Photo: Courtesy.

By Dra. Margarita Mendoza Burgos

It is probably not one of the most famous pathologies, but amaxophobia can complicate our lives, precipitate our anxieties and challenge our self-esteem until we become mentally locked.

Amaxophobia: From the Greek "amaxos" (car) y “phobos” (fear), it is the irrational fear that many suffer when driving a vehicle.

It is not by chance that this particular phobia is suffered more by women than men. The macho and third world culture of Latin America makes it impossible to end the paradigm of the slogan "woman at the wheel, constant danger ". Thus, this type of label only transmits fear and insecurity.

In Spain, The CEA Foundation found that amaxophobia is a problem that has to be faced by more than 28% of drivers. Within that universe, the 55% they are women in front of 45% of the men. further, the study affirms that it is a problem that tends to worsen with age.

Here it seems that getting into a car and driving is equivalent to getting into a boxing ring and fighting to survive in an aggressive world without rules., where anything goes.

 That is why fear could be a logical response to such a scenario and predisposes the person to the point of seeing danger where there is none..

 Someone who suffers from amaxophobia not only overestimates the danger that may be in front of them, but also underestimates their own abilities to drive. That cancels and limits him, causing panic, uncontrolled through sweats, dizziness, dizziness, tachycardias, depression and muscle stiffness.

According to global statistics, one of each 9 drivers have episodes of anxiety behind the wheel, and one of each 5 stop driving because of it.

In many cases, the origin of the phobia is related to negative past experiences, especially if they have been involved in traumatic road accidents. But nevertheless, there are also first-time people who do not want to take that responsibility with all the risks that it entails.

The way we learned to drive also influences. It is important that whoever teaches us instills in us not only knowledge but also security. curiously, those who learn to drive alone are the least fearful.

While driving a vehicle is simple, what sometimes causes fear is the dangerousness represented by the interaction with other drivers in a chaotic environment, the narrowness of the streets, bad signage, recklessness and / or excessive pedestrians. In that sense, the person in fear who is inevitably forced to drive has a much higher chance of being in an accident: their reactions will tend to be slower and more insecure.

Nonetheless, Many of these problems can be solved by practicing until you loosen up and gain confidence.. But if it is already part of a developed phobia, the picture is more complicated, in that case it will require more in-depth therapy with cognitive behavioral techniques and relaxation.