Lauren Pellizzi LLC

Specialized Anxiety Treatment

Anxiety Therapy Red Bank

Areas of Specialty

Hit and Run OCD

What is Hit and Run OCD?
Hit and Run OCD involves persistent fears of hitting, injuring, or killing a pedestrian while driving a car. A bump in the road or an unexpected noise may trigger uncertainty about whether an accident occurred and prompt you to seek reassurance that you were not responsible for an accident. This may involve going back to check the scene, looking up accident reports, or checking your vehicle for signs of damage.

Symptoms of Hit and Run OCD

  • Returning to the “scene” to check for signs of an accident.
  • Looking in the rear-view mirror for signs of an accident or to assess the reactions of other drivers (e.g. to see if other cars have pulled over or are trying to get your attention).
  • Avoiding listening to the radio while driving in order to hear screeching tires or the sounds of someone who has been hurt.
  • Seeking reassurance from passengers in your car that no one has been hit.
  • Reassuring self, with mental rituals, such as “No one was hit,” “I’m a safe driver,” or “Nothing bad is going to happen.”
  • Avoiding driving entirely or avoiding certain trigger areas such as schools or playgrounds, roads without bike lanes or roads with lots of potholes.
  • Driving only when other people are in the car (to get reassurance that no one was hit).​


Treatment of Hit and Run OCD

The goal of treatment for Hit and Run OCD is to teach you that you can manage the anxiety associated with obsessive thoughts without performing compulsions or rituals. Treatment will include education about Hit and Run OCD and how it is maintained, cognitive strategies that will help you respond differently to anxiety and intrusive thoughts, and behavioral strategies to help you delay and/or eliminate compulsive behaviors such as the need to check and obtain reassurance. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP) will help you face your fears about being held responsible for an accident, in session and in the real world, and practice new ways of responding to anxiety. With practice and experience in facing your fears, you find yourself to be less disturbed by intrusive thoughts and more able to cope with anxiety and uncertainty.


​People suffering from Hit and Run OCD are encouraged to seek treatment from a mental health treatment provider that specializes in the treatment of OCD.  OCD specialists are equipped and prepared to treat a wide array of OCD subtypes, including Hit and Run OCD.  Contact Lauren Pellizzi to start treatment.