I've just graduated college and landed a job in the US that will eventually involve me driving long distances to meet with clients. These trips will likely involve three hours of driving on highways in the US and ultimately driving in cramped city areas. The trips are too long to reasonably take a taxi or bus but they're also too short to convince my boss to authorize a flight. I own a safe vehicle and every metric I can get ahold of (driving classes, passenger comments, a clean driving record) tells me that I'm perfectly capable of making the drive.
The problem is I am unabashedly terrified of driving. I hate the high speeds, the unsafe aspects of it, the thought that I'm capable of accidentally killing somebody else or getting killed, all of it. The thought of going above 40 miles per hour or merging into traffic or even hearing about traffic accidents literally makes me sick to my stomach with stress. And the greatest irony here is that my job is creating road safety applications, so my day-to-day job involves not only accepting the danger of driving on US highways but actively convincing others to accept it as well.
I've managed to live the last six months of my life either walking wherever I need to go or taking slow side-roads that at least lower the chance of a dangerous accident, but it's clear that I won't be able to live like that much longer. Besides everything else, I'd really like to be able to go out with the other guys at work some evening without feeling guilty and stressed.
I'm looking for something that would help me get over this issue without impairing my ability to drive. I understand that other people on this site deal with the same stress in regards to flying (again, irony not lost on me, countless comments assuring potential flyers that it's much safer to fly than to drive in this country) but most of them involve becoming inattentive or impaired in some way that would make driving more dangerous to myself and others.
EDIT: Thanks a lot for the support. I really didn't know how widespread this fear was. Just wanted to address some common views in the answers:
1.) There's an undercurrent here that I should remain off the roads because my terror makes me an unsafe driver. While my phobia has kept me from driving as much as I should have and left me out of practice, it's also given me a really sick appreciation of the dangers of driving impaired or inattentive or without a thorough understanding of the road structure or so forth. So I kindly request that other people with a fear of driving not write themselves off as unsafe strictly because they're afraid.
2.) Thanks for the advice concerning immersion therapy. I was actually mid-way through it a while back until I got to the "Drive short distances at night" section of the thing and nearly plowed into a guy in a black car without headlights at 11:00 PM (Say what you want, a guy terrified of driving probably wouldn't be driving without headlights...). But for the time before that it did seem to work. I'll try picking it up again. The company actually has some very nice resources at my disposal and I might even be able to spin this as a travel expense.