Driving Dream Meaning and Interpretation

Who else has had a dream behind the wheel of the car? Or, were you on the passenger looking out the window? Driving dreams may feel like they are ordinary, but reveal a lot about our sense of control. As someone who can exhibit controlling qualities, I have recurring dreams about driving. 

The first driving dream I remember has been the most significant to date. In the dream, I sat in the backseat of a ride share car, yet no one was in the driver’s seat. The car seemed to be driving downhill. Anxious from the risk of getting into a car accident, I shimmy myself over the arm rest, sink my legs down, and I grasp the wheel. It took me a couple seconds to feel in control over the car, yet I was able to without creating a catastrophe. The road ahead levels out when the dream ends. 

Driving has always been a symbol of independence for me. After experiencing this driving dream, I changed gears and steered towards finding the meaning. My 12,000 Dreams interpreted book says that:

“Driving signifies unjust criticism of your seeming extravagance. You will be compelled to do things that appear undignified. To dream of driving a public cab denotes menial labor with little chance for advancement.  Driven by others, you will profit by superior knowledge of the world and will always find some path through difficult.”

Since the way of the road was important to me in the dream, I researched the meaning of roads as well. 12,000 Dreams denotes that traveling over a rough, unknown road suggests new undertakings that will bring little but grief and loss of time. Road has trees and flowers? Unexpected fortune and pleasant energy awaits. If you have a friend with you on the road, you will have success in cultivating an ideal home and family. 

Psychology Today posted an article by Michelle Carr about common occurrences of “out-of-control” dreams. 40% of car related dreams focus on car trouble, whether it is a breakdown or situational, my dream starting in the back seat for example. The article exactly says “The frequent occurrence of these car trouble dreams that were not drawn from waking life lends some support to the idea that dreaming is metaphorical, and that out-of-control cars represent a feeling of being out of control in one’s life.” Once I finished reading the article, I looked over a couple dream dictionary sources for driving. dreamingandsleeping.com restated that driving reflects the control you have over your own life, and your dream advises that you are the only person who is responsible for your own decisions and actions. “It means you should have plans and goals in your life and you should fight to reach them.” The next part of the definition discusses if no one is in the car, you feel lonely and crave support from people you admire and/or love. 

After looking over my research, I discovered the meaning behind my dream about taking control of a driving car. Since I started out in the backseat of my ride share, I felt like I was not in control over my surroundings. Not having a driver was on purpose (thanks subconscious!), because it gave me the motivation to talk control over the wheel. During the time of my life when this dream occurred, I was adjusting to living in a new city on my own. I struggled with loneliness and an unstable form of income, and felt powerless in my situation. Yet, I harnessed my strength and recognized that I did in fact have control over my situation. Shimming into the driver seat was an easy challenge to overcome once I stopped overthinking my options for an ‘escape.’ I consider myself, now and when the dream occurred, a decent driver. A decent driver that knows when to take full control when the road ahead looks unfamiliar. When I was in the dream’s driver seat and noticed the road leveling out, my subconscious reassured me that having control of myself and my decisions will stabilize my mind and my current situation. The 12,000 Dreams Interpreted books defines unknown roads as a symbol for new endeavors that will lead to grief and wasted time. I personally do not believe with the loss of time part of the definition applies to all dreams about unknown roads. Yes, you can experience loss of time when you participate in a situation that does not align with what you need or what is best for you; however, it is an important part of life to try things even if you figure out that job, hobby, or person is not aligned for you. I also believe grieving is not a waste a time, but an essential part of human existence. With that said, I was happy to experience this dream and happy to discover support from my higher self. 

To reiterate my discoveries, driving dreams indicate a need to take control over your actions, thoughts, and your role in a situation. If you are alone in the car, it indicates loneliness in your waking life. Finally, driving on an unknown road denotes the next phase or cycle of your life that has its ups and downs. This dream interpretation taught me a lot about myself that I was consciously experiencing, and I am so happy I can share it with the world. I hope my readers enjoy. Keep dreaming! 

References and Resources:

Carr, M. C. (2020, June 29). Out-of-Control Car Dreams are Surprisingly Common. Psychologytoday.Com. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/dream-factory/202006/out-control-car-dreams-are-surprisingly-common

Dream Bible – Dream Interpretation of Driving. (n.d.). Dreambible.Com. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from http://www.dreambible.com/search.php?q=Driving

Shields, L., Miller, G. H., & Skomal, L. (2011). 12,000 Dreams Interpreted: A New Edition for the 21st Century (Revised, Updated ed.). Sterling.

Sleeping, D. A. (2019, November 8). Dreams about Driving – Interpretation and Meaning. Dreaming and Sleeping. https://dreamingandsleeping.com/dreams-about-driving-interpretation-and-meaning/


One response to “Driving Dream Meaning and Interpretation”

  1. I often dream about being in the backseat of the car and realizing that no one is driving and that I need to climb over and take control. Ironically, I do not have a driver’s license IRL, and my sense of panic usually does not end when I take control of the wheel. I also have recurring dreams about waiting for buses and trains that either don’t show up or are too crowded for me to enter when they arrive. Perhaps I am unconsciously feeling stuck?! In any case, and intriguing piece.


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