While there is no Latin term that describes the fear of driving, it is still a powerful phobia that afflicts many members of our population.
Some people refer to fear of driving as Hodophobia, but that translates to “fear of travel.” Whatever it is called, the fear of driving can have a significant impact on a person’s life. It can stop them from pursuing opportunities and from being independent.
Fear of Driving Can Hold You Back
The modern world relies on the use of vehicles for jobs, hobbies, and family activities. Being too frightened of cars to drive can be shaming in the eyes of society. This phobia forces its sufferers to rely on others when they need a ride, or to use public transit even when it is inconvenient. It may affect their choices with regard to living in a certain location, or accepting a certain job. It can make parenthood harder since children often require rides to and from school and other activities.
The fear of driving can be conquered, but it is a powerful phobia. Because there is real risk in driving a car, it can be difficult to dismiss the phobic person’s fears completely.
People who suffer from fear of driving feel intense anxiety about controlling a large machine on public roadways. They fear hurting or killing themselves in an accident, or hurting someone else. For this reason, they may avoid driving lessons and other practical solutions to conquering their fears. People with this phobia simply do not feel that they are up to the challenge of driving on highways, in crowded cities, and even in quiet, rural areas.
Your phobia causing you panic attacks? Get rid of panic attacks today.
Why does it happen?
Fear of driving can come about for different reasons. Some people do not learn to drive at the typical age (during the teen years) for one reason or another. Time passes, and a phobia develops, because they have not learned at the same time as everyone else. They feel daunted by the challenge of driving a car, and they may avoid instruction due to their feelings of inadequacy and doubt.
Some people suffer from this phobia even though they have licenses, and drive regularly. Getting in their car and going somewhere fills them with a sense of dread. They may suffer from panic attacks when they are behind the wheel of a vehicle, which can be dangerous for them and for other drivers. The idea of navigating in congested areas will be one they fear and take pains to avoid. Driving will be viewed as a necessary evil, and their phobia will make them nervous and emotional, and more prone to accidents.
Fear of driving can also surface after a traffic accident. People who have been in car accidents can develop post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the terror and pain suffered in the accident. They may have flashbacks that become worse when they are around automobiles. It is quite understandable that someone who was involved in a car accident develops fear of driving. Sometimes the passing of time, and therapy, can ease these fears, and help the afflicted person return to driving.
Overcoming The Fear Of Driving
Psychotherapy – Since fear of driving is a conditioned response, your brain can be retrained to see things differently. A trained psychologist or psychiatrist can take you through the process of addressing your phobia and teaching your brain to put your fears into perspective. By altering the neural pathways that enhance your fears, a therapist can help resolve your anxiety.
Hypnosis – Some people remain skeptical about the powers of hypnosis, but in can be effective. The more open the person suffering from the phobia is, the more likely they will be to receive a positive result.
Special Driving Instruction – One-on-one instruction with a compassionate, patient driving instructor who understands your fears can really help you overcome your phobia. The more private lessons you have, the more comfortable you will feel behind the wheel. Don’t rush yourself – give yourself time to work through your anxieties.