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by Ken Goodman, LCSW
fear of driving

It’s easy to understand how a major car accident would cause someone to fear driving, but most driving phobia have nothing to do with accidents.

Here is a list of the top 5 driving fears:

1. Past negative experiences
Car accidents are the most common negative driving experience; and can be the most horrific, but there are others. Driving through a bad storm, being a victim of road rage, getting lost, or having a panic attack can all be traumatic. You may replay the experience in your mind and worry it will happen again. The repetitive thoughts and fears may then cause the person to avoid driving, only making the anxiety worse.

2. Driving outside of one’s comfort zone… alone
For some driving phobics, driving to a familiar location is no big deal. But give them directions to a new location, near or far, and their anxiety goes through the sunroof.

What if I get lost? What if my car runs out of gas? What if my cell phone gets no reception? What if I can’t find a parking spot?

It is not just the fear that something bad will happen, it is the fear that something bad will happen in an unfamiliar place, far from home, and no one will be there to help.

3. Fear of having symptoms of anxiety and being trapped
Being stuck in traffic is an irritant no one likes, but if you have a fear of panic attacks traffic can be a terrifying experience. People with a history of panic attacks tend to avoid situations where they can’t get out quickly, including freeways and left turn lanes.

What if I’m stuck traffic and have a panic attack!

Anxiety targets certain organs in the body. While some may experience racing heart and difficulty breathing, others experience diarrhea, lightheadedness or nausea. The mere thought of having these symptoms and being stuck in traffic, results in more anxiety and more avoidance.

4. Fear of going too fast and losing control
Feeling the wrath of other drivers for going too slow on the highway, there is pressure to accelerate, but your mind and body won’t let you. Clinching the steering wheel for dear life, your heart races and your body sweats.

The out of control physical symptoms of anxiety make it impossible to trust yourself to drive safely.

The fear of losing control and swerving into another lane is enough to make you drive on surface streets even if takes longer to arrive at your destination.

5. Fear of Fatalities
The basis of all anxiety is an exaggeration of danger and an underestimation of one’s ability. Fearful drivers might not trust their own ability or lack faith in other’s. Either way, they imagine the worst repeatedly. The active imagination of the driving phobic can result in the most gruesome car crashes… in their mind. You don’t have to be a victim of a previous car accident to imagine being in one.

Getting Past the Anxiety

Conquering the fear of driving IS possible but it usually requires help. The gold standard for treatment of any anxiety disorder is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

The first step is to identify your specific fear from the list above.

Then write down all the reasons you want to conquer the fear - why it’s so important. Overcoming any fear means you must face it, which requires a great deal of motivation.

A CBT therapist will help you deal with the thoughts that are causing your physical symptoms and teach you skills to relax your body and quiet your mind. The therapist will also explain the mindset required to face a fear.

Fear of driving affects all aspects of one’s life, from personal to professional. Overcoming this type of anxiety with a qualified professional, will take work and bravery, but it’s well worth, it in the end!

Now available! Recorded ADAA webinar presented by Ken Goodman - Overcoming the Fear of Driving (July 12, 2018). 

 


About the Author

ADAA_Ken-Goodman-websize-1.jpg

Ken Goodman, LCSW, treats anxiety and OCD in Los Angeles.  He is the author of The Anxiety Solution Series, a step-by-step audio program, and Break Free from Anxiety, a coloring, self-help book for anxiety sufferers. Ken Goodman is an ADAA Clinical Fellow.

Ken is the producer of The Anxiety Solution Series: Your Guide to Overcoming Panic, Worry, Compulsions and Fear, a step-by-step self-help audio program. Visit Ken's website. 

 

 

 

I too am suffering from severe anxiety.
I keep thinking that sowmthing Terri let will happen to my car while I am driving.

Will I break down?
Who will help me?
Will I be able to afford a repair bill?
How will I get to work?

I know these seem logical and unlogical at the same time, but I am left with paralyzing fear. I am becoming more and more reclusive and don't want to even leave my own home. I make excuses of why we can't go somewhere and live in panic and fear when ill have to leave and go to work. Alone. By myself.

My husband thinks Im crazy and tells me so constantly. I can not figure out how to make this go away.
Desperate and living a nightmare.

I'm a new driver and I'm terrified of being too far to the left of the yellow line or too far to the right and running off the road. I just got my permit and I'm going to try this.

It feels horrible to have such anxiety as it limits me from doing a lot of my daily activities. The best I could do to alleviate it is by distracting myself with loud music. I know it's dangerous but I have no other option.

It feels good to read the comments here because at least I know I'm not alone. I am 50 years old and used to drive wherever and whenever no problem. I was a nervous passenger long before I was a nervous driver. The driving anxiety came on gradually. I feel like I make some progress then take two steps back. It definitely affects every area of my life and no one else understands. My husband is usually very steady but seeing me get anxious makes him nervous which then feeds my anxiety. It's awful. I hope we can all get beyond our anxiety and get on with our lives.

I love driving, I really do. But my truck makes my anxiety act up. For me, it sits up too high and i can't drive it everywhere I want to go. I usually jump in my mothers car, she has a focus. My main fear is flipping my truck over, so I just drive slow but it doesn't really help me out.

Im 33 i have 2 children and im codependent on everyone to drive me around. I fear the worst when driving. Thanks to my mother and her fear installing failure induceding talks. I feel horrible about not being able to take my boys out. I fear some major life events are about to happen and have major anxiety about how im going to manage the houselhold and not being abel to drive. Even writing this comment is causing me anxiety. I feel worthless and trapped.

Almost all of those are examples of my fears when driving. I really want to get pass this anxiety. I’m starting school in a town an hour away next week and I’ve been stressing myself out about it. Idk what I’m gonna do.

I was in an accident where there was a death of another driver due to me causing another driver to hit him. I served real jail time because of this and I was completely sober too. I never wanted anyone to ever get hurt in the first place so I sometimes feel like I can’t trust myself at all when I start driving again. I feel like I may hurt someone again on accident even though I know that it was a freak accident I was in. I haven’t started driving again yet because of a suspended license but I feel that when I start driving again that it could take me years to drive on a freeway again.

I am anxious with driving. I,got hit by a drunk,driver while,walking, saw 2 tractor trailers run a red light. My car got hit by another car at a stop sign and I am afraid,I,dont have the reactions I need to. I have a baby and a husband,with epilepsy. I need to,drive, but I am so,afraid,to,do,so

We don't talk about a phobia against dangerous drivers . . . Such as drunk, drug impaired, people running from the law, etc . . ALL that is in abundance here in Southern California.

It's good to know I'm not the only one who suffers from this it has truly held me back I'm 27 years old just got my permit last month I absolutely hate driving but at the same time I want to get out and do fun things with my kids,go surprise my son at lunch,take them to the park,ect but this fear of driving I have is so debilitating. I'm so embarrassed by this. It really helped to read some of these comments let's me know I'm not alone it just feels that way bc I dont personally know anyone other than myself who suffers from this.

I need to overcome this feat, I drive fine on roads thats less busy but once i drive in traffic, I panic and thats when I catch on nonsense 😓😔 Please give me some advice on how to get more confidence..

After reading this and so many comments I finally don’t feel alone in my fear. When I was younger I always wanted to drive I don’t think my anxiety started until I was actually sitting behind the wheel of a car trying to learn. My mother is a very anxious person and she was always worried about leaving me alone or me being in the car with unfamiliar drivers. I’m 26 now and I have never driven a car, the few times I’ve tried to learn I have fallen into a panic attack and been inconsolable. I’m so embarrassed about my fear and hate telling people that at my age I still don’t drive. It’s affected my personal life to the point where I’ve lost friends and I can’t get a job more than 15 minutes away from where I live so my options are limited. I want so hard to overcome my anxiety and finally live my life.

Hi, I been in a bad car accident and I got hit on the passenger side and head on collusion and since January when it happened I have a harder time getting back in a car and when I do. I have anixty and then other day I was driving on freeway then a semi truck getting off the ramp almost hit me on the passenger side and other semi truck was behind me and almost hit me end the back bumper too. And I had a car next to me and I didn't have way to slow down. And my heart and my chest started to have a anixty attack again and scared me. I need help of my fear of driving again

I am 57 year old male having a valid Canadian G license. I have been driving in Toronto, Canada for the past 13 years. Before coming to Canada, I had been driving well in Kuwait (highways and inland) for 8 years.

In the past 5 years, I have developed some 'unknown anxiety' while driving on the highway. I get this anxiety soon after 15-20 minutes of driving making me feel as if "my car is not moving"!! While in reality, my car is moving at 100 kmph and during that time, I subconsciously start 'pressing the brakes' rather than the accelerator. This happens more when there are even no cars in the front or back.

At this point, I don't fade out or draw a blank as I am able to read all the road symbols, destinations and exits, etc. I don't lose control but my heart starts 'pounding' and my mouth goes dry! FYI, I take regular medication for BP, sugar and cholestrol but this anxiety does not show up when I am driving in the inland roads (speed limit of 60 kmph or less). Maybe, what gives me that inner confidence to drive on inland roads is the road signal which when red allows me to take a breather till I start again.

Soon after getting my G license in 2006, I started driving on the left most lane with no fear and used to easily shift to the middle or right most lanes depending on the traffic. However, with this 'anxiety' in mind, I don't venture to drive on the highway and prefer the inland route which might take longer but keeps me safer. I also don't recollect any bad incident happening to me during my 'good highway driving days'. I keep two full bottles of water next to me which I consume in sips while driving and when my mouth starts drying up.

I am pretty upset about the fact that I am not getting that old confidence to step back on the highway. Further, I never get that 'anxiety' if I am a passenger next to my friend or others. I find it most when I am either alone or with my family.

Can someone please advise me how I can overcome this 'unknown anxiety' in simple steps?? Request any questions to be asked for better clarification.

This has been an ongoing issue for over 8 years. I feel trapped in my little community only being able to fully feel comfortable driving in my town. When i leave my nest i feel like my eyes don't fully see or feel like they are wobbling around and have a hard time focusing. My heart pounds and i have difficulty breathing. I still do drive out of my comfort zone but feel extremely uncomfortable doing so.

I used to be an ok driver but now I panic if it’s frosty, heavy rain, snow and windy and my heart races and I’m gripping the steering wheel. I panic going over bridges and I can no longer overtake wagons, lorries or buses. The winter season has not even started and I don’t know how I’m going to mange drinking 38 miles a day commuting to work.

I'm 32 year's old and I've never had a license because every time I get in a car let alone behind the wheel I start to panic my heart starts racing and I start to worry something bad will happen. This is no affecting my marriage my husband dont understand why I cant drive and has talked about divorce if I don't start learning to drive so I can take care of things like going to the store or taking the kids to the Dr by myself. I really don't know what to do? I'm so afraid to drive but I keep telling myself how stupid it is to just do it before my marriage fails. What is some suggestions if anyone can help I would appreciate it greatly. Thank you

I had car accident rear eded and now everytime im on the car with my husband when we do left it reminds me that someone gonna hit us again.

I can drive very short distances, but I'm terrified that I'm going to be crashed into by someone who isn't paying attention to the road. Distracted driving is so prevalent these days, that it's like taking your life into your own hands every time you get behind the wheel.
It's difficult to explain this to anyone. I'm always asked if I've been in an accident. No, I haven't, but that doesn't take away from the fact that I'm absolutely terrified of being hit. It doesn't matter how defensive you are these days, people are on their phones, drunk, you name it. It affects my social life and sometimes my relationship. I'm so scared of driving that I'm starting to hate it.

I can definitely relate to this. Years ago I could drive in the big city with no problem. Nowadays I dread going out of town. I just know I'm going to be killed! I'm not even driving and still I am so tense and terrified. Waiting to be hit by any vehicle on the road. Just thinking about it, I would like to just hide in my closet so I don't have to leave my comfort zone. It is a major struggle. Then when we are out of town I just want to get home as soon as possible. The only place I feel safe. :-(

About a year ago mine started. I’ve had acccidents even wrecked in a police car (as the driver) at high speeds but that didn’t impact me. What did however was going from rural to city driving. One of my ticks left over from law enforcement was the tendency to phonetically recite license plates in my head. When your in major city however there are too many and it quickly overwhelms you. I HAVE TO do it no matter how silly it sounds. Next thing you know your having a panic attack. Suddenly the fear of driving - for your own safety or others kicks in and you doubt yourself and shut down. From there the idea of driving is suddenly enough to scare you to death, which becomes a cyclical event.

Unfortunately I’ve not found a solution, even though I’ve taken every medication they have thrown at me and attended every group within my driving range they have sent me to. The ironic solution that does exist is to move back to country where life is slower, but now that I’m married with child I can’t due to wife’s job and family.

These worries then cause depression to set in which cause further issues with job and finances et al. A not-do-simple thought process has wrecked me in the present. Life is both funny and cruel.

Gillian Abercrombie

October 21, 2018

I have developed a real fear of driving off the edge of bridges or down the sides of mountains. As soon as I can see over the side of a bridge or start to drive up a mountain area where there could be steep sides especially with corners the fear grips me. It is horrific and it could happen anytime as I live in Scotland and the country is full of this type of driving. If I know that I will have to cross an area like this, I worry about it for weeks. If I have to go to a place I am unsure of then the fear grips me as soon as I see a potential fear spot. What can I do?

I sure know how you feel. As I'm driving-in my mind I'm going to get hit my a car, drive off a cliff, run a red-light, lose control of the brakes and land -up driving in the dark is the worst. The struggle is real. Just thinking about it as I write this already has be sick to my stomach. When you find anything that helps, please share.

I used to be able to drive out of town. In the last 8 yrs I have a tremendous fear of driving out of my comfort zone. I received an e-mail that I need to go out of town for training which is about 2.5 hrs. It's still a week away and I've already made myself severely sick. I want to hide under my desk. I do not want to go. Just writing this is making me sick to my stomach. Too much traffic, noise, lights are enough to give me an over the top Anxiety attack. I love my job. I just can't drive out of town. I'm afraid to lose my job over it.

I moved to a new state. Literally across the US (Detroit to Seattle). I did not know the HUGE difference it would be in terms of the roads! I came from a flat state and Washington is super hilly. I was terrified for the first 2 - 3 to drive more than 15 minutes from the house. Naturally, I got a job downtown and that was the worse! I would start shaking before I left work because I had to go up 3 huge hills. Also, it's darker here. The roads are dark and it terrifies me not knowing exactly where I'm going. If there's a steep hill, I still go into panic mode. I have gotten a lot better but could still use a little help :-)

I want to drive but right as I sit in the drivers seat my mind starts going all over the place.What if I hit someone it would be my fault and my family would be disappointed.Another is what if I get pulled over I was taught what to do but I am not good with pressure.What if I was a reason that a parent would never see their kid again.My parents just think that I will get over this phobia,I want to get over this phobia.I just hope I could look back on this and laugh but that isn't happening today.

When my girls started driving about 10 years ago is when it all started. I can even think about them driving. I freak out if I am driving in front of , or behind them while there driving. Or just the thought of them driving scares me.
For the past month or so I have been terrified of driving. What started this was it was raining and foggy out. I could not see the lines on the road , just the cars coming at me and cars going around me. I was clinching the steering wheel so hard and tensed up. It to me about an hour to get to work which usually only takes 35 minutes. I was so terrified... Now I am scared to drive. Expecially at night or when it is raining. I don't known what to do. I still have to work. I need help and nor sure where to go...

I’m 25 years old and I’m terrified of driving. I was in an accident when I was 15 and it scared me from learning to drive and I feel like I’m a burden on my friends and coworkers cause I’m always needing a ride. I shouldn’t have to worry about how I’m getting to work or to the grocery store or to an appointment I really need help conquering my fear!

Hello- I live in Houston where there is traffic everywhere- it’s like I woke up 1 day and started freaking out when I drive- when I’m on the freeway it feels like I can’t breathe and at times feels like I will faint- this came out of nowhere- I stated driving on feeders and it helps a bit- idk why this is happening- I have had anxiety for as long as I remember but never when I drive- please help- what do I do?

Everyone of these are constantly playing in my head, daily. I’m 25 and a mother, I have SEVERE depression / anxiety. Aside from only going to places I can walk too, I have can’t build the courage to reach out to my family for rides to go anywhere not even a dr apt for my daughter. I’ve driven 1 time 5 months ago and it was exilerating, yet I haven’t been in the drivers seat since then.
I need help. I want to be a better mom I want to feel free, I don’t want to be a prisoner anymore. (I’m literally crying while writing this)
I don’t know what to do, people think it’s a joke when I say I can’t drive & being laughed at only makes my mental state so much worse.
Can someone who understands please reach out to me, it takes a lot for me to write this.
Thanks.

River - I too am a mom and have driving anxiety. I used to drive just fine and then after having my first daughter developedd severe driving anxiety. I could not even get into a car to drive down the street. I eventually found a center that does cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). I did exposure where the therapist takes you on the road and whatever thoughts and fears you're feeling, the therapist will "walk" you through what they mean, how to counteract those thoughts, etc. It helps because you're talking in real time to someone who understands what you're feeling and has experience working with people who have the same issue. It doesn't work overnight and you do have to do "homework" and be comfortable with being uncomfortable. It is not easy but it's so worth a try. Now I'm working on freeway driving. Good luck.

I get too scared, thinking in my head over all the possibilities that could happen while I'm driving, all the possible outcomes. How one wrong move can cost a life for another person or my own. I'm afraid bc i feel as if I'm not in complete control.

I’m sorry I just reply to the last post. I am desperate for real help for my 19 yr old daughter. She is my best friend and I hate that she is struggling. In May 2018 she was in a major accident while driving and totaled her car.... thankfully everyone ended up ok with minor injuries. Exactly 2 weeks later her friend and her were driving on a back road with no street lights and hit a killed a 21 yr old man who was walking in the middle of the road with headphones in his ears. These two traumatic incidents has caused her to have major anxiety while driving. She is seeing a therapist but claims it is not helping... has anyone tried hypnosis? I am willing to spend whatever I need to to help her get better. We live in Michigan and everyone drives.... no taxi or bus. She needs to drive for college and work and life!

It's a relief to read this is a real thing, I started trying to get my drivers licence quite late (30) and had a very stressful instructor who was extremely pushy, didn't take any of my fears seriously and was just very nonchalant. The small fear of driving I had only grew driving with this guy because I didn't trust him and I didn't trust myself behind the wheel either. I should have just fired him and gotten another instructor but instead I ended up having a full blown panic attack on the freeway, missing clear road signs because I was stressed out and even disassociating behind the wheel which was incredibly scary. I managed to get my license anyway and drove for about a year at my job, but the fear never got better. Rather it just intensified and I eventually quit the job because I started having trouble sleeping knowing I was going to drive the next day. I know it sound ridiculous to other "normal" drivers lol! Now I think I'm going to avoid cars (it's possible where I live) until I have the time to actually see a therapist about it or something, because I've tried to fix this on my own and it only gets worse :/ Chin up to everyone suffering from this, it's not easy, and you are not crazy! <3

This is seriously so refreshing to here other stories on sharing the same fear. I am 26 yrs old and just barley got my permit which took a lot of courage in itself. I’ve driven A few times and it’s like Im freaked out the whole time but I’m also super proud. And then it turns off and I’m scared agin not wanting to drive. It’s really frustrating especially when I see young kids doing it at ease. And like I’ve read above I get made fun of for it which is also very discouraging. But reading this thread and this article really helped me. So thank you guys I’m so happy I’m not alone in this

My problem is driving on the freeways, bridges, overpasses, I become paralyzed and can’t move, also when another person drives I am the same and have to close my eyes way before driver gets to those places

Whenever i drive i feel like i may have caused someone to lose their life. Last night i was on a turn at night and didnt have my headlights turned on(i forgot) and a car brushed pass at a high speed and ive been continuously thinking about it that maybe it skidded afterwards due to the late acknowledgment of my car. Events like these cause stress. Im from a very conservative family and cant tell them of my problem or ill be punished for having such thoughts. The stress literally dawns on me all day, i dont know how long i can take this.

I am 64 years old but for the last four years I have been riding to work with a coworker. My fear leads to this but I want to be able to drive my self to work my daughter said I need to get back to it . I have wanted to see if I can take some kind of medicine so I can drive again but do not know what to do

I was in an accident (I was driving) and a motorcycle wrecked into me. The guy almost died. Blood everywhere. My car was tore up. He was screaming and crying. And I didn't even get out of my car. The police officer made me. I didn't even react. And then I got out and walked to the grass and stood a few feet away from the motorcyclist who was lying on the ground screaming and crying while pedestrians and the officer were comforting him and I didn't even look at him. I didn't say a word to him. I actually felt nothing. I never reacted. Months later the anxiety kicked in. I couldn't drive. I would slam on breaks and scream and cry. 2 years later (now) I can drive again-but I don't let ANYONE drive me. Tonight my soon to be ex (because of how he just treated me) managed to get me in the car and he drives like a maniac. I panicked so bad. We got home and he was furious with me. I was so scared. I can't do anything or go anywhere with people. I've been to therapists and I've taken meds. They higher the dosage each time and after a few days I'm immune. My anxiety is so bad I almost have heart attacks. I live in a dark hole from hell.

I have this fear too, my fiance told me his been patient enough for 4 years and he will shout just for me to snap out of it because I'm making his life miserable. I'm afraid of driving even more afraid of having him teach me. His just making me feel even crappy about my uselessness to drive that I feel like just dying

I also have a fear of driving , I’ve had my license at fifty three and have to chew bubble gum to relax my anxiety. I don’t drive much or get on the interstate. Never been in car accident but really get scared and worked up just to get in my own car. I pray on this daily to get over my anxiety and hate it.😂

I've driven a company car for more than 20 years driving two to three thousand miles a day never had a issue driving until recently. I feel like I'm on a roller coaster when I hit about 70 miles an hour. Help me.

I’m about to be 25. I have a fear of driving. I have 2 kids so I know that I need to learn but I can’t bring myself to. I’ve tried before but I ended up having a horrible anxiety attack, I almost hit several things including a parked cop car. My family is like it’s all in your head you just need to get over it! But that’s the thing it’s not all in my head, and come on if it was that simple don’t you think I would’ve done it already! Do you think I enjoy having to rely on people for rides to the store or to get my kids to their doctors appointments no of course not but I can’t get over my anxiety!!!! I’m 24 I’ve never had my license I’ve had my permit but I let it expire cause I can’t even drive long enough without a panic attack to pass my drivers test. I feel like I’m never going to be able to cope with this and get past it. It’s run my life for so long. I can’t keep a job cause I can’t drive and eventually everyone gets tired of helping out with rides even when I give them $45 a week for gas and we only go maybe 4 miles a day in total and only 5 days a week but I tried to make it worth their wild so they wouldn’t back out on me but eventually everyone does. My dad is honestly the worst about me not driving. He keeps telling me I have no choice I have to get over this. And he’s tried pushing me to drive. He has taken me and my kids far out of town to go eat then on the way home will pull over and say if you want to get home you will get behind the wheel and drive us home. When I start to freak out and say I can’t he gets so mad and starts yelling and cussing at me saying things like god damn it Shailee get the --- over your fear and drive me and your kids home now. You don’t have a choice.... we have sat on the side of the road for 4 hours before cause I would not drive. Eventually he gave up and drove us. Luckily my husband understands and he doesn’t push me to do it. He just says you will when your ready.

I have the same problem I can bebop around locally but can’t go more than 30 miles when driving even then sometimes I have anxiety on the freeway somebody has to help us without having to charge us a Bunch of money because most of us don’t have it so we just sit here and live in fear and family doesn’t help they all think you’re crazy if there’s anybody out there that could help you should

I'm 20, going on 21 and I dont have my lisense , I'm scared to drive... I have anxiety and its difficult to get over it enough to really try..

Laurissa Williamson

March 9, 2019

Anytime I am in a vehicle I have this internal fear, and it's not of anything specific it is of EVERYTHING. I'm 19 and I really want to be able to drive, but when I do I have panic attacks. I want help to figure out how to stop the panic feeling I get.

I also have a fear of driving.

I took a driver's course at 17 and got my license, but I got out of practice when college came around since the college I attended was an hour drive from home and my parents worked near there (so they always gave me a ride). The driving I did throughout that time was only 5 minute drives through back roads to my sister's house for work 2-3 days a week. 3 years after getting my license, my dad needed a second driver to drive one of the cars home after one was done getting fixed. The drive was about 5 minutes away though it involved the highway at 55 mph. It was Alaskan winter roads with snow, ice, etc and I drove the one car out on the road a few minutes before my dad came with the other car. I drove 40-45mph due to winter conditions. An impatient driver in a truck behind me tailed me near my turn on the highway and refused to go around. Unknowingly, I sped up a lot to try to avoid the driver and was going too fast for my turn on the ice. Luckily, no rollover or anything, just went straight into the soft snow on the side of the road (again lucky because even the snow on the side of the road compacts into ice about a month after this incident). I couldn't get the car out myself, but my dad was able to handle it once he caught up and saw what happened (no ridicule at all though; I fully appreciate that to this day). But ever since then, I have been TERRIFIED at how much another driver affected my driving performance.

The year after that in the summer, I couldn't stand regular oncoming traffic on the highway. I barely made the short minute drive with shaking and severe sweating. It didn't help that there was road construction at my turn with no flagger, and traffic was at a busy hour so my left hand turn was holding up traffic on the 2 lane highway. I cried in the parking lot once I got there. At 24 years old, I feel ashamed that I have little to no confidence in driving and my husband's coworker recently shamed me for it to him. I just don't feel like I am capable of driving for my own safety or everyone else's on the road. I'm sure I can still do back roads okay, but places with pushy/rude drivers scares the daylights out of me.

So I would say #1 is one of my main issues with being a victim of road rage during the winter and a panic attack for the summer drive. Although, #5 is one as well since I'm frightened of the thought of suddenly dying from a car crash and how my family would suffer. It did help to remind myself on the back roads that no one wants to intently hit you with their car; everyone wants to get home safe. That statement seems to make the most impact for me on being willing to consider driving again. I think I would want driving lessons in the winter to gain confidence in snow/ice driving (my teenage driving lessons were during the summer which only 1/3 of the time in Alaska is there ideal driving conditions). I just need to push myself to do it (it's still winter conditions right now and stays that way until the near end of May).

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