The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

How-to: get over driving anxiety

Tips to get off the couch and onto the road
photo by Salem Ortega-Morales

Driving, a thing that people do every day, maybe every two days, once a week or maybe never. Although driving can be a fun and freeing experience, it is scary and nerve-wracking for many people who barely drive or have never at all.

Here are some tips to get rid of driving anxiety and any fears regarding it! It is never too late to get on the road, tis the season for permits and driver’s licenses after all. 

Be cautious 

When getting on the road, always pay attention to your surroundings. You tend to feel more relaxed and calm when you know what’s going on around you. Make sure your eyes stay on the road, but don’t be afraid to throw quick glances on either side of you. Look for any signs or watch out for any pedestrians and incoming cars. Even when not in a car, being careful helps anyone.

Drive with someone else

Preferably with a licensed driver who has a lot of experience, driving with someone else may help ease a sense of worry. Not only does it help your driving since someone else is in the car, it can also be comforting knowing you’re not alone. Perhaps that person has gone through some serious driving anxiety as well. If that person is experienced in driving, they can even help guide you. 

Go at your own pace

If you’re scared of the road, don’t get on it! It’s perfectly fine to not get on the road at first. Start at empty parking lots, maybe put some cones in there if you want to be fancy. Practice turning and try to not go over the lines. If that goes well, drive around neighborhoods and small areas. This can help with trying to avoid hitting anything and not being restricted to just one parking area. Once you feel comfortable behind the wheel, go on the main roads. Remember, we all learn at different speeds.

Keep the car clean

Being in a clean environment can significantly lower the stress of driving. Having the car dirty will only make you think about it and add on to the nervousness. Knowing that there’s nothing else to worry about regarding your car will help. Keeping it clean can include throwing out any trash when you get it. Check in on your car regularly for any cleaning to be done and make your car a comfortable environment just for you. Buying cute decorations could help with that too. 

Oh, the places you’ll go!

Think of the many places you, your family and your friends can go. Learning to drive will give you a whole new sense of freedom. The more you think of this, you might find yourself more eager to learn to drive. The more you want to learn, the faster you will. No more waiting to be dropped off or picked up. Being behind the wheel is scary, but it isn’t so scary when you can go shopping or out to eat whenever you want. 


Everyone starts off somewhere, and if you started off in neighborhoods while your friend went straight to the road, that’s perfectly fine. While it is important to know the dangers when it comes to driving, it is also important to know how to stay safe. Anxiety won’t go away in one day or by using five tips. Experiment different ways to not let it get in the way of your driving experience. Keep calm and drive on.

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About the Contributor
Salem Ortega-Morales, Photographer
Hi! It’s Salem again for the second year in a row, writing another staff bio. I won’t be writing any stories, but instead, I’ll be a full-time photographer (with the exception of writing captions). This year I’ll be a junior, and I could not be more excited to return. Unlike last year, I don’t have my hair dyed anymore and I’m no longer a writer. Photography is something I gravitate more and more everyday, and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Although I’ll miss writing (only a little), I can’t wait to start a new era. This past year, I’ve met so many people on The Journal who have helped me grow and branch out as an aspiring photojournalist. Despite changing my whole position, not much about me is different from last year. I’m still a Steve Lacy, Tyler the Creator, Arctic Monkeys and The Cure fan. I still have my two cats, and we added one more to the family over the summer. Besides all that, I can’t wait to bring you all this year’s photos, and I’m so glad to have the opportunity of being one of the ones to do so.

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