What Causes Panic Attacks While Driving

Panic attacks are very subjective in nature and what causes panic attacks while driving differs from person to person. Though common in occurrence their triggers can vary. Most arise from the very fear of driving or memories of a scary accident experienced, seen or heard about.

Scientists are unable to chalk out a particular cause of panic attack though they have proven that heredity plays an important role in triggering panic attacks. Other researchers have shown that some panic attacks may have a biological cause whereas some may be due to certain life-changes like marriage, loss of spouse, a new job, loss of an existing job or becoming a parent.

What causes panic attacks while driving rests in genetics. It is seen in people without a family history too. The result of a panic attack is a flight-or-fight reaction caused due to the release of adrenalin, which causes the person to either face or avoid the danger. Inheritance is one of the main causes.

Certain deficiencies like those of magnesium and zinc also make one prone to panic attacks while driving.

Persistent stress in ones life is the most accurate answer to what causes panic attacks while driving. When there is constant stress the body pumps hormones like cortisol and adrenalin. This makes the person see ordinary events also as threatening and dangerous. He may feel that the situation is so grave that there is no solution to it thereby adding more to the panic and stress.

MIMIC SUBSTANCES Having that cup of coffee or that glass of alcohol or even certain medicines can also trigger symptoms, which are exactly similar to panic attack symptoms. Therefore it is necessary not to get fooled when it comes to concluding as to what causes panic attacks while driving. A doctor can help one distinguish between symptoms caused by certain substances temporarily and the real panic attack symptoms.

The degree of what causes panic attacks while driving vary from one individual to another and so does their degree. Every person’s reactions under such situations also differ. However the most commonly occurring reasons can be:

Chronic stress

Acute stress

Trauma caused due to a certain event

Previous illness


High levels of caffeine consumption

Physical activities

Sudden changes in the immediate environment

Identifying as to what causes panic attacks while driving in the initial stages can prevent the problem from aggravating. Panic attacks are unpredictable and can go off without any stressful situation too. Anxiety to a limited extent while driving is normal but if it crosses a limit it results into a panic attack.

The main symptoms are profuse sweating, rapid heart rate, problems in breathing, numbness, nausea and discomfort in the chest. The closest answer to the question as to what causes panic attacks while driving is the demanding and stressful lives that we live these days.

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