How to overcome the fear of driving

Learn how to overcome the concern of driving

Have you learnt methods to overcome a concern of driving? On this article, we’ll discover the 2 mostly used therapies in addition to some common tips for overcoming this concern.

How to overcome the fear of driving

Final change: 15 April 2023

In line with a research by the CEA Basis, the concern of driving, or amaxophobia, impacts 28 p.c of drivers. On this article you clarify effectively methods to overcome it. However first we must always clarify that phobias are anxiousness issues and are categorised as such in DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Guide of Psychological Issues) (2014).

Typically there’s a logical and wholesome purpose for concern of driving. For instance, if a driver has little expertise, has had a minor accident or experiences nice anxiousness. In truth, there are various such examples. In these instances, no matter whether or not the particular person seeks skilled assist or not, their plan of action will probably be completely different than in the event that they endure from driving phobia.

Ought to examine in depth probably the most frequent therapies for amaxophobia. Additionally give some common recommendation to scale back the concern of driving. In spite of everything, driving is a helpful ability and one that provides us quite a lot of independence, so we should not lose the behavior.


Driving phobia is characterised by an intense, irrational and disproportionate concern of driving. It often happens on account of sure occasions, reminiscent of a site visitors accident. As in all particular phobias, the affected particular person avoids the article of concern due to this sense. Moreover, it causes them clinically important misery or impairment in very important areas essential for wholesome functioning.

As a common rule, and as indicated by Caballo (2002) and Efficient Psychological remedy tips by Prez, Fernndez, Fernndez, and Amigo (2010), probably the most extensively used (and efficient) therapies for particular phobias are publicity remedy and cognitive remedy (particularly cognitive restructuring).

Overcoming the concern of driving

As talked about above, the 2 most frequent therapies in psychotherapy to beat the concern of driving are publicity remedy and cognitive remedy. Right here, effectively discover them individually.

Publicity remedy

Publicity remedy is the remedy par excellence on the subject of treating particular phobias. That consists in steadily exposing the sufferer to the phobic object or scenario by way of a hierarchy of components. These vary from the smallest to probably the most anxiety-inducing. The therapist prepares this listing along with the affected person.

Within the case of amaxophobia, the listing will embody conditions associated to driving. The primary to beat could be people who trigger much less anxiousness within the affected person. For instance, approaching the automobile, sitting down and taking the steering wheel and placing it in first gear. After that, they’re steadily uncovered to extra anxiety-producing conditions. For instance, driving by way of more and more troublesome areas, first with a companion, then alone, and so on.

The final word objective of overcoming the concern of driving is for the person to have the ability to expose themselves to a driving scenario with out feeling anxious. To attain this, they have to study to withstand the anxiousness that the scenario generates. The objective is for this resistance to finally remodel into a way of management and mastery till the anxiousness disappears.

If the remedy works, the connection between the psychophysiological signs and the phobic stimulus will disappear. Subsequently, in lots of instances, the perfect coping technique towards the concern of driving is to maintain driving. But when it’s a actually debilitating phobia, the sufferer ought to seek the advice of an expert.

Methods to scale back anxiousness

For the reason that objective is for the person to expertise the scenario with out feeling excessive ranges of tension, the therapist supplies complementary methods to allow them to study to scale back their anxiousness. The most typical are respiratory methods, leisure methods and visualizing optimistic photos.

Physiologically, anxiousness is incompatible with a state of leisure. It is because the techniques activated with the 2 modes are completely different. With these aforementioned methods, the objective is for a similar stimuli (making use of the harness, beginning, driving usually) to generate a response incompatible with anxiousness. This course of is named systematic desensitization. It was first proposed by Wolpe within the Fifties.

Cognitive remedy

One other instrument utilized in psychology to beat the concern of driving is cognitive remedy. In line with Caballo (2002) and the aforementioned information by Prez et al. (2010) publicity remedy is the simplest remedy, however it may be mixed with cognitive remedy.

This remedy usually makes use of the strategy of cognitive restructuring. With this course of, the person works on their maladaptive ideas generated by concern and anxiousness. As a rule, these are catastrophic and irrational in tone. For instance, some sufferers are likely to consider that they are going to have an accident in the event that they exit on the street. This additional will increase their concern.

The objective of cognitive restructuring is for the affected person to study to exchange these sorts of catastrophic ideas with others which might be extra reasonable, adaptive and practical. For instance: Can drive with out getting nervous, I haven’t got an accident whereas driving, I can use the GPS if I get misplaced, and so on.

This can be very essential to assist the affected person, but additionally to make sure that they preserve an energetic perspective all through the therapeutic course of.

Past psychological remedy: the concern of driving

Typically the concern of driving doesn’t turn out to be a phobia, however is proscribed to sure conditions. For instance, the concern of rookies. If that is your case, right here it’s some common tips that could be useful to fight your concern of driving.

Acknowledge your downside

Step one to fixing an issue is recognizing it. So, face your concern, settle for that it is there, and do not attempt to run away from it. You shouldn’t really feel responsible or much less worthy than anybody else.

Rationalize your concern

Concern (much more so phobias) is at all times related to irrational and catastrophic ideas. Subsequently, attempt to establish what actually makes you are feeling scared if you drive. Possibly you concern stepping into an accident or getting misplaced.

After you have recognized the trigger, attempt to substitute your irrational ideas with extra reasonable ones. Additionally take into consideration the worst that might occur. Is that basically prone to occur? If it did, what attainable options might you utilize? Mirror and attempt to internalize your reasoning.

Concern is cowardly, in the event you face it, it goes away.

-Cisco Garca, Paralympic tennis player-

Take the automobile

That is precisely what publicity remedy relies on. Exposing your self to your irrational concern is the one factor that may present you that you simply have been improper to be afraid. Do it steadily and solely escalate conditions when you’ve gotten decreased or eradicated your anxiousness.

Avoiding driving is prone to reinforce your concern. In consequence, each time you need to take the automobile, your concern will probably be extra intense. This implies you fall right into a self-reinforcing cycle the place driving turns into an increasing number of scary since you repeatedly keep away from it.

Belief your talents

All of us possess the power to beat phobias. Though you could not know methods to use these strengths, they’re there. You may be capable to deal with your self. Alternatively, you could want the steering of an expert.

As we talked about earlier, do not be afraid to ask for psychological assist, particularly in case your concern is debilitating or was born on account of a traumatic occasion (reminiscent of an accident). In truth, nobody ought to stroll the trail of concern alone, so do not be ashamed to simply accept assist.

Belief is the fruit of a relationship the place you might be beloved.

-William Paul Younger-

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