How to Overcome the Fear of Driving

Starting to drive is a big deal. It’s an exciting time, but it can also come with a lot of pressure. You’re not only learning how to drive, but you’re learning the rules of the road and how to act in specific driving situations that are new and unfamiliar to you.

Driving anxiety is common amongst learners and can cause a range of both mental and physical effects. We’ll go over the reasons why new drivers may feel nervous to get on the road as well as some tips that will help overcome these fears. It can take time before you’re feeling confident on the road, and most people will feel stressed at some point in the process of acquiring their driving licence. With a few simple changes, you can overcome these fears and become a more confident driver.

Understanding Your Driving Fears


The first step in overcoming your fear of driving is to understand what’s causing that fear. Is it the act of driving itself? Or are you afraid of something specific, like being in a car accident or getting lost? Once you know what specifically

is making you scared, you can start working on ways to overcome that fear.

Taking your driving test

The next big step after completing your driving theory test, the practical driving test can be a source of fear for many learner drivers. The best way to overcome this fear is to prepare yourself as much as possible by doing practice tests and learning the rules of the road ahead of time. Repeated practice is helpful for mastering manoeuvres such as parallel parking, and should help to reduce your stress level, which in turn will help you perform better during your test.

Driving lessons with an approved driving instructor will also help to build your confidence and prepare you for the practical test. A good instructor will be able to give you feedback on your driving, provide tips and advice, and make sure that you feel comfortable with all aspects of driving before taking your test.

Driving in Traffic

One of the most common fears among new drivers is driving in traffic. Although it’s important to practice in different types of traffic situations, such as busy streets and motorways, make sure that you’re comfortable with less busy roads first before moving on to busier areas.

close-up of multiple cars in traffic

Driving in the countryside can be a less stressful experience, as well as practicing parking where there are fewer obstacles around you  this can help to ease your nerves for when it comes time to drive in traffic. If possible try and find quiet country roads that have fewer  cars or people around. It’s important to stay calm and focused. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and take a break.

Rush hour traffic can be especially daunting for new drivers, but remember that it’s important to stay patient and avoid getting angry or frustrated. If you find yourself in a difficult situation, take your time and focus on the safest option instead of trying to rush or cut people off.

Car Accidents

It’s understandable to be worried about car accidents, especially if you’re a new driver. There are lots of ways to increase your level of safety on the road, such as driving cautiously and avoiding distractions. Additionally, modern cars come with a variety of safety features that can help to protect you in the event of an accident.

Motorway driving can be particularly daunting but only accounts for a small percentage (<5% in 2020) of overall accidents, making them statistically less dangerous than driving on local roads.

Once you begin driving in your own car, ensuring that your vehicle remains in good condition is important. Make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure, that your brakes are working properly, and that all of your lights are functioning correctly. If you’re not comfortable doing these checks yourself, take your car into a garage for a safety checkup on a regular basis.

Driving conditions

As a driver, you’ll likely encounter bad weather conditions such as heavy rain and snow sooner or later. These conditions introduce additional risks and can be a source of fear for many drivers. However, with the right knowledge and preparation, you can safely drive in bad weather man inside car during rain


In bad weather, it’s important to slow down and allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. If possible, avoid driving in bad weather until you become more experienced on the road. However, if that’s not an option then just take your time and drive carefully during these difficult conditions.

Tips for Overcoming Your Driving Fears

Practice, practice, practice. The more time you spend behind the wheel, the more comfortable you’ll become. Try different types of roads and situations to prepare yourself for anything that might come up while driving.

Remember that mistakes are normal. Everyone makes mistakes when they’re learning to drive, and it’s okay. Just make sure you learn from those mistakes so you don’t make them again. Consider taking a extended driving course to help build your confidence. You’ll also get some hands-on experience driving in different situations.

Take frequent breaks when practicing driving manoeuvres especially if they’re starting to become frustrating. Sometimes taking a break can help your body relax which in turn will increase your level of confidence behind the wheel.

The best way to overcome your fear is by learning as much about driving as possible, especially the rules of the road. Make sure you understand the Highway Code.

Driving lessons

Driving lessons are one of the best ways to build your confidence and improve your driving skills at your own pace, as you’ll have an expert instructor to help you out if anything goes wrong or if something confuses you. Each driving lesson should help you pick up new driving skills, overcome bad habits, and become a less nervous driver.

Find a driving instructor that you feel comfortable with. Your first impression of your instructor will set the tone for how well they teach you to drive, so make sure that they’re the right instructor for you.


What do I need to drive a car?

To legally drive a car in the UK, you will need to have obtained a provisional driving licence. You will need to pass the theory and practical driving tests in order to acquire a full licence and drive on public roads.

What do I need to know for my theory test?

The first step towards getting your licence is passing your theory test. This will be the first time that you’re required to be tested on your knowledge of driving in general, what’s expected from drivers and how to stay safe when behind the wheel.

Multiple choice questions make up the bulk of the theory test, but you’ll also be tested on your hazard perception awareness.

The following books are officially recommended for the theory test:

What do I need for my practical test?

You can book your driving test at any time after receiving your provisional licence and passing the theory test, but generally, you’ll need a series of driving lessons in order to build up the experience needed for the practical test.

To pass your driving test, you will have to show a certain level of control and competence while operating a car in various conditions and situations. Be prepared to take your practical exam after you feel that you’ve taken enough driving lessons and are comfortable with all aspects of driving. Your instructor should be able to help you determine when you’re ready.