Forum: Advice / Cars & Driving

I'm too scared to drive
By GirlWithTheBun
On Sun May 25, 2014 01:45 PM
Edited by GirlWithTheBun (266486) on 2014-05-25 13:46:46

So, im starting drivers' training next year, and my parents are pushing me driving the lawn mower and even practice in my dad's (soon to mine) car. The problem is, I am SUPER afraid of getting behind the wheel. Is there anyway to combat this?

- :D GirlWithTheBun :D -

4 Replies to I'm too scared to drive

re: I'm too scared to drive
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun May 25, 2014 06:14 PM
Besides just doing it, and finding out it's not that bad? Not really, no.

I don't particularly want to dive, and there was always someone to take me where I needed to go, so it was never a big deal. Then I realized that I was getting ready to graduate from high school, and wouldn't be able to drive myself to the ceremony, and that felt so ridiculous to me, that I went right out and tested.

So just try it. Find a empty parking lot in town, or a big field, or whatever, and just give it a shot. It's not so bad.
re: I'm too scared to drive
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun May 25, 2014 07:48 PM
In my state (Maryland) it is a requirement that new drivers have a specified amount of time behind the wheel with a certified instructor which is probably better than having a parent or spouse/significant other help. That said, my own father was a superb instructor some 56 years ago as there was no behind the wheel instruction in the small town where I grew up.

As with things like "Fear of Flying", there are therapy classes available, though driving isn't really all that daunting.

Realize that driving, unless you live in a place like Manhattan, or London, is almost mandatory to function in today's society. Even friends of mine who mostly use our subway (Washington, DC) often need a car for more mundane things such as buying groceries, shopping for clothes, getting to hobby activities (or in the case of a musical friend of mine...just coming out to my house to rehearse music was are playing - we are both violinists.)

Some hints...learn how to read maps...paper or electronic and how to navigate. Plot out your route before you depart. My darling daughter (now age 47), when she got her license at age 16, drove perfectly well, but when she had gone places with my wife and I paid no attention to where we were taking her and the routes we took. I actually had to relearn how to do this when many many years after I learned to drive, I learned to sail a boat and there are no real roads on the open waters where I sailed. I certainly did not wish to be in the path of a 1000 foot cruise ship (as I have been) that could travel six times faster than I could.

Learn how to drive at legal speeds to include urban freeways and interstates. You can't avoid them, but at least everyone is going in the same direction (mostly.) Make sure that any course teaches that.

Learn how to parallel will be on every driving exam I have ever heard of.

Be constantly aware of your environment and the drivers around you. My dad, being also a pilot, taught me how to scan. Forward, rear view, side view mirrors, blind spots (for lane changes.) Anticipate your every move and don't just gaze forward. The kid who lived next door was always having fender benders until I happened to observe him driving. He had no clue what was going on around him until I sat him down and taught him the "pilot" scanning skills I was taught many years earlier.

A lot of people....hundreds of millions in fact know how to drive. Most at one time had the same apprehensions you are having. Most overcame it.

Good Luck,

re: I'm too scared to drive
By schuhplattlerPremium member
On Mon May 26, 2014 08:42 AM
The first task is overcoming your fear of being behind the wheel. Reading maps and navigation can come later, and until you learn those skills, you can entrust them to someone accompanying you.

Now let's identify the components of your fear, and most likely not everything on this list will apply:
1. Do you have hand-eye coordination and foot-eye coordination?
2. Do you have good general vision?
3. Do you have good perception of distances?
4. What machines have you operated successfully?
5. What difficulties have you had operating machines?
6. How have you functioned when things around you are moving constantly, such as in sports - particularly contact sports such as basketball, soccer, or lacrosse?

It also would help to tell us the type of driving you will be doing. I know from a previous post that you don't want to reveal your home state, but do you live in a rural, suburban, or urban area?
re: I'm too scared to drive
By iPurplemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon May 26, 2014 11:06 AM
I personally don't drive, and I take the bus/walk everywhere. In November my dad and I got into a car accident on the freeway and our car was totaled (no serious injuries, I had a nasty case of whiplash for a week though) and I had mild symptoms of PTSD afterwards for a few months. I was in the process of my driver's training at the time, yet I could not get behind the wheel for fear of it happening again. I had nightmares about car accidents for a while after. I would literally shake the whole way to dance classes because the accident happened on the way to the studio. I'm going to Manhattan this summer and I can say that learning to use the bus in the suburb/city has been a really useful skill for me, and has sharpened my planning skills as well as my sense of direction. I'm lucky that a bus goes from my house to my school, as well as a block away from my dance studio.

The other day, I took the leap and decided (with prodding from my dad) to get my driver's license when I come back from NYC. My dance studio is moving and there is no bus service over where it is because it is rooted in a suburb. I'd have no way to get there unless I took the bus and then walked for 45 minutes, which would absolutely kill my achilles... Anyway, this is a tough step for me, but I understand where you're coming from with your fear of driving.

It's important to have a touch of fear when you go out on the road. It keeps you alert and prevents you from causing most, if not 99% of, accidents. What makes you afraid of the road? Is it manipulating a heavy machine? Is it the knowledge that if you aren't careful, you could hurt someone? I had the same fears too starting out. But you never know what could happen unless you try driving. I have about 10 hours of driving under my belt including 2 from my driving instructor. In my state you are supposed to have 50 hours before you get your license, which is plenty of time to get comfortable behind the wheel. I started out driving in a really quiet suburb and eventually worked up to driving to school on a busy road during rush hour. It can be scary but by the time you are eligible to get your license, it will be second nature.

Also... my friends are always joking how annoying it is to drive me places. Don't be that girl ;)


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