5 Ways to Overcome Adult Driving Anxiety

5 Ways to Overcome Adult Driving Anxiety | Swerve Driving School

Driving anxiety is a common problem where a person feels hesitant or anxious to drive. This can be simply an irrational fear or anxiety or a full-blown diagnosed phobia. Having this anxiety can be difficult if you don’t live in a large city with a great public transportation system in place. The upside to this fear is that this can be conquered when given some simple tools. Here are 5 such tools to help yourself overcome adult driving anxiety.

1. Don’t Stop Driving

Like all fears and anxieties, avoiding the activity can make the situation worse. This is especially true if you have gotten into a car crash and feel scared to try again. Instead of going to extreme lengths to avoid driving, start small. Get behind the wheel and drive to the nearest grocery store, park, or shopping center. Keep your location close enough that you are driving, but not getting on a freeway or busy highway. Also, try to only drive during daylight hours so you can have a clearer view of your surroundings. As you improve, increase the distances to include roads that have more drivers and higher speed limits. This way, you slowly conquer your fears instead of avoiding it altogether and making it worse.

2. Have a Trusted Passenger

Ask a trusted family member or friend to sit in the front seat while you drive. You can either talk through your fears with this person while you drive or let them offer support and encouragement. Either way, this can help relieve some of the pent-up anxiety when driving.

3. Take an Online Driver’s Ed Course

Whether your fear has kept you from ever having a license or the anxiety has set in later in life, taking a driver’s ed online can help calm some of your nerves. Refreshing your driving skills or learning to drive from a professional can help you feel more confident behind the wheel.

5. Create a Peaceful Driving Environment

External factors like noise smells, and a lot of clutter can increase anxiety and fear, even if it is subconsciously. Try playing peaceful music in the car to help calm the nerves. Find an air freshener that makes you feel calm and happy to use in the vehicle. Another great tool is to keep your car clean. Pick up trash and organize your belongings so that there is less clutter weighing you down mentally.

6. Manage Your Stress

Practice saying positive affirmations out loud while you are driving. Use phrases like “I can do this” and “I am a good driver” to help boost your confidence. Saying it out loud can help fortify these statements in your mind. If you are experiencing a lot of stress in your life outside of driving, work on decreasing those before getting behind the wheel. Typical tools include exercising, taking breaks, and meditating often help control stress.

Keep on Practicing

For many people, anxiety can hit at any time or place, with no way to predict it. Keeping a toolbox of practical tools for dealing with it in your mind is a great way to find a solution for each situation. Practice driving and using these different tools for decreasing anxiety and fear. Soon, you will learn how to manage, cope with, and conquer your fear of driving.

What to Do After You Pass Your Driving Test

What to do After Passing Your Driving Test | Swerve Driving SchoolAfter passing your driving test, there is a strong feeling of accomplishment- and rightly so. All the requirements for your driver’s license should be met at this point and now it is just technicalities to finish before you can use your freedom to hit the open road. Here are five things you should do once you get your license.

1. Get Insurance

Hopefully, you already have insurance from when you were driving with a permit. Not every state or insurance company requires you to be though when an adult is helping you learn. Make sure that before you start driving on your own, you have the proper amounts of insurance and proof kept in the glove box. This will be necessary if you are ever pulled over or get into a car wreck.

2. Shop for a Car

There are many places to shop for a car, but if you are new to this whole process, it can feel overwhelming. When buying your first car, pick something that you can feel comfortable driving. Notice if it is manual or automatic. Have a mechanic look it over to make sure it is dependable. Don’t spend too much money on it either because even though you have been practicing driving, it’s nice to have something the first year or two to not have to stress so much about scratching, denting, or continuing to learn on. And don’t forget to find some fun accessories to make it your own.

3. Stock the Trunk

Being a responsible driver means thinking ahead and being prepared. Make sure you know where everything is to change the spare tire if you are driving by yourself when you get a flat. Keep an extra phone charger in the middle console for emergencies. Don’t forget to keep an emergency kit in the trunk with basic medical items and a bottle or two of water. You don’t have to fill the trunk up with items for every possible scenario, but making sure you are prepared for common situations can help ease a lot of stress from being out on your own.

4. Post on Social Media

Whether you are a teenager or adult, getting your first drivers license is a big deal. Everyone posts the standard picture of themselves with their new license in hand, standing in front of the DMV to show off their accomplishment. Once it is your turn, make sure you share it with the world. It’s a great way to let everyone celebrate with you.

There are many reasons to celebrate having your license. You completed online drivers ed courses, practiced long hours behind the wheel during driving lessons, and even had to study for exams. Now that you have passed your driving test, enjoy reaping the rewards of your new-found freedom.

A Guide to Getting Your Driver’s License

A Guide to Getting Your Driver's License | Swerve Driving SchoolGetting your driver’s license is a big step in life that most teenagers anxiously anticipate. The process of completing the necessary steps to become licensed can be a little confusing though. One of the most confusing parts is that every state is a little different. If this is the first time helping a teenager get their license, here is a guide to the process.

Common Requirements

Even though each state will have its own process for getting a license, each requires certain requirements. For instance, Washington, California, and Florida all require the following steps:

  • Must be at least 16 years old
  • Teen students require practice driving with a limited permit before licensing. A licensed parent, legal guardian or experienced licensed adult must be in the passenger seat during these practice drives.
  • Pass a vision screening
  • Must have signed permission form from parents or legal guardians
  • Provide documentation with birth certificate, social security number, and residency in the state
  • Complete a teen drivers education course
  • Driver must pass an official, administered test on the laws at an official location
  • Driver must pass a driving test, administered at an official location
  • Have a photo taken and pay licensing fees
  • Each state has stipulations on who is allowed in the car with a newly licensed driver and each requires no passengers under 20 in the car during the first 6 months without a licensed adult in the car too, excluding family members from this restriction.

These similarities are great common ground to build from, but each state has extra steps or different requirements to these steps for teens to get their driver’s license. Here are some variations through the states of Washington, California, and Florida.


In this state, teen drivers are required to practice driving for 40 hours with 10 of those hours being at night. While a parent or legal guardian is the ideal person to be in the passenger seat, Washington law allows for anyone to be the responsible driver, if they have been licensed at least 5 years. Another difference is that Washington allows an online registration process option for new drivers while the other states do not.

The stipulations for new drivers under the age of 18 include the above-mentioned commonality of no one under 20 in the car during the first 6 months, but there is also a restriction on passengers for the next 6 months too. There are no more than 3 passengers under 20 allowed in the car. The state also restricts driving between 1 and 5 a.m. during the first year unless accompanies by a licensed adult or if it is for agricultural purposes.


Permitted drivers are required to practice 50 hours, with 10 being at night. The only adults allowed to drive with a learning permit holder are parents, legal guardians, licensed drivers age 25 or older, and driving instructors. Also, before licensing, signatures for permission are required by all parents or guardians with custody, not just one.

Restrictions for newly licensed drivers include no driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. for the first year. Also during the first year, it is not allowed to drive any passengers under 20 years old who are not immediately related unless there is a licensed adult age 25 or older in the car unless it is for work, school, or medical reasons. Drivers under 18 years old are also not allowed to use cellphones or wireless communication devices while driving, including hands-free devices.


The state of Florida has a more formatted version of driving rights called Graduated licensing laws. Before licensing, a permit driver must complete 50 hours of practice driving with 10 of those hours at night, with a responsible adult 21 years old or older present. During the first three months of licensure, drivers can drive in daylight hours only. After those three months, drivers are only allowed to drive until 10 pm and not before 6 a.m. unless it is for work or with another driver who is 21 years of age or older. After a driver is 17 years old, there is no driving between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by someone 21 years of age or older.

Driving Safely

Each state has its own modifications, but the laws are all very similar. These have been proven to help give teenagers the freedom to drive while also helping to minimize the dangers that are common with new drivers. Another thing that all states have in common is that if there are too many at-fault collisions, traffic violations, or any alcohol or drug use when driving, drivers could lose all driving privileges for varying amounts of time.