Does new driver anxiety go away with time?

So basically im asking if new driver anxiety goes away with time? And how long was it for you guys. Im from Europe and drive a manual. Ive had my license for about 3 months and drove my car a fair bit in them but i still get pretty anxious when i have to drive. Living in Belgrade (the capital of Serbia), traffic gets pretty hectic during rush hour and generally it was never a problem for me to manouver through it, its just that im anxious of sitting into my car before i do.

When i actually do get in it and start moving all of the anxiety goes away. Its really weird. Did anyone else experience this in their beginner days?

P.S. Since most of you are probably from the US, our driving environments are pretty different because US roads are generally a lot wider but when i see New York rush hour it does seem pretty hectic.

Welcome to the forum. Some degree of anxiety is probably a healthy thing: it connotes awareness, vigilance, anticipation, etc. Those are beneficial when we are behind the wheel. The anxiety will likely fade with time and driving experience. You will become more relaxed, but don’t get complacent. Hold on to those benefits.

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In my opinion, it really varies with the individual.
I know someone who is in his mid 70s, and who still has intense anxiety when he is driving. Others in that age group lost their driving-related anxiety when they were in their teens or their twenties.

Shanonia makes a good point!

Thank you for the answer! I forgot to mention that i already had a bit of an oopsie when i scraped someones car. I didnt judge the width of the gap well and scratched their rear bumper. So that hit my confidence but i was driving without any sleep and was talking to a friend i was giving a ride to so yeah, that didnt help lol.

But youre totally right, some anxiety is definitely good. Cause getting complacent on the roads can be very bad.

Damn okay, it doesnt hinder me in any way, its just kind of annoying having to always worry about driving when in reality. I get pretty relaxed when behind the wheel and i do feel in control. I also love driving lol. Its just weird. But thank you, these little bits of knowledge do help out.

I think that this is a case of “the anticipation is worse than the reality”, and–ultimately–I believe that you will be fine.

Najlepše želje!

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Since we rarely get people in this forum from the OP’s part of the world, I am curious about the makes of cars that are commonly seen in his/her country. I would assume that Volkswagens and their cheaper Skoda clones would predominate, but I could easily be wrong.

What type of car do you drive, and which ones do you tend to see on a regular basis? Do you ever see any old Soviet-era cars, such as Volga or Moskvitch?

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Yes, it does get better with time. My son turned 16 this year and obtained his driver license. At the beginning he was overly cautious and hesitant, but 6 months in he feels quite confident and at ease, even in heavy traffic.

Motor on! And post up some pics of a roadway in Belgrade please.

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Agreed, it gets better with time. Actually, being a bit nervous is good. When I was talking flying lessons they said the most dangerous time for a new pilot was after they had flown enough to be comfortable. They let their guard down, but didn’t have the experience to deal with unexpected problems.

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New drivers are much more likely to have accidents until they have enough experience to judge distances and speeds, especially in conjunction with each other. Keep driving, take it easy, and you will eventually feel less anxious over time.

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Since Serbia was a part of Yugoslavia we still have some Yugos driving around and they are kind of a meme. Lots of Volkswagens and Skodas yeah. Generally a lot of German and French vehicles. Japanese too. We dont have much Moskvitches but there are some Ladas :).

I drive an old Skoda Felicia, ive grown to really love the little guy. It was my grandpas car and he gave it to me so i can learn on it. It only has about 85k kilometers on it which is nothing. I think that would be around 50-55k miles. The craziest thing was when i put it in 3rd accidentally and the thing just moved off like it was in first lmao.


Its normal, should go away when you get a little more experience. These little things happen to anyone.

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Id love to share some pictures but i cant because im a new user. Google maps isnt bad but the pictures are old, i think from 2016/2015? But yeah there are cases where a 2 way street only has one side free cause the other is occupied by parked cars. If a car comes up going the opposite way, someone has to go in reverse.

I’ve never experienced much anxiety about driving in the USA, probably b/c I started as a “nothing could hurt me much” teenager in a small Colorado town, and only later exposed to freeway & urban driving. I did get a pretty robust dose of driving anxiety one time, when I visited a country where I had to drive on the other (left) side of the road. I almost had to call off the trip and fly back to the USA. My solution, first step I’d walk around the block several times , watching the traffic patterns as a pedestrian. Next, I’d drive around the same block, 10 times or whatever it took until I felt comfortable. Then I’d detour a little from that around-the-block route, then a little more, until pretty soon I felt comfortable on any of the routes I needed to drive. You might try something like that.

I read how-to articles about repairing and maintaining older Skoda’s all the time in my favorite UK classic car magazine. Seems a good car for a classic restoration.

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In the US I still remenber when my sisrter allowed me to drive her stick shift MG Midget
Knowing nothing I pulled up to my friend’s hours at te top of the hill in the height of cool but leaving, I ended drifing backwards to the bottom of the hill before i could get it going w/o stalling or stalling. or drifting backwards :slightly_smiling_face:

Since then I’ve driven stick shift Triuuphs, MGs, Jaguars, Subarus, Nissans and my curent Chrysler w/o the least hesitation and my kids learned to drive and took their road tests on a stuick shift Neon.

It’s simply a matter of practice and confdence, start on flat groun, work your way up to larger hills and the confidence grows renarkably quickly


It goes away, then comes back when you turn 69 :wink:


Oh yeah for sure, i noticed that the routes im most comfortable with are the ones i commuted on daily in public transport. I know those roads very well and stick to them when driving around town. And yeah its a great intro into the car world honestly. Im super excited to work on it when i eventually save up some money for it. Cause now there are still things that are more important.


I started teaching both my son (35 next month) and daughter (22) 2 years before they were 16, at age 15 they both got there learners permit on there b-day and drivers license on there 16th b-day… Both have done VERY well in driving, my daughter at age 18 with a friend drove over 2,000 miles one way to LA Cali and even drove on the LA traffic, she has made a few long trips to strange places (strange as in never been there before lol) and has also driven in snow and didn’t have any issues with anxiety…
My parents taught me early also and I don’t remember any anxiety unless I got lost… lol

So I also think it has a lot to do with your learning process… If I had not of worked with her a lot before hand then she might have freaked out lol…

Yeah for sure, we have very little time in practice when learning how to drive.

That reminds me of the “Slot” in Yokosuka, Japan, except no one goes in reverse, or even stops. Japanese are very good drivers, it requires a lot of driver training to get a license in Japan. The drivers in the slot adjust their speeds so they arrive at each parked car when there is a gap from the other side. It is scary freaky to drive, and it looks choreographed to an outside observer. I used to drive it daily and I still don’t know how it worked, but it did. If you show fear in the slot, you’ll back up traffic all the way to Tokyo.

BTW, new driver anxiety get replaced by old age anxiety. I’ve been driving for 58 years now, almost 59.