Understanding the fear of driving

A fear of driving is also known as amaxophobia, octophobia, motorphobia or hamaxophobia. This type of phobia is the persistent and intense fear of driving or riding in a car.

People experience the fear very differently. Some people are scared of driving in a particular situation, like driving over a bridge, through a tunnel, at night, at high speeds, changing lanes or merging. Others fear being a passenger in a vehicle.

When a fear of driving is left untreated it can become disruptive to your daily routine.

Some of the most common causes of a fear of driving include:

  • Past experiences of being in a car accident
  • Being lost
  • Travelling through traffic
  • Seeing a car accident happen on television or in an online video
  • When someone you know is involved in a car accident
  • Not trusting your driving skills or the skills of the person driving

  • Panic and fear, which is often excessive, persistent, and unreasonable
  • A strong desire to get away from the car
  • Sweaty palms
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing

Some people may even avoid driving completely.

A trained professional such as a psychologist, psychiatrist or therapist specialising in this area can help you overcome this phobia. With time and guidance, you will become more comfortable on the road.

Like any other phobia, a driving phobia will eventually affect your daily routine and general quality of life. The good news is it is possible to learn how to become more comfortable on the roads and drive without worrying.

If you notice you may have this fear or know someone who may have this phobia, it is important to get treatment. We encourage you to act sooner rather than later, so you can also #LoveYourJourney.

Previous Article

Will we see more Electric Vehicles on SA’s roads?

Next Article

Save money with our top driving tips

Need more help?

We're here to help.
Your privacy is important to us. To demonstrate our commitment, please refer to the MotorHappy notification which communicates how we process your personal information to comply with legislation.
Related Article