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Old 03-25-2019, 12:06 AM
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Member Since: Nov 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 1,097

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Default Re: Driving anxiety

I'm in the same boat with driving anxiety. I didn't come into driving until later in life. I'm in my mid-fifties, and I was 48 before I got my license. And I'm married to a professional driver. I understand about the vanity plate. I didn't want to get one. I also wanted a car that is a nondescript color, not something bright or flashy, so I'm less likely to attract attention.

Anxiety worsens if I have any passenger at all. Not because I'm afraid they might be judging me, but because if something happens, I am responsible for a life other than my own. So far I've never tried driving with children in the car. Not sure I could do it.

Most people complain about slow traffic and getting stopped at a lot of red lights. I actually prefer it. Being able to creep slowly to the next red light gives me a chance to stop, catch my breath, and relax before proceeding. I have certain phrases that I repeat to myself as I drive. One was given to my by another anxious driver. "You don't have to hurry." (To make that even more true, I plan an extra five or ten minutes to get someplace, so I don't feel pressured because I'm going to be late.) If some turkey behind me wants to honk because I'm doing the speed limit and he/she wants to go faster, or because I'm about to turn left and I yield to oncoming traffic first, that's on the turkey behind me. I'm doing the right thing. Let them deal with *their* dysfunctional emotions.

I stick to one lane as much as possible. If I know I'm going to be turning at some point, then I get in that lane as soon as I can, so I don't have to keep changing lanes. I don't weave in and out of traffic like some people do. Why? Because I don't have to hurry.

I also talk to the car as I drive. It's a good anti-anxiety technique. Her name is Tina. I tell her where we're going to go, what the speed limit is, what color the light is up, where there is a stop sign, etc. I may remind her, "No matter what the speed limit is, you can't go any faster than the car in front of you is going." She's a fairly new car. She has lane departure alerts and a backing camera. That helps a lot. If I start to drift out of my lane, she'll beep at me, and I'll thank her for telling me. That happens more and more rarely. If I leave the headlights on, she'll beep at me, and I'll thank her for telling me. That happens rarely too, since I avoid driving at night (poor night vision) and don't often have occasion to use the headlights.

The funny thing is, when I do something well, I have an easier time complimenting *her* than I do myself. We get there, we park, and I'll say, "Good job, Tina," but I don't say "Good job, me."
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Last edited by Arbie; 03-25-2019 at 12:19 AM. Reason: typos
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