“I’m Driving My Car and I Can’t Slow Down.” A Dream Interpretation.

Dear Satya:

portland-psychotherapy-dreams-byockQ: I have had several dreams in which I am driving and I can’t slow down. Sometimes I run red lights, sometimes I am driving and I cannot figure out how to use the brakes. I am usually very scared but I somehow manage to stay in control of the car.

A: Unfortunately, this is a very common dream theme, but it’s one that is indicative of a cultural illness of manic activity. The message from the dream is clear: you need to slow down. You may even think that you have already slowed things down in your life. If so, the dream is saying “try harder.” This is your own unconscious giving you a very clear message. Listen.

Cars in dreams are symbolic of you. They’re like turtles’ shells, the additional homes or bodies in which we travel through the world. If you have dreams of driving, pay attention. Pay attention to the way in which you are driving, or if you are driving at all. If you’re not driving, who is? Who’s in the driver’s seat? This is very important information. You can develop great insight into what aspect of you is actually in control of your life, or perhaps it’s another person in your life altogether.

Your dreams are indicating that you are holding onto control by the skin of your teeth. You may think “but I’m killing it right now! I’m totally in control of things!” If that is the case, this dream is clearly indicating another layer of what is going on, that perhaps you’re riding on a degree of mania, feeling on top of it while actually beginning to crash (pun intended). While you are safe for now, you don’t really know how you’re managing it. After a while, you’ll start to pay the price if you don’t heed the advice of your dream.

Dreams are often the first line of defense in getting us into alignment with our inner selves. If we’re checked-out or disengaged from our path in life, our dreams will reflect that. Sometimes, they’ll turn into nightmares to get our attention. But if our awareness gets too fragmented, we can fall into physical danger too: we forget to look both ways when crossing the street, we stop paying close attention when driving our car in waking life, maybe we just get angry with people in our lives when we needn’t be. It’s also possible that following these dreams, an injury or illness may appear to slow us down by force. This may again be what the dream is reflecting directly, with the car representing the body. Take a good look at your immune system, your sleep habits, your eating, and your physical well-being.

Your dreamworld is your ally. If your dream is telling you to slow down, it’s not demanding something you cannot accomplish. Find a way to spend more time alone, to breath, to stay aware of the moment-to-moment details in your life. Bringing yourself into the moment of whatever it is you may be doing will significantly slow down your internal clock and pace. You’ll be the better for it.

Have you had a dream like this? Leave a comment and share!

Satya is a psychotherapist in private practice in Portland, Oregon specializing in dream work, the quarter-life crisis, and work with individuals in their 20s and 30s. www.QuarterLifeCounselor.com


  1. Glenn Kloss

    I had a similar dream some years ago. I was driving and suddenly I could not control the speed of the car or stop it. I could steer, but that was all. I made a wrong turn and entered an on-ramp to an elevated road. The road got higher and higher as the car went faster and faster. The road became extremely curvy with the curves getting sharper and sharper. There were no guard rails. Steering consumed all my attention. As I came to a particularly sharp curve, I suddenly lost my eyesight, completely blind. I felt the car going off the road and falling. I woke up in a panic. This dream recurred many many times until one night. That night, as the car went off the road, I did not wake up. As it was falling, my eyesight suddenly returned. I looked down and saw that we were falling into a body of water. I did not want to be trapped in the car in the water. I opened the car door (in mid-air) and jumped out, trying to get as far away from the falling car as possible. The car and I hit the water at the same time, separated by several yards. I surfaced and swam safetly to the shore. After that, I never had the dream again.

    • satyabyock

      Thank you for this comment and for sharing your dream, Glenn. This is a perfect example of how recurring dreams go away. You “came to your senses” in the dream, your sight returned. Somehow, in life and in sleep, you gained greater consciousness over the situation you were in–the emotional overwhelm, perhaps, the exhaustion of life –and you found a solution to be released from the repetition of suffering. Recurring dreams can be “cured” with increased awareness, just as yours did.

    • James

      Ok so I had a dream that I was driving a car with a few friends and I was driving along when I could feel that the brakes stopped working and as I was losing control and almost hit a tree it began to show it happening in slo motion no one was injured except my foot?

    • Stefanie

      I’ve had the same exact dream many times. The road like you described, getting higher then falling off… Everything. That’s crazy!!

    • Heather

      Shaking right now because I had a similar dream and it scared me so that I can’t shake it off. Have a lot on plate right now how about you? Any better when you hit the water?

  2. steve miller

    icould not slow the car down was able to make turns and avoid problems then thought to shut the car off and then realized it was speeding up again and the girl with me seemed like she liked that and I realized she might have turned the car back on ……I asked her and asked her if she did no answer and instead of just turning it off again I just wanted an answer she would not say and finally I reached over and grabbed her by the hair and I thought why let go and I woke up.
    any ideas?

    • satyabyock

      Steve, are you still having these dreams? I know it’s been quite a while, but I’d love to know how you’re doing. This dream suggests to me the significant importance for you to engage with your own feminine side (we all have one). That is, to listen to your own instincts, emotions, subtle feelings and physical pains. Those aspects of yourself seem to have been trying to get your attention and also messing with you, just as a “nagging” girlfriend does when she feels she’s not receiving love and attention. The thing to do is not resort to anger and violence but actually sit down and listen.

  3. Bassi Hamid (@bassihamidphoto)

    For two consecutive days now I have been dreaming that I’m in a car or a plane (not mine), sometimes with people and sometimes alone – however I was the one driving in both cases. The road was like rollercoaster loops, going up and down with steep and sharp turns and it was terrifying me in the dream and I felt that I had no control whatsoever. Yet there was a voice within me (I still cannot identify if it was my own voice or something else) that kept telling me “Relax, you will reach safely no matter what”.
    It’s a bit bewildering to me. Would appreciate any help in the interpretation :)

    • satyabyock

      Hi Bassi — my sincere apologies for this very late reply to your dream. I would love to hear your reflections on what this dream may have meant for you now that you’ve had some space to see it. What was happening in October of last year and what happened within the next few months to give you some reprieve? I imagine things shifted in your life in a way you hadn’t expected.

  4. chelsyschulte

    I’ve been having a very similar dream quite often lately. I’ll be in a car and it’s like my brakes aren’t working. It always seems to be at night and while there never anyone in the crossing traffic I still feel scared that I’m blowing red light after red light even though I’m trying to slow down. I feel like every time I’m slamming the brakes but they won’t slow down quick enough and I’m ashamed that im breaking the law by accident. I don’t fulling grasp what it means but I’ve had it over and over again.

    • satyabyock

      Are you still having these dreams? I know it’s been many months. I wonder if, looking back at that time in your life now, you have some insight into what was going on for you then. Life was overwhelming and going too fast, I imagine. Fundamentally, you didn’t know how to slow down. You were accidentally breaking your own inner laws, the path of your life that your instincts knew you were pushing against. Has this turned around for you since? I would love to hear your thoughts.

  5. heljen77

    I often have the same type of dream. I am often in reverse though. I keep pressing on the brakes but nothing happens. The car is not always going really fast. In the dream I don’t ever crash into anything.. I seem to wake up before this. Last night I was going forward in a car with no keys. A man would not give me the keys to a car that I think I was buying. However I was in the car and it was still rolling around in forward motion and there were obstacles around in the yard (it seemed like a car workshop or similar) but I had no real control of the car. I was trying to brake but there was nothing happening. I kept wanting the man to give me the keys so I could gain more control. II remember feeling in the dream that the man didn’t trust me with the keys as I hadn’t bought the car yet. Given that I have had this dream over and over for years I feel that it is related to not feeling in control of my life (or lacking a stability that would allow me to move forward) and that I always seem to be going backwards without getting ahead… no matter how hard I try…

    • satyabyock

      It has been many months since you shared this dream. Are you still having these dreams now? I agree with your interpretation that you’re not feeling in control of your life; interesting too the character of this man not trusting you with the keys for this new car. Before I go on: How are things these days?

  6. Christine

    Alright… I am often having dreams about driving.. I am usually on a busy road and try to over pass a car, but have a feeling of loosing control of the vehicule or just simply being a really bad driver and coming real close to hitting another car… There are always many other cars in the road. Yesterday, i dreamt I was in a car ( I do not have a car in real life, I. walk pr cycle) and I realised that the brakes were not working.. I just was pressing soooo hard on them… nothing… and I thought: The hand brake!! and that one still sid not work.. and I was trying to park, bumping into cars in front and in the back as I was reversing… I finally got out, and got help.. as the car stopped. That was weird… I was pulling so hard on the brakes…nothing..

    • satyabyock

      This version of this dream seems to suggest particular difficulties with socializing or engaging comfortably with other people. I wonder if that strikes a bell and if working this dream might help to illuminate that for you. Are you still have dreams about driving these days?

  7. Alissa

    I often have a recurring dream that they car is going backwards very fast and I fantastic stop it. My brakes don’t work but I am always safe after it finale stops. Any ideas??

    • Anonymous

      I came here looking for an answers to my dreams. Then see your question and it seems like the same dream. Car reversing with speed, scared for a bit if I hit anything..but never actually do and then stops in a rush.

    • satyabyock

      This is a very common theme on this dream. It certainly indicates being out of control in life, feeling like things are out-of-hand and dangerous, but that you are suppressing awareness of it, or of how bad it is. Going backwards means the wrong direction. Dreams like these indicate a very good moment to take stock of your life and find any possible ways to get time to yourself and reflect on what you want out of your life path and how to get there. Consider being deeply courageous in your defense of what you need.

  8. Sonja

    My dreams are pretty much the same all the time.
    Just with different people and ways of it happening..but its also, i am in the car and i want to brake but as I brake the car starts to go faster?! I never know what to do..and it always ends up in a accident. They were never really bad accidents..but my 2 recent dreams were really bad.. My lasy one, uhm…it was the same, a very close friend of mine was in the car with me..the same thing happened,just this time we weren’t driving foward, but actually reversing.. i tryd braking but it didnt work,i kept telling him its not working. And he put his foot onto the brakes and it just went faster instead, the car started spinning around and he just told me to close my eyes and hold onto the steeringwheel, no matter whathappens i most just hold on to it.. And i did, i held onto the steeringwheel, i could feel my hands and arms hurting.. Thats how hard i held onto it.. And theb we hit another car.. And its horrible, i could literally feel the glass splinters hitting my face and neck and arms, i could hear the sound so clear.. And then i could feel my friends skull hitting mine.. I can still feel the pain and I can still hear the sound so clear .. Every time i close my eyes I see and feel and hear it.. And its horrible. :'(

    • satyabyock

      Thank you for sharing these dreams. You need to know that you can live without these kinds of nightmares. They’re indications that something is very much out of balance in your life — it’s possible that has been true for as long as you’ve known, and it may not be “your fault.” Childhood trauma, alcohol, fighting, too much work, not enough sleep… these are all possible indications of why dreams like these may be showing up so frequently. I encourage you to hear them as warnings: you need to find a way to slow down and get to safety. I also want you to seriously consider how these friendships are influencing your life. I think your soul may be trying to express to you that things are not right. You’re not listening to yourself, your own instincts, your own body. You need to slow down and find safety. Consider finding a good, compassionate therapist to support you right now. Sending my best to you.

  9. cyn monique

    I always seem to have these car dreams….but only when I sleep in a certain position. This time was the first time I was ever driving backwards without being able to stop. Early in the dream, I had turned off the car (without removing the keys) because it kept drifting forward. Without ever turning the car back on, it took off, but backwards. I was slamming on the break, but the car kept going faster and faster. I was doing a good job of avoiding hitting anything, and then when I had no where else to go to avoid running into things and people, I put the car in park and it stopped, all of a sudden. I didnt wake up immediately….but I was silent and still for a few moments in my dream after this. This isnt the first car dream ive had….btut it is the first one where I was traveling backwards. What does that mean?

  10. Carolyn Reed

    I had a dream that I was driving and my brakes wasn’t slowing the car down. I wasn’t going fast at all, but then this man was crossing the street and leading this child by the hand. I ended up hitting the child and stopped the car with the child underneath the car. I was too frantic to move the car thinking it would do more harm to the child. Someone then pulled the child by the arm and disturbingly enough it was just the child’s arm. Right before I woke up I was holding this child in my arm consoling her or him and the child seemed to be alright and I felt little relieved. I couldn’t understand why I would be having this dream. Please help me…

  11. Ferdy

    Well my nightmare was more terryfing and yet simple. I was driving my bed as if it were a car on what I could gather was the freeway/highway. I could not see where I was going but I could gather that I was going fast. It was all pitch black.

    At one point I felt I was going to crash and I truly believed I was driving my bed. I could not stop. I had this sense of despair but I was sort of calm. I thought that I needed to think what to do or I would die. I couldn’t do anything so I simply embraced for impact with the hopes that maybe something external would save me. I was hoping that it was all a dream. I truly believed that the dream was not in fact a dream.

    Seconds after, before I crashed, I woke up and looked outside my bedroom. It was pitch black. I cheched the time it was around 1:30am. I laid down on my bed and then soon after I realized it was a dream. A very…scary dream.

  12. Polly H

    Last night I had a dream that I had to go to a convention in CA (I’m in TX) that I had completely forgotten about. It was just a few days before Christmas. A person I was traveling with came to pick me up. Because I had forgotten about this trip I had to leave in my robe to catch my plane! I didn’t take any clothes just an empty bag, even forgot my phone, or to tell my husband where I was going. The hotel was huge and full of people. I was walking around in my robe and nobody seemed to notice. I thought, well, I could probably get through this without buying clothes but then decided I should go across the street to the shops and pick up a few things. Next thing I know I had rented a car and was driving along an interstate looking for a mall. I then realized I really didn’t need to have rented the car because there were shops I could have walked to. So I decided to turn around and return the car. I came to a left turn and couldn’t quite slow down quick enough….as I applied the brakes I slightly missed the turn and in front of me was a large body of water and the road just ran off into the water (elevated road). My front tires caught the edge of the drop off and the car tilted forward and headed towards the water. I could see the water in front of me and I woke up. The strange thing, when I woke up it felt like all the nerves in my body were tingling, or on fire or something. There was definitely some real sensation going on in my body that I have never felt before. Any ideas what all this means? Thank you.

    • satyabyock

      Interesting dream, thank you for sharing. You’ve got a number of the classic dream motifs all blended together here (car out of control, naked in public, missing flight). First thing I would say is the tone of your dream strongly suggests that you need some time to yourself, some retreat time to allow life to slow down and allow your body time to heal/rest. Are you experiencing any illnesses at this time? Any stress related exhaustion going on in your life? Are you at all able to get away?

      Your higher self seems to be asking you to “wake up”, to increase your level of consciousness around your life. Now, this doesn’t mean you’re an “unconscious” person, but that as it relates to who you are and what you can get from the world, things are too chaotic for you. You need space. You need quiet. You need a chance to reform your identity in a way that is thoughtful and careful.

      As far as how you woke-up, your body seems to have experienced deep fear while you were sleeping — as far as the body is concerned, that dream was very real. Psyche may be trying to “wake you up” to keep you safe. Listen.

      • satyabyock

        Reply from Dreamer:

        “I have to agree with your analysis of needing to slow down and take some time for myself. This is very true. And that goes along with the stress related exhaustion. While I wouldn’t say I am completely exhausted all the time (I have always been a high energy person), I am more tired feeling than I used to be and I’m sure it’s from the stress. Also not sleeping well most nights adds to the problem.

        I pretty much work all the time and wake up around 2-3:00 most nights and cannot get back to sleep on average for 3 hours. I can’t seem to shut my mind off. I certainly do need to re-balance my life.

        I think your analysis is very accurate and something I probably needed to hear. It’s something I’ve pretty much known but I have suppressed for a long time. So I guess a new year is a great time to make some serious changes!

        Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me, I am truly grateful!”

  13. Jeanie

    I dream that i am driving, usually a van, as i am a single mom….. and i am so tired…. so tired….. and that slightly paralyzed feeling, where one CAN’T move….. i can’t move my leg…… legs……so tired i can’t get my foot to reach the brake pedal and i just have to try to navigate by steering and i go faster and faster….. dodging cars, looking for something i can drive over, like a meridian or into a field…. to slow me down….. last night, i was in the old neighbourhood i grew up in….. and there were vehicles coming toward me and i kept having to dodge them and then i was waiting, waiting for a break in the cars coming toward me, so that i could drive over some lawns and maybe into some bushes to stop the van….. and instead, i drove toward a home, dodging an oncoming car…..quite a big quite nice home…. kind of familiar home, mostly an amalgam from my current neighbourhood and the one i grew up in…..and there was a pillar, i had to dodge it for some reason ( ? considering that would be what i was looking for to slow me down, stop me….. tho i think at some level i knew if i ran into it it would kill me or injure me severely…..) and i careened in close to the home, scraped along the side of it, close to the front door…… and came to a stop….. got out…. checked the home…. there was a gash in the wall beside the door, sort of near the doorbell, then there wasn’t a doorbell….. enough to go through the wall….. and i contemplated ringing to let them know i had hit their home….. and i thought about the fact that i don’t have a license, what that would do to me…. jail time?….. and i thought about the notion that if i left, it’s hit and run….. and that it’s terrible, how could i even consider leaving the scene of the accident? what has happened to my moral compass, my ethics? and i looked around….. the house was maybe for sale? then maybe not….. the house was under renovation for sure, or the next door neighbours house was…… maybe i could get away with it, and that was all icould think about…. i pulled forward, beside and within the wire fence where the renovations were going on….. a woman stepped out of the house i had hit…. she was coming toward me….. i knew suddenly she , too, was a single mom….. struggling….. her face was weary and worry-worn, stretched a bit taught with anxiety or….. that look women get when they are a bit angry at the circumstances but more just anxious combined with overwhelmed and exhausted….. she was not me, definitely, but i knew that look, and i remembered all the women who had… but that’s another story….. and i was ready to get out and tell her all about what i had done and exchange insurances, but i waited to see if she would walk by, keep going, keep walking to catch the bus….. in the back of my mind was this terrible thought “maybe i can get away with it” quickly followed by “you are a coward! with no moral or ethical backbone! no integrity! no real honesty when the chips are really down, when you’ve done something wrong, all you look for is a way to not get caught!” and i woke up….. i have this kind of dream often, often, for years…… the recurring theme is that i am driving and i am so tired i can’t wake up enough to move my foot to put the brakes on…. and after a while of having these, i say to myself “why do you keep trying to drive? you know this is only going to happen again…..” what does it mean, do you think?

    • toni

      I had a dream last night that I was driving a car at night, and I was paralyzed I couldnt steer the car and it went in a ditch. What does that mean?

  14. Rebecca

    I continue to dream I’m driving along a road and there’s a stop light or a curve ahead. I try to slow down which I do to an extent, but I’m never able to fully stop. I don’t get into any accidents in these dreams, thankfully. These dreams are exceptionally nerve-wracking because I’ve always felt anxious while driving.

  15. Little Red

    I have had this dream for over 15 yrs at different points in time. Most recently last night. I’m never going very fast but no matter how hard I push down on the break petal I can’t seem to get it all the way down. It’s not hard, I just can’t reach all the way. Sometimes I’m alone, sometimes there is a passenger. I ask the passenger to help me out but they never do. The dreams started in my late teens/ early twenties.

    • satyabyock

      What events took place in your late teens / early 20s that may have altered your ability to stay aware and in control of your own life? The more conscious you can get about why these dreams started in the first place, the less likely they are to continue haunting you, and the more likely you are to be able to make adjustments in your waking life to heal whatever is the cause.

  16. Kristin

    I just had a dream I was driving in my car going down my road and it was dark and I couldn’t see. I tried to turn on my high beams but they were already on. I was going down a hill and headed for a four way stop so I went to break. The breaks weren’t working and I started to gain speed. When I woke up I was pressing both my feet like I was trying to stop.
    Any comments for me is much appreciated.
    Thanks in advance

    • satyabyock

      I would simply encourage you to spend time journaling and meditating on the direction of your life right now. What is moving too fast? What do you not have control of? What are the crossroads that you’re coming to? Make sure you get alone time and lots of sleep in the coming weeks and months.

      • Kristin

        Thank you. I am not getting alot of sleep being I work overnights. I guess if I could think of what I don’t have control over is my emotions. I don’t show alot of emotions to alot of people. That is hard for me and I feel like I need to break down to the person that I love to truly let him in. I feel like I trust him fully but I can’t show my emotions very easy. I still hide. It’s getting harder for me to hide to him tho. Like my mind and body needs to allow him into that side of my life and I won’t fully trust him until then. Does that make sense?

  17. Joy

    I am always driving a car in quiet hilly curvy areas, aways alone, the cars always speed up until I can’t keep up and stay on the road. I always fly off the road and crash, sometimes dying and sometimes waking before I die.. I don’t seem to ever look for a break or gas pedal.

  18. Eve

    I often dream there is no driver and I am steering from the passenger seat or back seat of the car. I always afraid when I’m nearing an intersection in fear that I won’t be able to stop the car. I usually wake up before getting to the intersection.

    • satyabyock

      You need to get into the driver’s seat of your life, Eve. Your dreams are very clear that no one is at the helm, no one is steering the ship. If you use any mind-altering substances, I would encourage you to stop doing so immediately. Begin a meditation and/or yoga practice to help you to gain control of your own mind and life. If you’re not in a safe living situation, make sure to assert your will and efforts to make your well-being a top priority. I send you my best.

    • sb

      I have the same dream repeatedly. Driving from the passenger seat an cant reach the breaks or in the drivers seat but my legs are numb and I cant break

  19. Alex

    I have driven quite a few times in my life but I don’t own a car or a license yet. I’m 21 and currently attending college, life is good so far. I live with my boyfriend and he is having a hard time finding a job to pay child support for his child and sometimes it would stress me because we want to move out to have our own place. Even before I met him, I would always have dreams of driving but my foot struggles to find the brake and I would have to use my left foot to step on the brake. Sometimes it would slow down and stop like I want it to, other times it wouldn’t stop but I never crash or hit anything…what does this mean?


    In my dream last night, I think I was running away from something but I got in the car and started backing out but suddenly I couldn’t control the speed and my brakes wouldn’t work. The car was going way too fast for being in reverse. I remember looking in the rear view mirror and seeing a building at the end of the alley and it was coming closer and closer. I couldn’t stop. Then right at the very last second I pulled the emergency brake. My car stopped. That is all I remember of the dream.

  21. Anonymous

    I dream I’m sleeping at my parents house. I get up and discover I am late to get to college and take daughter to her school. In the dream she is 5 or so although she is an adult now. I have no clothing that fits and have to scrounge thru closets if other people’s clothing.

    I get us in the car and it’s not a recent model and has soft brakes. In traffic people in front of me are slow and in the way. I bump someone’s bumper so then they dart into traffic. I decide to take my daughter with me to college as she is so late for preschool. We get there and the room has ottoman like beds. I tell her lay by me and don’t get up. I am afraid there are men there who might harm her.i am supposed to participate with a friend in some social experiment that I now don’t want to be involved in.

    Then suddenly I am at a college event that I’m with my husband, we are drinking and get a Mexican driver to drive us. I don’t like him or his driving as it is reckless and he drapes his arm across the back of my seat as if I’m his girlfriend. It is however less reckless than the other drivers. We are all speeding and passing. My driver quickly takes an exit. But it has somekind if pedestrian crossing gate. A mother and two youngster is in our path and I am horrified that he just blows thru them.

    We are then somehow back at the drinking event and I’m trying to gather my items. Someone has put their clothes in place of mine and my phone is misplaced. But I’m just gathering whatever they left. Find my phone and we leave.

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  23. Klarissa

    I just woke up from a dream where I’m speeding down nyc traffic And dodging other cars. I have people yelling at me and honking. One man yelled at me about how I waa probably just as bas in school as I am a bad driver. And I would slow down for a second, but when I looked at my foot on the breakes, it’ll be on its tippy toes and very uncomfortable. But then i’ll losen my foot a little ans ill lose control again. At one point i realized I didn’t have my seat belt on and started thinking about all the times I could have flew out the windshield. I’ll try to use the signals but only my pinky cam reach because I was too afraid to let go. In the dream, i saw that the car would go 48mph on a 20mph speed limit street. I also had a similar dream like this but on a bicycle!! When I wake up, it takes a toll on me emotionally. Please help.

  24. David

    I have a recurring dream where I’m running and I can’t slow down to stop. Often I’m running through a mall or down escalators in a train station. I try to slow down but I can’t and the momentum carries me along, I try and avoid smashing into walls. Is this interpreted similar to dreams of driving without brakes? Thanks

  25. singlemomtothree

    So I have had multiple dreams in the past of where I feel that the car I’m driving in my dream is accelerating on its own and I’m constantly having to push the brakes to slow down I’ll know as soon as I let off the brakes it starts to accelerate more than I’m comfortable with again. Today I took a nap and had a similar dream except this time after parking the car briefly and then returning to it to leave as I put the car in reverse and as I’m backing out of a parking space I’m unable to stop the car from going in a reverse motion which causes me to hit multiple things at a very low speed. In my dream I can remember how I felt insanely irritated that my car would not stop rolling backwards no matter how hard I push the brake pedal. After fighting with it for what seemed like forever it finally occurred to me to just turn the power off to the car. I turn the car off in the movement ceased and I awoke from my dream. Very weird LOL

  26. Chirag Panchal

    HI… yesterday I dreamed that I am in car, But I was not the driver. And driver seat was empty. no one was there. still car starts and start running and cant stop. I push break by my leg but cant stop. Suddenly one home or wall came and I push the break by my hand and car finally stops. and I got relief. And my eyes open. in morning 4-5 am time I dreamed this. What should I interpret by this please tell me.

  27. Sheri

    Last night I had a nightmare I was driving with my partner in the front passenger seat and we were going somewhere but I couldn’t find the right road so I took what we thought was an alternate route. I wanted to avoid that route because it involved a very steep street but because we couldn’t find the other roads to get to where we were going I took that road. As soon as I entered the road it was extremely steep but I could see a neighbourhood near the bottom of the street with people outside. My partner said we would be okay even though I didn’t have a good gut feeling. I started to drive down very slowly and then my brakes weren’t working so I tried to go sideways to slow the car’s fast incline but that didn’t help we just started sliding sideways at an incredible speed. I then closed my eyes because I knew we were going to hit the first house and then I woke terrified before seeing what was going to happen.

    Can you please help me interpret this nightmare? Thanks so much.

  28. Lisa Walker

    I’ve had multiple dreams where I’m about to enter a divided hwy and i can’t see any signs to tell me where each is leading. Wvery time, I end up on a hwy that goes straight up like 300 feet and then loops like a terrifying roller coaster. I always make it safely to the end but I end up at a place that is,completely unfamiliar to me and I have no idea how to get back home. This last dream, I remembered (while in my dream) that I’ve done this many times and a stranger was there to tell me I’d be fine and not to be frightened. But I’m telling you… going straight up 300 feet in a car… then having those crazy tight turns and loops, … does this,have anything to do with the fact that yesterday, I asked God to reveal to me in a dream what I am to do next? Cause I’ve lacked clarity for sometime. I also dreamed right before this hwy one, that my hubby and I adopted 3 children. 2 Japanese twin boys, 3 yrs old. And the most exuberant, joyful, happy, precocious 2 year old girl. And we were in total joy playing with them all day every day. We will be empty nesters in 12 months so I know there’s an interpretation here.

  29. Anne-Marie

    I had a dream this morning that I was alone driving down the road and suddenly lost control now I’m off the road on the grass part going very fast and I’m trying to stop the car as it close to going over a cliff. I suddenly do and I’m back on my way to where I was going. I did cross under a bridge with the car after and I was trying to figure out do I turn left or right to get where I’m going. Not sure if that man’s anything.

  30. Jennifer Hillard

    I had a similar dream multiple times before my 16th birthday. I believe I was just nervous about getting behind the wheel alone. The dreams went away once I got my license.

  31. April

    I had a dream two days ago. I was parked outside a building then a acquaintance passed by. My car wouldn’t turn on but suddenly it went in reverse and before I know it I was driving in the streets super fast and my car wouldn’t stop or turn on. It was scary cus lots of cars where there plans I just kept steering side to side to not crash and suddenly I got on the freeway.( Ive only drove freeway twice because I’m scared. )There was a lot of big trucks and my car was going even faster and I couldn’t stop it I kept pushing the breaks and I even put it on park but nothing I then pulled the emergency break but nothing still, and then on an exit I saw a ramp thing and I went towards it and held on to it and my car finally stopped. Can you please help me interpret this dream ?

  32. praveena

    i got a dream that i m in the back seat of the car .and two of my cousins were in the front seat.when we were chatting with each other suddenly the car started by itself,when i asked my cousin in the front seat that who started the car she said that she does’nt know.when we saw at the drivers seat no one was there.i said to take control over the brakes but my cousin could not take it..i peeped from the window of the car and asked for help from the people who are outside .one of them tried to come towards us but our car has gone long distance from him.then i finally decided to controll the brakes andwhen i was about to move on to the front seat to have control on the brakes ,i woke up suddenly….to my surprise even in the dream when the car is in full speed,knowing that we are going to meet with an accident i am not afraid of that.instead i am very confident that if i can go to the brakes i can control the car….

  33. Jay

    I had a dream last night, I was driving my car quite fast, and all of a sudden I came to a train crossing, and it was lit up like there was a train coming. I could see the train crossing the road but I wasn’t stopping, I was accelerating! When I was about to hit the train, I slammed on my brakes in the dream, and woke up. My heart was beating super fast, and my foot was pushed down like I was trying to hit the brakes! It took me a good 3 minutes to get back to my senses and calm my breathing, but man that was a crazy dream.. Haven’t had one like that in a while

  34. Rebekah

    I had this same type of dream, but when I pushed on the brakes, my car sped up. Even as the article states, I “tried harder.” I tried pushing on the brakes harder but my car sped up even faster. I even tried to push on the gas pedal, but nothing happened. My car neither sped up nor slowed down. What is the mening of this?

    • Mike

      Hi Rebekah, I had a similar dream a year or so ago…the dream ended with my car all of a sudden on a roller coaster and speeding off the track (the whole dream up until then had been on a normal road), with me waking up as I was about halfway between the ground and where I fell from. I took the ending to mean that I literally couldn’t get my life “back on track” at that point in time.

      As for the pushing on the brakes and even trying the gas pedal (I did all the same things in my dream), I took that to mean that the measures I was currently taking to try to get my life on track and affect change just weren’t ones that were going to work — I’d have to try something else, and think outside the box. Also, because the brakes were the ones causing the most damage (by speeding up the car even more), I took it to mean that something in my life that I thought was helping me may actually be harming me. Hope this helps!

  35. Ces

    I keep having this dream often. In my dream I am driving fast or sometimes slow for a few seconds I think I’m distracted because when I look I am going to rear end/crash into the car in front of me. But before I crash I wake up startled and quietly screaming super frightened of my dream. Every single dream I wake up before I crash. What does this mean. I get the car crash meaning,but I never actually see the crash cuz I wake up before the crash


  36. Diana

    I had a dream last night. I didnt even know i was driving, my dream just started like that i just realized i was driving but driving very fast and as soon i realized i was driving there is a stop sign and there are kids crossing the road. I brake really hard and the dream is over, no kids were hurt . I had this dream two times in one night.

  37. maria

    …I was driving down a road so fast, that when i realized i was going to fast, i tried to brake. ..When i realized the car would not stop, i then, realized i was actually driving in reverse at a super high speed. i tried to make a hard turn to correct it like they do in the movies, but when i did, i lost complete control and the car jumped of the road into a valley of green grass, i then “blacked” out before crashing, waking up tin a complete shock.

  38. Samerha

    Last year I had a dream I was driving on the freeway and when I tried to slow down alil my brakes didn’t work, right before I was about to crash into the car in front of me I woke myself up. It was like I jumped out the dream. 2 days ago I had the same dream, and again last night. And before I would crash I always woke myself up. I’m not sure what it means. Maybe you can help

  39. K. Wright

    I have had various versions of the dream I had last night. The one last night definitely hit nightmare level. the only differences I can pinpoint on last night’s dream is that I know what car I was in – my still favorite 1st car. I learn to drive in this car and I was giving it when I turned 18. I started the car to move it’s um away from two annoying people to protect my car from them. The rest of the dream is similar to all the other ones I have had off and on.While the car is in park I turn it on. It then starts moving inches at a time even though my foot is on the brake. It’s slowly gains momentum until it’s going very fast. I’m running red lights and barely managing to avoid obstacles and stay on the road when I make 90 degree right turns to avoid a crash. last night I woke myself up screaming because I was headed for another red light and a long line of semi trucks with nowhere to go to avoid a major crash. I have interpreted past dreams similar to your interpretation but I feel like I am still missing something since I continue to have them and last night was the worst of all. Thought?

    • K. Wright

      The brakes never work in the dreams and it never occurs to me to just turn the vehicle off. I’m always alone in the car. I just had a friend pass away and their services was yesterday. The rest of my life reflect the usual stresses in my life. Work is at a high stress level.

  40. Natasha Chace

    I have recently had a recurring dream of driving my jeep and needing to break but my jeep only slows a little and won’t slow any more. Im not going terribly fast and I’m not panicking but more frustrated and mildly worried my breaks won’t work. I’ll be going threw intersections and lights but with no accidents. My most recent dream I was nearing an intersection where cars were crossing in front of me and I told myself “I have to pull the emergency break!” And I do and my jeep comes to a screeching stop right at the red light.

  41. Cory

    I’ve dreamed on several occasions where I get out of my car and walk away while my car is still moving. I run to catch up to it and sometimes I do but there are times I can’t and I just let it go. I walk a distance and see my car there waiting for me. I’m always afraid my car is going to be involved in a wreck while it’s on it’s own but never does. Kind of eerie.

    • satyabyock

      Makes me wonder what your relationship is with your body — how connected does your consciousness feel with your physical self? This is a hard thing to explain or describe, but perhaps due to trauma, over-activity, or other effects, you may be unconsciously sort of separating from your physical self and as a result feeling in danger. There’s no need for alarm, but spend some time over the next weeks noticing this issue and journaling / meditating on what it might be pointing to.

  42. Lakeshia lewis

    I had this dream last night. I was leaving work and was hungry. I ran across tbe street to get a smoothie but didn’t like it so i left and went to get a sandwich; they were taking too long and i was starving so I left angry. Backed out car, slightly hit a car behind me and took off. (Something I’d NEVER do) thenvi was driving so fast and couldn’t control car, yet I never crash. My conscience was telling me to slow down, you’re gonna crash but I couldn’t stop. I woke up immediately with a headache.

    • satyabyock

      The whole dream indicates you’re not as mindful of your life right now as you need to be for safety and happiness. Do try to slow down. Breath. Develop mindfulness in your daily life. You unconscious is expressing concern.

  43. Green Milton Garden

    I keep having this dream that I am driving (usually a small car) and my brakes work but they don’t stop me completely. I always bump into something or figure out how to run into something less dangerous.

  44. Tracy Marcellini

    I’ve had this dream a couple of times where I’m driving and I know I need to stop and the car is at an accelerated speed but I’m unable to push the brakes. I run through red lights and the widows become completely fogged making it impossible to see. In my dream I’m praying that I don’t hit anything because I can’t stop or see and I’m completely scared. I wake up at this point all shook up!

  45. Rocky c

    Hi just searched the net today For the uncommon dream I’ve been having for years now and it turns out to be common with many people here …so it was my appointment with some doctor who wanted to know my history and in which she particularly asked do you have a any reoccurring dream .. that day I was like no I don’t dream a lot. But when I was at work one day I suddenly realised that I always have one reoccurring dream for years now … myself driving a car in reverse where I’m unable to control it no matter how hard I press the brakes it won’t stop and it won’t even bang with anything … so at next meeting I told my doctor about my dream …we got to a point within 10 minutes and the result was I was comparing my life with someone else from my past with the one I’m presently living with … that was quite right …I’ve been doing that … solved my quest and resolved my mysterious dream and I promise to look further in life not at my past …. no comparison for what I choose and what i left …

  46. Maria

    I’ve had dreams similar to this most of my life . I was very young the first time I had it. I was driving in a car . I was in the back seat of the car. It was going downhill Nobody was driving and I did not know how to stop the car. I have had it often over my 50 almost 60 years. Now I am driving and I try to brake but realize my body won’t respond. I know how but ai am asleep at the wheel . I cannot wake up. It becomes terrifying , I am desperately trying to wake up often this is how the dream ends , my waking up.

  47. Georgia Raymond

    I had a dream last night about being at my grandparents house which didn’t at all look like where they really live, and I remember them telling my girlfriend and I that we could go sit out in one of their cars and and smoke/vape (whatever). So we go sit in this car, its dark outside, and I remember feeling kind of sad and upset in my dream, and I don’t really remember why. Anyway, we were sitting there, and her creepy guy friends (which weren’t really her friends in real life, but for some reason one of those guys reminded me of her abusive ex boyfriend) came and picked her up or she just went and sat with them. I remember feeling super sad and on edge at this point. So I just sat there and all of the sudden, the car kind of starts rolling backwards and I remember just freaking out. The car had started rolling down this hill and I ended up climbing out of the car before I went too far down the hill. I started crying and wondering whether I should call the police or not. So I went inside my grandparents house, and was talking to my girlfriend which had at some point went inside the house before this happened. When I came back outside, I remember seeing an ambulance and someone talking over a radio about some boy being injured and at first I thought it was my fault, but I kept listening for a few more seconds just to make sure it wasn’t my fault. I was almost sure it wasn’t my fault, but I still wasn’t super sure but the ambulance ended up leaving, and my girlfriend and I got into one of the other cars in the back seats, and continued on our night. Well… Next thing I knew, the car started rolling backwards again but in a completely different car than the last. I was so scared, I started crying and shaking, but I jumped in the front seat, and tried everything I could to try to make the car stop, but it wouldn’t. I pulled stuff, pressed stuff, but still nothing, so I just started steering the car in circles to try not to cause a ruckus or cause any damage. That’s right around when I woke up and I had to wake my girlfriend up because I literally was so scared that I was shaking. It had felt so real and I could feel everything that was happening and it just felt so realistic to me. I literally remember that before I even woke up, I was thinking to myself, is this a dream? Am I dreaming? And I remember talking myself into believing it was real while I was dreaming. It was so terrifying.


    Last night I had a dream that I was driving backwards and my car was speeding up. There were no curves no bumps or anything. I was able to maintain control of the car but all I could see were fence a lot of them and me crashing into them as my car was picking up speed. Funny thing I didn’t feel not one single bump or shake on the car while I was crashing but after the car came to a complete stop I got out and car bear up but drivable but pointed in a different direction than the path I was on.

  49. Charley

    I often dream of driving backwards or my car sliding backwards down a hill and the emergency brake will not stop the car.

  50. Diana

    I am really grateful I found this article. I dreamt many times that I am driving an enormous giant size truck., and sometimes a bus. I don’t know if this counts same as driving abnormal size car. Last night I dreamt that I am in the driver seat of this truck but can’t see my surroundings, and while stuck in traffic I had to break and go by trying to guess how to do that not by having a clear visual… it made me so scared.. to drive without seeing what is going on down in the street with me in a very high driver seat i. The giant truck.. I know this might sound silly but it was so scary at the time.. please help me with information if u think it means anything specific..

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