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Is it normal to be afraid of driving?
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I am a college graduate who still does not have her license. I failed my driver's test twice before college and gave up on it for a while. Now my career requires me to drive, so I'm learning again.

Like when I was a teenager, however, driving terrifies me. I have everyone's life in my hands - myself, my passengers, pedestrians and others on the road. This is not like a test where if you get a question wrong you get a certain number of points deducted. If I get something wrong while driving, I could kill someone.

I'm getting a bit better, but yesterday when practicing my mother found several things I was doing wrong and eventually made me get out of the car. I still feel horrible. How the hell could I be so immature and irresponsible? Everyone I know has been able to drive and enjoys it to some extent, but I guess I'm just a special case - emphasis on SPECIAL.

I have my third road test in two weeks. If I don't pass, that may very well be the end of my career, not to mention my self-respect. Any suggestions on how to stop being a pathetic coward are welcome.
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Comments (10)
Well yeah.... there's only one way
you have to get over this fear, thats whats making you mess up so much
if you don't get over it you'll keep messing up
breathe, relax, its okay
if you believe you can do it, you can
if you believe you can't, well, then, you can't
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I past my test a year ago (first time too :p) but haven't done any driving since because I couldn't afford a car. Next month I have to rent a car and make a big solo drive and I'm bricking it. I guess you should try and use your fear in a positive way - because you're so aware of the responsibility you'll take more care than people who treat it as an everyday thing and drive badly. Just practice loads and you'll be fine.
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I'm 21 and still don't have my license or a car. I just cant afford it. I didn't really learn when I was younger because my mom couldn't afford a car either for years while I was still living with her. My vehicle is a Schwinn bike from Target. :(
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You know what I feel the same way. I'm 24 and gonna be 25 soon. All of my friends have a car and a license exept me. I don't know why am I so scare to drive a car.

I mean I can drive yes but I have to be with someone while I'm driving but I can't drive by myself and when I see a lot of cars in the street I get really nervous.
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I get scared driving too. My mom was poor while I was growing up, so there was no family car for me to learn in. I'm turning 22 next month. I got my permit when my mom said she'd buy a car. She never bought a car until right after I moved out on bad terms with her. My permit expired and now I'm on my second permit and have been driving my girlfriend's car off and on. My body tenses up and I'm constantly paranoid. I'm so used to riding a bicycle, since it's all I could ever afford to drive. I think it has to do with the way I was raised. My mother was such a paranoid control freak, and didn't let me do anything on my own and constantly pounded into my head about all the bad things that could happen to me. I was also verbally/psychologically abused by her and constantly being put-down and called names by her. As a result, I'm now a paranoid nervous wreck, scared to death about screwing up even a little. I've even had at least a couple of panic attacks before (thankfully not while driving!). I have my mother to thank for me being so screwed up. To all who doubt me, or think I'm full of BS, or I'm being mean to my mother, go check out
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Hi folks, this is the OP

Thanks for your responses. I did fail my third test (somehow, right when I pulled out, there was another car behind me, even though I looked back and saw nothing). Predictably, I felt like crap, but I scheduled the next test available. I was able to hold it together enough to pass -- no points off!

I'm still a bit tense and nervous about driving, especially at night or when there are nuts on the road (and this is Long Island, so that's far from rare). But though I know I need to practice more often, I'm getting there.

Brian, I'm sorry to hear about your predicament. I could never call my mother abusive, but she was very overprotective and cringed at seeing "her baby" take the wheel. She got over that, but it sounds like that's not an option for you. It's tough when you're in such a bad situation, because nursing your wounds won't necessarily help, and neither will listening to unthinking people telling you to "stop feeling sorry for yourself."

The best I can offer you is to remind you that, if you do manage to keep your fears in check and get your license, you will have a great deal more independence for your mother. Keep that endpoint in mind, and work for it. It's obvious you need to get away from her, so make it your goal to do that by car.
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i kinda have the same problem but mostly im afraid when my uncle drives. it scares the living crap out me lol.
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I was really afraid of driving for the first year. But, after I had to drive through the city everyday for a few months I conquered my fear. But, on occasion I get a little scared still.
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No harm in using Public Transportation (Bus, commuter train, etc.)
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Ok... Think of it like this. Your car is your freedom. The freedom to go wherever you like. To have your own marble of engineering. To know you can handle it. That is an immense feeling. Just look at all the pretty cars. Take an Alfa Romeo for example. You'd have to have a soul out of custard, not to crave driving one...

Also, if billions of people can do it, why can't you? There are people (disabled) that drive with their hands, feet, maybe even face! If you set your mind to it, you can do it! You'll come to enjoy driving in some time.

I freakin' love it! That feel of having control of those hp's. Nailing that apex at the highest speed! Being able to get to a destination faster than any of your friends. :D
Driving a car is not just the act. It's a sensation. Becomming one with the car. Feeling what the car feels. Feeling the road, sensing the engine...
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