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Top 10 States With Anxious Drivers


Long commutes, traffic, and aggression make these state’s drivers seek help for anxiety on the roadway more than any others.

Rich Presta, the author of the leading self-help resource for driving anxiety, used to have a severe fear of driving himself before creating his popular program. He states, “People can’t imagine the impact having anxiety while driving can have on your life. You avoid driving, feel inadequate, and endure horrific stress on a near daily basis. In some cases, it can negatively effect the sufferer’s career, family life, and destroy relationships.”

It has been estimated that the fear of driving is one of the top five fears in the United States and the number of individuals effected may number in the millions. However, having driving anxiety can be even more destructive to an individual’s life due to the frequency that most of us are required to drive, as opposed to other forms of transportation that may induce anxiety, such as flying.

Significant Differences Between States

Based on a large sample of customer data from the Driving Fear Program at, the leading self-help resource for the fear of driving created by Rich Presta, it was observed that some states had a disproportionate number of people seeking help for this issue.

When asked to explain the differences, Presta said, “When you look at the states with a very high percentage of people seeking help for their driving anxiety, states with traditionally long commutes stick out like a sore thumb.”

In fact, the data shows that California had more than twice the number of people seeking treatment for a fear of driving than any other state in the country, with New York coming in second, and New Jersey third.

“Longer commutes mean you’re stuck in the car for a long period of time, which can make anxiety worse for many people, especially when their defenses may already be down from a hard day at work.” Presta says. He goes on to stay, “Of course a long commute generally means an increase in traffic which is virtually universally considered stress inducing, and when you combine all those forces together, it creates a ‘perfect storm’ for aggressive and inconsiderate driving.”

Fear of Driving Spans the Country from Coast to Coast

When looking at the top 10 states for driving anxiety, it becomes clear that no area of the country is spared completely. California and New York, the number one and number two states respectively, prove that the condition is certainly seen from coast to coast, but it is also seen in large numbers in southern states such as Florida and Texas, and in the Midwestern states such as Illinois and Ohio.

Presta adds, “Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a problem limited to the United States either, we have clients in all corners of the world, from the UK and Australia to South Africa and Singapore. Although this study looked only at the US, if we had considered other countries as well Ontario, Canada would have been in the top 8 and New South Wales, Australia not far behind.”

What does someone do to treat their anxiety about driving?

First, it should be reassuring that you are by no means alone. Although a fear of driving is often kept a secret, it is a very common fear, and one that help is readily available for.

Traditional therapy is always an option if a specialist can be found in your area, and in some instances, anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication may be prescribed by your physician. The Driving fear Program that Rich Presta created and whose customer data was used for this study, is considered the most widely used resource for driving anxiety available anywhere. The Driving Fear Program has been seen in Psychology Today and Natural Health magazines, as well as on Discovery Health channel, and MSNBC. It has been used successfully by thousands of individuals and mental health professionals worldwide, and is available either in print and CD format or as a download. For more information on the Program, or for further research into the condition, visit

The Full List of the Top 10 States for Driving Anxiety

Below is the complete list of states found to be in the top 10 for those seeking treatment for driving anxiety (in order):

1) California
2) New York
3) New Jersey
4) Florida
5) Texas
6) Ohio
7) Pennsylvania
8) Maryland
9) Massachusetts
10) Illinois


 Fear of Driving
 Driving Anxiety

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