Driving Phobia in the City of Houston: A Pilot Study

Am J Psychiatry. 1982 Aug;139(8):1049-51. doi: 10.1176/ajp.139.8.1049.


To study the fear of driving phenomenon the authors contacted 48 subjects who, in response to a newspaper article, had expressed an intense fear of driving in the city of Houston and compared them with an age- and sex-matched control group. The information elicited from the subjects suggested the existence of a driving phobia. No significant differences emerged between the phobic subjects and the controls on relevant driving history and background. Although the phobic subjects reported significantly higher levels of anxiety while driving in normal and difficult situations, most of them reported anxiety of phobic intensity only about difficult driving situations, such as driving on freeways and in congested traffic.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Texas
  • Urban Population