Getting past my fear of driving

Edited for privacy

I wish I could relate. :frowning: I’m not sure this is really helpful, but I was afraid I’d never get my license, either, and I was 20 before I got mine (I’m 26 now, too). I have this condition called Sensory Integration–whenever I try to explain it turns quite lengthy, but the essence of it (at least, that I’ve been taught) is that it takes longer for messages to cross the synapses in my brain, therefore it creates delayed thinking in some cases (somehow, it also relates to my inability to realize my own strength–once I popped my brother’s ear-drum whilst thinking I’d barely slapped him–my depth perception issues, and not really realizing where I am spatially–I bump into people a lot accidentally, and I had a lot of issues realizing where I was on the road–I remember several times I really scared my parents by how close I was to going off the road–running into trees and hitting mailboxes and such). Anyway, as you can imagine, quite a few of these things could be detrimental to someone driving. Delayed response times, depth perception issues, unawareness of spatial positioning, etc. All rather important for driving! I just had to practice enough so I was comfortable and knew where I should be. It took me several months, but eventually I was ready, and I passed my test on my first try. I don’t know how I could do without it, though; I couldn’t afford to depend on people to take me to school and work and stuff. I couldn’t live without the independence, either! Maybe start out really slow? I remember when my dad was trying to teach me how to drive on ice/snow, he took me to my old high school’s parking lot and we just drove around in circles until I was comfortable. We tried parallel parking in an empty church parking lot until I was more comfortable spatially, before we ever tried it on the road. Then maybe you could move to deserted back roads, and ease yourself up to more and more used roads until you’re comfortable?

For what it’s worth, one of my coworkers at my last job was around 45, had several kids (4, I think), and quite a few grandchildren, and she’s done fine without having her driver’s license. She’s just recently gotten her permit (I think!), and is working on slowly learning to drive, too. She is terrified of driving, too, though, and I am not sure what finally convinced her to get out there. I think it was that she got to the point where no one could take her anymore, but she NEEDED to work, because her family just couldn’t do without the income. Maybe for the right reason, you could learn, too?

Maybe it would be worth checking into a psychologist/counselor? They might be able to diagnose some of those phobias that you might not really understand, and help you to be able to get out there and actually get your license and drive.

Good luck!

I second going to see a counselor. If you are indeed having a panic attack everytime you attempt to drive, they might be able to help you deal with that. The only other advice I can offer is that you need to practice driving everyday. The more familiar it is, the less scary it will become. I know that when I started driving (which would be about 18 years ago), I hated it but having to do it everyday (driving to work and school), I got over it. I still don’t like driving on unfamiliar roads or to new places but once I’ve driven somewhere a few times, then I’m perfectly fine.

I have the same problem. I got my permit at a young age but stopped practicing driving soon after because I didn;t really care for it and it was easier for my parents to drive me. But then college came around and I decided to go to a local school so I needed to learn how to drive in order to commute. Driving lessons went fine and I was able to get my licenses by the end of the summer. But as it turns out I am terrified to drive by myself, still am. I’m fine when I have someone in the passenger seat, but I can’t do it by myself. [name_f]My[/name_f] mom had to drive me to college everyday my freshman year. Not only was it difficult for both of us, but it was embarrassing for me being an adult but not driving. I just get really nervous and feel like I’m forgetting the rules of the road. I also feel like I can’t focus on everything at once like you have to do when your driving. With a passenger at least he or she can look out for me and keep me focused. I also live in an area where you have to drive. No public transport. I really need to get over this fear and become more independent so I’m not burdening my parents all the time.

I still haven’t gotten over yet, but I have been seeing a counselor and that really helps. She sets goals for me in regards to driving. Ex: Pull out of the driveway by yourself, drive around the block by yourself etc… and it helps because it feels like a huge accomplishment when I do it and am praised by her. If you don’t know how to drive already I would suggest maybe hiring a driving instructor. A good driving instructor will be very understanding of nerves and let you go at your own pace. If do “know” how to drive already I would suggest maybe driving with your husband the way I do with my mom. That way you get practice but you still have a person in the passenger seat whose more experienced and can tell you what your doing wrong and be a second pair of eyes to keep you safe.