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Do I have chronic excessive driving anxieties?

Almost everyone I know has some sort of driving anxieties. Even for me, after nearly 30 years of safe driving, and a few years as driving instructor, I still feel nervous if I am driving next to a big noisy truck. So normal level of driving anxieties is not an issue, it is actually healthy in helping us stay safe, as long as the anxieties do not cripple our driving skills; only excessive driving anxieties is an issue.

Most people have a bit more than necessary driving anxieties initially, but they can overcome that with training and experience, and can drive situationally and technically while keeping a healthy level of fears so they can stay safe. On the other hand, the learners with excessive driving anxieties appear quite differently. Their senses and common sense are blocked or jammed by unnecessary and unreasonable anxieties, so cannot react to the driving environment, therefore causing dangers.

Here are some signs that may indicate excessive driving anxieties:

  • unreasonable control of the car , e.g. bake on uphill and push at downhill, the car is heading to a pole but fail to steer away etc
  • fail to respond or understand simple instructions, e.g. turn on blinker, slow down, let that car go first, check blindspot etc
  • fail to respond to simple signs or signals, e.g. no reaction to “Left lane ends, Merge right” sign, or still stop when lights turned green etc
  • fail to understand some simple conversations while driving, e.g. you should have slowed down at the bend
  • fail to detect and respond to coming objects
  • some physical body shaking may be visible
Please note that these “symptoms” are normal at early stage of driving training, and should be fixed with a few hours of training. Only when they last stubbornly after a few hours of training, they may be called “chronic excessive driving anxieties”. And this will become a big issue for the learner and the  instructor.
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