A recent survey found that 39% of drivers admitted to being scared and uncertain behind the wheel. In addition, 23% of drivers felt anxious about using the motorways.*
Many UK drivers suffer from driving anxieties but not all anxieties stem from driving alone. In a previous survey conducted by the AA, figures highlighted that 13% of Women and 11% of Men were conscious of the possibility of breaking down while driving.**
Drivers can lose their confidence for a number of reasons. Accidents, near-misses, embarrassing parking mishaps, fears of breaking down, or just being out of practice, are some of the more common causes behind driving phobias.
The AA has released a new video surrounding anxious driving and offers advice to drivers to reduce the feelings of anxieties: https://www.theaa.com/car-insurance/advice/driving-anxiety
According to Anxiety UK, there are varying degrees of driving phobias; some people can’t drive on motorways, but are able to cope on A and B roads. Other people fear roundabouts, parallel parking, or being caught in traffic and not being able to ‘escape’.
Reporting your Anxiety to DVLA
In the case of anxiety and depression, as long as your doctor can confirm that there are no concentration problems, agitation, behavioural disturbance or suicidal thoughts, the DVLA do not need to be told. If your doctor thinks you could have severe driving anxiety, you must tell the DVLA about your condition.
There are some medical conditions affecting driving that you can report online to the DVLA, but anxiety is one of those where you have to fill in and return a form. You can download the form from the Government website.
The DVLA can’t contact your car insurance provider on your behalf. It’s your responsibility to let your insurer know about your anxiety if you’re advised to by a doctor.
If you’re applying for a new policy, or renewing one, take reasonable care to answer all of the questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge. Your policy may be cancelled, or a claim may be rejected or not fully paid, if you don’t. If you already have car insurance and develop a condition such as anxiety that may affect your driving, you should still inform your insurer.
Does declaring anxiety affect the cost of car insurance?
Your insurance company can’t charge a higher premium or increase excess without evidence that you’re an increased risk; there’s no general policy to charge more for people with anxiety as this would be unlawful discrimination.
You can read more top tips to combat driving anxiety and much more detailed information here: https://www.theaa.com/car-insurance/advice/driving-anxiety
*A survey of 2,000 people from Nissan: https://www.independent.co.uk/extras/lifestyle/british-drivers-anxiety-motorways-multi-lane-highways-a8502581.html
** Populus surveyed 16, 307 AA members in its online poll between 17-24 April 2018. Populus is a founding member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules