Panic Attack While Driving

If you have a driving phobia or you suffer from a panic attack while driving, knowing how to react can save lives.

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Panic Attack While Driving

You feel your heart racing, your stomach hurts, and your head starts to get a bit dizzy – you know you are about to have a panic attack while driving. When you feel this incredibly terrifying experience occurring to you, realize you aren’t alone, and you can take steps to improve your situation in that moment and over time. Having anxiety about driving or suffering from a panic attack for other reasons while behind the wheel requires you to carefully consider ways to reduce your anxiety. Here’s what you need to know.

What Does Anxiety While Driving Do – Risks of Panic

Having anxiety while driving isn’t uncommon. If you are a driver without a lot of experience or you’ve been in an accident previously, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the process. Many who have anxiety worry because they cannot control what other drivers do and that makes them afraid. For others, the thought of merging onto a highway or changing lanes on a busy freeway can be frustrating and scary. Having anxiety while driving isn’t uncommon, but you have to learn to control it.


The consequences of not controlling anxiety like this are worrisome. Having a panic attack can create a car accident, especially if it is a fully blown event where you cannot focus. In other words, your fear of driving may make it even more dangerous for you. This can cause an accident which drives up your auto insurance costs.


To be realistic, you shouldn’t get behind the wheel until you are ready to manage the situation with confidence. You don’t want to be labeled as a high-risk driver by auto insurance companies. To avoid this, work with your doctor to control your anxiety.

Do You Have a Driving Phobia?

If you have a driving phobia, it’s important to work with a therapist who can help you uncover why it is present. Sometimes it is due to a past bad experience. For others, a lack of confidence behind the wheel can make you a poor driver. For some people, the best way to deal with a driving phobia is to get more practice, such as spending time on open roads and in parking lots learning how to better control the car.


For others, a driving phobia may need additional care and treatment. However, your first step is to recognize that you have one. Those who have a phobia do everything they can to avoid having to get behind the wheel. They also feel nervous and anxious even just sitting behind the wheel. If this is the way you feel, it may be time to get some help so you can gain the confidence you need.

How to Overcome a Fear of Driving

To overcome a fear of driving, there are two main options. For those with emotional control, practice helps. Just being able to improve driving skill can give you the confidence you need behind the wheel. You can take an advanced driving course to help you to gain key skills, too.


For others, it’s more important to deal with the panic attacks and anxiety from the ground up. Meeting with a counselor, talking about why it happens, and discussing what you can do about it is very important.

Natural Cures for Anxiety and Panic Behind the Wheel

Are there natural cures for anxiety that can help you in the moment behind the wheel? There may be. For example, when you find yourself getting anxious, breath in deeply. Force yourself to slow down your breathing. This helps to reduce your heart rate and can supply better oxygen to the brain.


You can also take steps to reduce your anxiety by thinking about other things. For example, try to focus on the weather for the day. Don’t drive alone. Instead, have someone in the car with you that understands how you feel. They can help distract you by holding a lighthearted conversation with you. The more you do this, the less your driving anxiety and panic will occur.

Is It Safe to Use Natural Supplements for Anxiety?

There are many ways to treat anxiety. Some people use natural supplements for anxiety with great success. If you have anxiety as a result of a nutrition deficiency or because of a hormone imbalance, fixing these concerns can help you to control your anxiety. The short answer here is that if panic attacks and anxiety are due to a medical condition, it’s best to reach out to a doctor for help. Don’t try to treat it on your own.


Making wise decisions behind the wheel is always important. A panic attack while driving is very scary, but realizing what is happening, slowing down the car, and pulling off to the side of the road may be the best steps to take. Then, find ways to overcome your driving phobia and your anxiety.