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5 Ways to Tell You Have Driving Anxiety

Driving Anxiety is More Common Than You Think

Driving anxiety is a term that most people might not be familiar with, but it’s an issue that affects a significant number of individuals. If you’ve ever felt an overwhelming sense of fear or dread when thinking about driving, you’re not alone. Here at Boardwalk Recovery Center, we don’t just focus on addiction and dual diagnosis; we also offer resources for managing different kinds of anxieties, including driving anxiety. In this guide, we’ll examine 5 ways to tell you have driving anxiety to help you recognize the symptoms and seek appropriate treatment.

Extreme Nervousness Before or During Driving

One of the key indicators of driving anxiety is an overwhelming sense of nervousness or fear before or while driving.

Signs to Look Out For:

Procrastination or Avoidance of Driving

If you consistently put off driving or avoid it altogether, you may have driving anxiety.

Common Avoidance Behaviors:

3. Physical Symptoms When Contemplating Driving

Physical symptoms can manifest when you think about driving or actually embark on a drive.

Common Physical Symptoms Include:

Intrusive Thoughts and Catastrophic Thinking

Intrusive thoughts about terrible things happening while driving can plague you and further fuel your anxiety.

Symptoms of Intrusive Thinking:

Anxiety-Induced Mistakes or Difficulties

Driving anxiety can affect your actual driving skills, making it difficult to perform basic maneuvers.

Signs May Include:

Recognition is the First Step

If you’ve noticed these symptoms in yourself, it’s crucial to seek professional help. At Boardwalk Recovery Center, we provide comprehensive treatment options for various forms of anxiety, including driving anxiety. Identifying these 5 ways to tell you have driving anxiety can be your first move toward regaining your freedom and comfort on the road.

Don’t let driving anxiety keep you from going where you need to go. Seek the help you need and take the wheel of your life with confidence.


Driving Anxiety refers to the intense fear, dread, or apprehension people feel either before or during driving. While not typically categorized as a standalone mental health disorder, it is often considered a form of situational anxiety.

Driving anxiety can be caused by various factors such as:

  • Past traumatic experiences related to driving.
  • General anxiety disorders affecting specific situations.
  • Phobias related to elements of driving, like speed or enclosed spaces.

Yes, chronic anxiety, including driving anxiety, can lead to physical symptoms like high blood pressure, digestive issues, and chronic fatigue among other things. It’s essential to address it to maintain overall well-being.

Diagnosis usually involves a thorough evaluation by a mental health professional. This can include:

  • A detailed interview about symptoms.
  • Self-assessment questionnaires.
  • A review of medical history to rule out other causes.

Treatment options can include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): To understand and change thought patterns causing anxiety.
  • Medication: Anti-anxiety medications may be prescribed for short-term relief.
  • Exposure Therapy: Gradual exposure to driving under controlled conditions.

It’s essential to assess the severity of your symptoms with a healthcare provider. Mild cases may still allow for safe driving with specific coping strategies, while severe cases might require treatment before resuming driving.


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