Student Life Tips for anxious drivers

Published on May 29th, 2018 | by Jones


Tips for anxious drivers

Telling someone not to be anxious when driving is the same as telling someone not to be scared of spiders. Everyone is afraid of something. And sometimes that fear is driving. Be it riding in cars, driving your own car or simply being on the road surrounded by other cars, everyone has their own way of dealing with stressful situations. But for those who don’t, here are a few tips for fighting your anxiety.

Before you can make a change, you need to define your type of anxiety triggers. As mentioned, there are various reasons why people have anxiety the minute they get into a vehicle.

These are the two most common causes:

  • Panic attacks: This happens when you start to feel in danger. It is easily one of the more common feelings, but they have the ability to take over your mind and make you react on impulse. If you do not handle these outbursts correctly, you’ll create a mental block towards driving.
  • Fear of danger: People who feel in danger in a specific area can start to feel nervous and anxious. Much like driving in an unfamiliar town. It’s important to note that you are in control f your vehicle and your own driving habits. If you act on fear, you might be the cause of a minor accident or something even more serious. Try and keep calm and control yourself.

Anxiety is something that only gets worse the more you fuel it. If you take the time to control it where you can, you’ll be able to make a change for the better. Every time you experience something that sets you off, learn how to breathe properly and react accordingly. Anger is only going to increase your anxiety.

Your driving anxiety is not going to change from one day to the next, however, you can make a plan to reduce the fear of driving by doing the following:

Face your fears: Of course, it may be easier said than done, but it’s worth a try. Sometimes you need to face your fears in order to overcome them, especially when it’s something that affects your daily commute to and from work. If you don’t try and change it, driving is quickly going to become a phobia that will greatly affect your life. Take the time to get into a car every day and drive into areas to test yourself.

Don’t add to the anxiety: If you’re driving and come across someone who has made a mistake on the road or is causing you to worry, simply remove yourself from the situation and change lanes. Getting yourself involved in road rage incidents is going to make you more stressed out and insecure. Drive according to the speed limit and make sure you are driving according to the road rules. If you feel uncomfortable in the vehicle you’re using, try looking at pre-owned cars that might encourage you to drive more often. For example, an automatic vehicle where you don’t need to worry about changing gears. After all, there are going to be times when you have to get into your vehicle without avoiding it. But, driving something that makes you feel comfortable and at ease will help to improve your anxiety on the roads.

Drive in familiar areas: If you’re already an anxious individual, make sure you only visit familiar areas to keep progressing. The longer and more often you drive, the better it will be for you. Cut the music and focus on the road at all times. Only once you feel comfortable and in control can you start becoming more relaxed in the car. It is also advised that you drive alone, as many anxious drivers can agree that driving with people in the car makes you more aware of your wrongdoings. It also takes away your concentration.

After all, you are responsible for the people you transport in your own vehicle.

Practice mindfulness: Learning how to be mindful can teach yourself to identify signs that could cause you to become tense and highly strung. If you start to feel yourself getting worked up and stressed out, learn to control those emotions through breathing exercises. Also, try and rationalise your thoughts. Most of the time, the things you feel and think are unlikely to happen to you in that moment.

Final words

Like all things in life, practice makes perfect. If you apply for car insurance and look at different pre-owned cars, you might find something that makes you feel safer. Some people need more time behind the wheel and that is okay. As mentioned, if you’re worried about focusing on the road and on the gears, look at automatic pre-owned vehicles. Most pre-owned car dealers stock various automatic, affordable cars.

Whatever you do, make sure you drive as often as possible. Keep to the speed limit and in areas that make you feel at ease before you branch out on your routes. Being scared of the road is nothing to feel ashamed of. It’s stressful for any new driver, but you simply cannot avoid it for years to come. Get out on the road and keep practising. Over time, you will learn how to control your emotions for the better.

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A keen writer, giving advice about work and life.

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