Can you Drive with Anxiety

woman anxious behind the wheel of car

Can you Drive with Anxiety?

Though it is not illegal to drive with anxiety, drivers should do so with caution. Those dealing with it may have severe physical responses like panic attacks, shaking, or even fainting, which can severely inhibit your driving ability and create a dangerous roadway.

The Importance of Keeping Calm Behind the Wheel

Whether you've had a negative experience on the road or are new to being behind the wheel, driving anxiety can affect people of all ages. This anxiety may manifest itself in different ways, including:

  • Feeling like you're trapped.
  • Feeling like you're going to lose control of the vehicle.
  • Unwanted mental images of car accidents.
  • Physical responses, like car sickness.

While having a fear of driving or feeling nervous when being behind the wheel is relatively common, it's important to remember that severe cases may impact a person’s ability to drive at all.

Why Driving Anxiety Can Be Dangerous

Experts warn against driving while feeling extreme emotions because of their ability to increase the likelihood of a collision, and anxiety is no different. It’s always best to know that you are in the right space mentally before ever getting behind the wheel, and avoid doing so if you’re feeling particularly anxious.

Overcoming Driving Anxiety

Overcoming your fear of driving may seem like an impossible task, but there are many things that you can do to make yourself more comfortable behind the wheel. Here are our top three:

  1. Ease into it—try making shorter trips first and get used to the sights, sounds, and feeling of driving before going on long drives.
  2. Always have at least one licensed passenger in the car who can take over if you begin feeling anxious.
  3. Make a routine to feel more in control—this can include putting on a specific playlist or having the temperature already adjusted.

These are three small changes that you can make to your driving environment that may make it more comfortable for you. However, if your driving anxiety is severe, it may be best to speak with a mental health professional before getting behind the wheel.

Manning Law, APC is Dedicated to Your Safety

The team at Manning Law, APC understands that everyone manages the stresses of driving in different ways. However, that stress should not be the reason you create an unsafe roadway for other drivers.

Car accidents can have devastating consequences for everyone involved, and our team is committed to helping hold the at-fault parties accountable for injuries caused to others on the road. If you or a loved one were involved in a car crash and sustained an injury, we can help.

Call (800) 783-5006 or fill out this short form to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.

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