What do dreams about driving a car mean?
Are you having dreams about driving a car? When they happen, do you see yourself behind the wheel? Is someone else steering, making you the passenger?
If you are answering yes to any of the above, you wouldn’t be alone. Car driving dreams – in all of their different forms – are a frequent occurrence among many people.
If you are a man, you probably envisioned yourself in a sports car or pickup. If you are a woman, it’s likely you were in a hatchback or compact. That’s not a hard and fast rule but instead, an observation.
Regardless of the type of vehicle you dreamed about, you ultimately want to know this dream means? And so that’s what this post is all about – car dreams.
In this article, we will explore:
- The meaning of cars in dreams
- The significance of being the driver
- Interpreting the meaning of being a passenger
- What reckless driving could mean
- The symbolic meaning of the road
- Car dream symbolism
- Myths about driving dreams
Car Dreams Explored
If you are a follower of this blog, you likely know that from time to time, I will pen pieces about dreams. An example can be found in what it means to dream about a crush.
As I share in each of these kinds of posts, I’ll give you some of my background. After all, if I were looking for answers, I’d want to know something about the author. Here is a brief thumbnail sketch.
I’m a mental health counselor in the state of Illinois. My educational background includes a doctoral degree in general psychology with a board certification in hypnotherapy and substance abuse.
Apart from these credentials, I also teach college courses related to behavioral health – including personality psychology. In both areas (counseling and teaching) the topic of dreams comes up frequently.
We’re talking everything from what money means in dreams to what dreams about dead people signify. Over the years, I’ve observed that most people, regardless of religious or spiritual background, are curious about such topics.
But here is what you need to know – while I have a great deal of experience researching dream symbolism, I don’t promise to have all the answers. In truth, nobody does.
The reality is dream analysis is completely subjective in nature. For example, I may suggest that the dream you had about losing control of a car is symbolic of anxiety. Someone else may tell you that same dream is about a subconscious fear.
And so my point is that you need to be open to different ideas use that insight to create a mosaic of what may be going on. This allows you to derive meaning from your dream content in a way that works best for your situation.
Does this make sense?
In my case, I will talk about car dreams through the eclectic lens of Carl Jung; a famous psychotherapist who sometimes used spiritual elements to help people understand themselves through the active imagination (Kushner, 2016).
I’m sharing this with you so that you understand my framework. My promise is to present material that is straightforward and direct, devoid of psycho-babble.
Now let’s move on to assessing the meaning of dreams about driving.
The Symbolism of Driving Dreams
Most experts in the field of dream analysis believe driving dreams symbolize one or more of the following:
- Life direction
- The need to control
- A loss of control
- Taking responsibility
- Bad choices
- Decision making (past and present)
- Fears about death and dying
The key point to understand now is that dreams should not be taken at face value. In other words, all that you see has some type of hidden meaning.
For example, if you see yourself driving a muscle car like a Ford Thunderbird, it’s likely the content of that dream isn’t about the vehicle but instead, related to something masculine or feminine.
This is why I encourage people to look at everything in their dreams through the lens of symbolism. By doing so, you will be better able to arrive at your dream’s meaning. Further down in this post, I will offer you a resource that can help on that front.
Being Behind the Wheel
If you dreamed of being behind the wheel of a car, it generally speaks the level of control you have over events in your life. They can also symbolize your life’s direction.
Are you alone in the car? This may represent the level of confidence you feel about a recent life decision. Examples include taking a new job, ending a relationship with another or choosing to not attend an event.
Is someone next to you? If so, who is it? Knowing the answer to that question is important. If it is a family member, such as a parent, child or close friend, their presence could have something to do with the relationship you share with them.
Are you making any decisions in the here and now that somehow impact their life? If so, what’s that all about? Only you will know the answer to that question. It’s possible the subconscious could be communicating to you a message of reassurance.
Now, what if you dream about someone who has died sitting next to you? Does this mean anything? The answer is maybe. The reality is dreams about dead people are often symbolic of unfinished business. See this post about the meaning of death dreams to learn more.
Being a Passenger
If you are having dreams about being a passenger in a car, it usually relates to not feeling in control of your life or your ultimate destiny.
The driver of the car is important. Do you recognize who they are? Knowing the answer will go a long way in helping you to arrive at a place of understanding.
Many people report seeing their mother or father behind the wheel. Others report a child. And still, others have shared they don’t know who the driver is but can somehow sense familiarity.
A question to reflect on is: Do I feel I am in control of where I am going in life or is someone else making the decisions?
Dreams About Losing Control
A scary car related dream involves imagery where you lose control of the car. Typically, people envision themselves driving a vehicle and not being able to stop because they breaks don’t work.
A variation is driving a speeding car that is careening out of control. And yet another is a dream where someone is chasing you from behind in a fast moving vehicle – and you don’t know who it is.
As a rule of thumb, these types of dreams speak to deeply held fears about something going on in your life. Many people think it relates to personal finances, such as worries about debt.
It could also relate to health – meaning yours. Are you struggling with weight issues? Do you worry about a specific condition – or the health of someone you love?
Roads and Streets in Dreams
There are many different ways to interpret what the road ahead of you means in a dream. Here are some basic ways to view this through the lens of symbolism:
- A straight road often means a clear path ahead
- A winding road speaks to a life complication
- Bumpy roads speak to problems in the here and now
- Hilly roads can be about the highs and lows of emotional challenges such as anxiety and depression.
- A fork in the road is almost always about a choice.
- Streets that you are familiar with may be about unfinished business from the past or the here and now.
- Roads that travel up a mountain are about adventure.
Meaning of a Car in Dreams
There is no way I can cover what different cars mean in this one post. Otherwise, it would never end. That said, I will offer you a few examples. Think of these as metaphors.
- Sports cars speak to an unmet need for adventure or excitement in your life.
- Trucks may be about a need to be strong or feeling like you are carrying a lot of baggage.
- Vans represent your body and how you view it.
- An SUV in a dream could symbolize personal endurance and toughness.
- An old muscle car may represent masculine or feminine aspects of your personality.
- Specific cars, like a Lamborghini, Porsche or BMW could be about life status and self-esteem.
- 18-wheelers usually speak to family and leadership.
Myths About Driving Dreams
There are many myths associated with dreams about driving. Below I will list several of the biggies. I’m not saying any of these are right or wrong. Instead, I’m simply sharing the common myths linked to each.
- If you dream about of accident, it’s a bad omen for the future.
- If the passenger sitting next to you has green or hazel eyes, it means good luck.
- Dreaming about a specific car means you are destined to own it.
- Sexual dreams involving cars are always fantasy based.
- Seeing a red car in a dream speaks to passion.
- Seeing a black car in a dream is about death.
- Blue cars are about personal strength.
- Brown cars are about a sense of safety.
How to Interpret Driving Dreams
One thing I encourage you to do is spend time focusing on all the imagery you see in your dream. Keeping a journal may be helpful.
You don’t have to be super specific and record a play by play narrative of everything that happened. Instead, focus on themes and events.
If you want to know what specific objects mean, it may help to pick up a copy of a symbolism book. You can find them at many stores online.
Personally, I like the Dream Interpretation Dictionary by DeBord. Inside, there’s lots of useful information about what different things may mean – written in a way that is easy to understand.
Dreams about driving a car are a frequent occurrence for many. They can be exciting, scary, and puzzling – all at the same time.
The important thing to bear in mind is that what you see during a dreamscape can’t be taken literally. Instead, look at the imagery as symbolic. You’ll get a lot more out of the experience and learn something new about yourself in the process.
Thanks for stopping by.
Kushner, D. (2016, October 23). Understand Your Dreams by Using Jung’s “Active Imagination”. Retrieved from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/transcending-the-past/201610/understand-your-dreams-using-jungs-active-imagination