Statistics have shown that 18% of American drivers will fail if they retake their knowledge test for a learner’s permit, while 40% are more likely to get below the pass mark, typically around 80%. Although your newly discovered freedom can be a thrilling experience, taking to the road for the first time can likewise be pretty scary. After selecting your car and sorting your insurance, here are some super-easy ways to build more confidence behind your wheel.
Practice makes perfect
Like the famous saying, your driving confidence can only improve when you take to the road more frequently. This could be along your local streets where you can get comfortable learning the basic skills. You may include this in your daily checklist, even if you don’t have to go anywhere. Get in your car, drive around for between 10-15 minutes daily, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can grow your confidence. If possible, take to some roundabout and explore other places to park en route to boost your confidence. It may be best to try out during different periods, either early in the morning or evening, to experience the various traffic scenarios. Practicing can additionally be helpful when driving in varying weather conditions.
Understand your car and how it runs
Feeling more confident and comfortable when driving will require you to know everything about your car and possibly ace its controls entirely. You may familiarize yourself with the various buttons and switches in your vehicle to know how each functions. For instance, you should know where your lights are, the location of every setting, and when you should utilize them. You may also ascertain where your AC, horn, fuel, bonnet flap, or the button to open your boot are located for the optimum driving experience. It is prudent to walk a trip around your car to know its size and dimensions. This way, you can judge your parking spots and distance much better. You’ll feel increasingly comfortable in your car once you are familiar with it, which will boost your driving confidence.
Get out by yourself
Driving can seem a bit more challenging when you have company in the next seat. Many people begin to feel increasing pressure which only makes them nervous about committing an error on the road. Interestingly, you are more likely to make a mistake when you stack the odds against yourself. To prevent this, you may get out by yourself and move around the block to appreciate how your car feels. It may be tempting to show off and offer your friends a lift at the slightest chance. However, they may pose a distraction, which is a genuine concern if you already lack confidence.
Remove any distractions
One common cause of road accidents is using a cellphone while driving, which is illegal and would attract hefty fines and possibly a jail term when you’re caught. Therefore, you may drop your phone into your glove compartment or inside your bag. This prevents you from peeping at a notification. Besides your cell phone, other distractions such as music and driving under the influence (DUI) can pose genuine hazards on the road. A study has found that playing loud music while driving can be very distracting. The research established that reaction time slowed to almost 20% when participants were listening to loud music.
Meanwhile, other studies have suggested that drivers take more risks like running red lights and making sudden lane changes when listening to fast music. More so, the alcohol effect can vary among people and can be life-threatening when driving. While the best advice is to avoid drinking when driving, many drivers have no idea they may be considered “drunk” per the laws. Therefore, finding the proper DUI defense attorneys is essential if you or a relative is charged with a DUI.
Mistakes happen; forgive yourself.
Simply because somebody honks at you for taking forever to complete a maneuver or slowing down at a roundabout doesn’t make you an awful driver. Make an effort to quickly move on from an incident to avoid ruining the rest of your driving. Drivers love to honk and pretend like they never experienced these things. Assuming you make a mistake when driving the last time. In that case, you should take a deep breath and try again, as it won’t be best to dwell on your mistake or permit any aggressive driver to affect your confidence. Accept the error, forgive yourself, and move on. Everyone learns through mistakes, which is part of human nature.
Push yourself to drive in new terrains
The multiple-story vehicle park may appear too frightening, but you will most likely have to deal with it soon. Therefore, you should push yourself to drive in some new terrains to grow your confidence. Pick a time where such areas will be less occupied and give it a shot. The same principle applies when you need to drive on a motorway or an A-road. Taking the challenge during less busy periods can help boost your driving confidence and make driving more exciting.
Don’t stress about other drivers.
While it is normal to feel intimidated when you see other drivers fly past you, it is best to disregard them and focus on your driving. This may seem easier said than done, yet it is vital to note that some terrible drivers are out there regardless of your confidence level. You will be doing yourself a lot of good if you don’t stress and allow them to intimidate you. Develop at your pace. You can take to the drifting later.
Sign up for an advanced driving course
There are some advanced driving courses to boost your confidence after completion. Simply because you have breezed through one test doesn’t imply that you need to stop learning. Nervous drivers can profit significantly from undertaking additional driving lessons covering areas such as defensive driving, motorway driving, and other skills that you may not learn during a driving class.
It is practical to have an expert teach you what to do safely to reassure you and keep you more relaxed when learning new skills. Although the jury may be out on what an advanced driving program may mean for your vehicle insurance premium, there is no single doubt about the merits of undertaking such courses to make you a more skilled and safer driver. There are substantial advantages concerning fuel costs, safety, and other environmental concerns, among others.
Stay within the speed limit.
The speed limits are there to protect you and ensure you are driving safely. Excessive speeding can put you and other drivers in danger and affect your confidence should you survive an accident. To monitor your speed levels, you can consider installing a black box that keeps you within safe speed limits. Besides, it is vital for keeping your insurance at a minimum, which is another reason to stay alert for any speeding signs while on the road.
There are also other driving aids present in modern cars which positively impact your driving confidence. Many vehicles now come with a safety kit and driver’s support. You may also access safety equipment like the Emergency Collision Autonomous Engine Braking or Blind Spot Monitor. These technologies are vital for reducing any accident risk, which is suitable for growing any driver’s confidence with accident apprehensions. Fortunately, you can install them if your car doesn’t have one.
Take a break when necessary.
Don’t be shy to take a pause when driving feels overwhelming at any point. There is certainly no shame in taking a break when you need it, as it proves helpful to catch a breath, inspire yourself and take on the road. Strong emotions like rage, worry, and sadness can cause illogical reactions when driving and can put you, your car occupants, other drivers, and road users at risk. Therefore, It is helpful to avoid causing stress to reduce any sense of anxiety behind the wheel.
Plan your route
Perhaps the most significant concern that accompanies driving is suddenly discovering you are in the middle of nowhere. Your parents may have driven you around without you noticing how you arrived at a destination. Your instructor may have also directed you during your driving lessons. While it is tempting to go with the satellite navigation system, it is ideal to go old school. Plan your route and attempt to get to your destination by yourself when driving around your neighborhood. Prepare yourself to take an early turn on the side street or take the wrong roundabout exit – these are all part of the learning process. Besides, it boosts your confidence and makes each driving experience memorable.
Driving should be a fun and exciting experience. You may need to give yourself some time to build and improve your commandeering spirit behind the wheel. You may apply these confidence-boosting driving tips with you and see your confidence shoot through the roof after a while.
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