Driving Anxiety?

Hey all,

Was just wondering if anyone gets any driving anxiety? I'm a new motorbike rider, I've never driven on the road in my 20 years and I understand it would be extremely stressful for myself being a learner and some nasty drivers that don't make it easy learning.

But I keep having this extreme anxiety attacks which tenses me up, I don't know if there are any motorcyclists on here, but tensing up makes it harder to drive. I've managed to pass my CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) on a 50cc scooter, I have a geared 125cc kymco pulsar and on a straight round even in a controlled environment my teachers and mentors have given me such praise that it lifts my mood. They'd be no point in them lying to me or just saying it to boast my confidence as that'd just end up being more dangerous. They say I do everything perfectly like a natural in those types of environments (which was on a geared bike), but I couldn't pass the road safety because of my anxiety, so they let me pass on a scooter - saying I'd very easily and naturally transfer my confidence onto my geared bike.

The boyfriend has taken me out and such, but it just keeps happening. Everything is perfect when I'm not going anywhere but as soon as I start applying the gears and road and everything it all just goes tits up, bringing my confidence down so fast and hard, I tense up, get really teary and find it difficult to catch my breath. Obviously I can't drive like this, I just keep messing up when it comes to the road. My boyfriend says it's practice which is fine but I'm finding it difficult to get it all under control. I feel like everything is moving so fast that I just can never catch up.

Guess, what I'm asking is if anyone has dealt with it and how? I'm allowed to go on the road and I know that tomorrow I should try again but I'm so filled with anxiety I'm already shaking even though it's tomorrow another thing is this will be the first time on the road on my own. The boyfriend (who lives in Plymouth) was up for the weekend and I thought I'd have done better then what I have done, it was like I hadn't even passed my CBT at all. Now I'm even more afraid because he's gone back to Plymouth and I can't just wait around until he comes back up either - it'd be too long.

Sorry for the long post guess I'm just stressing x

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9 Replies

  • Hi aw you poor pet. Your boyfriend is right. It's all down to practice and experience.

    I have been driving for years, and I would be nervous o. A motorbike. Stop worrying

    Just go out more on the bike and it may take longer than you thought but you will

    Get there. It's like playing a musical instrument Practice Practice Practice.

    So good luck and just keep at it. I would say it normal to be nervous,

    Rather than saying it's anxiety. Look at it like this might help you.



  • Hey Hannah, I'm trying but it's got to the point where it's difficult to push myself out the door to practice, I definitely think it's more then just nerves, I guess I just have to try and push through it =[ x

  • You've got my sympathy. Took me 6 years of practicing to get my drivers licence and 4 years to talk myself into trying to learn!

    Funny thing is - it makes us better road users. We are suspicious of other peoples driving and that is sensible.

    It is a matter of practice - but it is also about risk. If it is really wet where you are, then would it be better waiting till it's a bit dryer?

  • Yeah, it's also my only mode of transport atm, surprisingly enough, it's so much cheaper then getting the bus to University, and atm I'm completely skint so it's all I've got, I've got University on Thursday and Friday this week. But, I honestly don't think I'm going to make it. It's just really frustrating me because I know what I have to and how, but I just can't do it on the road!

    I did my CBT in pouring rain so I'm not too bothered about a light drizzle if it's too much then I wouldn't go out because I know I haven't driven for long enough to be able to handle it yet. x

  • Cara Helen made a good point about roads wet and slippy.

    Don't put too much pressure on yourself as that could

    Make you worse. Relax love and take care. Great to be young though. Lol

  • Helen that's very true about wet slippy and greasy roads. Might be better to

    To wait a few weeks. X

  • Cara, I know it feels like you have totally failed with the CBT but it isn't true. You have had a setback and that is all it is. You just have to remind yourself that you did it once so you can do it again and stop listening to that voice of doubt that is telling you failed and you are always going to fail it isn't true.

    I've only ever been on a motorbike once - without a helmet and on very rough tracks in Bangladesh. I was clinging on so tight to the driver that he had to stop before we got to a village and I had to walk through the village because he couldn't risk being seen that close to a woman who wasn't his wife :). However, my boyfriend is a bike rider - in his blood ... and I really love watching the MotoGP races. On one level it's really scary but all the gear these days is designed to help with a lot of the dangers ... and a bike is always more at risk from other road users than they are from you.

    I learnt to drive very late - mid-20s. the only thing I remember about my first driving test ... and the anxiety was about the test side of things rather than the driving - was that at one point there was a cyclist coming the other way and I really didn't know what to do - so the instructor had to steer the car - we all get moments of panic but that doesn't mean we will always panic.

    Take it easy and build up to things ... and definitely don't beat yourself up about not being able to go as fast as you feel you want to ... or others may seem to feel you should go. Everything will come together in it's own time.

    I passed my second test - and don't remember anything about it. My brother who is a confident driver took 3 attempts because he was a bit gung-ho. So as helen says your carefulness makes you a better driver.

    You can do this.

  • heya Gambit, thanks that made me feel better, I know I should be easy on myself, especially as it's my first time on the road, but it's just so frustrating, and now my bike wont start because the battery's dead! lol so I'm gonna have to keep kickstarting it to see if it does anything, just a pain really as i really haven't got any money to get to uni and my bike has enough petrol to get me there loads of times! x

  • Oh I used to get huge anxiety with going into a car to drive. Funny thing was, I'd had my lessons and was doing great - I had my lessons in that really really icy/snowy winter we had a few years back - doing hill starts on frozen roads...so I should have been perfectly fine in normal weather conditions. And then for no reason at all I started to get anxious up to the point where I'd be having a panic attack just sitting in the car if I was going to drive. So I gave it up, because it wasn't helping my anxiety/depression. It's taken me til now to think about getting around to starting my lessons again, which is so frustrating, as I was all set to take my test last time. As a previous poster has said....it's the anxiety about the test for me. I think once I sat the test and failed it, I'd be fine. It's the fear of failure! Anyway, this question was from a month back, but I just wanted you to know I'd read your post and that you're not alone on the driving/anxiety front.