Driving Tips for Nervous New Drivers
Are you nervous about driving? You're not alone. Many new drivers feel anxious about driving. Getting your driver's license is a big deal, and being a good driver can help keep you safe while you're on your own. Learning to drive is an important milestone in life that will serve you well, no matter what age you learn to drive. Some people find that studying for the written test is one of the hardest parts. For other people, the driving portion of the test sounds frightening. It's normal to feel nervous about learning a new skill or taking a driving test.
Getting Comfortable With Driving
Don't let your nervousness get in the way of your goals. While driving is an awesome responsibility, millions of new drivers just like you take and pass their driver's license every year. This is why many states require a period of time for new drivers to become accustomed to driving, usually with a learner's permit. Even if your state doesn't require a learner's permit, it's important that when you first begin driving, you have an accomplished driver with you.
For the first weeks or months that you're driving, you should have somebody with you as you drive. You don't have to choose a licensed driver for this task, but choose somebody that can serve as extra eyes and ears while you're on the road. Once you're comfortable with driving, you should start taking small drives and running errands on your own.
Knowledge is Power
Another important aspect of driving is understanding the laws and obeying them. Knowing what to do in complex driving situation is important both to passing the driving test and driving on a daily basis. Because of this, it's important that obeying laws, signals and signs becomes second nature to you. A good driver's ed class can help you prepare and study for the driving test. Once you've passed the test, you'll still need this knowledge to drive on a daily basis, and you'll be more confident that you've learned what you need to drive on the road safely.
Drive During the Day (And In Good Weather)
If you're nervous about driving at first, the best approach is to ease into your status as a new driver. This will give you practice and help you build your confidence. Whenever possible, drive in the best weather. This means stick to sunny weather for the first few weeks, and drive during the daytime as much as possible. As you gain more experience, you may want to drive in the rain or in the evening hours. Becoming confident in driving is often about practice, so try to get as much practice driving time under your belt as possible.
Drive When You're Most Alert
Don't drive if you're tired, hung over, or on medications for a cold or flu. Some prescription medications are also dangerous to drive if you've taken them. This is one of the most common causes of accidents. So make sure that you read warning labels on any medications you're taking. If you're exhausted from working a double-shift at work, or studying for exams, it's not a great time for you to practice driving, either. Pay attention to your body and moods. Don't drive if you're feeling ill, "out of it" or incredibly upset.
Practice Highway Driving
Many people who are afraid of driving have a fear of highway driving. Driving fast on a four lane highway can seem stressful when you're not used to it. If you choose the right time of day, you can get practice in highway driving. With fewer drivers on the road, you will find that highway driving can be relatively calm. Regularly taking a long drive on the highway can help you build your driving skills. If you're nervous about highway driving, consider doing a day trip with a driving partner. You'll find that with the right companion and a few hours of driving on the highway, you're more comfortable with it.
Listen to Calming or Upbeat Music
Many drivers find that music is a great way to set a better mood, no matter where their road travels are taking them. If you're a nervous driver, try listening to your favorite songs or music you find uplifting. Don't listen to music that's angry or too distracting.
Read and Learn More About Driving
Learning to drive doesn't have to be nerve-wracking. Learning a new skill is always a little challenging, but with the right educational tools, you'll become familiar with the rules of the road in no time. Take the time to read up on driving situations that concern you. Learn how to parallel park and who has the right of way in every situation. The rules of the road will serve you well when you have to make split-second driving decisions.
Need more tips for new drivers? Check out our other tips on this blog.