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Beating Driving Test Nerves

A quarter of drivers use superstition to help combat driving test nerves

New research has revealed that 60% of young drivers aged 18-24 still rely on superstitions and even lucky pants to pass their driving test.
Nearly half (44%) admitted that nerves affected their test in some way, with just 13% claiming they weren’t anxious at all, according to the study for the AA Driving School.
Women and younger drivers were the most likely to admit nerves affected them on their test day. In 2017 more than 1,700,000 people took their driving test - and just 46.7% passed.

The AA Driving School has created a new video designed to help learners combat their test with flying colours:

Among the most popular ways of easing the tension was going for a long drive, which one in five (20 percent) of drivers used as a way of calming their nerves. Other popular tricks included wearing lucky pants – a superstition to which seven percent confessed – as well as lucky charms (six percent) and herbal remedies (nine percent).

AA president Edmund King, said nerves were understandable given the importance of the driving test to so many people, and that drivers should find confidence boosting measures that work for them.

"Passing your driving test and getting on the road is a real milestone for many people," he said. "While we’d be more likely to advocate an extra lesson or two to combat pre-test nerves, if wearing lucky pants helps someone feel more confident on their test day and they pass as a result, then good for them."

The top ways that nerves affected drivers were:

  1. Made minor mistakes - but still passed their test
  2. Woke up early
  3. Had a bad night’s sleep beforehand
  4. Made a serious mistake that led to a failed test
  5. Couldn’t eat before the test
  6. Had a sudden ‘blank moment’ about something they knew how to do
  7. Said something silly to the examiner
  8. Couldn’t stop shaking
  9. Vomiting
  10. Got lost on the way to the test centre

Read more

AA advice on how to combat driving anxiety here:

How to pass your driving test first time here: