Diagnostic Features, Symptom Severity, and Help-Seeking in a Media-Recruited Sample of Women with Driving Fear

  • Joanne E. TaylorEmail author
  • Frank P. Deane
  • John Podd
Original Paper


This paper examines the clinical features, symptom severity, diagnostic profile, and help-seeking behaviour of a media-recruited sample of driving-fearful women. Results support previous findings of the primary foci of fear as motor vehicle accidents as well as specific driving situations and conditions. Consistent with prior research, there was difficulty relating the foci of fear to current diagnostic concepts. Social concerns were identified as having a role in driving fear for some individuals. Fearful participants exhibited high levels of fear and symptom severity according to various diagnostic and self-report measures, although most reported that they would be unlikely to seek professional psychological help or driving instruction. Assessment of cognitions indicated a range of errors likely to maintain anxiety and fear reactions that would be a target of treatment. There were no group differences in number of major recent accidents, although fearful drivers learnt to drive later than controls, suggesting early fearfulness.


Driving fear Diagnosis Assessment Help-seeking 



We acknowledge the financial support of the Land Transport Safety Authority, Transport Research and Educational Trust Board (of the Chartered Institute of Transport), Massey University Research Equipment Fund, and Psychology Graduate Research Fund. Special thanks to those who participated in this study.

This paper is based on results from part of a doctoral dissertation (Taylor, 2002).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyIllawarra Institute for Mental Health, University of WollongongWollongongAustralia

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