Why I never sit in the front seat of a car: Amaxophobia?

Luckily for me, if I sit at the rear, I don’t have any anxiety or fear.

BHPian jonesanto recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I love to drive, 99% of the time I will be in the driver’s seat. There’s one more reason behind it, I have front-seat passenger-side anxiety. Solution? Luckily for me, if I sit at the rear, I don’t have any anxiety or fear. I just returned from Kerala to Bangalore and my friend was with me, while we were at a good stretch, gave the car to him and I took a nap, and woke up, we were passing through a small town and passenger anxiety kicked in, had to tell him to stop the car and I took over the driver position. I always had this issue and I think it is a mild level of Amaxophobia.

I am pretty sure there are others experiencing the same and wondering if there are any tips to make this condition better.

Here’s what BHPian DicKy had to say on the matter:

There was a word for it? I thought it was a case of not trusting any other driver unless one is driving it. Weirdly all is well when sitting in the rear seats.

People with mild amaxophobia are the ones who constantly keep their hands on the dashboard, press the imaginary brake on the floor and keep the driver on alert shaming ADAS. Making the driver stop and get in the driving seat? That is serious stuff. I have a buddy who gets anxious when he is in the front passenger seat. But slowly he has become comfortable with people he trusts. Still, when driven fast or when a biker comes close his hands go to the dashboard automatically.

Guess, maybe start to ride with drivers who you trust or feel safe with.

Here’s what BHPian SmartCat had to say on the matter:

Not sure if it is the same, but I have fear/anxiety on amusement park rides. The solution is to just shut your eyes. If you end up in the front passenger seat, you can tell the driver that you are meditating or napping.

That’s why I reckon ‘shutting eyes’ will work. In the backseat, your brain is not sensing any danger because your eyes are not giving it any input. At the rear, your view of the road (danger) is mostly blocked by the front passenger seat/headrest.

Here’s what BHPian The Rationalist had to say on the matter:

Well, you learn something new every day! Coming to Amaxophobia, I do have it. I’m very scared to sit with most of the people. I have been comfortable with only 4-5 people till now, all were cab drivers, and the latest was a 24-year-old Uber guy who picked me up yesterday. One of the cabbies became a family friend, still continuing the friendship for the last 8 years.

The reason for being uncomfortable with others is that all the others didn’t know how to drive a car. So it’s not a rare phenomenon I guess, as the vast majority on our roads aren’t fit to be driving. So if you have basic road sense, you will feel threatened by that kind of driver.

Here’s what BHPian Hayek had to say on the matter:

Have the same problem. It is acute in my own car but am always pressing an “air brake” even when in the front seat of a taxi. I think the reason is mainly because people tend to tailgate in India. I don’t know if I do the same – but most cab drivers, my office car driver and even my own family driver tend to follow cars that with too small a gap – which makes me very nervous indeed.

This is probably the main reason why I don’t use a driver for my car except in emergencies.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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