Driving lessons can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially for new drivers. The thought of handling a vehicle on busy roads, making quick decisions and mastering the rules of the road can all contribute to anxiety.

This article will explore ways to alleviate your driving lesson anxiety, focusing on communicating with the driving instructor so you can confidently take the wheel.

How To Reduce Driving Lesson Anxiety

Choosing a Driving Instructor

Choosing the right driving instructor who is skilled, knowledgeable, patient, and understanding of your fears is important. Prioritise expertise over cost when selecting an instructor, for a quality teacher will impart essential road safety skills that you will retain throughout your driving life.

Research and Reviews

Research local driving schools in your area and read their reviews. Look for feedback about an instructor’s character, specifically stating qualities relating to their patience and abilities to handle anxious new drivers. Alternatively, it’s worth considering a driving instructor that a family member or friend recommended due to their own experience with them.

Meet Before Committing

If possible, consider meeting with a potential instructor before starting lessons. This can help you decide whether their teaching style and personality will ease your driving lesson anxiety. If the instructor comes recommended by someone you know, take the opportunity to discuss further with the recommender. Ask about the instructor’s demeanour and methods and whether it placed them at ease during their experience. Ask what they did not like about their instructor and the positives.

Professional Credentials

Ensuring your chosen instructor is certified and has a good track record is crucial. A confident professional will spread some much-needed confidence.

Tips for Communicating Your Fears and Anxiety

Clear communication about your fears and anxieties with your driving instructor can transform your learning experience. Here are some tips that may help:

Write your Fears Down on Paper

Writing down your fears on paper before beginning driving lessons allows you to acknowledge and validate your concerns and provides a structured way to communicate these fears to your instructor.

When you write down your driving worries, whether fear of driving on a multiple-lane roundabout or performing a hill start with vehicles behind you, your instructor can address your concerns directly in your lessons, setting a tailored lesson plan. Additionally, seeing your fears on paper can make them seem more manageable and less intimidating, helping to reduce the overall anxiety associated with learning to drive and giving you a sense of control.

Learn from Mistakes and Ask for Feedback

Sometimes, anxiety can arise from not knowing how you’re performing. Asking your instructor for constructive feedback can help remove self-doubt from your mind. Learning from your mistakes can help you recognise your strengths and areas that require improvement, leading to a more informed and confident driving experience.

Request a Slow Pace

Always remember to relax, stay focused and proceed at a comfortable pace. If you find the pace of your lessons too fast and need more time to master specific manoeuvres, don’t hesitate to request a slower pace from your instructor. Taking control allows more practice time to help you consolidate each skill thoroughly.

Use Relaxation Techniques Before and After Lessons

Incorporating a deep-breathing exercise routine before, during and after your lesson can improve your overall well-being. You and a willing driving instructor can practice these together before you start the engine, setting a calm and focused tone for the session. Additionally, incorporating gentle reminders throughout the lesson to use these techniques can help maintain a relaxed state of mind if feeling overwhelmed or stressed.