How to Get Over the Fear of Driving

Driving can be scary for first time drivers and people who are nervous, or lacking confidence. It may also frighten people who have been involved in an auto accident. It's true that cars can be dangerous, but learning to drive safely and confidently can lessen the dangers.


  1. Image titled Get Over the Fear of Driving Step 1
    Understand how a car works. Read your owner's manual. Learn a little about the components that stop a car when you brake. A better understanding of a car makes you feel comfortable with it.
  2. Image titled Get Over the Fear of Driving Step 2
    Practice driving first in a safe, quiet area. Find quiet side streets or an empty parking lot, and get used to starting, stopping, signaling, turning, reversing, and so on. Learn to control your vehicle and to find the controls someplace where you don't have to worry about traffic or other drivers. Work up to busier roads and longer drives as you start to feel comfortable operating the car.
  3. Image titled Get Over the Fear of Driving Step 3
    Tell yourself you are in control. The best way to feel in control, is to be in control.
  4. Image titled Get Over the Fear of Driving Step 4
    Review the rules of the road. Consult the highway code or book an appointment with a qualified driving instructor. Feeling knowledgeable of the highway will give you a huge boost in confidence.
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    Review the best practices of defensive driving. Learn to identify and correct or avoid difficult situations, before they become emergencies.
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    Try following someone for a while, even if it's someone you don't know. Find another driver going your way at a moderate and safe speed, and do what he or she does, as long as it's safe and comfortable for you to do so. In this way, you can learn from their judgment about how fast to take turns, when to change lanes, how to drive at a constant speed, and so on.
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    Ask a friend to help. Driving with a close friend or family member whom you trust will help you to feel at ease in the car. If anything bad should happen your friend will be there to assist and advise you, and even to take over if traffic or conditions gets to be too much for your experience or confidence level.


  • Learn at your own pace.
  • Be calm.
  • Drive frequently to get a handle on the concept.
  • Think positively.
  • Become comfortable with your car.
  • It may be counter-intuitive, but sometimes it's safer to drive a little assertively, than to be overly timid. Learn by practicing to take your turn at a stop sign, to keep pace with traffic, and to merge and change lanes with confidence.
  • If your car has anti-lock brakes (ABS), try them out in a safe place, before you need to use them. Get up to a medium speed, and press the brake hard. You may feel the pedal pulse, or hear a pulsing noise. That's exactly what it's supposed to do. Anti-lock brakes are designed to stop your car in the shortest possible distance, by automatically pulsing the brakes to prevent you from skidding.


  • Be confident; not overconfident. Don't endanger yourself or other drivers.

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Categories: Driving Basics