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What Is Vehophobia?

A Jacksonville car accident can cause multiple injuries. While we tend to focus on physical injuries, a car crash can cause emotional and psychological injuries as well. Vehophobia is one of those injuries.

What Is Vehophobia and How Does It Relate to a Car Accident?

A phobia is an intense fear of something. Vehophobia is the fear of driving a motor vehicle. It is often associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after an automobile accident. 

Vehophobia is different for everyone. Some individuals might not be able to drive under any conditions. Other people might avoid specific aspects of driving that remind them of the accident, such as driving on the interstate or at night.

Unfortunately, vehophobia can interfere with a person’s life. They might not be able to drive to work or take their children to school. The consequences of vehophobia can include emotional distress and financial losses.

What Are the Signs of Vehophobia After a Jacksonville Car Accident? 

The signs and symptoms can vary because vehophobia is based on the person and specific circumstances of their accident. However, common signs that a person might have vehophobia include:

  • Panic or anxiety attacks at the thought of driving a car
  • Inability to get into the driver’s seat
  • Freezing up while trying to drive a vehicle
  • Excessive fear of losing control of the car
  • Nausea or vomiting when confronted with driving
  • Hyperventilation and shaking when thinking about driving
  • Experiencing phantom brake syndrome (trying to stop a vehicle by using an imaginary brake on the passenger side)
  • Avoiding driving under certain conditions
  • Fear of harming someone while driving or being involved in another car accident
  • Chest pain and increased heart rate

It is not just a driver who can experience vehophobia. Bystanders, pedestrians, bicyclists, and passengers can develop vehophobia after being involved in or witnessing a traumatic car crash. 

What Causes Vehophobia?

Vehophobia is often associated with a traumatic car accident. However, a person could develop a fear of driving because of other events. Common causes of vehophobia include:

  • Being in a car accident that resulted in catastrophic injuries or a fatality 
  • Witnessing a loved one or friend being injured or dying because of a car crash
  • Having a strict driving instructor that yelled or overreacted every time the driver made an error
  • Driving in intense conditions, such as ice, snow, fog, or hail
  • Being the victim of road rage
  • Witness a catastrophic traffic accident, including multi-vehicle crashes, commercial truck accidents, and accidents involving explosions or fires

Many different events and circumstances can trigger vehophobia. It is crucial that a person seek professional help if they develop a fear of driving after a Jacksonville car accident.

What Are the Treatments for Vehophobia?

Doctors have several options for treating a phobia of driving. Examples of treatment options for vehophobia include, but are not limited to:

  • Medication that treats the symptoms of vehophobia, including anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants. 
  • Exposure therapy is used to gradually expose someone to the source of their fear. This treatment could also involve using virtual reality to allow the person to experience driving a vehicle.
  • Cognitive behavior therapy helps people change their thinking patterns and reframe their thoughts. The therapy also involves recognizing triggers for the phobia and learning coping mechanisms. 
  • Taking defensive driving courses to instill a sense of control over driving situations. 
  • Counseling and therapy, including working individually with a therapist and participating in group sessions.
  • Joining a support group to talk with other people who share the fear of driving a car.

Vehophobia is a serious psychological condition that requires treatment. Treatment can be successful in helping someone overcome their fear of driving. However, the treatment for vehophobia can be expensive.

If another person was responsible for causing your car accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages, including emotional distress and vehophobia. An experienced Jacksonville car accident lawyer can help you file a claim seeking compensation for damages.

What Is the Deadline for Filing a Claim for Vehophobia After a Car Accident?

If you have vehophobia after a car crash, you can include the damages associated with the phobia in a car accident claim. Most car accident lawsuits must be filed within two years of the accident date if the crash occurred on March 24, 2023, or later due to a recent change in state law.

However, the new Florida statute of limitations for personal injury cases is not retroactive. Therefore, if your accident occurred before March 24, 2023, you should have four years to file a lawsuit.

Exceptions to the statutes of limitations could alter the filing deadline. Therefore, it is best to seek legal advice from a Jacksonville personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a crash.

Contact the Jacksonville Car Accident Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help

For more information, please contact the Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra car accident law firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve Duval County, St. Johns County, and its surrounding areas:

Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256
(904) 396-1100

Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Jacksonville
121 W. Forsyth St. #170,
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 822-4225

Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Ponte Vedra
480 Town Plaza Ave #130,
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32081
(904) 675-1167

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