Driving is enjoyable for most people. However, there are some who find driving a dread-inducing activity. If the thought of driving makes you feel queasy, there are ways to get more confident behind the wheel. It takes time and practice but it's worth the effort.
Here are six simple tips to take on the road to increase your confidence:
Head out on your own (assuming you have your P Plates!)
Like any other skill, driving takes lots of practice to master. While it seems counterintuitive to head out on your own when driving makes you feel anxious, it's the only way to gain experience and become more confident. Start with short trips to get some driving time under your belt, a drive to the supermarket or the next suburb is a good start. Once you feel comfortable, challenge yourself to take a different, or longer route, or drive during different conditions.
Know your car
You'll be driving your car a lot so it makes sense to know where everything is and what everything does. Familiarise yourself with all the switches and buttons inside and outside your car. Pay attention to your lights and your car's size and dimensions. Once you have familarised yourself with your car, it'll be easier to feel comfortable driving.
Practice with another driver
Take every opportunity to drive with someone else, preferably an experienced driver. They might be able to give you valuable advice or feedback and keep your nerves at bay. Pick a friend or family member who can put you at ease and does not easily panic when you make mistakes.
Drive in different weather conditions
As a driver, you have to be prepared to drive in all types of weather. Don’t stay home just beucause it’s wet. It’s a good idea to plan to drive in all weather conditions, so you don’t find yourself one time in the middle of a thunderstorm having never driven in rain before.
Make your environment soothing
Do what you need to make your environment as soothing as possible. Listen to your favourite music, set up your seat to a comfortable position, set the right temperature. You'll be surprised to see how much better driving is when you're comfortable in your surroundings.
Remember mistakes happen
Even veteran drivers make mistakes so try to stay calm and breathe when someone beeps at you if you take too long to park or if you have trouble manoeuvring your car. This doesn't mean you're a bad driver so take it in your stride and keep it as a lesson. You'll also find that other motorists can be rude without reason so it's best to just ignore them in these cases. It sounds cliche but making mistakes is how we learn.
Invest in good car insurance
Having a great car insurance policy ensures that you'll be covered for accidents, theft, or fire. While you may not have even considered these situations happening to you, they're something every driver should be prepared for. You’ll be grateful for the small expense if you’re ever in an accident!