Overcoming Vehophobia After a Serious Car Wreck in FL
Driving anxiety is common and is often triggered by a specific driving situation, such as heavy traffic or highway driving. However, if there is a persistent fear of driving and it is stifling a person’s quality of life, their anxiety could actually be a severe phobia.
What is Vehophobia?
Vehophobia (also known as amazophobia) is one of the lesser-known injuries that can occur after a car accident. Vehophobia is the medical term for a pathological, unrelenting fear of driving to the extent that it affects a person’s lifestyle. From a clinical point of view, vehophobia is an anxiety disorder, similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although, unlike PTSD, vehophobia can occur without a negative past experience and can develop irrationally or without reason.
However, the most common cause of vehophobia is traffic accidents. If you have experienced a serious car wreck in Florida and are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you could be suffering from vehophobia:
- Fear that you will get into another car accident, even if you have driven for years without being in an accident prior to your most recent wreck.
- Fear that you will suffer a panic attack while driving and cause an accident.
- Fear that you could harm or kill another person by driving.
- The idea of driving causes you extreme feelings of anxiety and prevents you from attempting to drive.
- The thought of driving makes you tremble, sweat, feel nauseous, or causes your heart rate to increase.
- Always finding an excuse to avoid driving.
Although traffic accidents are the most common cause of vehophobia, other causes include:
- Witnessing a car accident
- Experiencing road rage
- Being raised by a parent, or parents, with vehophobia or who were always anxious in cars
- Driving in hazardous conditions that caused you to fear losing your life
- Learning to drive from an overly strict instructor
- Reading about or watching a bad crash on the news or on television
If you think you may be suffering from vehophobia, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
How Can You Work to Overcome Your Vehophobia?
People who have vehophobia usually find ways to avoid driving, like using ride-sharing services or public transportation to get around. Fortunately, people do not have to live a life where they are controlled by their fear of driving as there are many effective treatment options, such as:
- Therapy: There are multiple strategies a therapist can use to help patients overcome their vehophobia, but cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most common. CBT involves attempting to alter thinking patterns to help people move on from their trauma and anxieties. Exposure therapy, a form of CBT, can help people living with vehophobia overcome their anxiety by gradually exposing them to their fears in a safe environment, allowing them to learn to cope with their fear.
- Driving courses: Defensive driving courses can help build up a driver’s confidence and potentially erase their fears if they don’t feel comfortable with their driving skills.
- Hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy, also known as hypnosis, is a guided relaxation technique that allows anxiety sufferers to calmly explore (and confront) their painful thoughts and feelings that they associate with driving.
- Medication: Most therapists prefer to treat vehophobia with more permanent behavioral therapies before introducing medication, but medication can be helpful in conjunction with CBT in extreme cases.
Vehophobia is a severe phobia that can prevent a person from living their life to the fullest. Treatments for vehophobia can rack up medical bills, adding unneeded stress to a person’s life and exacerbating their anxiety. An experienced car accident attorney in Orlando may be able to help you recover compensation to help pay for your medical treatments.
Work With an Orlando Car Accident Attorney to Support Your Claim
At Umansky Law Firm, we have over 100 years of combined legal experience helping people throughout Central Florida seek justice for the suffering they’ve endured due to negligence. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, it may be possible to pursue compensation to help you get back to your regular life. Call our office or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We are ready to help you with your case day or night, 24 hours a day. Virtual consultations are also available for your safety and convenience.