The Anxious Driver

It is becoming a bit of an ongoing theme to mention my upcoming holiday or my driving anxiety in at least one blog post a month and I know you are probably fed up of me rambling on and on about it. But a couple months back I uploaded a blog post talking all about my travel anxiety and sharing my tips and tricks on overcoming public transport anxiety and you all seemed to like it. So this week I am doing the same but focusing on driving.

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I feel like I have been learning to drive for ages and I am finally seeing the light at the end of tunnel and I have just booked my test in for July! About fucking time.  Trying to learn how to drive when having anxiety seems practically impossible but I promise you if I can do it then so can you.

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INSTRUCTORS TO SUIT YOU

The main thing is finding an instructor you are happy and comfortable with, I have been with three different companies and my instructor now is so so patient with me. Especially when you suffer with anxiety, you don’t want to be with someone who just heightens your anxiety. I am learning to drive with AA and even though they are slightly more expensive than other companies it is definitely worth it!

PRIVATE PRACTICE

I am lucky enough to own my own car so it means I can practice driving with my dad in my spare time. Some learners insurance quotes can be through the roof though, so make sure to look around to get the best price. But having the extra hours of practice in the week boosts my confidence so much! It is so good to get to know your car whilst learning because if you’re like me, then it will most likely be a lot less powerful than your instructors. So take the time to know you car and where all the controls are.

EXTRA CALMING METHODS

Some new drivers hate listening to music and find it distracting but I love it. It takes my mind off all the anxious thoughts that is screaming in my head. I used to work in Yankee Candle so you can imagine all of the different scented air fresheners I have at home, but having a scent which is calming is also so so helpful! I always keep a pack of gum near me, I have always been recommended to chew gum when driving, I’m not really too sure whether it actually calms you or if it is just a placebo effect.

GADGETS

For my previous birthday my dad bought me a Sat-Nav and I am excited to start to use it, you don’t have to worry about struggling to read road signs or have the fear of getting lost, you can just listen to the instructions the Sat-Nav gives you, so essentially it is just like driving with your instructor! For this birthday I am hopefully getting a Dash Cam from Cam, which I am so excited to get set up in my car. It is no secret there are a lot if idiots on the road so having a camera covers you if there are any incidents/accidents as you have guaranteed evidence.

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I hope these tips help at least one of you, whether you are considering to book some lessons in or if you have been passed for months and still suffer with driving anxiety! Remember to just take your time, it will take as long as it needs so try not to put pressure on yourself. As always thank you for reading!

The Anxious Traveller is linked here.

Until Next Time,

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31 thoughts on “The Anxious Driver

  1. Chloe Luna says:

    Great post – I went through I think about 4 instructors in the end until I found the one that I passed my test with. It reduced the anxiety I had with my lessons & driving in general by a good 90% which was amazing. I don’t know if this will be of any help but when I first started my blog I did a post on passing my test and some tips I gained from the experience, maybe they will be able to help you https://midnightwander.wordpress.com/2017/05/01/i-passed-my-driving-test/

    Good luck with your test and I’m sure you’ll smash it – if not just remember that it’s all experience!! xxx

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  2. Cinnamon Buns and Roses says:

    I’ve been meaning to get a Dash Cam for ages but just haven’t got round to it. I don’t want the leads to hang all over the place. I saw a rear cam the other day too! Like you say, so many bad drivers out there and it’s good to have the added security of video footage. Anna xx

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  3. chelseasguide says:

    Your car is so nice! Good luck for your test lovely! I failed mine three times and my theory has now expired but I’m determined to pass soon! I think I might need to take some Rescue Remedy the next time. You will do great xxxxx

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  4. Makeup by Erin says:

    I have horrible driving anxiety! I had it when I was a child, then I got into a car accident 4 years ago. I surrendered my drivers license because I hate driving so much. I’m sure you’re going to do amazingly though! You have a great mindset, I know you’ll do great!

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  5. kittyp0p says:

    Driving is the only time I really get anxious and it’s EVERY time I drive. I consider myself a good, safe driver. It’s the other people on the road that bother me, it’s the threat of something happening that’s out of my control. What if a deer jumps out and I can’t react quick enough? Or what if I do react, but the person behind me is too slow (that’s how I got rear-ended the second time)? It’s terrifying. I know this comment isn’t super helpful lol but you’re definitely NOT alone with driving anxiety! If I could take a train everywhere, I would haha

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    • chloeburford says:

      Even though I hate seeing you guys have the same anxiety it’s also a little reassuring to know I’m not alone! Yeah I agree it’s everyone else which is the scary thing, especially when some people are idiots!! X

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  6. Hannah says:

    Good luck! I actually had to take my driving test twice because I was so nervous the first time but chewing gum definitely helped me and also sipping water at the start of the test. I think it’s really good that you are already getting in extra practice as I didn’t do that. You can have your instructor (or another adult) sit in during your exam if you feel that might be useful so you’re not having a 1:1 with a stranger! xx

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  7. Hannah says:

    I know what you mean about driving anxiety. I’ve kind of now faced my fear of it! I don’t drive because I enjoy it, it drive because I have to. I drive a 100 mile round trip to work so I’ve had to get on with it now!

    I felt so much better having my sat nav for the car and I too have been thinking about a dash cam, but it’s all the wires everywhere unless you get it wired in. But I definitely agree, there are so many bad drivers out there!

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  8. brokedownvanity says:

    I find Music to help too.

    Whenever I go to visit my sister in Toronto I have to deal with the 16 lane collectors, which is just a nutball amount of lanes for people to be idiots on. I put on the most random Heavy metal and let the music distract me from totally freaking out. It is like zoning in on it helps me make smart moves in the lanes, and merge out where I need to go, while staying safe. Doesn’t work with other Genres of music in that section of highway, only Metal helps, so random.

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  9. hopelesswonderer says:

    this was such a good blog to write i get so anxious driving but having a few gadgets does really help calm your nerves 🤓

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