I was reading about driving phobias recently and I was reminded of my sister. She passed her test when she was about 30, and was absolutely terrified of going on the motorway. In fact, she refused point blank to go on it.
She would rather spend hours trying to navigate forgotten country lanes than go on the motorway to get to the shops or to the airport. I never thought about it as a phobia at the time but I guess it was.
The closest I have come to having a fear of driving was in the days when I first sat behind the wheel in South America. I hadn’t driven for a few years and now I was behind the wheel of a big 4×4, on the wrong side of the road and surrounded by lunatic drivers and a complete lack of road signals.
I had a minor crash one of the first times I drove here and it took me a bit of time to pluck up the courage to get back behind the wheel again. Using my own experience I decided to put together a couple of points to help you work out whether something is holding you back from driving.
You Make Excuses Not to Drive
When I was going through my bad patch I would say that it was too hot / too cold / too late / too early or any other excuse to get out of driving. In the end my wife more or less forced me to drive her on a long trip and that is what finally settled my nerves.
You Feel Unusually Nervous or Stressed
Maybe you still drive but you feel really nervous when you do it. This was the case when I made that long drive my wife asked me to take her on. I found that travelling with a passenger was easier for me than driving alone but maybe you can cure your nervousness by driving alone or by putting on some music or by some other little trick.
Of course, facing up to your fears is the first step towards enjoying driving again, just as I do. My sister still won’t go on the motorway, though.