With more women opening up about their varied and life-altering symptoms of menopause than ever before, one symptom that has been gaining a lot more attention in recent years is ‘menopause driving anxiety’. 

Nationwide Vehicle Contracts can reveal that Google searches for ‘menopause driving anxiety’ have skyrocketed by 200% in the last year alone, as more women are seeking advice on how to deal with this debilitating symptom. 

However, with the Department of Transport estimating that 68% of people in the UK are commuting to work by driving, many women are facing these feelings of anxiety every single day when heading to work. 

One woman spoke exclusively to Nationwide Vehicle Contracts to reveal how this problem has “changed her life” and stopped her from driving in rush hour traffic and finding alternative transport to work. 

Julie, 57, said “They don’t tell you how most symptoms of menopause can change your life, but I never expected this, to be scared behind the wheel of my own car”. 

Julie shared ‘’I live in a quiet town, where we don’t even get much traffic. But I now avoid driving in rush hour and driving any long journeys as it scares the life out of me – even the smallest thing like someone overtaking me can shake me up and I find myself not wanting to drive. 

“I’m now on HRT, but I’ve been nervous about driving now for two years, so I worry the fear won’t ever change.” 

Tips for overcoming the fear of driving

In a bid to help calm people struggling from menopausal driving anxiety when driving to and from work, experts at Nationwide Vehicle Contracts have revealed six essential tips that could help to relieve nerves when behind the wheel. 

  • Take advanced lessons 

Menopausal women usually passed their driving test more than twenty years ago, so a refresher lesson can really help to boost confidence behind the wheel. Advanced lessons can vary from motorway lessons to simply navigating roads easily. Talking to an instructor about some of your worries could make you feel better and they can offer alternative ways to ease fear.

  • Share the journey 

Having a confident driver in the passenger seat while you’re driving can also help to ease discomfort. They may help to calmly direct you to your destination, offer encouragement whilst navigating traffic and roundabouts, or even just be a comforting ear to vent to. 

  • Avoid driving in rush hour 

If you do have a fear of driving, you may find that driving during rush hour or even in difficult weather conditions can induce more worry, so it’s best to avoid driving during these times if you work a 9-5. Instead, try to find alternative public transport routes that can make your journey easier. When you get your confidence back behind the wheel, you can always try driving at rush hour again. 

  • Prepare yourself

For anyone with driving anxiety, you should avoid driving on an empty stomach or relying on caffeine. Small things like this can increase your driving fear massively, so before driving ensure you’ve eaten breakfast to ensure your body doesn’t feel anxious before the commute. 

  • Talk to a professional

If you think your driving anxiety is caused by the menopause, it’s important to speak to your doctor. Not all driving fears can be fixed simply so seeking help from a professional can help to identify the causes and identify techniques to help you become a confident driver again. 

  • Support from loved ones

Don’t be afraid to open up about your driving anxiety to loved ones. Menopause is thankfully no longer a taboo subject and more people are opening up about their experiences with menopause driving anxiety than ever before, so you might not be the only one struggling in your inner circle.