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Scared of car travel

(8 Posts)
scrabble1 Fri 20-Oct-17 22:14:50

Forgive me if this seems trivial. I'm finding car travel frightening and unsure what to do. I use buses everyday and am totally relaxed, no problems. In a car, I often feel the driver is going too fast and want to shout "slow down" but looking at the speedometer, the speed is appropriate. I was embarrassed at the end of the summer holidays on a day trip to seaside - ended up in tears on motorway with so many lorries and fast moving traffic. Managed to keep quiet and it went unnoticed by our DS (10) as he was absorbed playing a game on his tablet. DH was ok about it, as I made an excuse of a terrible headache. Didn't want to spoil DH and DS day by showing anxiety. I think this may have all stemmed from a near miss when in the car with my mum and she went through a red light and had to swerve to avoid a car at the junction?

yawning801 Fri 20-Oct-17 22:17:59

Firstly, this is not trivial. This is what the MH topic is all about. I'm offering a handhold until someone more knowledgeable comes along.

scrabble1 Fri 20-Oct-17 22:25:15

thankyou. I'm a logical person and trying to find a solution. It's helpful to be able to write it all down here. My instincts seem to be telling me it could be time to avoid travelling with mum by car

Caulk Fri 20-Oct-17 22:31:21

Would it help if you had some driving lessons?

I would also recommend counselling or therapy because I think it’s great.

Undercoverbanana Fri 20-Oct-17 22:38:36

Hypnotherapy helped enormously with my anxiety attack triggers.

No anxiety attack is trivial and neither are your triggers.

Own them. I do. I can't share because they are very outing, but mine have been bizarre and bewildering. But they are mine. I have fought them and won and now they are mine to control so they can't hospitalise me again.

ChinkChink Fri 20-Oct-17 22:46:41

Me too OP. In my case there are certain people I just feel don't drive safely, and yet I feel totally safe with [for example] my son, who's an excellent driver.

He keeps the correct distance from the vehicle in front, anticipates well, concentrates on the road and is considerate of other drivers.

I'm of a logical frame of mind too and I don't feel unjustified in not getting in a car with someone I've experienced an unsafe drive with. I lost my temper with an ex once - told him he could please himself if he wanted to risk his own life but he'd no right to put me in danger too.

It might mean I miss out on some journeys but I can live with that. It's not you that's unreasonable. Why should you be expected to go against your instinct of danger [as long as it's justified]?

BertieBotts Fri 20-Oct-17 22:58:39

Do you drive yourself OP? I used to feel this way and then I had some driving lessons and it helped me understand how drivers can be in control of the car even when it is going at speed.

Some other things which have helped me to rationalise my passenger anxiety:

Although we hear about terrible car accidents, most car accidents are trivial. Most people have experienced at least one directly and yet have no lasting damage. This is the reality and the vast majority.

Cars are getting safer and better at protecting their passengers all the time, too, so even if you've heard about car accidents before this is reducing.

There are actually multiple failsafes to avoid accidents - firstly roads are designed specifically so that it is supposed to be difficult to end up in the wrong place by accident. Secondly, if you do end up in the wrong place, you will only crash if there is another car there AND the driver of that car is not paying attention either. There must be many more near misses than actual crashes.


If you do feel your mum is an unsafe driver then yes it might be an idea not to travel in the car with her. Having the near miss due to going through a red light is concerning, it's not as though she was simply reacting to another person's mistake. I do feel more comfortable with some drivers than others. I trust my DH's driving. I find my Dad's quite scary, but even so, again, he hasn't crashed for many years.

Scoleah Fri 20-Oct-17 23:10:27

I used to be absolutely fine in a Car with anybody, until I passed my test myself (over 10 years I’ve been driving) im the worst passenger driver ever, especially when there are lorries about. I find myself sunk down in the seat holding my seatbelt, but can’t close my eyes as I need to see what’s about to happen.
My Grandmother, and 3 friends died in car crashes all separately within a few years of each other, so I think it may stem from that, that I think I’m going to be next.. and I’ve gone so much worse since my 2 kids have been born!
But me driving that’s fine, can handle anxiety then, because I’m in control!

flowers For the OP!

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