The fear of driving is more common than you might think. That may be because it’s not usually something that people discuss or admit to experiencing. However, it is believed that between 25% and 33% of those that have been involved in a serious accident may be plagued by a fear of driving to the extent of being a phobia.
The fear of driving can be so overwhelming that some people will avoid driving under any circumstances. They will inconvenience others to drive them or depend entirely on public transportation as they will avoid driving at all costs. Many people who suffer from the fear of driving have found relief by using a promising self hypnosis download program specifically for the condition. More on that later.
There isn’t a specific psychological term for the fear of driving but it could be compared to the identified condition of hodophobia, the fear of traveling. Hodophobia comes from the Greek word “hodos”, that refers to ‘the path’ and of course ‘phobos’ which means fear. Hodophobia and can also be associated with the fear of travelling by plane or boat too.
The fear of driving may become more intense and escalate to an actual phobia during especially difficult driving situations. For example, freeway driving, congested traffic and left or right turns under traffic lights can trigger panic-attack-like symptoms.
Symptoms of the Fear of Driving
Those with a fear of driving may experience a variety of symptoms including shaking or trembling, profuse sweating of the palms, a racing heart, an altered sense of reality and unreasonable thoughts of losing control while driving. Such feelings can persist even in situations that would be classified as being acceptably safe. The fear of driving will cause many people to avoid driving altogether. They will create excuses to not drive and even refuse to get a driver’s license for years.
When associated with a past accident or injury, post-traumatic stress disorder may be involved. In such cases these people may experience disturbing thoughts or dreams of the original accident. These thoughts can occur both when driving and not.
Causes for the Fear of Driving
Research has determined that there are three significant categories of driving phobia. The categories can be distinguished by their onset.
As mentioned earlier the most common cause of a fear of driving is having a traffic accident. Especially when there is an injury involved. In such situations we can identify a PTSD Driving Phobia, where the fear repeats in one’s mind to the extent that it develops into a response to a traumatic event. Most of the time , situations like these trigger a fear of driving only in those situations that might be related to the original cause. For example, if the original accident occurred during a four way stop situation the fear of driving might only manifest when a four way stop is encountered. However, on occasion, PTSD Driving Phobia can trigger a fear of driving entirely.
Another, and less common form of the fear of driving is that of a specific phobia. Considering that driving does involve a degree of danger and the possibility of a collision, it is reasonable to assume that most reasonable people will have some fear or thoughts of caution. However, for some people the fear of crashing, losing control of the car, being criticized or being in a dangerous situation will cause panic. There is a point where such anxiety doesn’t rationally reflect the real danger and it is at that point that fear becomes phobia.
The least common category of driving fear is actually an extension of agoraphobia, the anxiety about having a panic attack while being in crowds or public places. One way in which agoraphobia develops is in the inability to travel long distances away from home. When driving, an agoraphobe may feel that he is putting himself into a fearful situation, and Driving Phobia may develop.
Driving with Driving Phobia
Most people that have a fear of driving do indeed drive themselves; either out of necessity or because of social pressure to be ‘normal’. To do so they may create a system of sorts that they believe will keep them less likely to have unpleasant or dangerous situations. Common techniques are avoiding highways, staying in the right lane, avoiding bridges and tunnels and any other road conditions which limit their ability to leave the scene quickly in the event of a panic attack. They avoid left turns, unless there’s a traffic signal with a turn arrow, because they fear getting “trapped” in the intersection. They certainly avoid driving at rush hour.
While it could be argued that the aforementioned behaviors can be considered prudent at times, for the person with a fear of driving that has gotten out-of-hand, they can become an obsession.
Treatment for the Fear of Driving
The most common treatment for serious cases is behavior therapy—specifically, either systematic desensitization or incorporating special relaxation techniques while driving. The ability to be calm yet attentive when driving can be learned. It can become ‘second nature’. That’s why self hypnosis has proven to be a widely accepted and useful tool to manage and eliminate the fear of driving.
Available now is a specific self hypnosis download to help those that suffer from the fear of driving. The program is specifically designed to address the problems that are faced during the driving experience. At the time of this writing over 2,500 people have downloaded the program and hundreds have ordered it on CD. So it’s a tried and true method to overcome the fear of driving.
To find out more about the program and how to get the fear of driving under control simply read more at the Hypnosis Download page.
Self hypnosis also available for the following associated conditions:
Those who present with a fear of driving often describe features consistent with various anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, agoraphobia, specific phobia, and social phobia.
The majority of those with a fear of driving rate themselves as safer drivers than average, though less relaxed.