Think you’re going MAD?

Are you a confident driver but just the thought of venturing on to the motorway makes you quiver? The experience of driving on a motorway can be very intense and nervousness can affect all drivers, not just new or elderly.


According to a survey from the RAC, one third of drivers admit to feeling nervous when driving on the motorway, with some even resorting to taking alternative routes that add lengthy time on to their journey or cancelling travel altogether. This feeling of nervousness and anxiety is known as Motorway Anxiety Disorder, or MAD.

Symptoms include:

  • Raised heart rate

  • Raised blood pressure

  • Excess sweating, particularly palms of hands

  • Tension headaches

  • Stomach cramp

  • Insomnia

  • Digestive problems

Due to these symptoms, drivers can become indecisive and distracted, which in turn can make them a hazard to other drivers. It can also lead them to make mistakes such as:

  • Leaving the indicator on

  • Forgetting to change gear

  • Driving too slow or too fast

  • Missing exits

And so on.

If you’re a MAD sufferer, don’t fear. MAD is both treatable and manageable by practicing these top tips:

  1. Get to know your route. If driving on the motorway is part of your regular route, or by adding it to your route would save your journey time, then the best thing to do is practice. The more you drive this route the more comfortable you will feel.

  2. Try driving during quieter periods when there is less traffic and build up to busier times.

  3. Keep plenty of distance between you and other cars but keep an eye on your speed. You don’t want to drive too slowly and feel pressure from other drivers.

  4. Bring along a friend. Having some company and support should help you relax and feel more comfortable.

  5. Play relaxing music and practice calm breathing techniques.

  6. Take some motorway driving lessons with a professional instructor.

Hopefully these tips will help you feel more comfortable on the road and help you enjoy your driving experience.

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