Do you get nervous while driving? Do you wish you could drive with more assurance? Here’s something that might make you feel better: you’re not alone. Through a study done recently, it was determined that the majority of Americans (66%) suffer from driving anxiety! So, for you and all the other fearful drivers out there, we’ve put together a list of driving tips, to help you become a more confident driver.
Driving Tips to Help You Feel More Confident While Driving
- #1 Get Some Experience With An Experienced Driver
There’s no shame in driving with an adult even though you’re allowed to drive without one! It’s understandable if you don’t know everything there is to know about driving. Consider every trip in the automobile as an opportunity to practice. Learning what to do in each case will take time. To begin, drive with a parent, sibling, guardian, or other experienced drivers who can give you directions in those moments when you’re unsure.
- #2 Increase Difficulty Gradually
There’s no shame in taking your time — you don’t have to get on the freeway right now! Practice driving in areas with little traffic, such as a parking lot or suburban streets.
Avoiding the roads during rush hour, which is normally 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., can also be beneficial.
- #3 Consider the Worst-Case Scenario
Though it may seem contradictory, chatting with an experienced adult driver about any specific circumstances you’re frightened of will help lessen driving anxiety. You can mentally prepare yourself for a flat tire or panic in a roundabout (also known as a traffic circle) by using your imagination.
Let’s say you’re terrified of driving through a roundabout. You may set up some cones in a circle in an empty parking lot. Then, with an experienced driver, practice driving around the cones and have them run several scenarios with you. Ask yourself what you would do if a car pulled into the traffic circle? How can you get out of a traffic circle safely? Work your way to a real-life traffic circle while traffic is light after practicing in the parking lot. Before you know it, you’ll be a confident driver if you increase the severity of the driving situation at a reasonable pace!
- #4 Establish a Quiet Zone
Distractions are the last thing you need when you’re already anxious about driving. Reduce the level of your music (perhaps even switch to classical music) and plan your route before you get on the road so you don’t have to fumble with your GPS. While we’re on the subject, don’t talk on the phone, text, or eat while driving; all of these activities are extremely distracting and dangerous! Driving anxiety will only escalate if you nearly cause an accident while preoccupied.
- #5 Learn to Unwind
It’s true that relaxing while driving is difficult, but taking deep breaths can help. Stress and worry are distracting emotions that make it difficult to focus on what we’re doing. So, while driving, be mindful of your emotions and attempt to relax. More information about reducing stress while driving can be found here.
- #6 Brush Up on Your Knowledge
Finally, it’s vital to refresh your knowledge on a regular basis. There’s a lot to learn about driving, after all! Taking a course, such as our Online Traffic School, will help you accomplish this. Learning defensive driving tactics can be very beneficial in building your confidence on the road.
That brings us to the end of our driving confidence suggestions. We hope these tips are useful and don’t forget to allow yourself to be imperfect in public. Don’t be careless, but don’t punish yourself for making mistakes — it’s all part of the learning process!