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Why do I Hate Driving? 5 Ways to Overcome the Fear of Driving

Driving a car is understood as a mandatory skill today.

It goes without saying that you want to learn to drive when you are old enough to take a driving lesson.

Driving a car has become an automatic skill for humans, and we are not talking about those cars with autopilots (we are looking at you, Tesla).

Man driving a car at night

And how would you not want to drive? When you know how to drive a car, a new world of possibilities opens up.

The possibilities are endless, from no longer having to go grocery shopping on foot to traveling to new destinations.

You know all that, but you still hate driving. We do not judge you. In addition to all the benefits of driving, there are many reasons to hate it.

Whether a seasoned driver or a new driver, you can develop an aversion to driving, which can be caused by different factors.

We are here to find out why you feel this way and how to overcome it.

Other Drivers Make You Hate Driving

driver is driving his car in the city on a beautiful day

This is the most common reason that makes you hate driving.

One can talk endlessly about other drivers and what annoys us all about them.

First, there are some serious violations of traffic rules, such as:

  • Speeding.
  • Driving under the influence of various substances.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Disobeying traffic regulations and signs.

All of these are serious violations that, in addition to annoying someone, seriously threaten the safety of all road users.

Other forms of driver behavior may not seem so dangerous, but they can cause accidents.

You know that scenario when you’re in a kilometer-long line of cars, and someone behind you is honking as if you could fly over all of them?

Or those too slow drivers. Ok, they sure are better than those maniacs behind the wheel who drive too fast because they seem to be influenced by the movie “Fast and Furious.” But even slow drivers can overdo it and create unnecessary traffic jams behind them.

How come you always run into those turtle drivers when you’re rushing to work?

Or do you feel like everyone suddenly forgets to drive when it rains?

Let’s not forget the pedestrians participating in traffic even though they are not driving.

We have those pedestrians who like to play with the fate and run across the street outside the crosswalk.

There are also those indecisive pedestrians who stare at you like you are crazy when you stop to let them cross the street.

Parking spaces… Fighting for a parking space has become the main problem of every person, especially in larger cities.

The latest contributors to the nervousness in traffic are drivers of electric scooters.

Until recently, it seemed they were above all laws because they were not regulated. Now that has finally changed, which does not mean that they are not still getting on your nerves.

You Think You Are a Bad Driver

Stressed girl with headache driving car touching forehead with hand

We usually hate things we are not good at.

Are you a bad driver, or have you just convinced yourself that you are?

All those rules bother you, and traffic signs are unclear to you.

You may also have problems with orientation and coordination in traffic.

And maybe you just don’t have enough self-confidence, and that’s why you think you’re not a good driver.

Speaking of self-confidence, maybe something happened before in traffic, and you are questioning your driving skills now.

And we don’t just mean some serious traffic violation. What if you only little scratched a car while parking in the garage?

Even something like this can put someone in the mindset that they are bad drivers.

Another essential factor of self-confidence who are the people you usually ride with. Are they good co-drivers, or do you constantly find mistakes in your driving?

It is a typical example of parents who know how to be rude to children who have just passed their driving test and started to drive.

We understand that this behavior comes out of concern but can have the exact opposite effect. Parents can kill your driving confidence and convince you that you are a terrible driver.

If you feel you can’t have a good conversation with them outside of driving, they are definitely not the right passenger choice for a beginner driver.

No matter how much you think you are a lousy driver, know that driving is a skill that is perfected over time.

Driving Anxiety

When it is no longer just a question of hatred for driving or the conviction that you are a terrible driver, but something much more, we come to the concept of driving anxiety.

Driving anxiety can manifest as mild discomfort up to a panic attack.

Symptoms of driving anxiety are:

  • an uneasy feeling as soon as we get close to the car;
  • feeling a sense of tension while driving or just thinking about driving;
  • feeling nervous and irritable while driving;
  • having bad dreams about driving.

If a person suffers from driving anxiety, he can see the vehicle as a weapon that can hurt others or him.

Driving is all about control, and anxiety puts us in the mindset that we are not in control.

Driving anxiety makes us run through various statistics about traffic accidents and thus deepens our fears even more.

You Hate Driving in Special Conditions

What if certain driving conditions cause you problems, and otherwise, you have no problems apart from them?

Those conditions can be:

Driving in The Night

Female drive driving a car at night

It is easy to think, “I hate driving in the night alone.”

Night, rain, open road ahead of you. This is romantic and exciting for some, but not for you.

The reasons for that are clear. Night and darkness are associated with loss of control.

Visibility decreases at night, making it more challenging to drive. It’s incredibly uncomfortable when you’re driving on some poorly lit road.

It’s natural to be tired and sleepy at night. 

Maybe there is fear because you have watched many horror movies or heard scary stories from people about ghostly creatures on the road at night.

If you’re driving alone at night, you might check your back seat more than once to see if there’s anything behind you.

Driving in a Big City

Big cities are infamous for chaotic traffic.

If you are from a small town, where it is easy to drive because there is no excessive traffic, switching to driving in a concrete jungle can be a massive step out of your comfort zone.

Driving on The Highway

German Autobahn

All new drivers are usually afraid of driving on the highway at first, and maybe even later.

Although the highway is even safer than the regular road in some segments, some drivers still avoid it.

Everyone is driving too fast, and the fear of missing an exit can make the highway not your first choice when you are picking your route.

How Can I Stop Hating Driving?

It all depends on how much and why you hate driving, but here are some tips that can help.

Small Steps

Someone would say you should be thrown right into a traffic jam to overcome your fear, but we prefer small steps.

Think of it like a video game where you have to grind levels to make your character stronger.

Start by driving close to home, then go all out further and further as you break free.

You will eventually improve your driving skills so much that you will be proud of yourself.

Positive Affirmations

This is especially important if you have driving anxiety and various negative thoughts before you start driving.

Positive affirmations will calm your brain.

Try something like: “I am in control of my vehicle, and I will surely reach my destination.”

Preparation before driving

Any preparation in advance solves half the problem.

Before driving, check the best route to your destination on Google Maps, where you will take breaks and park your car.

This is especially important if you are going to an unfamiliar city, where you can easily get lost in traffic.

That way, you will have a greater sense of control and security.

Accept That People Are Rude Behind The Wheel

Businesswoman is driving her car very aggressive

Some people are bad drivers, they endanger the safety of themselves and others, and there is no excuse for that.

People are rude in traffic, but do you need to stop driving entirely because of them? It’s like deciding to not leave the house because people are rude outside.

Focus on yourself and your driving, not on someone behind you who is honking like a maniac. 

Let him blow his vehicle horn because you shouldn’t really care about that. Your peace of mind while driving is the only thing that matters to you.

Make Yourself Comfortable in Your Car

The more comfortable you are in the car, the safer you will feel.

By comfort, we don’t mean some fancy seats and a lot of accessories. 

The car must be clean, without the mess that will disturb you.

You can also always have fresh water on hand and maybe some snacks in case you get hungry if it’s a more extended trip.

And yes, you don’t have to repeatedly listen to the radio that plays the same songs.

Create your own playlist of music that will relax you while you drive.

To Conclude,

If you hate it so much that you don’t even want to drive, we respect that decision, but we think it limits you.

There’s no need to hate driving. You’ll be fine if you change your mindset and overall approach to driving.

“Keep calm, and drive safe.”