Do you suffer from Nyctovehophobia? This is an extreme fear of darkness or nighttime, and it causes depression and anxiety. While some people don’t feel comfortable driving at night, it can prevent you from travelling in the evenings if you are impacted negatively by this fear.
Do you want to overcome that fear and become a brave, empowered soul? You can get over your fear of night driving. Use strategies to empower you and gain your freedom driving down those roads with the sun far behind you.
Here are some strategies for getting over the fear of driving at night.
1. Track where you are driving
Sometimes it’s hard to navigate streets, even if you are familiar with the area. When it is at night, the problem compounds. Being able to track where you are going will help alleviate the anxiety of night driving.
Use GPS to get to your destination at night. Before putting the car in drive, map out your entire trip, regardless of whether it’s just a few minutes away. Also, make sure to have your home address programmed in and even a close friend’s place. This way, you can easily navigate the roads, regardless of the sun, and if you get stuck, you can punch into your home setting and safely get back to your house.
2. Have an emergency pack when you drive at night
You may have worst-case scenario’s running through your mind while driving, and they are compounded at night. Fear of getting lost or running off the road can be scary. Why not put yourself at ease with a nighttime emergency pack in the back seat on your evening trips?
You get to stock it with whatever you deem necessary. Here are some essentials:
- Change of clothes
- Water bottles
- Cell phone cable
- Cell battery charger
- Car escape tool
- First aid kit
You can add all the extras you need to make you feel safer while driving in the dark.
3. Upgrade to automotive LED lights
Some roads get real dark at night, especially out of the city. You need to see where you are going from a distance, and you need other vehicles to see you. Having the brightest lights on your car is a great idea.
Automotive LED lights shine brighter than regular halogen lights and last for up to 20,000 hours. You can change almost all your vehicle lights to LEDs, including:
- Brake lights
- Running lights
- Turn signals
- Licence plate lights
- Gauge lights
- Instrument cluster
- Trunk lights
- Map lights
This superior illumination may be just the thing to build your confidence while driving at night.
4. Get exposure therapy
This is a psychological treatment developed to help people overcome their fears. It works by being gradually exposed to the situation that triggers the fear and, with the help of a companion, providing a safe environment for it to take place.
In the case of a fear of night driving, you need to have someone take you out driving at night. Keeping to the same location, driving around, familiar with the environment. Then after a few sessions, you take over the driving with your friend in the passenger seat. Although you are doing what you fear, you are safe and protected during it.
You can continue to venture further to unfamiliar areas or drive alone for short 5-10 minute intervals around the neighbourhood while your companion waits on the corner. You need a dedicated friend for this, but it will certainly help you overcome your phobia.
5. Use relaxation techniques when driving at night
While driving, you can practise some effective techniques to help you feel calm. These include:
- Deep breathing
- Positive affirmations
- Calming music
- Interesting podcasts
Make sure you are not distracted from operating the vehicle, just from any fearful or intrusive thoughts.
6. Drive in familiar, well-lit streets
Driving during the day is a good time for you to map out the best streets for night driving. Look for low-density traffic corridors and wide boulevards, so you feel protected. Well-lit roads with lots of activity will keep you safe from any real or perceived harm.
Over time, you can work up to more complicated roads and even Hwy’s, where the demands of defensive driving increase.
7. Seek professional help or a support group
You don’t have to go through this fear alone. This is not a rare condition, so many councillors have effective strategies to help you overcome your fear of night driving.
Sometimes the best help is being able to talk about it with like-minded people experiencing the same anxiety. Find a local support group with similar issues that meet locally and get involved. You may make friends and find a driving buddy to help each other out. This is also a place to hear about other ideas for overcoming your fear. Hearing other people’s success is inspiring and has a way of spreading through the group.