Anxious Learner Drivers Support Thread Watch

Rum Ham
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Hey :wavey:

I've recently gone back to driving lessons and I know that for some of us, driving lessons are a scary thing and a real cause of anxiety. Its normal to have some nerves while learning to drive and even after passing the test but for those who experience anxiety outwith of driving as well, driving lessons can be tough. So here's a thread to vent, get advice on how to deal with driving anxiety and just have a chat with those who are in the same boat (or should I say car? ) as you :yep: :hugs:

I remember when I first started driving lessons years ago, I was filled with dread before every lesson. I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks in general and driving was very daunting. Anxiety affected my driving ability in the sense that nothing was sticking because I couldn't relax and I had no confidence in my ability. My old instructor didn't help either. Whenver I made a mistake, instead of correcting me and showing me where I went wrong and encouraging me for the next try, he would tut and roll his eyes.

Now though after working on my overall anxiety for the last few years as well as having a good instructor, I look forward to driving and if I muck up, I laugh it off and start again and now things are actually sticking! I now have mastered clutch control and don't cross my arms any more while turning the wheel which was something I done in every single lesson with my old instructor.

So to start off the discussion, what experience have you had with driving anxiety and what helps/helped you manage it?


Also, here's some quick links on driving anxiety from DVSA and anxiety decidated websites
https://www.safedrivingforlife.info/...riving-anxiety

http://www.anxietycare.org.uk/docs/driving.asp

https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/types/driving


If you also need help with anxiety outside of driving, please feel free to pop into Mental Health Support Society (MHSS) on TSR where you can post anon if you wish. We're a friendly bunch


Each day, I'll add a new discussion topic for the thread :yep:
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Rum Ham
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Todays discussion along with yesterday's topic is - did a fear of driving stop you from driving as soon as you turned 17?

I remember at secondary school, as soon as someone turned 17, it was seen as the cool thing to do to get picked up at school for your driving lesson. I never fancied learning to drive at that age both due to nerves and no interest.
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Petulia
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I really needed this thread I was really excited to drive when I turned 17, until I realised that I'm a nervous driver. I've had 3 instructors in 3 years and there's been a point where all of them have left me holding back tears in the middle of a lesson, or crying as soon as I get into my house. I had a long break from driving between each instructor because each one just left me feeling really disappointed in myself and ashamed as if I should just give up driving because there's no one who has the patience for me.
My third instructor was a female and I made the most progress with her, but she was making me do 2 hour lessons and I just can't focus for that long, and she was starting to get frustrated with me towards the end which was making me feel really guilty. She had a family emergency and I took that as an opportunity to tell her I've had to switch instructors.
Tried a new instructor just last week and his method of teaching is really relaxed e.g my last 3 instructors used to get annoyed or call me out straight away if I didn't follow their exact steps for manoeuvres whereas he told me I can just turn the steering wheel however much I like instead of thinking about how many turns I'm making. Anyway he was pretty good but I texted him about our next lesson and he never texted back, and I just feel like I'm back to square one again

I feel a lot of pressure on me to start driving because everyone else can do it. I just want to find an instructor who's patient with me and organised in a way too... I mean I literally feel like giving up again just because he didn't text me back. Finding instructors has probably been the most exhausting part of driving for me.
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Rum Ham
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(Original post by Petulia)
I really needed this thread I was really excited to drive when I turned 17, until I realised that I'm a nervous driver. I've had 3 instructors in 3 years and there's been a point where all of them have left me holding back tears in the middle of a lesson, or crying as soon as I get into my house. I had a long break from driving between each instructor because each one just left me feeling really disappointed in myself and ashamed as if I should just give up driving because there's no one who has the patience for me.
My third instructor was a female and I made the most progress with her, but she was making me do 2 hour lessons and I just can't focus for that long, and she was starting to get frustrated with me towards the end which was making me feel really guilty. She had a family emergency and I took that as an opportunity to tell her I've had to switch instructors.
Tried a new instructor just last week and his method of teaching is really relaxed e.g my last 3 instructors used to get annoyed or call me out straight away if I didn't follow their exact steps for manoeuvres whereas he told me I can just turn the steering wheel however much I like instead of thinking about how many turns I'm making. Anyway he was pretty good but I texted him about our next lesson and he never texted back, and I just feel like I'm back to square one again

I feel a lot of pressure on me to start driving because everyone else can do it. I just want to find an instructor who's patient with me and organised in a way too... I mean I literally feel like giving up again just because he didn't text me back. Finding instructors has probably been the most exhausting part of driving for me.
Hiya and welcome to the thread feel free to use it any time :yep:

I can relate to everything you have said, especially with the number of instructors you've had. Its taken me until now to find an instructor I feel 100% comfortable with and who builds me up instead of bringing me down. How long has it been since you texted him? Some instructors are really bad at texting back both in their personal life and work, I wouldn't take it personally. I'm lucky that my instructor has his diary with him during lessons so I get my next lesson date there and then and will only contact me to change it if he really has to.
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Rum Ham
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I had a lesson this morning and made more mistakes today than I did in previous lessons. I was too near the kerb so my instructor kept telling me to go more right but I got caught up with a car behind me, I didn't know whether he had enough room to over take me and all that jazz and in the stress of that moment, I went left instead of right and went right into the kerb. My instructor wasn't angry or anything but I just wanted to burst out crying and it reminded me of the deflated feeling I used to get with my old instructor when I mucked up, even though my new instructor today was fine. I need to stop being so hard on myself when I make a mistake.
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UnknownUKB
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(Original post by Rum Ham)
Hey :wavey:

I've recently gone back to driving lessons and I know that for some of us, driving lessons are a scary thing and a real cause of anxiety. Its normal to have some nerves while learning to drive and even after passing the test but for those who experience anxiety outwith of driving as well, driving lessons can be tough. So here's a thread to vent, get advice on how to deal with driving anxiety and just have a chat with those who are in the same boat (or should I say car? ) as you :yep: :hugs:

I remember when I first started driving lessons years ago, I was filled with dread before every lesson. I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks in general and driving was very daunting. Anxiety affected my driving ability in the sense that nothing was sticking because I couldn't relax and I had no confidence in my ability. My old instructor didn't help either. Whenver I made a mistake, instead of correcting me and showing me where I went wrong and encouraging me for the nesteering he would tut and roll his eyes.

Now though after working on my overall anxiety for the last few years as well as having a good instructor, I look forward to driving and if I muck up, I laugh it off and start again and now things are actually sticking! I now have mastered clutch control and don't cross my arms any more while turning the wheel which was something I done in every single lesson with my old instructor.

So to start off the discussion, what experience have you had with driving anxiety and what helps/helped you manage it?


Also, here's some quick links on driving anxiety from DVSA and anxiety decidated websites
https://www.safedrivingforlife.info/...riving-anxiety

http://www.anxietycare.org.uk/docs/driving.asp

https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/types/driving


If you also need help with anxiety outside of driving, please feel free to pop into Mental Health Support Society (MHSS) on TSR where you can post anon if you wish. We're a friendly bunch


Each day, I'll add a new discussion topic for the thread :yep:
Just wanted to thank you for creating this thread. It helps a lot because today's driving lesson I struggled with steering and having more control with the wheel. This lead me to getting frustrated and forgetting all the basics again. I was fortunate enough that my instructor explained to me where i went wrong but i did see his frustration as other cars passed me. I guess this moment made me quite emotional but i tried to stay calm and remember that we weren't people all had to be learners.
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Rum Ham
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(Original post by UnknownUKB)
Just wanted to thank you for creating this thread. It helps a lot because today's driving lesson I struggled with steering and having more control with the wheel. This lead me to getting frustrated and forgetting all the basics again. I was fortunate enough that my instructor explained to me where i went wrong but i did see his frustration as other cars passed me. I guess this moment made me quite emotional but i tried to stay calm and remember that we weren't people all had to be learners.
You're very welcome and I hope you find this thread useful :hugs: Its so hard at times to remain calm when you are learning to drive, especially when we see we are holding up other drivers or see our instructor getting frustrated. I absolutely dread when my instructor asks me to do a turn in the road in case cars end up coming up the road and then I hold them up but you are right, everyone was a learner driver at some point and while some people can be quite inconsiderate to learner drivers, most are understanding :yep:
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nevershear
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#8
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Even though I only recently passed and have parking sensors; I still can't stand parking in any way shape or form without my instructor. It's the loss of the dual controls that hurts the most (despite no recollection of him ever having to use them whilst parking; but I had the reassurance they were there); and everyone at my work's parking site legit parks like a willy. Meanwhile from my upstairs lounge yesterday I watched someone in a BMW Coupe use my drive to complete a three-point turn one-handed in about 10 seconds. I've never been so jealous of someone else's driving experience in my life.
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Rum Ham
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I had a **** lesson today. I made so many mistakes and even though he wasn't nasty or anything - my instructor was getting quite frustrated with me and it reminded me of how I felt with my last instructor. I've came home feeling deflated and like I just want to give up driving. I wish I was one of those people who take to driving so easy, like it was natural but with me, when it comes to anything practical - I have two left hands, pretty much.

I know we all have our good and bad lessons and that I will master driving (one day!), so I'm allowing myself to feel down about today's lesson for an hour or two and that's it - back to positive thinking, do some theory revision and take things a lesson at a time :yep:
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Rum Ham
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So nervous about my lesson tomorrow after how last week's lesson went. Feel so deflated thinking about tomorrow
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NattyLou90
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#11
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Hello :woo::woo::woo:

New here but just wanted a bit of support really. My driving test is next Friday and I’m so nervous as my theory is due to expire at the end of next month. I’ve spent so much on driving lessons over the years and make the mistake of stopping and starting. I’ve had 5 instructors and this will be my 4th attempt at the practical. I’ve switched to automatic now to make it a bit simpler as I get so anxious. :afraid::afraid::afraid: I think as soon as someone says the word test to me I start to feel a bit sick. Have 2 lessons this Friday and Saturday and another lesson next Thursday before the big day!
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Licence2Drive
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(Original post by NattyLou90)
Hello :woo::woo::woo:

New here but just wanted a bit of support really. My driving test is next Friday and I’m so nervous as my theory is due to expire at the end of next month. I’ve spent so much on driving lessons over the years and make the mistake of stopping and starting. I’ve had 5 instructors and this will be my 4th attempt at the practical. I’ve switched to automatic now to make it a bit simpler as I get so anxious. :afraid::afraid::afraid: I think as soon as someone says the word test to me I start to feel a bit sick. Have 2 lessons this Friday and Saturday and another lesson next Thursday before the big day!
I see this every day, it's easy from my side of the car but you must be good enough for the test otherwise you wouldn't have been entered for it.

You just need to try and drive your normal drive. Don't do anything special or different for test, it won't work! Don't over think decisions, trust your instinct, it will be right! If you look back at your previous tests you should see that it was one or two instance that failed you, the rest of the drive was probably OK.

Try and remember that everybody is nervous, it's normal!

If you want any more advice feel free to message me.

Good luck with your test!
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NattyLou90
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#13
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(Original post by Licence2Drive)
I see this every day, it's easy from my side of the car but you must be good enough for the test otherwise you wouldn't have been entered for it.

You just need to try and drive your normal drive. Don't do anything special or different for test, it won't work! Don't over think decisions, trust your instinct, it will be right! If you look back at your previous tests you should see that it was one or two instance that failed you, the rest of the drive was probably OK.

Try and remember that everybody is nervous, it's normal!

If you want any more advice feel free to message me.

Good luck with your test!
Thank you for your tips. I managed to pass today with 2 minor faults!
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Licence2Drive
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Excellent! Congrats, enjoy your freedom!
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Sarahjbidder
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Hi all😊 this is my first ever time on here and reading all your comments it's encouraging to know that I'm not the only new learner driver who doesn't only suffer with anxiety and nerves and I'm not alone.I have recently started taking lessons and today was my forth lesson, however I suffer with nerves and panic before every lesson. I can happily change gear, and have good clutch control and in control of the car. However I completly panic when other cars vehicles are approaching. My instructor is very patient and calm. but he has explained that my driving isnt the problem but my nerves and fear of other vehicles approaching is potentially hindering me from going onto the main roads. As I'm only driving at speeds of 20 in seconds gear. On side road.I desperately want to move to the next level of my driving but my nerves and anxiety is preventingme from progressing. Is there any body else who is suffering with the same problem😔
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