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What Is Vehophobia?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

In Los Angeles, driving is a crucial part of our daily routine. But for some, this routine activity can trigger a profound fear known as vehophobia. Our Los Angeles car accident attorneys have witnessed the debilitating effects of this fear, particularly in individuals who have experienced traumatic car accidents.

In this post, we explore the causes, implications, and potential coping strategies for those suffering from vehophobia after an accident. Remember, it’s normal to seek help and take the necessary time to recover. 

What Can Cause Vehophobia

One of the most common causes of vehophobia, an intense and irrational fear of driving, is having been involved in a motor vehicle accident. A person with vehophobia after a severe crash might also develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A person who witnesses a significant collision, whether in person, on a television newscast, or on social media, can end up with this phobia, particularly with an accident that involved fatalities. Some people learn vehophobia from their parents, who have experienced intense anxiety when they drove. 

Having a close call or a crash with a large animal like a deer running into the path of a vehicle in which the person was the driver or a passenger can lead to this disorder. Having to drive through a tornado, blizzard, or another dangerous condition can lead to an episode of vehophobia, even a full-blown panic attack.

Symptoms of Vehophobia

The physical signs of vehophobia can present as any single symptom or a combination of these things:

  • Trembling
  • Rapid pulse
  • Sweating
  • Panic attacks when behind the wheel
  • Hyperventilating
  • Muscles becoming tense
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain mimicking a heart attack

A person with these symptoms will likely take extreme measures to avoid driving in situations that can trigger an attack of the phobia, like changing their work schedule or taking detours around stressful roads. Some people rely on family or friends to drive them or use public transportation or rideshare services like Uber or Lyft.  

Strategies for People with Vehophobia

When people with this condition are forced to drive in high-traffic or high-speed situations, their phobia can get triggered. Aggressive drivers can be intensely difficult for these drivers, as well as having vehicles on all sides of them with no escape path in the event of an emergency. 

If an individual experiences irrational and extreme anxiety in these circumstances over a period of six consecutive months or longer, they might get diagnosed with vehophobia. Several types of approaches can help people who suffer from this disorder, like taking a defensive driving class, exposure therapy, cognitive behavior therapy that teaches coping strategies, hypnotherapy, and support groups.

You Don’t Have to Struggle Alone

Navigating through vehophobia after an accident can be challenging, but remember, you don’t have to face it alone. Our experienced team is ready to provide the support and guidance you need. We’re here to help. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.