Driver Hub  Driving advice  Nerves and anxiety   How I overcame my anxiety of driving
Image of girl driving taken from back seat of car

How I overcame my anxiety of driving

Bobby Hopkinson profile

Bobby Hopkinson

May 4, 2017

Driving advice Young driver stories 4 min read

Driving is a whole new experience for me, and unfortunately with this comes some stress and anxiety. Generally, I do get anxious about exams, school work and rugby matches alongside things that truly matter. Driving was no different for me and can still be scary, even though I’ve passed!

I’ve been lucky enough this year that I passed my test before the onslaught of my AS levels, but last year when I turned 17 years old I had to wait until my exams were over before I could actually start my driving lessons. I was concerned that driving could be a distraction, and in the end, it worked out well for me. I enjoyed having lessons at a time when I didn’t have school exams to worry about as it gave me headspace to learn new skills.

I remember feeling nervous before my first few driving lessons, as I was concerned I would embarrass myself or be a hindrance to other people on the road. I know how people roll their eyes when they see a learner driver and I didn’t want to think of them driving behind me getting aggravated. I know it shouldn’t matter what other people think, but it did worry me. Now I have my licence I am still aware of other drivers and when I do (occasionally) stall, I get a little panicked and try and get moving as soon as I can.

There are always things you can to do make it easier for yourself!

I think I still have a few moments where I get a little nervous when I encounter something on the road that I haven’t seen before, such as an emergency vehicle passing –  I want to make sure I don’t stop somewhere dangerous or block the road. I think whilst I am a new driver I will be worried about driving in some situations, it’s good as it keeps me on my toes and means I care and take my driving seriously.

To help conquer my anxiety of driving, I talked to my parents and older sisters a lot to help get tips on driving and how to stay calm, also watching YouTube videos on driving is very helpful – one channel, in particular, was World Driving, at it just helped me to get to grips with things within in the car better, and helped with a lot of anxiety. So I would definitely recommend these tips for anyone who is anxious.

Since I have passed my driving test I have felt a lot more comfortable, however, there are some cases where I still feel anxious, for example when I am going around the country roads where I live. They can be very narrow and scary, and you get a lot of blind bends and tight corners! So I do get nervous then. I also get a bit worried when merging onto the A14, as slip roads and motorways are something I still find pretty intimidating! I think it’s the speed of the flow of traffic and the multiple lanes that trigger that!

Sometimes it’s better to embrace the nerves

young driver at the wheel on a sunny day looking very happy

Overall the key is not to let the worry and anxiety take over too much! Don’t let it be all you think about when you’re behind the wheel. You should be focussed on the driving and, with practice, worries should soon lessen. Driving is to be enjoyed – I know I am loving my new freedom!

If you’re worried about driving or learning to drive, we’ve got loads of tips and advice to help you combat those nerves and help you feel more at ease on the road 🙂

Bobby Hopkinson profile

By Bobby Hopkinson

'My name is Bobby I am 18, I passed my text just before my 18th birthday. I am still in sixth form and enjoying the new found freedom of driving myself to my girlfriends house, the rugby club and the gym!'  See more posts by Bobby

Share this article

Angry man in car pointing
Learning to drive News Young driver stories 6 min read

Victims of road rage - Learner driver stories

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

October 17, 2019

As many of you know, we’re petitioning for change on how learner drivers are treated when they’re on the roads. Astonishingly, 90% of learner drivers have been subject to tailgating and overtaking when in their…Read more

Young girl in car
Driving advice Owning a car Young driver stories 6 min read

Kimberley's MOT misery

Kimberley Dodge profile

Kimberley Dodge

September 27, 2019

Fear. Dread. Horror. No, I’m not talking about the rush of panic when you spot a spider in your bedroom. I’m talking about the stab of fright that pierces your heart when you hear the…Read more

Interior Audi A1 steering wheel
Owning a car 7 min read

Audi A1 - Chloe's review

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

March 7, 2019

As a young driver, whilst I like to think that reading reviews about cars from petrol heads will help me when it comes to choosing my car, it really doesn’t. I want to know what…Read more