Tough Stuff

Freaked about driving

I've had my permit for about a year now, and I've driven only 5 hours. I'm always too terrified to get behind the wheel. If I do, I get used to driving around until I make a mistake. Then, I freeze up and almost burst into tears. I'm scared of my parents getting angry at me, and I'm scared that I'll kill someone. I know it's extreme, but it's like I need to learn how to drive perfectly or someone could die.

Driving is a huge responsibility. Even though it seems like a right of passage in our society—and it is—that doesn’t mean that you have to learn to drive. Plenty of people don’t have driver’s licenses either because they never thought it was necessary, don’t like to drive or didn’t have the chance to learn. While learning to drive can give you independence, it’s not a requirement by any means.

That being said, conquering your fear is a good idea. You’re right: Making just one mistake, say, blowing a stop sign or passing a stopped school bus, could kill someone. That’s why you need to study the rules of the road, practice your driving skills with a licensed adult and stay observant and defensive whenever you’re behind the wheel.

If you were taught by your parents or you need a little brush-up on the basics, it might be a good idea to set up an appointment with a nearby driving school. A quick lesson with a pro could set your mind at ease. When you’re out with your parents, stick to less frequently traveled roads and keep it slow. Practice parking in the empty back corner of parking lots and on wide side streets. Soon you’ll feel comfortable sitting in the driver’s seat, sweetie.


by Brittany Taylor | 2/1/2016