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Why your driving lesson performance is affected if you feel stressed

driving roundabout stress

In other articles, we have covered driving stress, the three emotional systems and learning zones. So how does all this theory about stress, emotions and learning influence a learners driving during lessons? We can take a learner driver at a roundabout as an example. 

If our learner driver perceives that the gap between safely negotiating the roundabout and their own abilities is manageable, then their Drive system will be activated and they will be in the Stretch zone of learning. They understand what they need to do, it feels challenging but manageable. They may experience some low level physical and cognitive stress symptoms which may have the effect of increasing their attention and effort and improving performance. 

The idea of the Stretch zone is used a lot in sports and business psychology with the theory known as the inverted U hypothesis, that an optimum amount of stress or pressure can lead to optimum performance. 

However, if our learner driver perceives an over threatening gap between their driving ability and being able to safely negotiate the roundabout their Defence system will be activated. They may experience a higher level of physical and cognitive stress symptoms, which are likely to have a detrimental effect on their driving performance. They may move from the Stretch learning zone into the Panic zone or even worse into the Failure zone, resulting in a learner who now fears roundabouts. 

The learner drivers experience and resulting behaviour and performance will then influence their self-confidence and future perceptions the next time they experience the same situation. If they had a positive experience, they are happy to repeat and practice until roundabouts slip into their learning Comfort zone. However, if they had a negative experience and slipped into the Panic or Failure zone of learning they may continue to perceive approaching roundabouts as stressful. 

Past performance accomplishments are one of the researched factors which can affect self-confidence according to Bandura's theory of self-efficacy which the Confident Drivers website is based around. The techniques on the website aim to manage physical and cognitive symptoms of stress, keeping the learner in their Drive system emotionally and in the Stretch zone for maximum learning ability. 

Confident Drivers offers subscription plans for nervous learner drivers and group plans for driving instructors who want to support their pupils.

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What others are saying

Read more of our reviews from happy ADIs on Trustpilot

I have been using the Confident Drivers website for a year now. It is my go to place of ADI reference when I am assisting a more nervous / anxious client /stressed during their learning to drive journey or test day nerves. The coaching wheel is my favourite coaching tool, my clients love watching their wheel evolve.

Confident Drivers provide an excellent service to both Learners and Driving Instructors. My learners have enjoyed the wealth of information and techniques to help them feel confident when driving or taking their driving test. I am seeing some really positive results in the learners that have used these resources.

Pupils love it and I've found it very useful myself. A great resource for people and not just drivers.

Sign up for our FREE tool to help you become a more confident driver

If you have a driving test coming up soon you might find our Ultimate Guide to Driving Test Nerves useful.

Nervous Drivers Calming Kit

If you would like some self-help stress management resources to help you tackle your driving anxiety and improve driving confidence then our calming kit is created by leading industry experts especially for you.  Access to all the resources is online.

Relaxation
relaxation
Coaching
coaching
Hypnotherapy
hypnotherapy
Mindfulness
mindfulness
Self-Talk
positive self talk
Imagery
Imagery

These plans are created specifically for drivers and learner drivers looking for online solutions to manage driving nerves and anxiety.  We also have a range of group plans created for driving instructors who would like to offer support offroad to their learner drivers, you can find more details on our ADI page.

One Month

£27
  • 8 Stress Management Techniques
  • Video Guide recommendations
  • Online Courses
  • Created by industry experts
  • Renew or Upgrade anytime

Annual

£35
  • 8 Stress Management Techniques
  • Video Guide recommendations
  • Online Courses
  • Created by industry experts
  • Great value 12 months access

1 to 1 Call

£30
  • Personal Approach
  • Answer questions in advance
  • Focussed on your situation
  • Video or Audio Zoom calls

The Driving Confidence Podcast

driving confidence podcast

We created this podcast for drivers who want to be calm and confident on the road. Whether you are a learner driver, a new driver or have been driving for years, this podcast will help you to beat driving nerves and anxiety and build your driving confidence.

Co-hosted by Kev & Tracey Field, each Driving Confidence podcast episode offers bite-sized information and ideas that are both relatable and achievable to help you manage your driving nerves or anxiety and transform how you feel about driving.

Listen On:

listen on apple podcasts
listen on amazon music
listen on Spotify
listen on podcast addict
listen on google podcasts
listen on stitcher

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Articles, Help and Advice for Learner Drivers

Take a browse around our blog for articles written to help learner drivers and driving instructors recognise the most common reasons for experiencing driving nerves and confidence issues.  Each article offers strategies and suggestions that may help you.

Things to do when you can't have driving lessons

Things to do when you can't have driving lessons

Your driving goals are likely to need to be more flexible this year. So how can you keep learning and feel prepared for your driving lessons and test

Read More..

Build your driving confidence

Build your driving confidence

Increasing your belief in your capability to drive will, in turn, increase your driving confidence. So how do we do that? Self-efficacy theory suggests that self-confidence or belief in your abilities is dependent on several key factors...

Read More..

Have you considered hypnotherapy for driving nerves?

Have you considered hypnotherapy for driving nerves?

If you struggle with driving anxiety or driving test nerves you may well have wondered if hypnotherapy can help

Read More..

Are your driving lesson nerves caused by your thoughts?

Are your driving lesson nerves caused by your thoughts?

Learn ways of developing more helpful thinking styles which will help you reduce the signs and symptoms of your nerves and begin to feel more confident.

Read More..
Collingwood Learner Driver Insurance
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Drive Calm Journal A twelve week prompt journal for anxious drivers

Drive Calm Journal : A Twelve week Prompt Journal for Anxious Drivers

  • Do you avoid driving whenever possible?
  • Do you feel like the only person who is anxious about driving?
  • Would you like to drive wherever you want, whenever you want?
  • Are you ready to take action to improve your driving confidence?
Follow the prompts, questions, exercises and reflections each week to create your own goal based action plan to work on your driving mindset.  Created by Kev & Tracey Field to help anxious drivers take action and track their progress over twelve weeks based on our unique Drive Calm® System.  
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