The Student News Site of Truckee High School

The Truckee Times

Big News, Small Town

The Truckee Times

The Student News Site of Truckee High School

The Truckee Times


Big News, Small Town

The Ups and Downs of Driving

Kayden Zimmerman

In a rural town, driving is the center of it all. And at the high school student age, many people start to think about driving for themselves instead of relying on others. Wanting or needing the freedom of a car can be enough for some people to get on their way to a driver’s license, but some are stopped by fear and need more help to get on the road. 

Other than environmental factors, driving can be awesome. It gives a sense of freedom that is very personal. Of course, there are different ways to get around, and some people don’t want to rely on driving. But even when there are other options, not being able to drive because of the fear of it can feel very limiting. According to an article by Hedges & Company, 9 out of 10 adults in the U.S. drive; this, including the size of the country, means that a car is either needed or generally accepted as a method of transportation in many locations. Public transit is even more complex in a more rural area like Truckee, and driving becomes a lot more necessary.

When it becomes difficult to access a method of transportation used by almost the entire country, some opportunities for travel and experiences are removed. 

If the prospect of driving can make anxiety get overwhelming, then you are not alone. According to an article by the Cleveland Clinic, 1 in 5 teenagers experience a specific fear sometime in their lives. So, if you still want to drive, even through the anxiety, what are some realistic things to do so that you can move past the anxiety and get on the road?

One tip that helped me is to drive. According to the same article by the Cleveland Clinic, exposure therapy is a common way to combat the fear of driving. This tip (and every other one on this list) does not try to undervalue the genuine dangers of driving. However, if you are set on driving, but your anxiety has gotten the hold of you, you can take actionable steps to combat that anxiety and try to work towards either finally getting your license or just being able to drive more. You can try driving in less stressful situations than on the freeway by driving around the block or in empty parking lots.

Something else that can help you is talking to someone. Simply airing your grievances and worries to someone else might help you break the anxiety into smaller and more manageable parts. A trusted friend, parent or guardian, and a licensed therapist are all people that could be turned to talk to. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone trusted about your anxiety.

The last thing that could help was getting excited about the many things driving can bring. Activities like making a vision board online or talking about driving with your friends can help to get the excitement up over the anxiety. Remember that the anxiety-inducing aspects of driving do not make up the whole experience, and it’s essential to see all sides of your time on the road, good and bad.

If you truly want to drive, don’t let that anxiety control you. There are so many ways to combat your fears, and trying can be useful, even if you don’t think it would help. You can find confidence driving for yourself and come to it on your own time if you choose to move forward in driving; good luck, and drive safely.

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About the Contributor
Kayden Zimmerman, Staff Reporter
Kayden is a sophomore and this is her first year on staff. She enjoys writing about local topics of interest and issues regarding students of THS. Outside of school, she enjoys painting, climbing, and lifting weights with her friends.

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