Operating a motor vehicle can throw you into some high-stress situations that can cause your heart rate to spike. Some drivers are more susceptible to anxious thoughts that can almost leave them paralyzed behind the wheel. Here are some helpful tips to help keep you calm when you are driving.
Stay Focused on the Road
Anxious driving-related concerns often cause you to think about your entire trip rather than just the road in front of you. It is beneficial to look at the road as it comes. For instance, if you get particularly anxious about driving on bridges, don’t think of the bridge as an entire unit. Instead, use this same tactic and cover a small portion of the structure at a time until you return to a standard road again.
A tool that can keep you from worrying about each moment in the car is to map out each point of the trip you are about to take before you depart. If you plan out your route beforehand, you will be able to note which ways will avoid roads with higher volumes of drivers, how many bridges you will encounter, and what the usual traffic patterns are like on that trip.
Question the Catastrophic Thoughts
Our automatic thoughts can generate some very scary scenarios that will leave us filled with so much fear each time we step into the vehicle. One way to avoid this is to make a habit of questioning those thoughts as soon as they arise and learn healthy ways to conquer them. For example, if you are driving through a tunnel and suddenly think it could collapse while you are under it, challenge that thought and tell yourself, “a team of educated engineers designed the structure of this tunnel, and talented builders turned the design into reality. As a result, thousands of drivers have safely driven beneath it. Moreover, the likelihood of it collapsing is incredibly slim.”
Get Rid of Avoidance
When we avoid our fears, they tend to bottle up into a massive panic that only continues the cycle. Therefore, it is crucial to confront the triggers that produce the driving anxiety so that you can eventually overcome them.
Ride with Someone You Trust
When you are able, bring a friend to ride with you. This tactic will allow you to verbalize and seek affirmation for the fears you are feeling and also practice the very thing that is causing you to struggle.
Have You Recently Been Involved in a Wreck?
Driving anxiety doesn’t have one particular cause, but being in a wreck is one way that could contribute to an uptick in it. At Templeton Smithee Hayes Heinrich & Russell, LLP, we are here to provide emotional and physical support if you have been injured in a car accident. Our personal injury lawyers work hard to represent you at a time when you need it most. Trust that we’re here to guide you throughout the entire process, focusing on your best interests and pursuing the most favorable outcome possible.
For a free consultation, call our firm today. We represent clients in the Texas panhandle and Eastern New Mexico.