According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, more than 37,000 people die in car accidents in America every year. And Auto an additional 2.35 million others were injured or disabled in car crashes. Going through such accidents is very difficult and can build up trauma. The psychological effects should never be undervalued. More often than we like, people who suffer from car accidents develop driving anxiety or vehophobia which is a fear of driving.
Explaining Driving Anxiety and Vehophobia
From its name, driving anxiety refers to the anxiety felt when thinking about driving or having to drive. On the other hand, vehophobia is the fear of driving. The former can lead to the latter to become a phobia. There are many other phobias that relate to the fear of driving or vehophobia. This includes amaxophobia which is the fear of riding in a vehicle.
These fears, phobias and increased anxiety results often times after a car accident. It is a form of post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The trauma of car accidents or any type of motor vehicle crash leads to lots of psychological and emotional distress. It is the trauma of almost dying or thinking you may die. If your accident occurred with children passengers, your trauma could include injuring children. All of these produce increased anxieties when you drive again after an accident. You become triggered by a multitude of things bringing back flashbacks from your traumatic experience.
The Different manifestations of Anxiety
No one can claim that the manifestations or the reasons for driving anxiety are the same for each victim. In fact, anxiety manifests in various forms based on the unique experience of the involved party. The following list provides a general idea of people’s experiences with driving with anxiety.
- Fear of getting into another car accident of motor vehicle crash. This is seen in cases where drivers have long years of driving without a single accident before the recent one. So it is not a matter of how many years of driving you have got. Driving anxiety manifests in each one of us differently.
- Some people suffer extreme anxiety from the thought of driving. This often prevents them from attempting to drive and get behind the wheel. In this case, it is the anxiety taking control of the person.
- Some feat suffering a panic attack caused by their anxiety while behind the wheel. This goes into a spiral of anxious thoughts. Starting from fear of a panic attack to fear of harming themselves or others to causing another accident. This can be very daunting on those who suffer from anxiety.
- Fear of hurting, hurting and causing injuries on others including family, friends and children.