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Is there such a phobia as Fear of Relative Velocity?

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posted on Jun, 15 2013 @ 10:54 AM
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My wife and daughter are both scared to death of driving on the highway for any distance whatsoever. Even if the roadway is clear of traffic, the stress is obvious if they have to cruise at speed. Of course, it gets much worse if there's traffic or if it's dark, but just the simple fact of being the driver as the car is moving at 65 mph (or so) is enough to bring on a negative emotional/psychological response - sometimes a full-blown panic attack.

My wife's mother has never driven her car on a highway in her entire life (she's 76 yrs old).

Me, I feel absolutely safe on a highway - even more than on city street, where all kinds of collision threats are plausible from all available angles all the time - so I have no idea what causes this terror.

There are known phobias listed for fear of relative heights, fear of relative proximity, fear of relative congestion, fear of relative confinement; all kinds of established phobias concerning relative perspective, but I haven't ever heard of one for fear of relative velocity. Is there one, and I'm just using the wrong search criteria?
edit on 6/15/2013 by NorEaster because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 15 2013 @ 11:02 AM
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I think it's called Tachophobia, according to this website here... The Phobia List

I've never heard of it and had to Google search a bit. I'm not sure about a cure or anything though. Maybe just taking it slow, going on the highway during off-peak hours and having nice, slow drives on the highways could help over time.

Like you said, I think highways are much safer than back roads or city roads. In this article, The Irony of Road Fear, says:


Ironically, the part of driving that people fear the most turns out to be the safest part. Federal transportation data have consistently shown that highways are considerably safer than other roads.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics



posted on Jun, 15 2013 @ 11:07 AM
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It is the fear of responsibility in a situation where you do not have total control.



posted on Jun, 15 2013 @ 11:16 AM
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reply to post by Dominar
 


Thanks. I need to look into this to see if aversion therapy or some other non-medication treatment can blunt it a bit.



posted on Jun, 15 2013 @ 11:23 AM
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reply to post by NorEaster
 


Identifying the problem is an ace start. Isolate what it is that scares them. Ask one to be your test buddy. Take her through the city at night, then dark, then out in the country on a two lane. Observe. If she freaks out because of speed, that'll be noticeable on the country road. If it's the traffic, you'll see it in the city. There are probably compounding issues. Traffic and visibility. Noise. See if earplugs assist. It helps to concentrate elsewhere.

A family member had the same problem, so I tried a little immersion therapy. Went out to the local raceway on an off day and made arrangements with the manager to come in before one of the Street Rallys (When they bring in street cars and you can pay to race in your everyday driver)... put her behind the wheel and let her push the car to it's limits. After a few visits, she actually got in to a race. There were love rubs and fender taps, bumper butts and brake pulls. She wasn't scared on the first race and eventually ended up trying her hand at drifting. Racing at 90-120 mph in a controlled environment made her a master of the road and she considers 70mph on the freeway a slow relaxing ride now.

Before anyone naysays this, there are safety issues at a local track, but controllable variables are reduced. Everyone's going the same direction (most of the time), there are emergency responders on site, and there are sportsmanship rules that will have an overly aggressive or dangerous driver tossed off the track. Talk to the manager or owner and let them know what's going on. A racer loves the feel and other racers want more people involved, not just to experience that same thrill, but because it's another person to challenge them. First place out of 10 drivers is not as good as first place out of 11.



posted on Jun, 15 2013 @ 05:17 PM
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It's not a fear of the freeway. It sounds like the fear of crashing or fear of loss of control. It's a fear of bad consequence.

I had a family member that got stuck in a hail storm, flipped his truck on the off-ramp and broke some body parts, totaled the car. He couldn't go back on the freeway for twenty years. It was an ego-war between his loss and the road; he had a grudge against the freeway for hurting him. When he forgave himself for being weak during bad weather, he could go on the highway again.

So there is a perfectionism at work. To have perfect driving with no human nature at work.

All it means is that one's brain is working hard to analyze all the failure zones and it hasn't pre-thought a strategy in case of the failure, which means it's undereducated about the vehicle, and general human nature, and the road.

How do you fix it, because maybe you have a brain cell in your hippocampus that isn't long enough to out-think the environment? Maybe you get easily bewildered when thinking about a thousand cars on the highway. Maybe you lose your sense of direction at night or fear losing the perfect route, fear that someone won't let you get into lanes when you need to. Well you can plan your trip with a map, check the weather, make the trip in time, think with the nerves of a race car driver or a pilot that has to deal with much bigger machines in a much more pressured environment. Then you can think advanced driving tactics and actually get a driving role model. All that, to compensate into being normal.

And whatever you do, don't consider a pill for driving a vehicle. Practice is better.



posted on Jun, 15 2013 @ 05:35 PM
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Originally posted by NorEaster
My wife and daughter are both scared to death of driving on the highway for any distance whatsoever. Even if the roadway is clear of traffic, the stress is obvious if they have to cruise at speed. Of course, it gets much worse if there's traffic or if it's dark, but just the simple fact of being the driver as the car is moving at 65 mph (or so) is enough to bring on a negative emotional/psychological response - sometimes a full-blown panic attack.


I personally think you make a mistake mixing phobias, which are usually non-rational fears with fears which could have a legit base. A phobia is being afraid of, say, open spaces, closed spaces, spiders etc..etc... while at the same time knowing that the fear doesn't make sense - it's not rational (Open space won't kill you, you won't choke in an elevator etc..) but still influencing people's lives negatively, it's basically a medical/mention condition which needs treatment or therapy.

Rather than a phobia I think your wife/daughter might have a LEGIT reason being afraid to drive on the highway, and of course if there's traffic or at dark. I heard this from MANY, often seasoned drivers already who drive for many decades and who are very reluctant to go on highways. It's not really something perplexing, IMO.



posted on Jun, 16 2013 @ 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by flexy123

Originally posted by NorEaster
My wife and daughter are both scared to death of driving on the highway for any distance whatsoever. Even if the roadway is clear of traffic, the stress is obvious if they have to cruise at speed. Of course, it gets much worse if there's traffic or if it's dark, but just the simple fact of being the driver as the car is moving at 65 mph (or so) is enough to bring on a negative emotional/psychological response - sometimes a full-blown panic attack.


I personally think you make a mistake mixing phobias, which are usually non-rational fears with fears which could have a legit base. A phobia is being afraid of, say, open spaces, closed spaces, spiders etc..etc... while at the same time knowing that the fear doesn't make sense - it's not rational (Open space won't kill you, you won't choke in an elevator etc..) but still influencing people's lives negatively, it's basically a medical/mention condition which needs treatment or therapy.

Rather than a phobia I think your wife/daughter might have a LEGIT reason being afraid to drive on the highway, and of course if there's traffic or at dark. I heard this from MANY, often seasoned drivers already who drive for many decades and who are very reluctant to go on highways. It's not really something perplexing, IMO.


On Friday evening, my daughter drove from Dayton OH to Indianapolis IN on an empty Rt 70 at 40 mph the whole way because she simply lost her capacity to handle the velocity of 60 mph. No traffic at all, and it's a familiar road for her, since she makes the trip (a friend of hers generally drives, though) twice a week. Nothing in her way or along her way for the entire trip, but she had to keep stopping at cross road exits to gather her courage, and she couldn't go any faster than about 40 mph.

To me, and to what's generally considered safe driving on a limited access 4-6 lane interstate highway, that's not a normal or even a reasonably prudent response to being in that situation.

I think I have reason to be concerned.
edit on 6/16/2013 by NorEaster because: (no reason given)



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