The automobile and driving are symbols of freedom and mobility in America, both physical and economic. As of 2007 there were over 250 million passenger vehicles on the road in America. When a person suffers from a fear of driving, it can be an especially debilitating condition in a country where the automobile is the primary mode of transportation. Anxiety can strike at a moment's notice, heedless of a person's age, gender or status. There are a number of different causes for anxiety and it can affect people in numerous ways, such as fear of driving a vehicle. A person may experience anxiety while driving when they are first learning to drive, or in other cases a person may develop a fear of driving after years of experience. Fear of driving may be associated with driving in general, regardless of location, or a person may feel anxious, afraid, or overly nervous in certain situations such as driving on the freeway or across a bridge. Regardless of the onset or why you are experiencing it, if you are a person who has developed a fear of driving there are ways to overcome it.
Driver's anxiety can be caused by a number of different factors, although it is rarely if ever genetically inherited. In some cases it can develop unexpectedly, without any known cause, but in many cases it is the cause of previous traumatic incidents. One example is persistent negative reinforcement during one's period of driver education. For instance, if when learning how to drive you are constantly yelled at or excessively chastised, this may cause long-term driver's anxiety. A traumatic incident, such as an accident or near-collision, could also be the cause. Excessive exposure to news about traffic accidents, could be another trigger. The daily stress of commuting in high-traffic areas could also lead to chronic attacks of anxiety while driving.
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- The Telegraph: Fear of Driving - and How to Overcome It
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America:How Can I Overcome my Fear of Driving on Highways and Bridges
- Dr. Phil: Facing Fears and Phobias
- Columbia Health Go Ask Alice: Driving Anxiety
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- Health Center: Relief On The Road - Tips for Driving Phobias, Anxiety & Panic Attacks