Comparison and characteristics of motor vehicle accident (MVA) and non-MVA driving fears
Prior research has revealed the diagnostic complexity among people who report driving fears. However, the focus on survivors of motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) and diagnostic samples may have inadvertently led to a relative neglect of the broader driving-fearful population. No studies could be located that compared MVA survivors with those who had not experienced an MVA. The aim of the present study was to address these deficits by comparing the characteristics of MVA and non-MVA driving-fearfuls and also exploring a range of characteristics associated with driving fears. One hundred and ninety media-recruited driving-fearfuls completed a questionnaire that assessed severity of anxiety and avoidance associated with a variety of driving situations. It was found that fear levels were similar to samples of driving phobics and MVA victims. There were no significant differences between MVA and non-MVA respondents on various measures of fear severity. In addition, the sample rated a high level of anxiety when driving with someone who criticizes their driving. Implications of the findings are discussed, along with suggestions for assessment and treatment of those with driving-related fears.