Driving-related fear: a review

Clin Psychol Rev. 2002 Jun;22(5):631-45. doi: 10.1016/s0272-7358(01)00114-3.


This article reviews the research on driving-related fear (DRF). Until recently, research has concentrated almost exclusively on the effect of motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) on subsequent levels of DRF. However, recent findings have suggested that MVAs are not solely responsible for this fear reaction, and that non-MVA driving fear can be just as strong. Studies of the broader driving-fearful population have encountered difficulty with diagnostic conceptualisation of DRF, although some have investigated a possible typology of DRF. Driving skill has been a neglected issue in the DRF research, and may prove to be a useful part of assessment and remediation of this potentially debilitating problem. Issues of definitional inconsistency are highlighted, and suggestions are made for several directions that future research might profitably take.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / psychology*
  • Automobile Driving / psychology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fear*
  • Humans
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology*
  • Phobic Disorders / therapy
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy
  • Survivors / psychology