Protecting Your Rights And Your Future

Why do some people develop amaxophobia after a crash?

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2023 | Auto Accidents

A car crash can be a traumatic event – physically and emotionally. The effects of a crash on a person’s mind aren’t as predictable as on their body. It depends on multiple factors – from how much someone feared they might die to what they witnessed in the aftermath. It can also depend on how an individual’s brain is wired and whether they already have an anxiety disorder or phobia.

No one can or should compare how a crash has affected their mental health to anyone else’s experience. Some people can be involved in a serious crash and get behind the wheel again as soon as they’re sufficiently healed. Others may be in a less serious crash but suffer anxiety at the thought of driving again.

Some may even suffer from something called amaxophobia. That’s a recognized phobic condition that involves fear of being in a vehicle as a driver and/or passenger.

What does amaxophobia look like?

It’s not just anxiety. A person suffering from amaxophobia can start shaking, feel unable to breathe and suffer heart palpitations at even the thought of getting in a car.

Amaxophobia is different for each person who suffers from it. Some can be a passenger but not a driver. Some can only ride in a car driven by a trusted friend or relative. Some people with amaxophobia can’t ride in a car or even use public transportation. A person with a true phobic condition doesn’t benefit from being told to just “power through the fear.” That’s only going to make things worse. 

As we noted, people’s emotional reaction to a crash is partly dependent on their mental health prior to it. Those who already have an anxiety disorder or phobias are more likely to suffer amaxophobia than those who don’t.

Anyone with mental health issues after a crash can benefit from treatment

While you won’t know if you’re suffering from amaxophobia unless you’re diagnosed by a mental health professional, you know if your crash has left you with a fear of driving or even riding in cars that is interfering with your life and not getting better. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can get better.

If another driver was at fault for your crash, you have the right to seek compensation for mental health treatment as well as other economic and non-economic damages. That’s one reason you shouldn’t agree to a settlement until you know the full extent of your damages. Having experienced legal guidance helps.


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