What Is Vehophobia?
Bill Allen | October 6, 2023 | Car Accidents
Many kinds of fears affect individuals throughout society. Perhaps one of the most unknown of these fears is vehophobia, the fear of cars or driving. When vehophobia hits, a person may start to experience a variety of symptoms that make it difficult and even dangerous to drive.
Vehophobia is a recognized phobia that refers to an intense and irrational fear of cars or driving. Although you may have never heard of it before, vehophobia is quite common. That said, it is different from other similar phobias, such as amaxophobia, which is a fear of being in or riding in any vehicle, not just a car.
Vehophobia is more than simple anxiety. In fact, anxiety is not so uncommon for many drivers. However, a proper vehophobia definition involves more than basic anxiety. It entails a crippling or near-crippling fear of cars that prevents many sufferers from getting behind the wheel.
For those who do get behind the wheel, driving safely is usually extremely difficult due to the overwhelming symptoms they often feel.
What Are the Symptoms of Vehophobia?
Vehophobia causes a variety of symptoms. If you begin to experience them, it is important to seek treatment and make safe choices whenever you’re confronted with a situation that involves driving.
Common symptoms of vehophobia include:
- Trembling: Sufferers of vehophobia often experience trembling hands that make it difficult, if not impossible, to grip a steering wheel properly.
- Sweating: Uncontrolled sweating, even in cold conditions, is a common sign of vehophobia.
- Shallow Breathing: Difficulty taking full breaths occurs with vehophobia, leading to heightened anxiety.
- Increased Heart Rate: Vehophobia leads to an increase in a person’s heart rate, even without exertion.
- Tense Muscles: Vehophobia can cause sufferers to tighten up their muscles and remain in a state of rigidity.
- Chest Pain: The chests of those who have vehophobia may become painful due to constricted veins and blood flow.
- Uncontrolled Fear: This symptom makes sufferers constantly dwell on worst-case scenarios involving car accidents.
People living with vehophobia may also have panic attacks before or while driving a vehicle, which leads to physical responses that can make driving unsafe for the driver and others on the road.
Common Causes of Vehophobia
As you might expect, driving-related incidents cause people to develop vehophobia. In many cases, the sufferer was a driver in the triggering accident. In others, though, they were a passenger, cyclist, or pedestrian.
However, it is possible to develop vehophobia without actually being in a car accident.
For example, you may potentially develop the condition by:
- Witnessing a car accident
- Having a history of being in cars with reckless or anxious drivers
- Operating a vehicle in dangerous conditions
- Having an unreasonably strict driving instructor
- Witnessing an animal being hit by a vehicle
Reading or watching news stories related to bad vehicle crashes can also lead a person to develop vehophobia.
Many of those who have vehophobia find workarounds to keep their lives flowing smoothly, such as carpooling, taking public transportation, and bicycling. However, others have learned to address the fear directly using treatments for vehophobia, which can be effective in helping many get their lives back to normal.
Some of these treatments include:
- Defensive driving courses
- Therapy, such as counseling and sessions with medical and psychological professionals
- Medication, such as prescription drugs used to control anxiety
In some areas, support groups are also a helpful option for people living with vehophobia.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Recover Compensation for the Effects of Vehophobia
If you developed vehophobia after being in a car accident, you might be able to do something about it. A car accident attorney can potentially help you recover compensation and get your life back to the way it was.
Contact Our Gainesville Car Accident Lawyers at Allen Law Firm in North Central Florida
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