If you have a lot of anxiety about driving, that anxiety is probably even greater when you are faced with the possibility of having to drive in bad weather.
If you have a fear of driving and find that there are times when you need – or want – to drive in bad weather, there are some things you can do to ease your anxiety.
Why Do You Have A Fear Of Driving In Bad Weather?
In order to get over a fear, you need to understand what it is about.
Most likely, you fear losing control and believe that when the weather is bad, you are less likely to be able to control the car. You may also be afraid that other drivers are more likely to cause an accident in bad weather.
It may help to recognize that while driving in bad weather does pose a challenge, it’s also likely that there are fewer drivers on the road when the weather is bad.
In addition, people do tend to use more caution while driving in bad weather conditions. The key is to put more effort into safe driving techniques.
Learn Strategies For Driving In Bad Weather
One thing you can do about a fear of driving in bad weather is to find someone who you know is a great driver and ask to drive with him or her next time it snows or rains.
You can observe the way this driver operates the car in bad weather and possibly learn some tips that will work for you whenever you need to get behind the wheel in a storm.
You can also have a trusted driver drive with you in a storm so that you can practice driving in bad weather. Choose a relatively safe location where there isn’t a lot of traffic, and just get used to the idea of driving when it is raining or snowing.
The worst thing you can do is to avoid driving in bad weather completely. The longer you avoid it, the harder it will be to do it and the less likely it will be that you will ever conquer your fear.
Systematic Desensitization For Fear Of Driving In Bad Weather
The idea behind this technique is to gradually expose yourself to situations that cause anxiety until you are able to overcome the anxiety.
In the case of driving anxiety that is heightened in bad weather, for example, you might do the following, in this order.
1. Sit in a parked car during a snowstorm or rainstorm.
2. Have someone drive you a short distance during a mild snowstorm or rainstorm.
3. Have someone drive you a longer distance during a mild snowstorm or rainstorm.
4. Have someone drive you a short distance during a moderate or heavy snowstorm or rainstorm.
5. Have someone drive you a longer distance during a moderate or heavy snowstorm or rainstorm.
6. Drive a short distance yourself during a mild snowstorm or rainstorm.
7. Drive a longer distance yourself during a mild snowstorm or rainstorm.
8. Drive a short distance yourself during a moderate or heavy snowstorm or rainstorm.
9. Drive a longer distance yourself during a moderate or heavy snowstorm or rainstorm.
Other Techniques For Overcoming Driving Anxiety
Techniques that are helpful for overcoming anxiety in general can be used to help you deal with a fear of driving in bad weather as well. Some examples include
- Establishing a regular meditation practice
- Positive self-talk
- Using breathing exercises designed to combat anxiety
- Listening to relaxing music
Most of these techniques will help change your ideas and emotions in relation to driving in bad weather so that the situation is less scary when you are faced with having to drive when the weather is not good.
Change Your Thoughts About Driving In Bad Weather
The mind is very powerful. Most of your fear and anxiety about driving in bad weather is a creation of your mind.
It is based on truth: driving in bad weather can be dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautions, but it is also greatly exaggerated.
If you can change the way you think about driving in bad weather so that you are more realistic about the odds of being able to stay safe behind the wheel, your anxiety will be greatly reduced.
Specifically, replace fearful thoughts with thoughts like:
☑ I am a safe driver.
☑ The odds are greatly in my favor that I will be fine.
☑ I know how to meet the challenges of driving in bad weather.
Replace Anxiety with Inner Calm
Cultivating a feeling of inner peace is another key to remaining calm when driving in bad weather or in any other situation that usually causes you to feel anxious.
One thing you can do is find something in your memory that you associate with feelings of serenity, such as a peaceful song or a calming aroma.
Our senses are very powerfully connected to our emotions, so if, for example, you associate the aroma of flowers or a particular song with peaceful feelings, consider playing that song while you drive in bad weather or finding an floral air freshener to keep in your car.
Seek Professional Help if Necessary
Sometimes, all of the best self-help advice falls short of solving a problem like fear of driving in bad weather.
If you have tried all of the suggestions presented here and you are still anxious about driving in rain, snow or other poor weather conditions, consider talking to a therapist who specializes in anxiety disorders.
You can also find more help in the ebook “The Original Driving Fear Program”