Fear of Driving by Raj Chandarana
Isn’t fear a funny thing ? That one emotion, that one complex sometimes overly complex emotion, which makes us act irrationally which restricts us which freezes us why do we feel it? In this little piece I hope to discuss it by using my fear of driving as an example
I remember the feeling I was sitting with Noel Christopher who happened to be my driving instructor in the middle of a busy intersection lorries and various cars whizzing past, my hands getting left behind with the progress of my eyes. “Go” Noel exclaims, I drown it out, obscenities going through my mind. Eventually in this seemingly ending situation Noel takes control I rest my shaking feet on the floor absent of the pedals.
It is incidents like that which only prove to me I have a fear of driving. So the first step is admitting I have a problem like in any other field, but what about the origin? Well lets draw back and think about the night before my first driving lesson, curiously asking my mum about how the beast she and my father operated and it was now my turn to operated functioned. I admit I only received a mediocre introduction to the bite point and the clutch. The next day I anxiously wait for my driving instructor sent from a major prestigious (yeah right) BSM. I was greeted by a woman who is in her 40’s,curly blonde hair with a white summary dress to match the weather. With her cheery almost chirpy tone she put my mind at rest and assured me driving was easy but then an expected turning of the tables instilled fear in me such as expecting me to steer with no formal instruction and crashing into a lamppost and taking me on busy roads on my first lessons. Oh yes the fear of God is well instilled at this point. I then carry on lessons with such attempts as trying to maintain a 60 Mph on country road but doing 80Mph with no formal instruction.
Transferring to university was a fresh start and I meet another accomplished BSM instructor one who actually makes sure I drive safely and gives me proper instruction. Yet again progress was slow and gentle driving in suburban quaint neighbourhoods with plenty of greenery. However the fear of big roads was still instilled and I was conflicted with the realisation if I don’t make progress on the big roads I will never succeed in driving let alone my driving test. I lose contact with above instructor and get another one shortly summarized a speed demon who owns a sports model but nice guy regardless. Returning home I meet Noel.
Now before I explain my most current experiences with my most recent instructor Noel lets look at what some intellectual minds have deduced fear down to, simply put adrenaline which triggers fear presents you with a flight or fight response, the third alternative is to freeze up and play dead so you predator back in stone age times (you don’t think sabre tooth tigers and don’t exist anymore you should meet my boss/teacher/spouse someone would say) loses interest in you. That was the case with Noel combined with my other anxieties guaranteed an interesting experience, however one of these times I blurted out to Noel “I was about to crash didn’t you see that?!” Noel being professional replied “it’s my livelihood I can’t crash, my car and potentially myself will be injured.” So it begs the question is my fear unfounded to an extent it is. I think about the times Noel saves my skin however I freeze up, so maybe the ultimate aim is to become a safe driver and not just the pink piece of plastic at the end.