What causes driving anxiety?

What makes people scared of driving? I don’t find it particularly scary myself, but my daughter just started to learn how to drive and she’s always terrified when she’s behind the wheel. I want to understand why so I can help her.

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Answer provided by
Liz Jenson
Answered on Feb 07, 2022
It’s so awesome that you’re helping your daughter overcome her driving anxiety. There are a few different things that can cause driving anxiety, including:
  • Learning new things. When a new driver experiences driving anxiety, it’s often due to the pressure of learning a new, complicated skill. If this is the cause, your daughter will become less anxious over time.
  • A recent car accident. Even if she wasn’t driving or if the accident was something small, your daughter might be afraid of driving if she’s been involved in a car accident recently.
  • Eye problems. The effects of a visual impairment may be heightened when your daughter drives, making her feel dizzy or light-headed as well as anxious.
  • A history of anxiety. If your daughter or your family has a history of anxiety disorders, driving anxiety could be a manifestation of a larger issue that should be addressed in therapy.
  • Specific phobias or triggers. If your daughter experiences symptoms of certain phobias, including agoraphobia, she’s more likely to develop driving anxiety. Some people are also triggered by bridges or tunnels, which can increase driving anxiety.
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