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What do young drivers find most scary about driving?

Holly West-Robinson profile

Holly West-Robinson

February 23, 2017

Driving advice 6 min read

Marmalade recently carried out a survey on 17-24 year olds, to find out what the biggest anxieties are for young drivers living in the UK, and we certainly got some interesting results! 16% of young drivers rated breaking down as their greatest fear with 15% scared of junctions & roundabouts. 13% of young drivers were afraid of driving in traffic and congested cities with 11% dreading those tricky parking manoeuvres.

Just as interesting, some of the things more experienced drivers are concerned about, such as adverse weather conditions and driving in the dark or on a motorway had the least votes.

We all break down at some point!

Lady in pink dress in front of red broken down car

If breaking down is what the youth of today are finding as the scariest thing about being on the road, our first bit of advice is to buy breakdown cover in addition to your insurance for peace of mind! Some insurers offer breakdown cover with the policy – but you can also buy it separately for a very reasonable price. To give yourself the best possible chance of avoiding a breakdown you should make regular checks on your car, including: Cars tyres, oil and coolant, brake fluid and addressing any lights that come on your dashboard as soon as possible.

Old bangers are much more likely to breakdown, whereas with newer cars the probability is much less likely. But regardless of your car’s age, it’s always worth getting it serviced on time, and making sure your vehicle is stocked up with supplies in case it does ever happen. A blanket, mobile phone and charger, warning triangle, etc are all things that will make the breaking down process a bit easier for you. Remember this happens to nearly every driver at some point, so try not to worry about it too much! ?

Busy junctions, cities and roundabouts sucks… but it could be worse!


If you live somewhere like Milton Keynes or the centre of London, you’ll be well accustomed to the amount of horrible roundabouts, strange roads, confusing one way systems, and built up areas. It’s never easy driving in these sorts of places, especially during times like rush hour when the constant waiting to get out of a busy junction nearly doubles your usual journey time –just take a deep breath and remember that it’s more important to get to your destination safely, than to take a risk or rush!

Driving in a place where there just seems to be constant traffic everywhere along with cyclists and pedestrians and an abundance of noise can definitely be intimidating – especially if you’re just visiting for the day – but if you live in those parts, don’t worry, you’ll get used to it! As frustrating and scary as this can be, in reality we actually have it quite easy over here! When you look at somewhere in the world like India, where the roads are a lot more dangerous and there is rarely any traffic control – that’s when you ought to be anxious or stressed about getting to your destination, and more importantly getting there ALIVE!

The pain of the parallel park

Red car parked behind white fiat on a side street

We have all been through the anguish and torment of having to learn those mandatory parking manoeuvres in order to pass the practical test. Some are easier than others, but most people would probably consider the parallel park or reverse parking to be the trickiest! The best advice we can give is to simply practise, practise, practise! Like anything, if you do it enough times, it soon becomes second nature and you’re bound to see an improvement eventually.

You may not master them both in one go, but having a small car helps, or a car with a small engine which allows you to move slowly using the clutch without the need to use the accelerator. However, if you already own a reasonably big car, practice will help you get a feel for how your car works so you can control it better and put these manoeuvres into practice – and soon, you’ll be a dab hand at squeezing into tight parking spots.

If you’re interested in knowing what other things young drivers are worrying about on the road, check out the answers our participants gave below!

Anxiety Percentage of Participants
Breaking down 16%
Junctions/roundabouts 15%
Busy traffic/cities 13%
Parking/manoeuvres 11%
Driving in bad weather conditions 8%
Motorway driving 8%
Getting lost 7%
Lorries 6%
Other drivers 5%
Driving at night 3%
Speeding 2%
Cost of insurance 1%
Driving with passengers 1%
Learners 1%
Traffic Jams 1%
Hill Starts 1%
The Police 1%
Stalling 1%
Car problems 1%
Everything 1%
Animals 1%
Driving Test 1%
Cyclists 1%
Holly West-Robinson profile

By Holly West-Robinson

'Hi I'm Holly and I'm a young driver based in Peterborough! I love tattoos, food, drawing and anything art related, enjoy hanging out with friends and family and making a fool of myself. I'm definitely one of the adventurous types who's always up for a good old road trip!'  See more posts by Holly

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