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How to overcome fear of driving?

Fear of driving Nutmeg Senior Rides by Nutmeg Senior Riders

Many people do not know how to overcome the fear of driving. This is a problem that affects more people than we think, drivers of all ages who cannot get at the car's controls without fear.

As we will see in this article, this problem can happen to all of us, and it can affect even experienced drivers who have never suffered from this fear of driving a car.

The fear of driving receives the scientific name of amaxophobia. It is a special kind of fear that some people have at the prospect of driving.

We talk about fear; we talk about phobia; we talk about panic. All these words describe this feeling of helplessness when facing traffic. Is it fear of driving? Or is it fear of not fulfilling that state of infallibility that we forge trying to get closer to an ideal? The pressure is very significant. We cannot fail, we cannot make mistakes, we cannot lose the image, we cannot avoid what they will say. And, we can't handle it.

Admitting that we are afraid to drive speaks of our deficit, but it is essential to understand that this fear is overcome and those negative thoughts are overcome:

  • We should have the desire clear, the passion.

  • Letting us be motivated by those who did succeed, by those who could overcome every obstacle presented to them.

  • Counting on a sufficient amount of practice, accompanied by those who can provide us with security and confidence, we can say that the mission that seemed impossible to us begins to be experienced as something probable.

Why is it considered a specific phobia?

The fear of driving is part of the specific phobias characterized by the appearance of irrational fear in the face of a particular situation. A phobia shows up when we have the following situations:

  • Disproportionate to the situation that creates it.

  • It cannot be explained or reasoned.

  • The person cannot control the suffering feeling.

The causes

Some experts banish the myth that amaxophobia is caused solely by having suffered an accident. That may be the least typical factor of all, but many others lead to this problem, such as the simple fact that you do not like driving.

In large cities, where it is easy to get from one place to another without having to use the car, it is expected that people who do not see any attraction in driving prefer to travel by subway or bus. In the long run, that causes those drivers to end up being afraid of the car due to the fear of not knowing how to drive it.

Those are two factors, but this fear may also be related to the fact that, as we get older, our levels of concern tend to increase. Taking your children to school and considering the possibility of having an accident with them on board, the fear of having a heart attack on the road if we have already had a cardiovascular episode. There are many factors that can end up generating a picture of amaxophobia in us.

Tricks to lose the fear of driving

There are some tricks to lose the fear of driving that we can practice before putting ourselves in the hands of a professional.

Relaxation techniques

An excellent technique is to learn relaxation techniques. Driving is effortless if we put our nerves aside, so we have to start practicing these techniques to do it with peace of mind when we get in the car. It's not something you can do in a day, but it will work in the long run.

Drive alone

Another of the tricks to overcome amaxophobia is to drive alone. On many occasions, driving with someone next to us causes us more nervousness, especially if that person judges the way we drive. In addition, we must drive without having help from anyone.

Work on your mindset

It can also help us to work on a change in mentality about driving, associating it with something positive instead of a stressful situation. To do this, we can go out by car to take a walk in places without traffic or go to places that we like.

If you still have amaxophobia despite using these tricks to overcome the fear of driving, you should put yourself in the hands of a professional. Today there are even driving simulators in which this fear can be treated and rooted out.

Trust your abilities

Phobias can be overcome, but you have to trust yourself! It is possible that you have the necessary tools to overcome your situation but you do not know how to handle it.

Whether it is about an extreme fear or that you do not have the resources to overcome it by yourself, you can always choose to go to a professional to help you overcome the fear of driving. You are not alone in this!

Focus on now

Fear feeds and fattens off negative thoughts that frighten us. It is vital that you focus your attention on the activity that you are going to start and keep your mind on the present moment because it will work as a powerful antidote when you feel that you begin to have negative thoughts such as "I will lose control" or "I am going to crash the car".

Go to Therapy

You don't have to be psychologically fatal to go to therapy. Doing it before reaching that point is more effective and prevents potential psychological problems.

We will not tell you that it is necessary to go to therapy to overcome the fear of driving, but it is a great help since, in therapy, you will pay attention to all of the above and much more.

In psychological therapy, you will have professional support to help you face this fear at the right place. The most advisable is a treatment that does not focus exclusively on eliminating this phobia.

If you only treat this particular phobia by modifying your behavior, the fear will likely end up moving to another activity. For this reason, we recommend that you work on it from a more holistic approach, in which you are taught strategies to take care of yourself in a comprehensive way.

At Nutmeg Senior Rides, we know how hard could be to overcome the fear of driving. Our volunteers are qualified people. If you want to know more about our services, visit our page and get all the information. It is the right moment to start driving properly and be one of our volunteers.


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