Does avoidance behavior affect driving skills?


The reason behind avoidance behavior is that an individual experiences an initial trigger that causes them to become fearful, and they then avoid that trigger completely. 

Past studies have shown that avoidance behavior is linked to variables that are related to impaired driving abilities, such as a lack of confidence and driving experience. The study's participants demonstrated that increased avoidance behavior was moderately associated with more severe on-road driving skills and that the female sex was also moderately associated with greater avoidance behavior (rpb = −.27, p = 0.2). Exposure therapy could possibly improve poor driving skills among the female sex participants. 

Philipp Schulz, Thomas Beblo, Stefan Spannhorst, Kirsten Labudda, Thomas Wagner, Volkmar Bertke, Sebastian Boedeker, Martin Driessen, Stefan H Kreisel, Max Toepper, Avoidance Behavior Is an Independent Indicator of Poorer On-road Driving Skills in Older Adults, The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Volume 75, Issue 10, December 2020, Pages 2152–2161,


  1. A very interesting take on avoidance behaviors. My fathers now second wife, completely avoid driving after being involved in a traumatic car accident. Though no serious injury came to her, this experience now paralyzes her ability and desire to drive at all. Triggers come in many different shapes and sizes, as some both working in and in recovery myself, helping people deal and work through their triggers is an important tool needed to overcome their desires of using. Avoidance is a coping mechanism people use who have no other tools at their disposal, teaching different approaches to coping with such triggers is an important skill many therapists and counselors use.


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