Tips for Overcoming the Fear of Driving

Seniors, people with disabilities and those with other challenges can have not only physical problems to overcome, but also mental or emotional ones when driving. We feel anxious, overwhelmed and terrified of getting lost, getting into an accident, or anxiety about doing something wrong while driving and upsetting other drivers. All these feelings can develop into a fear of driving or a driving phobia. There are solutions to help you.Practice and Be Prepared:

  • To boost your confidence, drive to the end of the block and back or around an empty parking lot, then gradually go for longer drives.
  • Ask someone to accompany you if that helps you relax.
  • Sit in the vehicle and familiarize yourself with everything. Know the buttons, move the steering wheel and know where all your indicator lights are and what they mean.
  • Always check your rear view and side mirrors as well as your seat position before driving off for your destination. This will help you feel more relaxed while driving.

Patience:

  • Don’t start driving if you’re not calm and collected. Sit in the vehicle and take deep breaths until you have peace of mind.
  • If you are able, Yoga classes may help you become more focused.
  • If you get lost or experience panic, pull over until you calm down. Take as much time as you need. If you have a cell phone, call a friend or family member for some motivational words.

Know Where You Are Going:

  • A Global Positioning System (GPS) may lessen the fear of getting lost; most smartphones have a built in GPS that can help without an extra cost to the consumer.
  • No GPS? Print out the map directions from the Internet for those places you go frequently and keep them in the glove box.
  • Read through the directions before leaving so you know in advance a general knowledge of where you are going. Knowing the local landmarks around your destination can help you from not getting lost.

Therapy:

Simple solutions to physical problems may help the mental and emotional pangs you are having about driving. There are certain mobility modifications that can be done to your vehicle to help with some of the physical disabilities you may have. For example, a spinner knob on the steering wheel allows accurate one-handed steering; hand controls replace feet for acceleration or braking—whatever the problem, there are solutions.

This mobility update has been brought to you by M.C. Mobility Systems. For more information about wheelchair accessible vehicles and adaptive solutions, visit MCMobilitySystems.com to find the dealership nearest you.

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