Do you have a fear of driving? When you consider some of South Africa’s high road accident and crime statistics, getting into your car to take on some of our roads can be nerve wrecking.
Getting over your fear of driving
Driving in the very beginning can be quite stressful. You’re navigating your way down the road with every opportunity to crash into poles, sidewalks, traffic lights and (worst of all) other cars. Some people manage to pass their driver’s test on the first try and take to the road like it’s nothing special. Others, however, find getting behind the wheel absolutely terrifying.
The thing is, if you have to travel to work everyday, you probably need to be able to drive, especially if public transport doesn’t go that way. So, here are some tips on how to get over your fear of driving.
Practise in your head
It may sound silly, but use your imagination to help you prepare for the road. Sit on the end of your bed, put your hands and feet out like you’re sitting in a car preparing to drive and close your eyes. Go through the K53 in your mind and do all those checks and signals. You can even make the “vroom vroom” noise if it helps. Just hope that no one walks in because it may be hard to explain.
Drive with someone you trust
Whether it’s a driving instructor or your mom, only get behind the wheel with someone you can trust. This person needs to make you feel calm and relaxed as soon as the keys are in the ignition. Driving with someone who yells at you when you make a mistake or screams “go go go” when the green light is showing will only make you more nervous.
Get out on the road as often as you can
Practising on the road is really important. Some people need more time behind the wheel than others. It takes time to get comfortable and you need to go at your own pace. The important thing is to drive as often as possible. Try new routes and even go out during peak traffic, it’ll help you learn how to stop and go. The more you do it, the more natural it’ll become.
Driving is stressful and it’s only normal to be a little scared. If things go wrong you might even end up needing legal insurance. But that’s no reason to avoid driving forever. Having your own mode of transport gives you the freedom to go where you like, when you like. So, get out there and get your driver’s license, it will change everything.