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8 Tips for Tackling Those Driving Nerves
Learning to drive is a difficult experience that involves a lot of pressure and for some – it goes hand in hand with feelings of anxiety. It could be from worrying about the potential dangers on the road or feeling stressed about the assessment process.
As part of Mental Health Awareness week, we thought that we would share our top tips that help reduce the stress of learning to drive.
1) Finding the right instructor.
Being compatible with your driving instructor is vital to the process, regardless if you feel anxious or not. It’s important to seek out an instructor with a credible reputation and someone who you feel comfortable around.
You’ll be spending a lot of time with your instructor and need to feel comfortable enough to communicate with them to progress further.
2) Take the time to talk.
Communication is key; don’t be afraid to ask questions -nobody expects you to know these things straight off the bat.
If you are struggling with a certain aspect of driving, ask for a dedicated lesson on it.
Also, it helps to tell your instructor before setting off for a drive about anything you may be anxious about. This gives them an idea of what areas you may be struggling with or when to give you some extra support.
3) Prepare your mind and body.
Before setting off for the lesson, make sure that you’ve eaten well and had a good night’s sleep.
Driving whilst you’re tired isn’t a good idea, whether you’ve got a full driving licence or a provisional licence.
This will make you fully refreshed by the time you’ve sat in the driving seat, preparing you for the lesson ahead.
4) Practise on your own time.
The more familiar you become with a situation, the more likely you are to become comfortable with it. When you’re only driving for a couple of hours a week, you have more time to overthink things, which may leave you feeling stressed.
By taking out learner driver insurance – you can become confident on the road and practise in your own time.
You can even drive in less crowded areas to get a feel for all the car’s functions, at your own pace.
5) Do your research.
Delving into the world of the internet may help you understand anything you may be struggling with during your lesson.
YouTube is a great resource for young drivers whether you’re looking for a few tips or want to watch how to do a manoeuvre.
Besides, it’s also the place to go for calming cat videos to bring your mood back up!
6) Create a comfort zone.
Usually, drivers who experience anxiety about their driving lessons are most affected by it before they step into the car.
By doing something that is familiar to you, like watching a television show or scrolling through social media prior to your lesson, it puts you in a comfortable state of mind.
7) Identify the cause.
Being aware of the causes of the stress and anxiety – allows you to tackle the problem and calm yourself down.
For example, if it’s roundabouts that make you grip the steering wheel a little tighter, take a deep breath when you’re about to approach one. Talk yourself through each process and actively try to remain calm.
Paying attention to yourself and addressing your fears one at a time is crucial within this process. Be patient with yourself and you’ll be able to work through anything.
8) Understand your goal.
Learning to drive is not about being the best driver but knowing how to be a safe one.
It takes persistence and practice to become a safe driver. By facing your initial fears and getting into the driving seat, you’re already half way there.
By having a clear goal in mind, it’ll be easier to know the small steps you can take towards it.
Learning to drive is an extremely daunting task for most young people, and it’s extremely important to avoid bottling up any worries that you have. Find an effective communication system with those around you and just remain calm.
If you are experiencing driving nerves and you feel that they are having a negative impact on your well-being, then talk to someone close to you about it. It could be a friend, family member or even your driving instructor.