Driving can be a nerve-racking experience for drivers who have recently passed their test, people who suffer from high anxiety, or people who have experienced a detrimental and traumatic incident such as a car crash, knocking someone over or breaking down somewhere with no phone signal and hardly any other passing cars – leading to hours alone in an unfamiliar place. For even the more confident drivers, nerves can get the better of them when driving sometimes, Take, for example, if an experienced driver was doing their daily drive to work and they came across a fatal car crash. The chances are that they would feel shocked about the ferocity of the cars and the condition they are in, leading the experienced driver to be even more careful when on the roads.
However, there are a lot of people out there who have passed their driving test but, since then, have been unable to step foot in a car. In extreme cases, it can be termed loosely as vehophobia, and can lead to many people not living as full a life as they want, as they have to rely on lifts from friends and family, and even use public transport to get around.
If you know someone who has an intense fear of driving, then it could be useful for you to help them eliminate that fear. Although it will take a lot of time and patience – the same as removing any fear – in the end, the result will be worthwhile and even life changing. One of the first things you should do is pick up your friend more often than before, in your car. Talk to them about the benefits of driving and how it could help them. Allow them to voice their opinions and have discussions about why or when this fear began. Then, over time, ask them if they would like to drive your car. You could take the car to an empty parking lot, where no other cars are likely to be driving around fast, and sit in the front with them, talking deliberately and slowly about where you want them to drive and for how long.
Although this may not work with some people, it is worth trying as you never really know what will help eliminate a fear. You could also make your car look nicer, which may help your friend with the fear feel confident when sat in it. You could invest in a tonneau cover, new alloys, new paintwork or even just simply clean your car well so it looks brand new.
Every little thing you do, to try to help your friend, may result in a positive outcome. If you have tried for quite a while, to no effect, then it may be worth referring your friend to a phobia specialist or advise them to read up on the subject. Fears and phobias can ruin lives, so do your best to help your friend get past their fear and live their life.