It’s been four years since I passed my driving test, however some days the thought of getting into my car and being responsible for the piece of metal fills me with fear. I have an overactive imagination when it comes to most things, and some days, all I can think about is a short 5-minute journey and everything that I did ‘wrong’ whilst driving. I can spend hours dissecting whether I went through a traffic light on green, amber or red when in reality I know the light was green and was followed by probably 10 cars. However, I cannot accept this unless I have thought about every other possible scenario and ruled them out. It can therefore be extremely stressful having to drive to certain places and I find that I can’t enjoy my day out because I’m too stressed about driving home and thinking about the journey to my destination.
When I talk to many people about my feelings regarding driving, I do get some looks and comments, mostly people questioning why I can fear driving so much occasionally as “driving gives you the freedom to go anywhere”, which is something I completely understand, but sometimes freedom isn’t what I need and occasionally I seek the solitude of my house and everything that I associate with the feeling of safety. Certain days the last thing I would want is to get into my car and be free to go anywhere, which for many is a concept they cannot grasp.
Often when driving somewhere new, I will have spent hours previously planning the journey. This is helpful as I know where I am driving to, which lane I will need to be in for certain junctions and the speed limits of roads. Put it this way I am extremely thankful for the internet, as my life would be much harder without access to maps and street view!
Often journeys I know I have to do, for example driving to work, I can quite easily get into my car and do it. Whilst journeys to a friend’s house which is even closer and an easier drive than to work, can fill me with dread. Mostly I associate this down to my need for routine and driving to work is a routine I have become accustomed to. Surprisingly, before my test, like many I was terrified at the thought of driving on the motorway, however, since my test, I have discovered that I love motorway driving. I believe this to be down to the fact that although there are very different hazards on a motorway, they can be easier to drive on mostly because there are no traffic lights, roundabouts, zebra crossing, people or bikes. Although motorways require just as much attention as normal roads, they are less stop start with different obstacles which can make them a lot less stressful.
Over the last few years I have developed various techniques to cope with driving, which I thought I would share, as hopefully these tips may make you feel more comfortable about driving.
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