a known common problem and there are ways to get over it! Maybe my way isn’t right for you, maybe your problem is more severe and you need to go to a therapist for it, or whatever, but DONT accept it as a given problem, because life is so much better when you conquer your fear!
For more info about overcoming the anxieties of driving see: “Overcome Your Fear Of Driving” by Rich Presta, world renown self improvement coach and best selling author.