The impacts of anxiety over driving on self-reported driving avoidance, work performance and quality of life

A. N. Stephens, B. Collette, A. Hidalgo-Munoz, A. Fort, M. Evennou, C. Jallais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Aims and background: Anxiety over driving is under-researched in Australia. Studies conducted in New Zealand and France have shown this type of anxiety has negative impacts on mobility, work performance and perceived quality of work as well as perceived quality of life. The aim of this study was to examine these relationships using a sample of drivers in Australia. Methods: A total of 535 people (average age 25 ± 10 years) completed an online questionnaire assessing level of anxiety over driving, worrisome thoughts about driving and avoidance behaviours. Questions regarding quality of life and work were also included. Respondents were classified into three anxiety groups: extremely (13.5%), moderately (55%) or mildly (31.5%) anxious over driving. Results: The three groups significantly differed across all measures. For example, driver anxiety negatively impacted work performance and perceived quality of work life. These negative impacts were significantly higher for the extremely anxious group compared to the moderately or mildly anxious group. The largest reported impact of anxiety over driving was on perceived quality of life, with all groups reporting the most impact in this area; and with extremely anxious again having the highest scores. Extremely anxious drivers also reported more frequent negative thoughts about driving and avoidance of driving when possible, when compared to those with mild and moderate anxiety. Conclusions: These findings highlight the broader detrimental effects of anxiety over driving that may often be overlooked in driving research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100929
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Transport & Health
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Anxiety
  • Driving phobia
  • Quality of life
  • Quality of work

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