Coping with Post-Accident Vehophobia (The Fear of Driving)

post-accident vehophobia

For many car accident victims, feeling uneasy about getting back in the driver’s seat is a common occurrence. Most of the time, the fear of driving after a car crash dissipates soon after. Other times, driving anxiety can persist for extended periods of time and keep sufferers from going about their daily lives. This is referred to as post-accident vehophobia. Along with the fear of driving, other car accident victims might develop amaxophobia, which is the fear of traveling in a car as a passenger

Symptoms can become chronic and debilitating but understanding the condition and seeking treatment from a professional may help sufferers cope with their symptoms. In this blog, the car accident attorneys at Lerner and Rowe review vehophobia, treatment options, and explain if you are eligible for compensation. 

What Are Symptoms of Post-Accident Vehophobia?

Vehophobia symptoms can vary from person to person and in their degree of severity. Some common symptoms include:

  • Increased heart rate, sweating, nausea, hyperventilation, shaking, or trembling while in a vehicle or even just while thinking about driving
  • Avoidance of driving
  • Asking others to drive
  • Phantom brake syndrome (i.e. reflexively attempting to brake as a passenger)
  • Freezing up while behind the wheel
  • Intrusive thoughts or recurring nightmares about the original accident or being in another accident
  • Excessive fear of losing control while driving or having a panic attack while driving
  • Fear of harming or killing another person while driving
  • Hypervigilance about other vehicles on the road
  • Avoidance of driving or traveling in vehicles altogether

PTSD and Vehophobia

Post-accident vehophobia may stem from underlying post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If your vehophobia persists long after being in an accident or worsens over time, there is a good chance you may be suffering from PTSD. In this case, your first course of action should be to seek advice from a qualified medical professional.  

Additionally, suffering from a head injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI) during the accident can be a contributing factor to developing post-accident vehophobia. A TBI can impact your mood, personality, and overall anxiety. It is also possible to develop vehophobia after losing a loved one in a crash or simply from witnessing a bad car accident. 

Regardless of the cause, consulting a medical doctor, psychiatrist, and/or psychologist is a good place to start. Once you receive a diagnosis, you can work with your doctor to come up with a treatment plan to help you cope with and ultimately mitigate symptoms.

Post-Accident Vehophobia Treatment Options

There are many different treatment options for post-accident vehophobia. You may find that one works best, or a combination of several helps you the most. Whatever you decide, try to keep an open mind and remember that it can take time to see results.

Many people struggling with the fear of driving after a car crash may benefit from various forms of talk therapy. Finding a therapist who specializes in treating PTSD or phobias may be especially helpful. 

Several treatment options are available for post-accident vehophobia. You may find that a single approach works best, or a combination of several may be most effective. Be patient, as overcoming this fear can take time.

  • Talk Therapy: Many people benefit from various forms of talk therapy, especially with a therapist specializing in PTSD or phobias. One type of therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), helps you identify and challenge negative thought patterns related to driving and develop coping mechanisms for stressful situations.
  • Exposure Therapy: This therapy gradually exposes you to the source of your fear in a controlled environment. This might involve starting with visualizing yourself driving, then practicing in a parked car, and eventually driving in low-traffic areas.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): This therapy can be helpful for those experiencing flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, or nightmares. EMDR combines talk therapy with specific eye movements, hand tapping, and auditory stimulation to help reprocess traumatic memories.
  • Support Groups: Joining in-person or online support groups can provide valuable connection and understanding from others who share similar experiences.
  • Hypnotherapy: Some individuals find relief through hypnotherapy, although its effectiveness may vary.
  • Medication: In some cases, anti-anxiety medications can be a safe and effective way to manage severe anxiety symptoms. A psychiatrist will carefully evaluate your condition and medical history to determine if medication is appropriate.

While therapy and medication can help manage vehophobia, the cost can be overwhelming for many. Many falsely believe that their insurance company will compensate them for their losses. Unfortunately, you can’t always rely on insurance companies to offer you fair compensation. 

Can I Get Compensation After a Car Accident?

If you suffer from post-accident vehophobia, after a car wreck, you may be entitled to compensation, depending on the circumstances of your case. Recovered compensation may be used to pay for a variety of expenses in the aftermath of a car accident including:

  • Mounting medical bills: From emergency room visits to ongoing treatment, accidents can be financially draining.
  • Lost wages: If you’re unable to work due to your injuries, you may face lost income and financial hardship.
  • Temporary or permanent disability: Accidents can cause lasting physical and psychological limitations.
  • End-of-life costs and funeral expenses: In the tragic case of wrongful death, the burden falls on surviving loved ones.

Contacting a personal injury attorney after an accident and seeking legal help can mean the difference between a low-ball offer, a denied claim, and the maximum possible settlement. Don’t hesitate to seek help–you deserve fair compensation for your suffering.

Contact Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, a personal injury settlement can help you get back on your feet and get the medical and psychological care for post-accident vehophobia you deserve. Understanding all of your options after an accident is crucial to making the right decision for you and your family. That’s why Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys offer free, no obligation consultations. We’ll carefully review the details of your case and walk you through every step of the personal injury claim process

To get in touch with our experienced legal team, call us 24/7 at 844-977-1900, connect with one of our LiveChat agents standing by, or fill out this form to request your free case review. We won’t charge you a penny unless we obtain a recovery on your behalf—that’s our no fee promise. With a proven history of winning billions of dollars for our clients, Lerner and Rowe is the way to go.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.