#19 Overcoming Fear

# 19 Overcoming fear

Imagine you have to pilot a boat to work every day, and (like me!) you have limited knowledge and skills to deal with the sandbars and other hazards on the way. You just know that it's treacherous. You've read about all the terrible accidents on that stretch of water.

I don't know about you, but I would be terrified!

The funny thing about fear is that it can make situations ten times worse. Have you noticed, how when scared, you're more likely to overreact, or even freeze? You might also be more quick to anger and emotion.

A lot of people are driving in fear.

With very limited driving knowledge and skills, they're told that a stretch of road is treacherous, or even that cars themselves are dangerous. No wonder they're feeling so anxious about driving!

Unfortunately fear can stop you from learning skills that could help you. When teaching skid control, I sometimes come across people who refuse to even try it. They're scared that by learning how to get out of a skid, they're somehow inviting skidding disasters into their lives.

I believe, however, that if you've experienced a skid in a safe, controlled environment, and practised the skills to help you negotiate that 'sandbar' safely, you're in a much better position. You'll be more likely to react appropriately if you get into a skid unexpectedly on the road, and not overreact or freeze.

I also believe that a lot more driver education and training is needed in New Zealand to give people the tools they need to improve their knowledge and skills, reducing fear and making safer drivers.

So my advice would be - if you ARE lucky enough to have an opportunity to do driver training, through work or school or something else - go for it 100%!

In the meantime, you might have to actively seek out courses for yourself (The AA is a great place to start). Any opportunity to practise driving skills with a professional is a worthy investment in time, money and effort.

Whether you're an anxious driver or not.

Buckle up, buttercups! And don't be afraid to keep learning :-)