Driving phobia is a situational fear that develops in people who suffer from driving anxiety. If you suffer from driving phobia, you may find yourself panicking when you have to travel on highways, bridges, hills, etc. The fear can be so intense that you simply refuse to drive on such motorways and avoid them whenever possible.
Driving phobia can also lead to frequent panic/anxiety attacks. Thus, you may find yourself shaking and feeling extremely uncomfortable when you are driving on the road. Symptoms can include: heart racing, chest pains, inability to breathe properly, excessive sweating, dizziness, etc.
So how does one overcome driving phobias?
To begin with, you must understand that your driving phobia is probably a result of a bad incident – an anxiety episode on the bridge, a motor accident on the highway, etc. These incidents brings with it memories of panic, fear and anxiety – and you unconsciously associate the situation with it. Thus, each time you are forced into the situation (highways, hills, bridges, etc), you automatically assume the worst case-scenario and re-live those feelings.
For example, you had a particularly bad fall and you fracture your leg when you fell into a drain. The next time you walk past the same drain again, you would most probably take extra precaution because you assume the worst case-scenario – you remember your fractured leg, you remember the pain. Someone who has never fallen into that drain won’t even give it a second thought, but you react otherwise.
Similarly, the same logic applies here. Whether you realize it or not, you associate highways/bridges with memories of your panic, fear or anxiety. Each time you drive past them, you become nervous, your belief is strengthened and your driving phobia develops thereafter.