While there are situations on the road that would make anyone nervous—like driving in the ice or snow or hydroplaning—most people who spend a decent amount of time driving have found ways to get over these fears and soldier on. However, many people still experience anxiety when they get behind the wheel, be it a new teen driver or an older driver who may be headed toward an assisted living community soon.
Luckily, there are things that you can do to help settle your nerves and make you a more confident driver. To help you see how these things can be done, here are three things to do if you’re a nervous driver.
Decide If Driving Is Right For You
One of the first things you should do if you always feel nervous when you’re behind the wheel is to really consider if driving is right for you. For some people, public transportation can get them exactly where they need to be without the stress of driving themselves. And while this isn’t always an option, it could be worth looking into if you’ve struggled with driving for years.
If and when you decide that you do want to and need to drive, you’ve got to commit to facing these fears and accepting the risks of driving without letting them cripple you. This can be done by starting out with small amounts of exposure, like only driving in good weather or staying close to where you live or work. And as you get more comfortable, you can start branching out into parts of driving that typically make you more nervous.
Learn Where Your Anxiety Stems From
As you start doing things that make you more nervous as a driver, you should try to make yourself aware of what you’re feeling and when you start feeling it.
For many people, anxiety about driving can be linked to something traumatic happening in their past. If this is the case for you, seeking professional medical advice in the form of therapy can help you to work through this anxiety and come to terms with whatever it is that is causing this stress in the first place.
Choose Calming Music
When you’re ready to start getting behind the wheel, something that you can do to help you keep your cool is to listen to calming music.
For some people, music with lyrics can be an unwelcome distraction if they’re nervous about driving. If this is the case for you, consider putting on some instrumental music to help both your body and your mind relax. This can be very helpful, especially if it’s the sounds of driving that can cause you anxiety.
If you’re typically nervous when you’re driving and are ready to make a change here, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you see how this can be done.