What Is Vehophobia?

Are you afraid to drive? Do your hands get sweaty and your heart start racing at the thought of getting behind the wheel? If so, you may be suffering from vehophobia. Vehophobia is an intense fear of driving that can have serious impacts on a person’s life, affecting both their daily activities and overall mental health.

The fear of driving can not only interfere with day to day life, but other psychological symptoms after a motor vehicle accident can render someone unable to drive for an extended period of time.

This article will explore what vehophobia is, its causes, diagnosis, treatments and coping strategies to help manage it. So if you are struggling with a fear of driving, read on for more information on how to best manage your condition and live a quality life.

As many as 30% of people will note some psychological reactions following a car accident.

Source: choosingtherapy.com

What is Vehophobia?

I was always a nervous driver, but after a bad accident I had several years ago, my fear of driving became overwhelming. I started to experience panic attacks every time I even thought about getting in the car. Before long, it had become so severe that I avoided driving altogether whenever possible. It took me a while to figure out what was wrong with me and why I was so scared all the time.

After talking to a mental health professional, I learned that I had developed vehophobia due to this traumatic experience. Vehophobia is an excessive fear of driving that can cause extreme anxiety and physical symptoms like racing heartbeats, trembling hands and sweating.

For me, it felt like my life was spinning out of control and there was nothing I could do about it. Fortunately, through exposure therapy and behavioral therapy with a trained therapist, I am now able to manage my condition in order to lead a normal life again.

My fear of driving was debilitating, but with the help of a mental health professional and a little hard work, I can now manage my vehophobia and drive again with confidence. Ready to learn more about the signs and symptoms of vehophobia? Keep reading to find out!

How Many People in The United States Suffer from Vehephobia?

Vehophobia, also known as vehicular phobia, is a fear of riding or driving in motorized vehicles, such as cars, buses, trains, boats and airplanes. It can range from mild to severe and may include physical symptoms like increased heart rate, sweating and shortness of breath.

It’s difficult to estimate exactly how many people in the United States suffer from vehophobia.

For me, the fear of driving is real. In fact, it’s been something I’ve struggled with for years. It all began after a traumatic car accident I was in some time ago. While I wasn’t seriously injured, the experience left me feeling anxious and scared every time I got behind the wheel of a car.

It started out small; I’d have mild panic attacks when I had to drive. Over time, the fear became more intense and I eventually stopped driving altogether. This impacted my quality of life in a major way; I couldn’t go out with friends or take trips like most people could because of my fear.

Beck and Coffey reported that 25–33% of people involved in a car collision associated with injuries and related evaluation in a hospital experience subsequent fear of driving.

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Signs and Symptoms

When I first realized that I was dealing with vehophobia, I had no idea what it was. I knew that my fear of driving had become irrational, but I couldn’t quite grasp how serious it really was. It took me some time to understand the signs and symptoms of vehophobia, but once I did, I was able to start looking for solutions.

The most obvious symptom of vehophobia is an intense fear or anxiety when thinking about or trying to drive. This can be accompanied by physical symptoms such as rapid heart rate, trembling hands, and sweating.

VehophobiaOther signs include avoidance of any activity related to driving, such as getting a driver’s license or even just being in the car with someone else driving. For me personally, my biggest symptom was a feeling of panic when thinking about getting behind the wheel.

Although these symptoms can be difficult to manage on your own, there are ways to cope with vehophobia and take back control over your life.

With the help of a mental health professional and a personal injury lawyer if needed (in case of a traumatic accident), you can work through your fears and start living life without fear again.

Causes of Vehophobia

My vehophobia started after a traumatic experience. I was involved in a bad accident that left me with physical and emotional wounds. After the accident, my fear of driving skyrocketed. It got to the point where even thinking about getting behind the wheel filled me with an intense feeling of panic and dread.

I eventually realized that my fear was irrational, but I still couldn’t comprehend why it had become so severe. After doing some research and talking to mental health professionals, I learned that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can lead to excessive fear or anxiety related to a traumatic event.

In my case, this meant developing vehophobia as a result of the accident I’d been in.

It can be hard to cope with vehophobia on your own, so if you’re finding it difficult then it’s important to reach out for professional help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in PTSD and anxiety disorders.

With the right type of therapy – such as exposure therapy or virtual reality exposure therapy – you can learn how to manage your fear and start living life without fear again.

Vehophobia is a real and serious problem, but it doesn’t have to control your life. With the right help, you can start to take back control and reclaim your freedom. Now, let’s take a look at how genetics may play a role in fear and anxiety disorders.


After doing some research, I learned that genetics can play a role in the development of fear and anxiety disorders. My family has a history of mental health issues, so when my vehophobia started to take over my life, I wasn’t surprised to find out that it could be linked to our familial genetic makeup.

I was initially hesitant to accept this idea because I didn’t want to blame my parents or feel like I was doomed to live with my fear forever. But after speaking with a mental health professional, I realized that having an understanding of the potential genetic factors at play could help me better understand the source of my anxiety and develop effective coping strategies.

My therapist also suggested talking to other members of my family about their experience with anxiety or fear-related issues, since they may have had similar experiences and be able to offer helpful advice or support. This helped me realize that even though genetics may be partly responsible for my vehophobia, there are still steps I can take to manage it and improve my quality of life.

Developmental Factors

When I first started to experience intense fear while driving, I was certain that it must have been caused by a traumatic event. After doing some research and talking to mental health professionals, however, I learned that the development of phobias can also be linked to developmental factors like age and environment.

I was initially confused by this idea because I hadn’t experienced any traumatic events as an adult.
But my therapist explained that even though I may not have had a direct experience with a car accident or other scary situation, the fear could still be rooted in my childhood experiences. Growing up in a household where driving was viewed as dangerous, for example, could have led me to develop an irrational fear of driving in adulthood.

My therapist also suggested exploring potential triggers for my vehophobia through exposure therapy. The goal of this type of therapy is to gradually expose me to situations related to my fear and help me confront them without becoming overwhelmed by anxiety or panic attacks. With the help of a mental health professional, I’ve been able to identify core fears related to driving and start taking small steps towards managing them more effectively.

What Types of Accidents Trigger Vehephobia


  • Car accidents, especially those involving high speeds or severe impacts, can trigger vehophobia.
  • Being in a car that is involved in a collision or near-miss can also trigger vehophobia.
  • Being in a car where aggressive drivers are present in an outside of the vehicle may trigger symptoms.
  • Witnessing or hearing about a traumatic car accident can cause vehophobia in some individuals.
  • Experiencing a panic attack or anxiety while driving or riding in a car can lead to the development of vehophobia.
  • When being the passenger in a car, phantom brake application is a common symptom of vehophobia.

Traumatic Events or Experiences

I was in a car accident two years ago and since then, I’ve been struggling with vehophobia. It’s an irrational fear of driving that can be caused by a traumatic event such as a bad accident. I started to experience intense anxiety while driving and my daily life began to suffer because of it.

I had difficulty concentrating at work and felt overwhelmed by the thought of getting behind the wheel. I was scared that something bad would happen if I drove, so I avoided getting into cars whenever I could.

Even small errands like grocery shopping became difficult for me to complete. My quality of life decreased significantly as my fear increased.

The physical symptoms were unbearable too; my palms would get sweaty and my heart would race when I even saw a car on the road. The extreme anxiety made it impossible for me to drive without trembling or having panic attacks.

That’s why I decided to seek professional help and start treatment for vehophobia right away. With the help of a personal injury attorney, therapist, and accident lawyer, I was able to find different ways to manage my fear of driving through virtual reality exposure therapy and other mental health treatments.

Diagnosis of Vehophobia

When I first realized that my fear of driving was more than just a minor inconvenience, I knew I had to get help. After weeks of self-reflection and research, I finally made an appointment with my doctor to discuss my vehophobia.

The doctor diagnosed me with a severe anxiety disorder caused by a traumatic experience, and referred me to a therapist for further treatment. As we discussed the details of my accident and what it was like for me in the aftermath, she suggested that cognitive behavioral therapy might be right for me. With this type of therapy, I would learn how to change the way I think about driving which could help diminish the fear and anxiety associated with it.

In addition to regular therapy sessions, the therapist recommended that I take part in virtual reality exposure therapy as well. This type of therapy allows patients to gradually become comfortable with driving again while being monitored by mental health professionals in a controlled environment.
After several months of treatment, I’m slowly becoming more comfortable behind the wheel and am now able to drive without experiencing intense fear or panic attacks every time I get into a car.

Although it took time and patience, I’m proud to say that my fear of driving is no longer a barrier in my life. I’m grateful for the help of the mental health professionals who guided me through this process and empowered me to take back control of my anxiety. Now I’m ready to explore what else a mental health professional can do for me!

Woman Afraid to drive

Common Symptoms of Vehephobia 

Symptoms of vehephobia include:

  • Chest Pain;
  • Rapid Breathing;
  • Dizziness;
  • Sweating;
  • Nausea;
  • Shaking or trembling;
  • Racing heart rate; and
  • Intense fear or panic when near a car.

Vehophobia can be debilitating, but it is treatable. Talking to a mental health professional or therapist can help you understand the root cause of your fear and develop a plan to cope with it. With the right treatment, you can learn how to manage your anxiety and reclaim your life.

By a Mental Health Professional

I’m so glad I was referred to a mental health professional when I was diagnosed with vehophobia. After weeks of self-reflection and research, I finally knew it was time to get help. My therapist was able to provide me with the support and guidance I needed as I worked through my fear of driving.
Through cognitive behavioral therapy, she helped me recognize the irrational thoughts that were causing my fear and taught me how to replace them with more realistic ones.

We also discussed my traumatic experience in detail and how it might be contributing to my excessive fear. Knowing that she understood what I had gone through gave me a sense of comfort and safety throughout our sessions. With her help, I gradually developed better coping skills which allowed me to face driving without feeling overwhelmed by anxiety or panic attacks.

My mental health professional has been instrumental in helping me gain control over my vehophobia and reclaiming my quality of life. Without her help, I’m not sure where I’d be today; but thanks to her expertise, I can now get behind the wheel without worrying about an extreme fear taking hold of me again.

Physical Examinations and Tests

Having a physical examination is an important part of taking care of our health, and I recently had one myself. I was a bit nervous before the appointment, but my physician put me at ease by explaining the purpose of each test and what to expect.

The first step was a review of my medical history and current medications. After that, my doctor took some vital signs like blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate. Then they did some tests on my lungs, heart, abdomen, ears, nose and throat. To check for any issues with movement or balance they also had me perform a few simple movements such as standing up from sitting in a chair and walking across the room.

Finally – the dreaded blood draw! Although I felt a little squeamish when they stuck me with the needle, it wasn’t too bad overall; it was over quickly and didn’t hurt too much.

Overall I felt reassured after the appointment. My physician answered all of my questions clearly and made sure to explain what each test was designed to measure. Knowing that I’d gone through this process gave me peace of mind about my health going forward.

Treatment for Vehophobia

Vehophobia, or the fear of driving, can severely limit a person’s quality of life. For those suffering from vehophobia, anxiety and panic attacks can occur when attempting to drive, or even thinking about getting behind the wheel.

The source of anxiety is the fear of vehicles and medical professionals may suggest treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) / cognitive behavior therapy or virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET).

Fortunately, there are several treatment options available to help sufferers manage their fear and regain control over their lives.

The primary treatment for vehophobia is therapy. Psychological interventions such as exposure therapy – where people are gradually exposed to their fears in a safe environment – and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – which helps change how we think about driving – can be effective in helping people learn to manage their anxiety.

In extreme cases of vehophobia, mental health professionals may recommend virtual reality exposure therapy as it allows individuals to experience simulated driving situations from the comfort of their therapist’s office.

In addition to therapy, medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be prescribed to reduce the physical symptoms associated with vehophobia like sweating, increased heart rate and difficulty breathing.

Lastly, if the cause of the fear is linked to a traumatic event such as an accident or bad experience while driving then it’s important for sufferers to seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer or attorney who can provide guidance on what rights they have under relevant laws.

Most importantly however is that those dealing with vehophobia get the mental health treatment they need so that they can begin living a life free of fear.

Vehophobia can be a debilitating fear, but with the right treatment and support it is possible to overcome it. With the help of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) you can learn how to manage your anxiety and start driving again with confidence.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

I know first-hand how powerful Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be in helping to manage the fear of driving. I had been living with vehophobia for years, and it was beginning to take a toll on my daily life.
I was scared to even think about getting behind the wheel, let alone actually do it. After trying several other treatments without success, I finally decided to try CBT.

With the help of my therapist, I began slowly exposing myself to driving situations in a safe way.
We worked together on challenging my negative thought patterns and finding ways to cope with the intense fear that would come up when thinking about driving. Slowly but surely, I was able to start driving again with confidence and control over my anxiety.

CBT has been incredibly helpful in managing my vehophobia; it helped me change my relationship with driving and gain back control over my life. It’s an incredibly powerful tool that can help anyone suffering from this debilitating fear get their life back on track.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy was the last resort for me to overcome my vehophobia. I was so scared of getting behind the wheel that I had not driven in years and my quality of life had suffered greatly as a result. When I first heard about exposure therapy, I was very hesitant—I didn’t think it would work for me. But after doing some research, I decided to give it a try.

At first, we worked on identifying and challenging negative thoughts associated with driving. Then, we slowly began exposing me to driving situations in a safe environment. We started small and then increased difficulty level as my confidence improved. The results were amazing! After several sessions, I could actually feel my fear diminish and eventually disappear completely.

Exposure therapy has been a life-changing experience for me. It helped me gain back control over my life and get back behind the wheel without fear or anxiety. Now, I am happy to report that driving is no longer something that causes me fear or panic—I can do it with ease!

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET)

As someone with vehophobia, I was extremely hesitant to try Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET). It seemed so futuristic and I wasn’t sure if it would be effective for me. But after doing some research, I decided to give it a try.

I was amazed at how realistic the virtual reality environment felt! As we went through each driving scenario, I could feel my fear start to dissipate. While in the virtual world, I was able to practice my driving skills while feeling safe and secure.

The therapists were great at helping me work through any issues that came up during our sessions. They also provided me with helpful tips and strategies that I could use outside of the virtual reality environment. After several sessions, my fear of driving had subsided significantly.

I am very grateful that Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy helped me overcome my vehophobia. It has given me back control over my life and enabled me to drive without fear or anxiety. VRET is a powerful tool for anyone struggling with an irrational fear or phobia of any kind.

Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT)

I was hesitant to try Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT) for my vehophobia because I was unsure if it would be effective. After doing some research and talking to a mental health professional, I decided to give it a shot.

The medication allowed me to relax more while driving, making it easier to focus on the task at hand. The therapist also gave me strategies that I could use while driving such as deep breathing and visualization techniques. With their help, I was able to slowly build up my confidence and eventually drive without fear or anxiety.

MAT was an invaluable tool in helping me overcome my vehophobia. It enabled me to take control of my life and enjoy the freedom of driving again. If you’re struggling with an unreasonable fear or phobia, MAT might be worth considering as part of your treatment plan.

Coping Strategies to Manage Vehophobia

When I was first diagnosed with vehophobia, it felt like my world had turned upside down. I was afraid to leave the house and even just the thought of driving brought on a wave of fear and dread. I knew that if I wanted to reclaim my life, I would need to find ways to cope with my phobia.

I began by talking about my fears with family and friends, which helped me express how I was feeling and gain their support.

Additionally, I participated in exposure therapy sessions where my therapist gradually exposed me to driving-related scenarios. This allowed me to face my fears head-on in a safe environment.

I also tried different relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation before getting into the car. This helped me stay calm and focused throughout the drive.

Finally, joining a support group for people with vehophobia gave me an outlet to share my experiences with others who were going through the same thing as me.

Adopting these coping strategies has enabled me to manage my vehophobia much more effectively and live a normal life again.

By making the effort to confront my fear of driving and using the coping strategies mentioned above, I am now able to enjoy the freedom of being behind the wheel. I’m so grateful for all that I have achieved and am looking forward to exploring more ways to reduce my vehophobia, such as relaxation techniques – stay tuned!

Relaxation Techniques

When I first started dealing with my vehophobia, I found that relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation helped me stay calm and focused while driving.

Whenever I felt overwhelmed or anxious about getting in the car, I would take a few moments to practice these techniques. This allowed me to get into the car feeling more relaxed and prepared for the drive ahead.

I also made sure to give myself plenty of time before each journey by setting off earlier than necessary. This way, I could avoid any unnecessary stress or anxiety associated with running late. Additionally, listening to calming music on my drive was a great way to distract myself from any negative thoughts or worries.

Overall, relaxation techniques have been an invaluable tool in helping me cope with my vehophobia. With consistent practice and patience, these strategies can help anyone reduce their fear of driving and reclaim their freedom behind the wheel.

Seeking Professional Help

When I realized that my vehophobia was beginning to interfere with my daily life, I decided to seek professional help. After speaking with a few mental health professionals, I soon discovered that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy were two effective treatments for anxiety disorders such as mine.

Through CBT, I learned how to identify and challenge the irrational thoughts that were causing me so much fear and distress. This type of therapy also helped me develop more effective coping skills for managing my anxiety in the future.

Exposure therapy is a type of therapy designed to help people gradually confront their fears in a safe environment. This involved slowly setting myself small driving-related goals each week, such as driving around the block or parking further away from my destination. As these tasks became easier for me, I was able to build up my confidence and reclaim my freedom behind the wheel.

With the help of these therapies, combined with a lot of self-love and patience, I am now able to enjoy driving again without feeling overwhelmed or anxious. If you are struggling with vehophobia, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help – it could make all the difference!

What Should I Do After an Accident Involving Fear of Driving?l

As someone who struggles with vehophobia, I understand the immense fear and anxiety that can come from getting behind the wheel. Over time, I have learned different strategies for managing my fear and reclaiming my freedom.

One of the most important things I have done is to change my routines to better suit my needs.

For example, if I know that a certain route has more traffic or is more difficult to drive on, then I will try to avoid it. This has allowed me to feel more in control and less anxious while driving.

I have also made adjustments to my vehicle such as installing a rearview camera and reversing sensors so that I don’t feel like I am in danger when driving.

Setting realistic goals is another way of helping manage vehophobia. Taking small steps such as driving around the block or parking further away from my destination can help build up confidence over time.

If you are involved in an accident due to your fear of driving, it’s important to seek legal help from a personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights after an accident and ensure you receive proper compensation for any damages incurred.

Vehophobia can significantly impact daily life and mental health, making it difficult for people to enjoy their lives fully. It is important to remember that there is help available and professional treatment options that can make a huge difference in one’s overall quality of life. With patience and determination, it is possible for anyone struggling with vehophobia to overcome their fear and reclaim their freedom on the road again!

Car Accident Settlements and Lawsuits and Vehephobia

It is important to note that not only do car accidents create physical injuries that can be life events and long lasting they can create psychological issues that last a great deal of time. Anyone who has been the victim of a traffic collision should consider whether they are 100% recovered before accepting a settlement.

Insurance companies from the at-fault driver will try and settle as quickly and cheaply as possible.

If you fear driving or have anxiety due to the accident, that is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that should be addressed and compensated for in a settlement. This means that you will need an experienced car accident lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve.

The lawyer should have a deep understanding of PTSD from vehophobia and know how to present a case that proves its existence. The lawyer should also have experience with car accident settlements and lawsuits related to vehophobia in order to get the best settlement for you possible.

If you have been involved in a an auto accident and have developed post-traumatic stress disorder due to vehophobia, it is important to consider seeking legal advice in order to get the best settlement possible.

Having gone through vehophobia myself, I understand just how intense the fear and anxiety can be. For me, it was important to start with small goals, such as driving around the block or parking further away from my destination. This helped me to slowly build up my confidence and make progress towards reclaiming my freedom on the road.

Vehophobia is an intense fear of driving that can lead to panic attacks, excessive anxiety and other physical symptoms. It is often a result of traumatic events or experiences, such as a bad accident or witnessing one.

This type of phobia can also be triggered by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from a previous experience. People who suffer from vehophobia may find it difficult to get behind the wheel, even if they know it is safe.

Vehophobia can significantly affect someone’s ability to drive after a traffic accident, as it can cause extreme, persistent fear and anxiety when getting behind the wheel. For those who suffer from this disorder, even the thought of driving may bring on panic attacks or extreme physical symptoms such as dizziness or nausea.

This can make it difficult to concentrate and function while driving, leading to increased risk of accidents. As a result , it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible if you are suffering from vehophobia.

The first step in overcoming my vehophobia was to set up a plan. I knew that I had to take baby steps and that it would take time to build my confidence again. I started by driving around the block and slowly increasing the distance until I felt more comfortable behind the wheel. This gradual approach made it easier for me to manage my fear and eventually, drive longer distances.

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