Challenge your driving fears

In follow-up to my last post on overcoming road test anxiety, the fears around driving go a little deeper for some.  I’ve received questions about overcoming ones fears of driving in general. Recently, I got a comment on Facebook  asking how nervous drivers can learn to overcome their fears.  Christina – this post is for you!!

I think for many people there is the fear of the unknown.  Bottom line is people want to get from point A to point B safely.   Driving defensively  is of the utmost importance here.  So how do you overcome your fear of driving?  Is it possible?

The answer really depends on the person.  Lets embrace the positive of the nervousness.  Each person has the power to learn the tools that will help them overcome their fears.  If you are afraid of the vehicle beside you, learn to keep space around your vehicle.  If you are afraid of getting into a crash, lessons from a professional Driving Instructor will help you if you are willing to learn and change.

Berk Dietrich, who has been with Young Drivers for over 20 years, chatted with me about ways in which Instructors can help ease a student’s specific fears of driving – like highway driving.  “In some cases, an Instructor can set up the route so that the driver ends up at the place they feared the most and all is well when they realize that they were able to handle it.”  To conquer your specific fears on driving you need to go through that scenario with the right driving techniques.

Berk went on to explain that when a student is facing an unnaturally high level of fear of driving in the general sense, it’s another matter.  “As an instructor, it’s about voice control and calmness leading to trust with your student. These are not necessarily things that are easily done. You need to work for this trust.  To help minimize a student’s fears, a Driving Instructor can use certain tactics like choosing a certain location to train or a specific time of day where the driver will have less exposure to traffic.”

With education and a willingness to allow yourself to become a successful driver, it is possible to challenge your fears and overcome them.

Are you a nervous driver?  If so, what has worked for you?  We’d love for you to share your experiences so others can learn from you too.