Young man drives a car and is spooked by something going on in front of him

5 Tips for Managing Driving Anxiety

You may be surprised to learn that anxiety disorders impact at least 40 million adults in the United States, making these types of disorders some of the most common mental issues in the country. Anxiety disorders affect 18.1% of the U.S. population each year, and that rate is increasing.

What’s more, there are many effective treatments available for those who suffer from anxiety disorders, however, just 36.9% seek care.

There are seemingly endless reasons why people suffer from anxiety, but driving anxiety is relatively common and is becoming more prevalent as time passes.

If you experience driving anxiety, read on to learn five tips to help you deal with it while you’re on the road.

#1 - Take conscious breaths.

As you know, your body breathes automatically to keep you alive. However, conscious breathing is different. When you breathe consciously, your mind is focused on the act and sensation of inhaling and exhaling.

Doing this triggers a physiological response of calm and relaxation. In addition, it can safely distract you from any negative thoughts you may have while you’re behind the wheel.

#2 - Challenge disastrous thoughts.

If you begin feeling anxious because you find yourself considering every little thing that can possibly go wrong out on the road, challenge those disastrous thoughts. Reframe them. Instead of thinking in the negative, try telling yourself this: “I will make it to my destination safely and according to plan.”

#3 - Try not to avoid what makes you anxious.

While it can be comforting to avoid certain driving behaviors that make you anxious or driving altogether, it’s in your best interest to face your fears. You don’t have to tackle everything at once, but taking small steps outside of your comfort zone can help you overcome your driving anxiety over time.

#4 - Maintain focus on the roadway.

Anxiety may take your thoughts to all sorts of uncomfortable places. One of the best things you can do to combat your driving anxiety is to focus on the present. Think consciously about what is actually happening. You are not in serious danger as long as you concentrate on the road and what’s going on around you. Don’t allow catastrophic musings to take over your mind.

#5 - Get some air.

If you begin to feel flush as a result of your anxiety, it can be helpful to open the window or turn on the air conditioning to get some cool air on your skin. The physical responses of anxiety can be powerful but learning how to calm yourself down while panicking is a skill you can develop over time, with practice.

We Help Injured Collision Victims

If you experience driving anxiety as a result of an injury-sustaining crash through no fault of your own, we may be able to help you recover damages for your losses.

We have helped many others in similar situations and we will do everything in our power to fight for justice on your behalf too.

Don’t delay—reach out to us right away for more information.

Contact our office today by calling (310) 683-2300 or filling out the online contact form to discuss the details of your case and learn more about how we can help you.