If you have just started learning driving and it gets onto your nerves, we get you.
Driving anxiety is real, and the fear of not driving perfectly stays until you practice.
Reports show that 66% of Americans have driving anxiety.
While some people feel a little tingling feeling every time they jump on the road, it is short-lived for others. You can overcome your fear when you are determined to do so. Let’s see how to overcome driving anxiety.
Driving anxiety usually arises when you are focused on happenings around you instead of the road. One of the fundamental ways to avoid driving anxiety is to keep your focus on the road. When you focus on what’s ahead, you are less likely to think about possible hazards. Keep your head on the road and focus on your movement only. Fewer distractions mean less anxiety.
Planning is always helpful in ensuring nothing goes wrong against your expectations. If you have just started driving and are not sure about the routes in your region, take help from the Maps. Add your destination to online maps before leaving the house. It will give you an idea of the route you must take. You will not have to look at your phone throughout the journey. As we already mentioned, more distractions lead to higher anxiety. So, when you do not have to look at your phone throughout the journey, you focus more on the road.
Take Someone Along
Taking someone with you is quite helpful in reducing driving anxiety. You realize that the other person trusts in your skill and you can do well. When you have someone sitting next to you and talking, it takes your mind away from assuming possible mishaps. It could be a parent, friend, partner, or child to anyone you enjoy the company of. However, we suggest you not take a driving critique as it may distract you from your driving.
Listen to Radio
What to do if you do not have anyone to take along?
Many drivers say that the radio helps them calm down when they drive, otherwise, the anxiety can last for a long. Select a channel of your choice and listen to something nice while driving. It allows you to direct your energy and interest toward the radio instead of bad thoughts. Enjoy some old, classic songs to listen to an informative podcast to make your journey anxiety-free.
Starting early is an excellent choice for new drivers who get anxious driving between rush or many cars. You can start driving early in the day when there are fewer cars out. It enables you to drive freely without fearing an accident. Practice for a few weeks, and we are sure you will love to drive on a busy road without feeling anxious.
Utilize Emotional Intelligence
Getting rid of driving anxiety can be easy with emotional intelligence, even when you feel afraid during driving. Just be sure not to panic-react in any situation while driving. There is nothing more helpful than practicing emotional independence when driving. It eliminates the need for a companion, prior planning, and starting early. It may take you time to manage anxiety by training your mind to stay calm, but it works magically.
You cannot be perfect at anything until you give all your effort into it. Practice driving daily to make sure that you do not feel anxious anymore. As mentioned earlier, start by practicing early hours in less traffic. Eventually, move out during rush hours to get rid of the anxiety of driving in crowds. You will be an adept driver in no time!
You might not initially think that you need therapy to overcome driving anxiety. Yet, therapy can help you relax and think from a different perspective. Therapists are often underestimated. They understand your situation better than the people around you. They may also help you realize your driving anxiety triggers and suggest a suitable solution.
Pull Over the Car When Needed
Besides stopping driving anxiety, it is also critical to managing anxiety and panic situations. If you think you are having a panic attack or cannot assess the situation, do not hesitate to pull over the car. Park your car in a suitable spot, turn it off and relax. Drink some water and keep sitting in the car until you feel better.
The Bottom Line
Driving anxiety is quite common, and it is possible to manage it. All you need is determination and consistency. Practice daily, start early, and plan ahead for a stress-free drive. If you are a new driver, getting a learner’s sign on your car is best. You may also try practicing early in the morning in less traffic and take someone along to lessen anxiety. Many drivers also suggest listening to the radio to shift their focus from random thoughts. Also, remember to take a break when anxiety takes over. Do not hesitate to ask for help if needed.
Why do I have driving anxiety?
People often experience driving anxiety after a recent accident or collision. It may also result from someone else’s experience of a crash.
How long does it take to get rid of driving anxiety?
There is no definitive time to get rid of driving anxiety. You can stop driving anxiety in less time when you put all your effort into it. Seeking therapy can be of immense help. Some people take two months to get over driving anxiety, while others may take years. It all depends on how early you want to be on the road, anxiety-free.
Is it normal to be scared driving?
Yes. It is quite normal to be scared of driving, especially if you are a new driver. The fear of driving is known as amaxophobia. Some people get over it quickly, whereas others may take years.
How Do I Stop overthinking while driving?
The best way to stop overthinking while driving is to practice relaxation techniques. You may also turn on the radio to distract yourself from unwanted thoughts.
Anna has completed her degree in Pharmacy from the University of Hawaii. She is serving as a research assistant in a pharmaceutical company. She had a great interest in writing blogs, traveling to different parts of the US, and trying delicious recipes in her spare time.