about Does anyone suffer from driving anxiety?

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by DorothyWitherell 2 weeks ago.

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  • #4555
    TB

    A couple of years ago, around about the same time I hit the big 40 driving merrily along the M1 (a regular journey), I suddenly and unexpectedly had a panic attack. Sweaty palms, heart palpitations, shaking legs (I couldn’t feel my feet on the pedals!). I pulled over and had to be escorted off the motorway to my mortification. I’ve tried hypnotherapy and also had a bit of therapy but nothing works! Looks like I’m doomed and will have to drive on A roads for the rest of my life ! Previously I’ve been a confident and capable driver going the length and breadth of the country ! Any help ??

    #4558
    Joda

    I too sometimes suffer from anxiety about driving, particularly if it is a long journey on busy roads. All I can think about is whether it will be busy and what the other drivers will do. Once I have set off, I’m usually OK, but if I hit trouble along the way such as traffic jams, that can start me off worrying again. I also worry about where I will park when I get there and what I will do if I can’t find a space. This fear has even put me off shopping trips before.

    #4564
    Subi

    There is a particular stretch of road that makes me anxious and for me it’s a feeling that I can’t breath, but to date I have just powered through. Mindful that if a pull over I probably won’t start the car again. Also make a point of not choosing other road options. Pretty scary still.

    #4568
    HeatherLou

    Yes I had the same thing hit me about 2 years ago after being a perfectly competent motorway driver for years, to be honest I have avoided them ever since, I am lucky I dont have to drive far to work.

    #4569
    Jules50

    I do! I saw a horrendous accident many years ago on a motorway in Spain from then on I will never drive on a motorway. I do feel a complete failure when my husband says why don’t you drive – I just can’t I am terrified . I do avoid them.

    #4571
    siannyb

    I struggle with being stuck in traffic. If I can’t move forwards, backwards or to the side, I have a panic attack. I will go out of my way to avoid the Dual carriageway at times when I know it will be busy. My husband says I should use the time, whilst stuck in traffic, to daydream; look out of the window; listen to the radio. My immediate reaction is panic and I can’t distract myself from it. I’ve had this now for 16 years and it’s frustrating. It’s the same in lifts. Can’t get out when i want to, so i panic. I had the most awful 20 minutes of my life after the doors shut on me when on the London Eye. I get angry; frustrated; ashamed; and tired about always needing an exit. Shame i can’t find one for my anxiety!

    #4576
    Lisa67

    It is so refreshing to hear I am not alone, I am terrified of driving. I am a competent driver of 25 years, no accidents, so I am at a loss as to why?
    The mere thought of getting into the car and turning the key provokes an anxiety attack. I bought a lovely new car in March and avoid it like the plague. That “new car” smell that people love so much, gives me palpitations, because it smells too much like a car!!!
    I am afraid to drive any further that the local shops as I am afraid of getting lost. So I invested in a sat nav in the hope I could confidently drive the 70 mile round trip to work. The panick continued. Well I have now done this twice, since March.
    I have tried bonding with my car, wash it, clean out the cobwebs that have accumulated on the dash regularly, yes even a family of spiders get more mileage from my car! Just generally trying to bond with my car to no avail.
    Now I hate it, it sits outside my home, mocking me when I walk by. I want an amicable divorce, but the car company want £3000 to hand it back. Groan

    #4578
    madelia

    I have been driving for almost 10 years now. And before I go out, either take the kids to school, go to the supermarket, I have to go to the toilet first. I get so nervous but once I start driving, I’m fine. And I worry about parking. If it’s my first time to go to a place, I have to tell my husband to take me there first then I’ll be confident where I’m going.

    #4626
    AZmomma76

    I’m so happy I’m not the only one who suffers from driving anxiety. This started about 4 years ago, I drove the highways all the time. Then one day I got stuck in traffic, no ac and very hot out. I had a panic attack right on the highway and took the first exit I could get to. I have had my husband and my mother talk to down several times while driving. I take back roads… even if it takes me an extra hour. I would love to be able to drive highways again!!

    #4878
    hhobbs

    I can drive around my town and into the neighbouring town, but if I have to go somewhere I’m not sure of or go further afield, as soon as we set off I get bad thoughts that we are going to get lost, have to drive down a lane which i hate or have to give up and explain to everyone why I couldn’t come. My arms go numb, my head gets dizzy, dry mouth. I am even physical sick. I am proud that I went out on Sunday and had all these symptoms and thought through it.

    #6739
    Brightonlala

    Totally with you and have so much anxiety about driving. I used to get a bit obsessed over tiny mistakes I made and how they could have led to an accident. I also felt really incapable – like I’m not a proper grown up or not very empowered because my partner drives us everywhere. I’ve since decided that just because I have a licence it doesn’t mean I have to use it. I’ve also got my scuba diving certificate but I don’t feel bad about not using that one ever again…
    I think anxiety around driving is a perfectly valid fear – cars can be so useful but they are also pretty dangerous. I’m fortunate enough to live in a really well connected city so can use public transport and walk everywhere – must be much harder for people who live in more remote locations who suffer from driving anxiety.
    I know there are courses you can go on to restore confidence and calm – the AA offer a free one at certain times.

    #6899
    pat

    This is wonderful to realise I’m not alone. I started driving 2 years ago when I was 64 and had to ferry my mum and sister to hospital appointments but every journey means a sleepless night before. In August I was in motorway pile up (not my fault!) and my car was a write off so now have lovely new car but no pleasure from it which is very sad. Am still trying but it is very stressful.

    #10385
    Notme

    I enjoy driving and love my car, as long as i know where i’m going. If facing an unknown route I will check Google maps for the directions, probably several times. In the car I have turned off the voice on the satnav because it is too annoying, interrupting the radio all the time. This means i have to follow the line on the screen, ‘does it mean next left or the one after?’ I ask my daughter in the passenger seat, who calmly tells me. I still get it wrong sometimes and go round the ring road and gyratory system twice before negotiating the correct lane. As for parking in a multi-storey, I usually go to Level 10 on the roof just to avoid other parked cars. Other than that, I am a very calm driver, I think… How did i used to manage with just an A-Z on the passenger seat?

    #11438
    DorothyWitherell

    No, I haven’t suffered from driving anxiety yet. But I have heard about it earlier also.

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