Driving anxiety can impact everyday functioning and is common following motor vehicle crashes. However, no research has investigated its general community prevalence, despite the consistent finding that driving anxiety is not always a function of a vehicle crash. The present study explored the frequency and characteristics of driving anxiety and fear in a general community convenience sample of 100 participants who completed a questionnaire about driving anxiety, avoidance behaviour, and types of driving-related cognitions. Most of the sample described no anxiety, fear, or avoidance in relation to driving. However, 8% reported moderate to extreme anxiety about driving, and 7% described moderate to extreme driving fear. Women reported more driving anxiety, fear, and avoidance than men. These results indicate the need for more formal methods of establishing prevalence to clearly ascertain the extent of population-based driving anxiety and fear and its effects, so that research can begin to focus on developing effective treatment approaches for those whose anxiety has a psychological and functional impact.
New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 2008, 37 (2), pp. 31 - 37