Have you discovered that you get nervous whenever you get behind the wheels? Don’t let this discourage you. You are not alone. A good number of drivers experience anxiety whenever they get into a car to drive.
Getting your driver’s license is one thing but actually driving is a different ball-game altogether. This is why learning to drive will always be considered a milestone regardless of the age when you learn how to drive.
As frightening as you might feel, it’s important that you understand that it is okay to feel this way. What we will do here is share tips that will help you get rid of the anxiety and fear that comes with driving. Have a look at the tips below:
Get Comfortable With Driving
The earlier you get comfortable with driving, the better for your driving skills as a new driver. It is common to see new drivers letting nervousness get in the way of their driving.
When you first begin driving, your goal should be to get more and more comfortable behind the wheels. This is why, as a new driver, it is crucial that you have an experienced driver with you.
You need to have this person with you as you drive for the first few weeks or months depending on how much you have learnt as well as how comfortable you come.
The person who accompanies you should be someone who can serve as extra eyes and ears while you’re focused on the road ahead of you.
The moment you’re comfortable with driving, you can proceed to take short drives and go out on your own.
Understand Traffic Laws and Obey Them
It’s one thing to understand the laws under which you are bound as a driver and it’s a completely different thing to respect and obey them. A lot of new drivers tend to take this aspect of driving for granted.
No matter how skilled you become as a driver, if you do not respect the laws, you are an irresponsible driver and will remain one until you change your ways.
While on the road, knowing what to do in complex driving situations is important. This was probably pointed out to you while you were taking your driving test but we need to re-emphasise it here. You need to keep this at the back of your mind.
Obeying laws, signs and signals need to become second nature to you. You might have passed your driving test and even obtained a driver’s license but you still need to know the laws and obey them as you drive on a daily basis.
Over a period of time, this will boost your confidence and make you a better driver.
Pay Attention to the Weather and Time of the Day
As a new driver, avoid driving purely on impulse. Before you step into your car, some of the things you should pay attention to include the time of the day as well as the weather.
The best approach for you as a new driver is to gradually ease yourself into it. You also need to practice to build your confidence behind the wheels.
You should strive to drive in the best weather. What this means is that you should stick to sunny and clear weather for the first few weeks. Drive during the daytime as much as you can.
The more you drive, the more experience you will gain. When your confidence level hits a certain level, you might find yourself wanting to try out driving in the rain or much later in the evening as opposed to when you just started driving.
Your confidence level is largely about how frequently you practice. You should, therefore, strive to practice as frequently as you can.
Drive When You Mentally and Physically Up to it
There have been cases of people getting into a car to drive when they are tired, drunk or on medication for a cold or flu. These are some of the worst conditions to drive and the risks and dangers involved are amplified for new drivers.
There are certain medications that you should not take when you know you have plans to drive. Driving after taking such medications is a common cause of accidents.
Before you take any medication, be sure to read the instructions and warnings before administering such drugs on yourself.
Dangerous driving isn’t just restricted to certain medications alone. If you are exhausted from work or find yourself studying for prolonger hours, these are not great times to practice your driving.
You also need to pay attention to your moods. Do not get behind the wheels if you are unwell, drowsy, upset or find yourself slipping into depression.
Practice Driving on the Highway
A great number of new drivers have a fear of driving on the highway and the reason is not far-fetched. Driving on a busy two-lane or four-lane highway can seem quite stressful and scary to a new driver who isn’t used to driving on such roads.
It’s okay to drive on the highway. You simply need to be brave and confident in your skills enough to do it. Pick the right time of day to practice on the highway because that is where you will eventually be driving.
You can start by driving on the highway during off-peak periods. At such periods, you will find fewer drivers on the road than you would have during peak periods. After some time, you will find that it’s not as difficult as it appears.
When you cultivate the habit of taking long drives on the highway, your confidence and driving skills will experience a lift. If you still find yourself feeling nervous about driving on the highway, having a driving partner who has more experience than you do. With such a companion, a few hours on the highway will yield more results than you expected.
Pick Out Some Calming or Upbeat Music
Many drivers have attested to the act that music is an interesting way to put them into a better mood to practice their driving regardless of the road or the destination.
If you are a new or nervous driver, consider listening to your favourite brand of music or playlist. You’ll find it uplifting and stimulating. However, avoid music that has a tendency to stimulate anger, violence or distractions.
Learn More About Driving
Learning how to drive doesn’t have to be Herculean or excessively challenging. With the right educational tools, your driving will improve over a period of time.
The internet is replete with educational materials and videos that will educate you on how to handle or react to different scenarios and situations you might encounter while driving.
This will serve you well in situations when you need to make split-second driving decisions.