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Forums / Anxiety / Driving anxiety

Topic: Driving anxiety

10 posts, 0 answered
    KERLIA avatar
    2 posts
    16 May 2022
    Hello, recently ive been feeling pressured to get my licence. I got my learners licence a while ago and seeing all my friends get their P's, they keep asking me when I'm going to get mine, im stressed. I've done a few lessons with an instructor but I'm still so scared to drive. Im feeling pressured because my licence is about to expire and my friends are all getting their P's. Everytime I start driving, I get so scared of needing to check everything and to not crash, I keep messing up my turns and parking. Before I drive, I get this pre anxiety of just the thought of driving. I don't know if anyone can relate to this?
  2. jaz28
    Community Champion
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    jaz28 avatar
    514 posts
    16 May 2022 in reply to KERLIA

    hi there,

    first of all, your feelings are valid! driving is understandably a scary thing! you are in charge of a vehicle. so many things can happen. but also...driving is a very valuable skill. it is sometimes a crucial skill in life.

    you should not feel pressure to drive or get your license, you need to do it at your own pace. i found that going on more drives helped me to get my confidence up - i was very anxious at first. how long have you been practising for?

    also, if you think it would help, you could speak to your doctor about seeing a psychologist/counsellor to help learn some techniques for controlling your anxiety.

    i hope this helps,

    jaz xx

  3. Beeee
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    69 posts
    17 May 2022 in reply to KERLIA

    Hi KERLIA,

    Like jaz28 mentioned, driving can definitely be scary. I think the fact that you take it so seriously is a good thing, it means you're a careful driver who's not going to make careless mistakes.

    While I was on my Ls I was really anxious about driving as well. I was afraid every time I got behind the wheel that something terrible would happen. I think it's normal to be afraid as you're learning to drive, and as you practice more, you will become more confident and be more in control. I think driving with someone you trust can be helpful, someone you know will support you rather than making you feel more anxious.

    But you definitely should not feel pressured to get your license. If it's really not something you want, it's not a necessity. But again like jaz28 has said, it can be a helpful skill and speaking to a psychologist or counsellor could help in overcoming your anxiety.

    Wishing you the best,


    1 person found this helpful
  4. Maddeline
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    37 posts
    17 May 2022 in reply to KERLIA

    Hi Kerlia,

    I can completely relate to your post! When I first started driving, I hated it so much. It caused me so much anxiety, especially since schools place a lot of emphasis on car accidents around the time that you get your licence. I would be scared of crashing, of causing a massive accident, and hurting people. However, I learnt to control my anxiety when it came to driving by pushing myself to overcome my fears. I would continue to attend driving lessons, being open with my instructor about my anxiety. My instructor was able to calm me down at the start of my lessons, by going over the instructions, and assuring me that I do know how to drive and understand the road rules.

    Of course, it is important to not have the licence because you feel pressured by those around you. But if it is something that you want, the more that you practice the more confident you will become. You clearly know your stuff due to getting your learners licence! Also, try and be open with your instructor, they will definitely understand as it is a completely common thing to be anxious about.

    - Hope this helps and am looking forward to hearing from you x

  5. Emmen
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    390 posts
    17 May 2022 in reply to KERLIA

    Hi Kerlia,

    I feel the same as you about driving. If it makes you feel any better, I'm still on my learners when my peers have been able to drive for close to two decades by now. It's still on my mind that I have to learn it someday, but I keep putting it off.

    The good news is, you can still function in society without a licence. Yes, it gets a little hard now and then, but it also depends on your lifestyle and where you live. I'm fortunate since I can manage with public transport or by getting a family member to drive me.

    The bottom line is that you shouldn't be forced to drive because of peer pressure. Perhaps there will be some time in life when you realise you want to drive and are willing to go through with the lessons and driving test, but if that time is not now, then there is no need for you to do it. You're no lesser than anyone else just because you aren't able to drive.


  6. minkey
    minkey avatar
    8 posts
    17 May 2022 in reply to KERLIA

    Hey Keralia,

    I had the same issue! I let my L's expire twice I think, before I got my P's, because I was anxious about it. One thing that I did was to practice driving in an empty car park first so I was just getting really familiar with turning and stopping etc. Then when I would drive on the road, I would get super anxious about doing the whole drive, so instead of thinking about the full drive, I would just concentrate on the bit of road I was driving at that moment. It helped and over time I got more experience and the anxiety diminished.

    I don't know if that helps but thought I would mention it just in case. You're definitely not alone with feeling anxious about driving! As someone else said, it can really help to go at a slower pace and practice the small stuff in a safe way first so you can get a feel for it and build up some knowledge and confidence (that's where the empty car park is handy... if there's a uni campus near you they have lots of carparks and they're usually pretty empty on weekends and school/uni holidays).

  7. Kayla4848
    Kayla4848 avatar
    1 posts
    20 May 2022 in reply to KERLIA

    Hi kerlia,

    i have the same issues around driving. Only I’ve been driving for nearly 20yrs. It’s only very recently that I’ve had issues. What are some things that have helped you? I’m at a loss atm. I’m still driving but only to and from work. Even that is a struggle for me


  8. Pixie11
    Pixie11 avatar
    4 posts
    3 June 2022 in reply to Kayla4848

    Hi kayla, I am 46 and have been having terrible anxiety driving mostly over past 2 years. I have been on medication for my anxiety, and it helped with all other aspects, but driving still can be a scary experience. My pschologist gave me some tips to help, but it is still hanging around! I hope you get relief soon too. Before this I had absolutely no problem driving at all, so it's very frustrating to saythe least.

    The lockdowns from covid actually perpetuated this problem, as I didn't drive much for months. The key is to keep on driving and try not to avoid it, even if you take a different route to avoid traffic, you still need to keep on doing it. Avoiding it only makes it worse, as it is reinforcing in your mind that it is something to be worried about.

  9. Corn L
    Corn L avatar
    8 posts
    6 June 2022 in reply to KERLIA
    Hi KERLIA,

    I know how your feel. I had the same feeling when I was preparing for my driving test last year.
    Take your time, everybody has their own journey. Don't rush. Don't let the expiry date stress you out.
    If your friends are true friends who care about you, they would offer you support and encouragement. They would not give you pressure if they know your issue. Try to talk to them if you feel comfortable.
  10. Mark Z.
    Multicultural Correspondent
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    Mark Z. avatar
    195 posts
    9 June 2022 in reply to KERLIA

    Hi Kerlia,

    May I ask if you have anxiety and stress in other cases or only when driving?

    If it's just driving related stress, then do more preparation (recall key points in your memory) and do more practice with your instructor, you'll be fine. Even if you fail, it's not the end of the world, don't give yourself too much pressure.

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