Con­quer your fear of driv­ing

Lesotho Times - - Motoring -

Many peo­ple have a fear of driv­ing a ve­hi­cle for many dif­fer­ent rea­sons. Some­times be­ing in a traf­fic col­li­sion can bring on this pho­bia. Oth­ers are afraid of the thought of big trucks, drunk or care­less driv­ers, or a lot of ve­hi­cles around them on the road.

I have been a driv­ing in­struc­tor since 2003, and I have had many stu­dents with a nat­u­ral fear of be­ing be­hind the wheel.

One stu­dent spent three hours of her first les­son in a park­ing lot, just get­ting used to the feel of driv­ing a car be­cause she was so afraid to get onto the road. (Most stu­dents are on the road within 30 min­utes of their first les­son.)

This stu­dent went on about 20 lessons with me over a three-year pe­riod. She is now a li­censed driver. She told me get­ting her driver’s li­cense was the big­gest chal­lenge she faced in her life.

an­other stu­dent of mine had to pull to the curb just about ev­ery five min­utes on the first few lessons with me be­cause she pan­icked so much while driv­ing. She went on about 10 lessons, then al­most a year went by.

Her mom called and said her daugh­ter felt ready to take her drive test. She went on one more les­son with me, then took her road test and passed the first time.

This pho­bia can be over­come and here

is how: Drive in ar­eas you are most fear­ful at times when you feel more safe such as when there is less traf­fic; Don’t avoid driv­ing be­cause you are afraid; Face it and con­quer the fear, slowly one step at a time; Don’t drive with some­one who will make you more ner­vous.

Take lessons from a pro­fes­sional driver rather than from a par­ent or spouse with lit­tle pa­tience; Be well rested when you do drive; Stud­ies show lack of sleep and ex­haus­tion causes stronger emo­tional re­ac­tions than when well rested;

Don’t over­load your­self on driv­ing. Take fre­quent breaks and pull to a curb or park­ing lot when you feel your anx­i­ety get­ting worse;

Don’t load up on junk food with sugar and caf­feine be­fore get­ting be­hind the wheel. Eat­ing healthy will help keep your emo­tions in check;

Try to sur­round your­self with friends and fam­ily who will sup­port and en­cour­age your ef­forts to con­quer your fear.

Good driv­ing tech­niques will not only make you safer on the road, it will make your car last longer also.

Ev­ery driver should take the time and ef­fort to learn and master the best and safest road habits from the time they start learn­ing to drive.

Many driv­ing schools say it is best if a teen starts learn­ing with a pro­fes­sional drive in­struc­tor rather than their par­ents, be­cause so many par­ents have picked up many bad habits or never learned the right driv­ing tech­niques to be­gin with.

It is also easy to get lazy in us­ing good habits when you drive af­ter you have learned them. This is why many el­derly driv­ers who are re­quired to take a road test to keep their driver’s li­cense have prob­lems pass­ing the test.

It’s not that they don’t know how to drive, they just prac­ticed bad habits be­hind the wheel over many years and bad habits are hard to break.

Once you have learned good driv­ing tech­niques, make it a point to keep us­ing them when­ever you drive. Don’t get the at­ti­tude that just be­cause you have your driver’s li­cense you will never get lazy us­ing the good skills you learned. — Safedriv­

Fear of driv­ing is a re­sult of many rea­sons and dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ences.

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