Motorway misery: anxious drivers call for motorway learning to be compulsory

A busy section of the M1 Motorway stretching over the horizon during the late morning.

Brits are insisting that motorway lessons are “essential” with over a third of drivers revealing they wish it had been included when learning to drive.

In 2018 the law was changed to allow learner drivers on the motorway, whilst being accompanied by an approved driving instructor – but this is not a mandatory part of driving lessons.

In a survey by one of the UK’s largest motor insurance brokers Adrian Flux, it reveals that nearly a quarter of people want a variety of road types to be considered when they are learning to drive, prompting the urge for motorways, along with smaller country roads, to be included in lessons.

Driving can cause a myriad of anxieties, whether you are learning, have just passed, or have been driving for over a year. 1 in 5 Brits cite motorway driving as their number one reason for anxiety, a figure which could be reduced if they were able to get more experience and confidence whilst learning with an instructor.

This comes as no surprise with the increasing number of accidents happening on smart motorways across the UK, with the government scrapping them from future road plans amid lack of driver confidence.

Britons would also like to see the following including during their driving lessons:

  • Changing a tyre – over 31% want this important skill featured
  • Mock breakdowns – it’s never fun to break down, and over 30% of new drivers would like a mock-up included so they understand what steps they need to take should they ever break down
  • Driving in the dark – nearly a third of people want different driving conditions included
  • Dashboard lights – 22% want to better understand the many symbols and what they mean

Advanced driver courses such as Pass Plus, or more specific courses to help with motorway driving, are commonplace after passing the test, with 1 in 3 people surveyed opting to take one.

Gerry Bucke, general manager from Adrian Flux, expresses the importance of these additional courses: “We always recommend advanced driving qualifications. By developing and honing skills such as motorway driving, these courses can not only help to relieve anxiety one may feel on the roads, they can also reduce the likelihood of accidents in new drivers. Taking an additional driving course can also lead to insurance premium savings of up to 20%, providing even further incentive.”

Learners also have an option to save money by learning to drive under the supervision of friends and family, however, learners must ensure they have the right insurance cover in place as they will not be automatically covered under the experienced driver’s policy.

But when it comes to motorway learning, learners need to ensure they are accompanied by an approved driving instructor with a dual controlled vehicle, and they can only do this when the instructor is satisfied that the learner is competent enough to have lessons on motorways.

For more information on what drivers wish they had learnt, and what causes them the most anxiety on the roads, click here.

1 thought on “Motorway misery: anxious drivers call for motorway learning to be compulsory”

  1. After having my driver’s license for several years, I had to start driving actively.

    I always had a fear of driving, but it was never a must for me to drive because I live in a small city where you can actually walk everywhere.

    But then I got a job where I had to drive a lot due to a lack of job options, so I had to accept.

    One night, I went for a ride, and guess what happened? I was so afraid of driving and traffic that I panicked. And to make matters worse, I forgot to turn on the headlights, and it was evening, pitch black.

    That really frustrated me, so I had to do something about that irrational fear and anxiety.

    I’m also shy by nature, so I tried to find an online solution as I usually do. I started with some YouTube videos, but they were all focused on getting likes and shares, and nothing helped.

    So I decided to search for an online course. To be honest, I didn’t expect to find anything specifically for driving phobia.

    But it turns out there are more people like me, maybe a bit crazy (just kidding).

    I joined some forums for anxiety, and I received a recommendation to try a course.

    That was a month ago, and now things are completely different. I’ve developed the discipline to continue doing something if it goes well.

    I watched instructional videos that outlined the steps to follow. They helped me understand the first step, second step, and so on.

    For example, during the first several days, I chose to drive when there was less traffic than usual.

    I planned my exact route, noting where to turn and where to go. I focused solely on driving and addressing the anxiety problem.

    Taking those initial steps gave me confidence, making it easier to tackle more challenging tasks. For instance, I ventured into areas with uphill roads for several kilometers, and so on.

    I find it beneficial to have clear steps to follow for each stage.

    And do you know what else triggers anxiety? When you want to control the next ten steps, but you’re unsure about what will happen.

    Always ask yourself, “Can I do the next step?” Focus only on that one step. In 99% of cases, you already know what to do next, which often calms my mind.

    I can’t believe how much my confidence has improved, and now I experience minimal anxiety because I’m in control (though there are still times with heavy traffic, etc.).

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