When you first start driving, there might be some nerves. It is natural to be a little bit worried about suddenly being in charge of a giant metal beast on wheels. However, with many people, those nerves subside quite quickly.
If you are in the group that struggles with nerves every time you get in the car, or you are working to pass your driving theory test, then this is for you.
Why are you scared?
Fear is usually attached to something. The worry that you might have a crash is usually the biggest deterrent for new drivers and nervous drivers alike. The thing about crashes is that usually, they don’t happen.
Your driving instructor has trained you to be a safe driver, and most other drivers are careful too.
Another factor is that cars are built to protect the driver and the passengers too. So in the event of a crash, you will almost always be fine.
Time your drives
There are a few times during the day that the roads are most likely going to be busy. If you have the freedom to work around those times in terms of practice, then do so. Take the roads around your area and covering what will be your usual routes earlier in the morning. Between 7:30 to 9:30 in the morning are typically very busy, and so is 3:30 to 4:30pm then 4:30 to7:00pm. These times cover commutes and school pick up and drop off.
Music can help relax your nerves. The key to this is that the music is not too loud and doesn’t have too many lyrics. This will allow you to benefit from the calm the music provides, but your mind won’t be distracted by the lyrics. There are many driving playlists on music streaming platforms ranging from RNB to classic. Try to find something that suits you.
Long after you have passed your test, you can still book lessons. If you explain to your instructor that you need some lessons to help boost your confidence, they will be happy to help. If you don’t want to have extra lessons, ask a member of your family or a friend to sit in the car with you a few times while you drive around.
If traffic is somewhere that your nerves begin to creep in, it can be beneficial to use a traffic app on your phone, or in-car system. This will help you avoid all of the built-up areas and will suggest alternative routes. Using a traffic application can give nervous drivers a sense of control over the situation, and that can help them remain calm.
Many nervous drivers chew gum in order to help them relax. When you get tense, your jaw, shoulders and even neck will tense up. This gives you an uncomfortable driving experience and can heighten your nerves even more. Try to have some gum available in your car to chew before you set off on your journey.
The more you do something, the more confident you are in it. Driving is no different, and you’ll overcome your nerves in no time.
Photographs courtesy of motorverso.com