DEAR ABBY: I am 19, female, smart, responsible and friendly. I also have a terrible fear of driving. I have read driving manuals, but I'm scared to be in control of a big vehicle with so many other vehicles on the road.
I always found an excuse not to sign up for driver's ed in high school, and have refused countless offers from friends and family to teach me. My response was always, "No, I'm not ready."
All my younger relatives have driver's licenses, and I do feel I am missing out on things. How do I overcome this fear? Do I just say yes to my friends or family when they offer again? Please tell me what to do. -- NON-DRIVER IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR NON-DRIVER: Having the fear of driving that you do, you should not get behind the wheel of a car until you have first consulted a professional counselor who specializes in helping people with phobias. My concern is that you might overreact out of fear and cause an accident.
Once you have mastered your fear, then who should teach you is up to you. However, I am recommending you learn from a professional driving instructor. It will be safer for all concerned.