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Is anyone afraid of driving or hitting someone?

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Old 07-13-2006, 05:22 PM   #1
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Sillygrl HB UserSillygrl HB User
Is anyone afraid of driving or hitting someone?

Hi all, I have been here before, but I have a kinda new obsession/worry. I am deathly afraid of hitting pedestrians with my car while driving! If I can I will avoid driving at all costs. I work at a place that requires me to drive at times and it takes so much out of me. As an example today while I was driving I saw a lady riding a bike in the bike lane on my side of the road. While she, I suppose was either in front, beside me or behind me at that point I turned my head to the other side to look at something. This was rather brief. I was a little frightened that while doing that I may have hit her. When I looked in the rear view mirror, she was gone. I did my best to see if I had hit her, to see if she was on the side of the road, but as far as I could see there was nothing there. It was somewhat hard to do this as I was driving and there was a car behind me and possibly a few others behind that car. I thought to stop but I thought I was being stupid and I remember that I didnt feel like I hit someone on a bike. I was at that point obsessing so when I got home I went right back to that spot which took about ten minutes and there was nothing there. I am just so retarded! I was still obsessing so I called the non-emergency dispatch and asked if there had been any accidents involving pedestrians in that area and the lady told me that there had been nothing since midnight. But, guess what? I am still worried! I dont know what to do, I am so scared I hit her and I dont know what else I can do to find out. I looked at the vehicle and could not tell if the minor scratches were old or new. I figure that if I hit her, the car behind me would have done something and I would know by now, but what if they didnt notice. There was a street she could have turned down but I am not sure if she did. Argg! All of this because I turned my head away for a few seconds. Oh and did I mention when I was turning away I was looking to make sure I didnt hit anyone else while I made a turn? Ok you all probably think I am nuts! Most of the time I am pretty good about driving and realizing I would probably FEEL my car hitting a person if I did, but then again, what does that even feel like? Is there anyone out there that can relate to this? What else can I do to find out if I hit her? I have Prozac that for some reason I have stopped taking, seems I should probably start taking it again...

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Old 07-13-2006, 09:53 PM   #2
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Re: Is anyone afraid of driving or hitting someone?

Yup, but I'm one of the "special" OCD-ers with this fear: I don't know how to drive, and it's inhibiting me from learning. I don't really care because I don't need to drive, and it doesn't interest me in the least. I took driver's ed last summer... total disaster. I'll be 19 next month, so I'm practically the only one I know who can't drive, but whatever. The thing is that, most OCD doesn't full-on hit until the person is in their late teens, 17 or so. By that time, they already know how to drive. Others, who developed OCD in childhood, maybe from 8-11, are usually put into treatment, and thus, are much better by the time they're 16 and it's time to drive. I've had obsessive-compulsive symptoms since age three or so, contracted full-blown OCD at 11 1/2, but didn't get help for anxiety until 15, and didn't get an actual diagnosis of OCD until 17, so I was at a disadvantage. Plus, as an extra disadvantage, I was recently diagnosed with Asperger's, which is thought to play a big part in my inability to drive. My therapist has told me that it may take me years to drive, and I may spend months doing the simplest things in a parking lot... It's a horrible thing because driving is so unpredictable, and doubt and OCD do not mix well. The first day of driver's ed, I was told to always consider the "what ifs" of driving, which pretty much sums up why I don't want to in the first place: there's simply too many "what ifs." I never left the parking lot on the, oh, two times I actually got behind the wheel, and my mother wanted me to take my Klonopin, but this was a Catch-22- if I didn't take the benzo, I'd have a supreme panic attack; if I did, I might become drowsy and unalert, and maybe hurt someone... I certainly know what you're going through, so if you ever want to talk/vent, feel free! Good luck, and God bless!
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
-Hans Asperger

Old 07-13-2006, 10:00 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: US
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Sillygrl HB UserSillygrl HB User
Re: Is anyone afraid of driving or hitting someone?

I see we understand the feeling. I have always loved driving, it has been my escape, but now it is the opposite, my fear. I am so scared that I hit her or that I will hit someone at some point in time, not realize it and then be charged with a hit and run. I have prayed so hard and everyday I ask for His help that if I do hit someone that I will know and stop. Today I am sure that I felt nothing and didnt see anything. But what scared me was when I looked behind me I didnt see her! I am so scared and dont know what to do!

Old 07-29-2006, 06:28 PM   #4
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lifeisbeautiful HB User
Re: Is anyone afraid of driving or hitting someone?

oh man

I know this fear all too well.
Do not fear you did NOT hit a person.
And I know that you know inside you did not hit a person...but theres a tiny bit inside of you that keeps saying that there was that chance that mayb possibly you DID hit her.
ugh, how horrible is that?

I have many a time gotten home to have to re-drive my routes in order to relieve the anxiety...

you just have to break it down in your head.

if you hit someone, you would KNOW it. you would not just drive along wondering, becasue you would not mistake it. You would KNOW it. has anyone ever hit a deer in the road and not known it? NO, b/c its impossible. I'm sure sometime in your life you have hit a small animal such as a squirrel or a turtle or even a frog...and those are MUCH MUCH tinier than a person. there would be no mistaking it. even the smallest child you could hit that coudl run into the road (lets say a two year old) is bigger than a would most DEFINITELY know.

cars hit bumps in the road all the time. tell yourself- NO that tiny bump you just experienced could not have been a person. because taht is not practical. even a big bump....NOT a person. if you hit something, it would not go "bump". it would be a lot messier and lot louder and more substantial. so dont worry about not "knowing" if you hit someone...b/c you just would know.

i dont know if you were one of those people who inspected the front of your car after perhaps "hitting" a person...i know i was. but listen, hitting something wouldnt leave a little scratch or a dent. there would be a big mess. a big big mess. clothes and blood and the such. sorry to get all gross on you, but if you think you see a "sign" you might have hit way. hitting things dont cause scratches or small dents. tell yourself this. talk yourself down.

and finally, do NOT retrace your steps. this is one of the hardest thigns to follow and often brings lots of anxiety. but the only way to cure the obsession is to prove to urself that it isn't true. that you dont need to check. because its impracitcal and didnt happen.
if you did hit someone, espeically in a traffic situation like you describved, the person behind you would have done something....not just run the body over.

so, try to prevent yourself from checking to see if you hit people...b/c of course, that will distarct you from driving....b/c if you hit someone you would KNOW it. no questions. no exceptions. and you are a sane person, who has the capability to reason it out.

its hard to beat the anxiety of ocd, and i hope that you keep posting us on your progress! good luck
keep smiling
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Last edited by lifeisbeautiful; 07-29-2006 at 06:31 PM.

Old 07-30-2006, 04:15 AM   #5
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fallen_angel HB User
Re: Is anyone afraid of driving or hitting someone?

oh yes, i can relate to his one. im not so much afraid of hitting someone, just of driving in general. it took me nine attempts to pass my test because i was so nervous, i finally did it last autumn, and got my first car in march. im terrified of traffic and often replan my routes to avoid turnings i dont like etc. i hesitate before pulling out which annoys other drivers and i hate driving to new places where i dont know the routes. i was in a small smash a couple of months ago where i was panicking because someone behind me was hassling me and i pulled out without looking and someone hit me. luckily the damage wasnt too bad and no one was hurt but i felt like such an idiot and thats made me even worse!
i also have a fear of getting caught on speed cameras, because it took me so long to pass my test im scared im gonna lose my license. i will never break he speed limit even where i know theres no cameras, and i often trick myself into believing i was speeding past a camera when i wasnt or i saw it flash when i know it didnt! i often dread the post arriving incase theres a police letter saying ive been caught on a speed camera.
The stupid thing is, i know im a reasonable driver but its just all of this that gets in the way. im bipolar II and since going on lithium ive been a little calmer driving but its horrible. Everytime i have to drive im terrified i will smash my car up so i try to avoid going out atall.

Old 08-24-2006, 08:25 PM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2006
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lia6891 HB User
Re: Is anyone afraid of driving or hitting someone?

well actually my neighbor and his dog were by my house when i came home and i made a wide turn in the driveway and thought uhoh did i it the dog did i? eventho i knew i didnt.. then... i went out of my friends driveway and thought i went over the lawn and curb but knew i most likely didnt so i went back by her house to check lol

Old 09-05-2006, 03:21 AM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Misto411 HB User
Re: Is anyone afraid of driving or hitting someone?

Yes been there, Even bought a motercycle so I would know if I hit someone. Has anyone kept a pad and pen on the seat to write down license numbers for witnesses?

Old 09-06-2006, 10:55 AM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Iowa
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DevinM322 HB User
Re: Is anyone afraid of driving or hitting someone?

Yes, I have been dealing with this for the last year! I haven't called dispatch yet. But I'm always scared when I see people walking that I will hit one of them- nevermind they are on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street and I have never hit anyone before!

Or I will hit a pothole. The same pothole I've hit for the last 7 years but I've started worrying that I hit someone. I have to look and look again.

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