Aviophobia, a fear of flying is not unusual. The American Psychological Association estimates that 10 percent to 25 percent of Americans suffer from it … despite the fact that we all have heard how much safer flying is than driving. What few probably realize, however, is that this fear can be exacerbated by news of travel disasters: a condition called vicarious trauma.
Flying is one of the two most common fears with which people struggle (the other is public speaking), and the recent crashes in London, Buffalo (i.e., Flight 3407) and New York (i.e., the “Hudson River landing,” Flight 1549) have the potential to ramp it up.
People become victims of vicarious trauma by seeing a crash in the media and putting themselves in that situation mentally. Eventually, they have trouble removing themselves from it. If you have several other phobias at work, they only add fuel to the fire.
Fortunately, you can break out of aviophobia.
Trust is crucial, and you can always get some tips from our resident expert, Kent Wien.