The fear of driving a car or other vehicle is surprisingly common. It makes sense when you think about it since driving is a dangerous activity. It is only natural to be fearful when you get behind the wheel. For some people, however, this fear becomes overwhelming. It could feel like you are on top of the car, not in it. It may become so strong that it prevents them from driving altogether. They may rely on friends for rides, or may travel primarily by public transportation rather than facing the fear of getting behind the wheel.
In many cases, these people have been involved in an accident. A form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with the accident may cause them to become extremely fearful of driving. This is particularly true if they find themselves in the same situation that caused the accident in the first place.
In other cases, a driving phobia can develop in people who have not been involved in a serious accident. Because driving is inherently dangerous, there is already some level of anxiety involved in the process. Most people experience this anxiety to one degree or another. For some people, however, this fear escalates to the point that it prevents them from driving. Driving related anxiety causes them to feel a disproportionate amount of fear when compared to the actual situation that they are in.
Overcoming driving anxiety is usually done through cognitive behavioral therapy. In most cases, this involves desensitizing the person by slowly exposing them to driving related experiences. For instance, in many cases driving simulators are used so that people can practice driving in a simulated environment. This safe exposure to driving can help them regain their confidence and overcome their fears.
In other cases, drivers are able to get back on the road by taking additional driving lessons with a professional instructor. These lessons can help them become more confident in their abilities which, in turn, can minimize their fear on the road. Some driving schools even offer classes specifically for people with a fear of driving. The instructors of these classes are specially trained to help people overcome their anxiety.
Driving anxiety can have a significant impact on a person’s life. It can limit the things that they are able to do. For instance, they may have to turn down invitations to parties or social events, simply for the fact that they can’t get a ride. They may also struggle to perform basic daily activities such as shopping for groceries or taking packages to the post office.
The best way to start overcoming this fear is by reaching out to a qualified professional for treatment. They can help identify the source of the anxiety and provide actionable steps for overcoming it. Although the recovery process may be slow, the freedom that comes with being able to drive again is well worth the wait. If you or someone you know suffers from a fear of driving, don’t hesitate to reach out for help today. There is no need to live your life in fear when there are proven methods available that can help overcome this common phobia.