2 MIN READ | Mental Health

Adam Mulligan

Learning to Drive: How to Beat Driving Anxiety

Cite This
Adam Mulligan, (2022, October 1). Learning to Drive: How to Beat Driving Anxiety. Psychreg on Mental Health. https://www.psychreg.org/learning-drive-how-beat-driving-anxiety/
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Learning to drive? Driving is an incredibly valuable life skill to have and one that can improve your life in many ways, but it can also be one of the most daunting things to learn to start with. Many people suffer from anxiety when learning to drive, which is understandable when you consider how much there is to learn, how busy the roads can be, and the fact that driving can be dangerous. People often experience a racing heart, shortness of breath, sweaty palms, and panic. Of course, this can only make it harder to concentrate and drive safely. 

Get comfortable

Perhaps the best way to overcome driving anxiety is to get comfortable behind the wheel. You should have a car that you feel comfortable in and learn how everything works. You also need to find an instructor that you feel comfortable with, so do not feel bad about switching if it would make you feel more confident. Additionally, find a friend or family member that you can practice with – just make sure that you have learner driver insurance in place for protection. 

Take your time

There is no rush to learn how to drive and you should take your time so that you can build confidence behind the wheel. Everyone learns at a different rate, so do not panic if you have friends that learn much faster than you. It is a good idea to go over things multiple times and practice makes perfect.

Lane position

Another common reason that people feel panicked on the road is that they do not know where they should position themselves and they do not want to drive in a dangerous position and annoy other road users. People often drive too close to the kerb or too far away or they do not leave a safe gap between their car and the car in front of them. You should maintain a distance of two car lengths and ensure that you can see the tyres of the car in front when it comes to stopping. Additionally, keep in mind that stopping distances change in snow and rain. You also need to how to safely use hard shoulders and stop at junction lines to ensure visibility.

You are a learner

Finally, you need to keep in mind that you are a learner and it is ok to make mistakes and be unsure. Every motorist has to go through the process of learning to drive and will make mistakes. It is all part of the learning process and you will build confidence with more time spent behind the wheel and learning the theory.


Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.


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