How to overcome driving stress

Driving stress

Posted by Chloe Martell on 07 November 2018

Driving can give us all a great sense of freedom and independence, but it doesn’t come without its dangers, which can often lead to worry and stress behind the wheel. Don’t worry – you’re not alone in feeling like this, in fact, 71% of UK drivers have lost concentration on the road due to stress or annoyance [1].

So what can we do about it? Well, as much as we’d love this blog to magically fix all of the worries you’re having about driving – it probably won’t. What we can do, however, is discuss the things we are finding stressful when driving and give you our best tips on how to tackle them!

Stressful events when driving

1. Being stuck in traffic

Driving during rush hour and barely moving is a super frustrating time, which can lead to a lot of anxiety and stress. Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do to avoid going out in rush hour –but there are some tips to keep you calmer when you’re behind the wheel.

  • Listen to something you can sing along to
  • Open the windows and get some fresh air
  • Keep your arms, shoulders and body relaxed

Check out our tips on driving in rush hour to help you deal with this tricky time behind the wheel.


2. Motorways

Striking fear into many new drivers, motorways are daunting for many motorists. Now there are a few different ways you can deal with the stress this can cause –

  • Take a Pass Plus course to get help from an instructor
  • Ask a parent to accompany you
  • Plan your route and know your exits
  • Take your time, and only head on the motorway when you’re ready

With the introduction of learners on the motorway, only time will tell if this helps with confidence on the big roads for new drivers. If you’re a learner and you want to know how a motorway driving lesson will work – we’ve got the insight from driving instructors.

3. Driving on unknown roads

If you don’t know how to get where you’re heading, this is obviously going to cause you some stress. Here are some tips on heading into the unknown, to help keep you calm!

  • Check the route on Google Maps before you go
  • Plan service station stops
  • Share the driving if you can
  • Listen to calming music


4. Back seat drivers

Road trips with your friends and family are great – but unfortunately, sometimes the same people you have a blast with can be pretty annoying back seat drivers, causing a distraction for you as you’re driving. This can be pretty stressful, and sometimes take the fun out of the road trip altogether. Why not set some ground rules before you set off for your passengers? This will make sure you’re not distracted and you still all have a good time!

We’ve looked at the different annoying habits our passengers can have, but also how to help you as the driver, to keep calm when you’re driving.

5. Parking

The drive itself may be an absolute breeze, but many can stumble at the last block – parking! Whilst no one particularly enjoys parallel parking, the downside shouldn’t be enough to completely put you off driving. The only tip we’ve got for this one is to practice – it really does make perfect! So whilst you may not ever become a super fan of squeezing your car into a small space, you’ll at least know you can do it if you need it. We’ve got some handy videos for you to help when you are trying to perfect the park!


If you’re finding the stress and anxiety of driving too much to handle, then, of course, public transport, car sharing and cycling are great alternatives. However, you’ve worked super hard to pass your test so it’s likely you don’t want to let your worries stand in the way. Following these tips can help with the nerves behind the wheel but if you find the stress too much – please consult a doctor.


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About the Author

Chloe Martell
Chloe Martell

'Hi I'm Chloe! I'm 21 and like a lot of people, I'm still in the process of learning to drive. I've recently graduated with a Photography degree - this is a huge passion of mine. I also have a slight obsession with constantly changing my hair colour!'