If you want to become a more confident driver, it’s important to realize that this isn't something that will happen overnight. It takes time to become a good, confident driver. Be prepared to work at this consistently.
Below, you’ll find 11 ways you can become a more confident driver. Start working on these things now and you’ll have unshakable confidence on the road before you know it:
1. Take Extra Courses And Lessons
If you know you need to improve your confidence and fast, then taking extra courses and lessons could be the way to do it. Just because you’ve passed your driving test doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take extra workshops and courses if you feel like it will help you. You may be able to learn extra skills, tips, and tricks on these courses that will help you to become an overall better driver. You may even be able to find courses that enable you to spot hazards and avoid them by driving defensively.
2. Get A Car That Suits You
You must get a car that suits you - you shouldn’t get a car that’s too big or fast for you to handle, or you’ll likely make mistakes. Once you have a car you’re confident driving, make sure you’re as familiar with your car as can be before going out. You need to know what all of the symbols mean, as well as where your lights and other features are. This will enable you to drive as safely as possible.
3. Practice As Much As Possible
Practice makes perfect. You can’t expect to be a great, uber confident driver if you’ve only been out on the road a handful of times. Making short journeys to begin with will help you to get the hang of driving, and you can gradually build your way up to longer journeys. If you’re scared to drive, the longer you spend away from driving and the road will likely stop you from trying. You have to keep practicing to build on your skills and develop that confidence.
4. Have A Good Idea Of Where You’re Going
Make sure you have a good idea of where you’re going so that you are sure nothing will trip you up on your way. You can download sat nav apps on your phone that are really useful, providing you have somewhere secure to place your phone as you drive. You shouldn’t need to touch it as you drive, or you could get distracted and get into an accident. Even if you don’t get distracted, you could get in big trouble for messing with your phone while you drive.
5. Be Aware Of Any Diversions Or Accidents
Research the route before you set off, even if you have a sat nav. This way, nothing can throw you off as you make your way to your destination. You want to make sure you’re aware of any diversions or accidents ahead of time so you don’t panic when you’re in the car.
6. Take The Weather Into Account
The weather will affect how long it takes you to get to your destination, as well as how you drive. You need to take a wider berth around bikers and horses, and you should also make sure you leave at least a few seconds in between you and the car in front. Wet roads make stopping times longer, so you need to account for this.
If the weather is particularly severe, you should avoid driving altogether. For example, icy roads can cause accidents, and snow can be very difficult to navigate. If you have no choice but to drive, make sure you take your time and that you have things in the car that will help you in an emergency. This includes a phone, phone charger, first aid kit, torch, and so on.
7. Avoid Driving With Friends
Driving with friends while you’re trying to build your confidence could have an adverse effect. If there is too much talking around you, you might find yourself more distracted and focused on them rather than the road ahead. You may find yourself needing to contact a car accident lawyer, rather than enjoying the trip. Limit the amount of friends you have in the car while you’re trying to build your confidence, and make it abundantly clear to them that you can’t have them talking and laughing loudly. Don’t try to show off either, or have your music too loud. Drive sensibly, just as you would if you were on your own.
8. Don’t Focus On What Other Drivers Are Doing
One of the worst things you can do is focus on what other drivers are doing. If they are driving closely behind you, for example, don’t feel under pressure to speed up. Continue driving safely and to the speed limit. They can overtake you if they have to. You can’t let other drivers intimidate you. Focus on what you’re doing.
9. Don’t Hesitate To Take A Break
Stop somewhere appropriate if you need to take a breather - the services are ideal, or a car park if you know that one is close by. You shouldn’t really stop on the hard shoulder or somewhere that could cause an accident. However, it’s always safer you stop and take a breather, especially if you feel a panic attack or something coming on. It might seem silly, but deep breathing can be a huge help.
10. Put On Some P Plates
Let other drivers know you’re not that experienced by putting P plates on your car. This way, they should give you a wider birth and understand that you may not be the most experienced road user.
11. Be Kind To Yourself
You may make a mistake or feel terrified of the road, but you must be kind to yourself. If you beat yourself up, you’re going to feel worse and you’ll create a vicious cycle that is hard to get out of. In general, your mindset will set the tone for the drive ahead. Try to remain relaxed and positive, even if you’re not 100% confident.