Anxiety is defined as an emotion characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often
accompanied by nervous behavior. Diving Anxiety is one of the most common forms of anxiety and can
be associated with sweating, nervous feeling, nausea, palpitations, numbness, tingling or a number of
other characteristics specific to an individual. Whether the symptoms are physical or emotional, the
common factor is that these occur while the person is driving or sometimes just as a passenger in a
motor vehicle. Whatever the symptoms, the anxiety is usually because the individual feels a sense or
fear of losing control.
The difference between anxiety and phobia is in the severity of the symptoms and how the anxiety
interferes with the individual’s lifestyle. Phobia results from the anxious symptoms progressing to the
point of severe physical and emotional reactions . A person with a phobia may develop panic attacks and
actually fear they are dying. Typically, this person will avoid the cause of their phobia entirely.
There may a specific incident that has caused the driving anxiety such as a previous accident or near
accident. It may be that the individual has other fears or phobias or stress. It could even be a physical
cause such as low blood sugar. Frequently there is no identified cause at all.
Certainly if the cause is physical this can be treated. If not, then the individual needs to find other
solutions. Just some behavior changes like taking a sip of water or chewing gum can help or,
distractions such as listening to the radio.