8 Very Common Problems Student Drivers Face When Learning to Drive

person driving car
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When you’re a beginner driver, learning to drive can be a thrilling and taxing adventure, but it can also be quite scary and nerve-wracking.

People progress at different rates, but many novice drivers share similar challenges.

In this article, we’ll go over eight issues that frequently arise for new student drivers, as well as some advice for dealing with driver anxiety.

Fear of Accidents

The fear of having an accident is a major issue for many new student drivers.

This kind of worry is natural but has the potential to prevent action.

Remembering that accidents are uncommon and that most of them can be avoided can help you overcome your anxiety.

Maintain alertness and use defensive manoeuvres to keep yourself and others safe on the road.

Anxiety about Driving Alone

There is a common fear among new drivers, especially teen drivers, of being on the road by themselves for the first time at night or in an unfamiliar area.

Practice during the day in safe, familiar places to help overcome your fear of the unknown.

Drive with a friend or family member you trust in unfamiliar areas until you feel comfortable doing so on your own.

The issue mostly stems from an over-reliance on a driving instructor, or an overvaluing of the presence of an instructor or teacher for your driving success.

Once you pass, your driving instructor, unfortunately, won’t be there beside you, but honestly, this is more of a good thing than a bad thing!

You will develop your own driving style when your instructor isn’t watching you like a hawk, and over-critical of the smallest mistakes.

Driving alone is a bonus and not a negative!

Nervousness about Driving with Passengers

Many new student drivers have never driven with passengers before, and it can be nerve-wracking to do so for the first time.

You should begin by driving solo or with a partner, or best friend, or stick with your instructor at first, and then increase the number of passengers as you gain experience.

Difficulty with Parallel Parking

A lot of new student drivers have trouble parallel parking.

Cones or other markers can be used for practice in a risk-free environment.

To park more precisely, take your time and make use of nearby landmarks.

There are great youtube videos on how to properly parallel park and it is a popular manoeuvre to come up in your test!

Struggles with Changing Lanes

Changing lanes, especially in heavy traffic or on busy highways, can be difficult for new student drivers.

The solution is to get used to driving on less-busy streets first.

Prior to switching lanes, make sure that there are no obstacles in your way by using your mirrors and turn signals.

Anxiety about Driving on the Highway

Learner drivers often feel unprepared when faced with the challenges of motorway driving.

To get past this, you should first practise on less-trafficked streets before venturing onto busier thoroughfares.

If you’re not confident with speed, stick to the correct lane and maintain a safe distance from oncoming traffic – avoid switching into the fast lane.

Difficulty with Backing Up

New student drivers often struggle when backing up, especially in a straight line or around a corner.

Cones or other markers can be used for practise in a risk-free environment.

Before reversing, make sure there are no obstructions in your line of sight by checking your mirrors and turning your head.

Fear of Making Mistakes

It’s natural for a novice driver to be nervous about being seen and judged.

Keep in mind that blunders are an inevitable part of the learning process and that you are not alone in this.

Don’t rush things; instead, give yourself time to learn and practise.

Of course with driving mistakes can prove to be a big deal, however, if you stick to the basics, and keep yourself and the pedestrians around you safe, you will be fine.

If you are unsure about anything, simply slow your vehicle down to a safe speed, and make a decisive decision.

Topping up fuel on your own

The process of filling up a tank, as simple as it is for an experienced driver, can be intimidating and difficult to understand for a novice driver.

Fill up your tank before it runs dry, and make sure you know what kind of fuel your car takes.

If you are nervous, bring along a reliable companion to the fuel station so they can demonstrate the correct way to fill the tank.

My mum had to show me how to fill my tank when I was 22!

Be sure to check that the petrol cap is on tight before setting out on your journey. Refilling petrol tanks will become second nature the more you do it.


Overall, it’s true that learning to drive isn’t easy, but with time, effort, and a good frame of mind, even the most nervous new drivers can become safe, responsible motorists.

You should take things slowly, get advice and assistance when you need it, and keep your eyes on the prize.

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