What type of Driving Phobia do you have?
There is not a lot of research done on driving phobias. One study in Spain suggests nearly a third of drivers are fearful of driving in certain situations.
Motorway driving might not freak you out; perhaps it’s bridges?
Do you feel nervous when driving up mountains with cliff edges? Maybe it’s the roundabouts that send you in a spin? Or perhaps just driving into an city centres.
What about passing your driving test? Have you re taken it so many times, you are now in double digits?
I learned to drive in Southend on Sea on an intensive driving course with a close friend. Our tests were at the same time, although he left ahead of me with a different instructor. Within 2 minutes of leaving the centre he drove straight across the centre of the roundabout.
Amusing to me; not so my instructor. I failed that time; my friend didn’t pass his driving test for many years. Obviously he was deeply affected by the incident and developed a driving phobia of the test variety.
For many years I was not the most confident of drivers, having been in and exposed to quite a few car accidents from a very early age.
Believing that I had predicted one once at the age of 7 when we were driving through the Yorkshire moors. “There is going to be an accident shortly”. Yes I was right, my prophecy became true. A car swerved in front down the hillside, window screen popped out. My mother providing first aid from the kit in the car. Lots of adrenaline.. lots of fear. You never forget something like that.
Thankfully I’ve never been injured, but I used to hold my breath, and notice adrenaline in my body, when overtaking any large diesel trucks, or similar on the motorway. Each time I passed one, I felt grateful for being alive.
Remembering clearly the day my little Suzuki Swift broke down in a box junction just before Vauxhall Bridge during rush hour. All my passengers alighted to safety on the embankment laughing at the smoke billowing from my car bonnet. Another time when I drove back from a day’s skiing at Ben Nevis and snow closed the mountain roads, in the car with my 10 year old son and no snow chains. I witnessed accidents all over the place, and cars much better equipped than my Fiesta, freewheeling into ditches and banks. I asked my son if he could drive at one point because I was so terrified. His little voice “Come on Mum you can do it”. My car hit a few ice patches and spun into walls, but I survived.
Thankfully this is now in the past for me, as being a Hypnotherapist I’ve done plenty of work on myself over the years. I now love to drive in open roads in foreign countries and had a most memorable experience driving the Garden Route in South Africa with my mother a few years ago. Driving blissfully relaxed and confidently ( ok I did speed a bit on the wide open empty roads) that I failed to notice I have developed a flat tyre. My driving has turned a corner, and this year’s goal is ride confidently the motorbike that is sitting in its own parking space.
There isn’t actually a medical name for driving phobia. It’s not always necessarily directly related to a previous life episode, although in many cases there is a sensitising event. What that means is that something happened which created fear in the body. My list above are examples of sensitising events that can trigger driving phobias. This fear manifests itself when the situation arises again. The body always remembers. So even getting in a car can be difficult for those who have been in accident, let alone in a driving seat.
So how can hypnosis help with Driving Phobias?
With hypnosis you can fast track and access the part of the subconscious that is responsible for manifesting the fear. You can quieten the driving phobia down, or switch it off completely. This doesn’t mean you will instantly sit behind the wheel of your car, and cruise around the country with confidence like Stirling Moss on tranquilisers. The improvement will be gradual over time, so long as you expose yourself to the situation again. It just means you will feel more relaxed, safer, more confident and better at making the best judgments to keep you and your passengers safe.
Less stress in the body is a good thing. Stress stops the immune system working effectively, it slows down healing, it stops you sleeping. Stress interferes with judgement. So you are actually a safer driver when less stressed.
If you know of anyone with any form of driving phobia, they really don’t need to suffer. Things can improve. If you want to come and see me I’m available for late afternoon evening appointments on Fleet Street. Book online now, or contact me for further information via the contact from.