One of the biggest challenges for many learner drivers is overcoming the apprehension that affects them when they sit behind the wheel of a car. This lack of confidence can seep into all your actions on the road, leading you to execute moves in a hesitant manner and freeze at the sign of something unexpected.
Even advanced learners, with plenty of driving lessons under their belt, who know the rules of the road and can pull off all the important actions, can find themselves being held back by a loss of nerve when out on a busy road.
With this in mind, here are some key tips to help build your confidence as a driver.
Know you are not alone
Believe it or not, more than half of drivers at all levels of experience have reported to occasionally feeling nervous when driving on an unfamiliar road. So, no matter how much driver training you have, there is always the possibility of feeling your confidence slip. Calm yourself with the knowledge that your nerves are a normal, common reaction to your situation and not something you should let get out of hand.
When somebody gets hostile, calm down and use it as a learning experience
The roads are full of aggressive drivers who love nothing more than blaring their horns and cutting in front of you as soon as they see the L plate in your rear window. Though this will initially be intimidating, it is crucial that you start using these experiences to learn about your performance on the road.
After such an incident, think to yourself: was I genuinely at fault? Was there something I could have done quicker or smoother? If so, focus on bettering this part of your driving. If not, then it was their problem, not yours. Use this knowledge to calm yourself down next time an irate driver decides to use you as a target.
Practice safe techniques for night time driving
Headlights, dark skies and streetlights all add new dimensions to driving when you take the car out at night, and this can pile even more pressure on the edgy learner’s nerves. To counteract this, stick rigidly to a safe routine when driving at night.
To prevent being dazzled by oncoming headlights, focus on the left-hand kerb and don’t adjust your speed as cars approach, maintaining a steady, controllable pace at all times. If you concentrate on doing these small things, the additional challenges of night time driving will not seem so scary.
Even if you’ve been taught by the finest driving instructor around, a lack of confidence behind the wheel is sometimes just a thing you have to overcome yourself. Consider these tips and remember: the more you drive, the more assured you will feel.