The fear of driving on highways and bridges is a common phenomenon. It’s common not only to new drivers, but seasoned ones as well. You’re not alone if you’re terrified when you have to drive on a highway or over a bridge.
In this article, we’ll tackle what causes fear of driving on highways and bridges. We’ll also give you additional tips on how you can overcome these fears.
Definitions: Fear of Driving on Highways and Bridges
The fear of driving on highways is closely associated with agoraphobia.
Agoraphobia is the fear of being trapped in a situation where escape is impossible or embarrassing, or help is unavailable in case of a panic attack.
Agoraphobia is also intimately involved with the development of crippling panic attacks.
This fear of being trapped without any help is actually the main painful emotion that gives people driving anxiety and may cause them to stop driving altogether.
The fear of driving on bridges is called gephyrophobia. This is usually some combination of agoraphobia, claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces), and acrophobia (fear of heights).
People may fear driving off the bridge, being trapped, or falling from a great height.
Why Are Some People Afraid to Drive on Highways and Bridges?
To answer this age-old question, it’s not the fear of the highway or the bridge per se, it’s that of coping with unforeseeable circumstances. A fear of losing control is really the common factor between fear of highways and bridges.
Knowing you cannot stop your car on the highway may trigger these fears, unlike when driving on local roads where you can pull over into any parking space. Knowing you may get stuck on a bridge in traffic can bring up these feelings too.
Those who suffer from fears of being trapped and/or being humiliated can be susceptible to any circumstance where they might lose control and need help.
Other common anxiety triggers may include:
- Fear of causing an accident
- Fear of getting lost
- Driving anxiety as a passenger
- Anxiety after a car accident
What’s the Cure for Fear of Driving on Highways and Bridges?
You really don’t have to live on the sidelines feeling embarrassed about your problem. As a matter of fact, there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re just more cautious and self-aware than most.
Nevertheless, if your fear of driving on the highway or on bridges is causing you distress, you may need some help. It all starts with you. Just rest assured that the problem is solvable.
- Enroll in a program – The Driving Peace program is a collection of simple techniques to overcome driving anxiety. This includes fear of driving on highways and bridges. The Panic Away program is also full of helpful tips on overcoming panic disorder and agoraphobia.
- Find an anxiety therapist – Talking helps. A bit of motivation and help from a good anxiety therapist can go a long way. This may actually be the thing that has been holding you back.
- Try self-hypnosis – There are lots of online resources now that help people treat their own mental health issues via hypnosis. Check out this useful list of hypnosis downloads for anxiety and phobia.
Your fear of driving on highways and bridges doesn’t need to be a long-term thing. There’s plenty of effective treatment options these days for almost any anxiety or phobia. You just have to grab it.