How to Improve Your Confidence When Learning to Drive

There’s no doubt that learning to drive can be a nerve-wracking experience. You’re in control of a heavy, potentially fast-moving vehicle with the power to inflict serious damage if mishandled. It’s only natural that you should feel anxious. In fact, as instructors, we’re usually more concerned if you aren’t at least a little bit apprehensive when you begin your driving lessons. But if you’re overly nervous, you will never enjoy the driving experience. And it can get in the way of you becoming a safe driver. So, what can you do to improve your confidence when learning to drive?

How to Deal with Driving Nerves

Understand why you’re worried

One of the best ways to combat any form of anxiety is to understand it. Because driving anxiety comes from a whole range of different places. It might be the perception of danger. Or it might be a specific part of the process that makes your palms sweaty and your heart beat faster. Whether it’s the prospect of one day driving alone, or having to change lanes at a busy junction. Whatever it is that is making you worried, you will have a better chance of mastering it once you know what it is.

Talk to your instructor

Your driving instructor’s role is obviously to teach you how to handle a car safely. But that doesn’t just mean focusing on the pure mechanics of driving. If you’re lacking in confidence, a chat with your driving instructor should help you to find out whether there are any grounds for that anxiety. And to help you find your way through them. If you’re worried about night-time driving, they can schedule evening lessons (something that is particularly easy to do in winter!). If you’re struggling with manoeuvres, they can explain where you’re going wrong – if you are going wrong. Their role is to help you to become a safe and competent driver. So, let them.

Understand what you’re meant to be doing

For many learner drivers, getting to know the rules of the road is a merely a formality before they get to the main event. But if you really get to grips with driving theory, it can dramatically improve your driving experience. Because you know what you’re meant to be doing at all times.

Focus on safety

Driving cautiously isn’t always the same as driving safely. If you’re driving too slowly, you can become a hazard for other drivers to negotiate. And taking too long to make a decision can be almost as dangerous as not taking enough time. So, learn to take control of your vehicle. Focus on hazard perception and risk evaluation. And work on driving in the sensible middle ground.

Practice, practice, practice

In the vast majority of cases, the more time someone spends behind the wheel, the more confident they become. So, whether you increase the frequency of your lessons – having two lessons a week for a shorter period of time can be incredibly effective – or persuade a parent with a licence to take you out in their car, the more practice you get, the more confident you’ll feel.

Nerves are a natural part of learning to drive. But if you let them get the better of you, the experience has the potential to be miserable. So don’t just ignore those feelings of anxiety. Talk to your instructor and get that inner driver moving.

If you are looking for driving lessons in Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton, and  the surrounding areas, get in touch with DGN Driving.


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Thomas Baugh

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