Overcoming Driving Anxiety

By Simon

While many of us choose to ignore it, driving is in factthe most dangerous activity most of us will ever engage in. For millions of people annually, the real risk of driving  includesthe probability and likelihood of being involved in an auto accident. Although safety features are better than ever, and people are required to take driver’s education courses, a thousand variables act against us - and while we become a moving projectile, accidents can happen.

The science behind trauma and anxiety is still developing - what we know without question is that overcoming trauma in any degree can be challenging. We are often approached by drivers who have their license or have decided to earn one, but they are exceedingly apprehensive due to some sort of driving incident that has occurred in their life. At Drive Rite Academy, we take this type of challenge very seriously and we have developed a systematic approach to understanding, mitigating, and helping our students overcome their fears.

It’s important to note that there will never be a solution that works the same for everyone, just as there is no one rationalization for fear. What one person may tolerate without missing a beat, may terrify another person to the point they become violently ill at the thought of driving. Our approach to trauma induced driving anxiety starts with these simple strategies:

No Judgement.

We are not here to diagnose you, evaluate your mental state, or write you a prescription. Our job is to help you face off to this fear, regardless of the cause (even if there isn’t one). So before you enter the car with one of our instructors, you should know that we are only here to help you, and we are equipped with the skills to do so.

Open Conversation.

For some, it is cathartic to discuss the events leading up to the fear. For others, they would just assume not discuss it and focus specifically on the task at hand. Our instructors are here to listen, but will not probe you for extensive answers. For the sake of learning, we may ask rudimentary questions such as “Which driving skill do you feel you need to dedicate the most time.” If you would like to discuss your specific situation, just let our instructors know.

You Set The Pace

All of our lessons are custom built for the student, regardless of their competence or comfort level. We move at your pace. While it is our job to encourage you to broaden your skill set, it is not our job to force you into uncomfortable situations. If you feel the need to ride shotgun for the first lesson while we explain the details and teach you how to anticipate traffic, great! If you would like to pull over and take a breather, we can do that too. Remember, you are in the driver’s seat (even if you’re in the passenger seat…...see what I did there.)

Decide Before You Drive

Learning to drive, or learning to do anything (especially overcoming fear) is predetermined long before the lessons start. Make sure before you get in the car, you have a clear understanding with yourself that you can do this, you are going to do this, and you will succeed. We are strong proponents for positive thinking, and will help you to maintain that mindset throughout the course of your driver education, and after.  

Being a safe driver and staying safe while driving are not the same thing. Our instructors will help you to understand the difference and prepare you for a safe and enjoyable road experience. For more information on our Confidence Driving Courses please visit driveriteny.com or call us at 718.928.7048

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