Driving: a journey of fear


Over the years, it has become increasingly more obvious how many drivers appear to be unqualified on the streets. Which is no surprise, considering all it takes to pass the permit test is that you answer 24 questions correctly on an online test at home, with no real-proof that there was no cheating involved. Given it takes less than 30 minutes to do this, it is also no surprise the US has the highest number of road accidents in the world

Though “road accidents” is a broad term, because not every accident is life threatening or fatal, that does not make it any less real or any less terrifying. It does not have to be a huge crash in order for someone to be traumatized by what happened or scared it will happen again.

That feeling that you get right before the crash, that split second where you first realize something went wrong, is just the start. Then the instinctive feeling comes in, where you turn the wheel or hit the brakes or do anything to try and prevent an accident from happening. Just to be met with another split second feeling, this time: realization, that you are about to get into a car accident, and by the time you are done thinking, the accident is probably over with.

And after the accident, comes the pain. The regret. The inability to get back into a car without thinking about what happened. Whether you are at fault or not, there is still that lurking “what if?” in the back of your head that is hard to tune out.

Part of the reason car accidents are so frightening is because of how utterly unexpected they are. No matter how often someone thinks about them or worries about getting in one, no one ever expects to get into a car accident. And the fact that it can genuinely happen to anyone at any time does not help this fear. 

You could be doing absolutely everything right, and something could still go wrong. Because we have so much less control whilst driving than everyone thinks. Whether it be another person or the car that you are driving that causes the accident, this does not matter. Either way, you were not in control.

You could not control what the other person was doing. 

You could not control what your car was doing.

Maybe even, you could not control what you were doing.

Every time you get into a car and on the road, you give up a significant amount of control, and have to put so much trust in the strangers around you, to a point where you almost have to trust they will do everything right more than you have to trust that you will do everything right. Because most of the time, when driving, you are more worried about what you are doing than what someone else is doing. And if that someone else is not busy worrying about what they are doing, everything can go wrong.

Driving as a whole requires so much trust and so little control, but so few people seem to think about that on a daily basis. each time they get in a car. So many drivers just get in and drive with no hesitation or care about what may happen. It is not until after a horrible accident that they realize how truly dangerous this day-to-day act is and start to be more aware of what is happening and what they can do