Driving to new places can be a scary thing and can make your anxiety levels spike to record highs.
There are many reasons for this type of fear:
- Not knowing the roads on which you are traveling
- Getting lost
- Having an accident because you do not know the traffic patterns
- Missing a turn and having to turn around and not finding your way back on track
- Having to follow directions
Why Are These Triggers?
The above reasons are the most common when it comes to the fear of driving to new places. Not knowing the layout of the area you are going to can be very stressful and can lead to high anxiety.
This reason goes hand in hand with missing a turn. When you miss a turn that you were supposed to make it cannot only be stressful but can cause panic.
What if you turn around and cannot get back on the right track to your destination?
Another common connection to these reasons for fear is the fear of getting lost.
Getting lost can be very scary, especially when you are alone. If you are driving in a new and unknown area you may fear that you will get into a car accident as the traffic patterns are not familiar to you.
For instance, if you have never driven in a traffic circle you may not understand how to navigate it and find yourself literally driving in circles.
It may also be hard for you to follow directions and fear doing so while also having to watch the road.
I have personally suffered from all of these fears for as long as I have been driving. And for many years I was able to avoid having to drive to new places.
I would always find someone else to go with me and do the driving. Even if your driver has never been to your location either, if they miss a turn or get lost then it is somehow not frightening like it is if it was you the one driving.
However, you cannot hide from your fears forever and the day came when I had no choice but to do the driving on my own and head into unknown destinations.
Tips For Being Less Fearful
✔ Take a friend with you until you are used to driving in the new place.
✔ Keep a map in your car at all times.
✔ Bring your cell phone with a car charger.
✔ Tune into a local radio station that updates you on traffic issues
✔ Invest in a GPS system
✔ Activate your car’s On Star system if this is an option with your vehicle
How These Tips Can Help YOU!
While it may not be possible to bring a friend along each time you must drive to a new place, it can be helpful to do so until you are either used to driving in the new area or until you feel comfortable enough to go it alone.
Keeping a map in your glove box is a good way to keep track of where you are and how to get to where you are going.
If you are not comfortable in your map reading skills then invest in a GPS system.
This eliminates the need for having to follow written or memorized directions and allows you do drive with more confidence.
A GPS will tell you in advance where to turn and some even tell you what side of the road to look for your destination point on.
Another great tool (if your car has this option) is On Star service. On Star connects you to a live person in case you are in need of help.
On Star can give directions to help you if you become lost and can also locate you and send emergency personal if the need arises.
This can be a great comfort to someone who fears driving to new places.
In addition to the above, always make sure to have your cell phone with you when driving to a new place.
Keep a car charger in you glove box in case of low battery issues. This will ensure that you can always contact someone if you need help.
Also, there are usually radio stations that are dedicated to area news and traffic. Find out the station for the area you are going to ahead of time so you can tune in and check on the traffic conditions as this can also put your mind at ease.
Having to drive to a new place can make for a high anxiety journey. Try the tips in this article and you may find yourself becoming more at ease with driving to new places.
While you should always be aware when driving on unfamiliar roads you do not want that rational awareness to turn into irrational fear.
If it has already come to that or if you feel that you may need more help in addition to these tips, you may want to try a self-help program like The Original Driving Fear Program.
This is a therapeutic intervention that you can do in your own home and in your own time. Don’t let this fear keep you from traveling to new and exciting places!
Take action now and you can soon be driving to new places with a new, fearless attitude!