Becoming a good and confident driver doesn’t happen overnight. If you want to improve your self-esteem behind the wheel and calm your nerves, it is important to have total control over your vehicle and the road. Once you start feeling confident, you’ll see how enjoyable driving can really be for everyone involved. But until you get to that level of comfort, here are a few tips that will help you with your driving confidence.
This might sound obvious, but many people don’t know a lot about their vehicles, which can be stressful. So, make sure to check your user manual and learn everything about hazard lights, fog lights, wipers and wiper fluid and all those little signals that can light up on your dashboard. The car you have right now might be very different from the model you were using during your driving lessons, so take your time to familiarize with it.
Practice somewhere safe
For many drivers, the biggest problem is the hustle and bustle of traffic. In order to eliminate this issue, try practicing your skills in a calm and non-crowded environment like a parking lot. This will allow you to see how the car brakes and starts and what the visibility is like. Practicing is what gives you the most confidence, but make sure to find a safe spot with minimal pressure and stress.
Control the noise levels
It’s very important to create a calm and stress-free environment for you when you drive and ensure there are minimal distractions. Before you drive off, make sure to turn on the music to a comfortable level, set up your navigation and set your phone aside. If you’re driving a particularly loud car, you can even invest in quality performance mufflers to reduce the noise in your cabin. These provide the driver with full control of your exhaust sound and performance level which can be very comforting.
Get a driving buddy
If you want to feel at ease, sometimes all you need is some support. Having a co-pilot that you trust can reduce stress because you know there’s always someone who will help you and offer advice in case something goes wrong. However, it is important to choose the right companion, someone who has a calming effect on you. If you want to raise your confidence, go with someone who will react something like this “Oh no, we missed this turn. Try to pull into this parking lot and go back” instead of someone who will react something like this “Why didn’t you turn here? Look what you’ve done, now we need to go back!”
Wear your P plates
If you’re new to this whole shebang and don’t feel comfortable in traffic yet, you might want to put up your P plates. This will show other drivers that you’re a beginner and that they should pay more attention and give you more space when changing lanes or parking. Your P plates will allow you to focus on driving instead of worrying what other drivers are doing and thinking about your skills.
Don’t worry about other drivers
People today can be very busy, rushed and rude which is intimidating and scary. In order to get your confidence, it’s important to ignore their rude remarks and watch the road. There will always be a few bad drivers that will get to you and cause road rage no matter how hard you try to ignore them. However, staying calm and not letting them intimidate you is the key to driving confidence.
A confident driver is a safe driver, so it’s very important to work on your skills. Prepare well and don’t dwell on your mistakes—this will allow you to get over your fear and gain experience and precious confidence.