Fear of Driving and how to overcome it…


Fear of driving is a very common form of anxiety where a person may feel hesitant to drive. Such a person may limit where and when he drives and also avoids highways and rush hours. But a person with extreme driving phobia may quit driving altogether. Such a person generally had a good driving record and for years drove without any driving problem. But there comes a time when they start experiencing panic attacks with sweaty palms and confusion in the mind. They imagine all kinds of scary things like they are going to die, or being trapped in a traffic jam and will unable to escape if they experience a panic attack or getting into an accident. Such thoughts can be really frightening for someone with driving phobia and s/he will stay away from driving to avoid such controlling feelings.

Overcoming your driving phobia….

The good news is that like all kinds of fears, the fear of driving is also a result of unnecessary thoughts and feelings which does not cause any long term ill effect. But obviously this can badly impact a person’s ability to function on a daily basis if he needs to drive to work.


Driving phobia can develop in many ways. Usually a person might have experienced an incident such as a car accident for which he has become over protective in due course of the time. At times, such feelings of anxiety can show up suddenly while driving and more so if a person is prone to anxiety and fear. There are many ways to overcome this problem but first you need to know how to better handle panic attacks. For many, this is easier said than done, but you need to keep getting behind the wheel to overcome it. Accept the fact that driving is dangerous but, only if you drive recklessly, but don’t repeat this statement over and over in your mind as repeating will only aggravate the problem. So drive responsibly and know your limitations. Learn to manage your stress since stress is the most common cause of anxiety. Do yoga, exercise, and meditation to lower your stress level.

Write a note to yourself about your ability to drive comfortably. Write down some positive affirmations such as “I am calm and comfortable while driving and enjoy listening to music”. Read out loud the message just before going to bed and just after you wake up and imagine yourself driving comfortably, relaxed and calm. This may seem like a simple exercise but practicing this exercise will go a long way in overcoming your phobia.

If you haven’t drive for a while due to fear, it’s time to return to driving gradually. Start with small trips on familiar roads and slowly take trips to different places. Take regular breaks in between and then drive further into unfamiliar roads. After the end of the journey reassure yourself that you did quite well!

The most important thing to remember is that anxiety will not kill you. Even though anxiety does not feel good but it is manageable. Instead of fighting anxiety, notice your emotions and observe it with detachment. Take deep breaths and remain calm and focus your thoughts on something else when you drive. Soon you will notice that you are driving comfortably, confidently and safely.

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