by Contributing Author
Driving is an activity that’s probably necessary for your daily commute. Moreover, driving also fosters a sense of independence and can help with stress management. However, looking at driving in a positive light may be difficult if you are a nervous driver.
Do you always feel on edge when driving? Are you irritable and stressed behind the wheel? Driving anxiety can make your everyday life unnecessarily difficult. In this post, we’re sharing actionable ways to improve your skills and gain confidence on the road. Take a look.
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Practice Makes Perfect
Like any other skill, you need to practice to improve your driving skills. So practice as much as possible. There is no harm in seeking additional driving lessons to feel more confident. If you are afraid to drive alone, you should consider taking a friend or family member along.
Know Your City
Driving in New York City is significantly different from cruising in Missouri suburbs. While most driving regulations are the same across the country, there are certain laws that may vary from state to state. For example, texting while driving isn’t illegal in Montana, but it’s banned in all other states. You should look into your state’s unique driving laws and traffic rules.
Be Prepare for Tickets
Are you terrified of receiving traffic or parking tickets? The truth is that even highly experienced drivers get ticketed! There’s hardly any driver who hasn’t received at least one ticket in their life.
Be Kind To Yourself
There will be instances where your car unexpectedly turns off just as the traffic light turns green. Or it takes you a while to back your car into a tight parking spot. But that doesn’t make you a bad driver! In particular, we urge you to ignore aggressive drivers throwing mean comments. Don’t take these things personally.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Driving the same route at the same hours every day limits your skills as a driver. It’s a good idea to gradually step out of your comfort zone to become an experienced driver. Maybe try taking a different route to work or drive to a neighborhood you haven’t explored before.
Follow a Checklist
Going through a brief mental checklist before driving can eliminate unjustified doubts. This list can include setting car mirrors, adjusting your seat, checking registration and insurance, etc.
Pay Attention to Vehicle Maintenance
There’s nothing more stressful than your car breaking down on a busy freeway or in the middle of nowhere. To avoid such situations, we advise you to stay on top of your vehicle maintenance.
Update Your Car
Driving and parking have never been easier, thanks to advanced technology. Do you find parking particularly difficult? We suggest getting a camera installed to make it easier.
Try Relaxing Techniques
Certain relaxing techniques and rituals can ease your nerves. From taking deep breaths to listening to your favorite music, there are several ways to calm yourself down. Remember, there are only so many things you can control.
Talk To a Professional
At times, your anxieties may be deep-rooted and challenging to overcome all by yourself. For example, if you were involved in an accident, getting back on the road may remind you of that trauma. There’s no shame in seeking professional help. A qualified therapist can help you navigate such fears and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Whether you are driving for the first time or after a long break, you will eventually beat the nerves. Hopefully, the aforementioned tips will help you become a confident and safe driver.