For some new drivers, the prospect of getting out onto the open road is absolutely brilliant and exciting, and comes with little — if any — fear or uncertainty.
For many others, however, getting started as a new driver can, unfortunately, be daunting and may be a source of considerable stress and anxiety.
Of course, driving can certainly be dangerous. If it wasn’t, there would be no need for experts such as a skilled car accident attorney to exist.
Fortunately, there are a good range of different tips and techniques you can try out, that can help you to quickly develop confidence on the road once you’ve passed your driving test and are expected to “go it solo.”
Here are some tips for boosting your confidence on the road, after passing your driving test.
Go for regular drives with a more experienced driver
Easily one of the best ways of developing your confidence on the road as a new driver, is to go for regular drives with a more experienced driver in the passenger’s seat.
If all goes well, they will be able to gently answer any questions you may have, and will be able to calm you down, and give you advice as and when required.
Of course, it’s important to strike the right balance here and to make sure that your “experienced driver” doesn’t just end up barking commands at you and make you far more stressed and agitated as a result.
Ultimately, though, one of the key advantages that experienced drivers have over new drivers is that they have honed and developed their senses of what to expect, and how to behave, on the road — in ways that your initial driving lessons and driving test likely won’t be able to achieve.
Going for regular drives with a more experienced driver — particularly someone close to you like a partner or relative — can help to “fast track” you to develop a lot of that insight, and can help you to feel less overwhelmed.
Don’t stop driving for a prolonged period of time right after getting your licence
One of the most common reasons why people end up becoming deeply uncomfortable on the road — and may never even get back on the road again after passing their tests — is because they allow too long of a period to pass between getting their licences, and actually driving regularly.
If you pass your driving test and then go without driving at all for the next 10 years, you will naturally be far more stressed, anxious, and uncertain if and when you do get back on the road. And realistically, you should be — as you’ll essentially be a novice again.
Simply continuing to drive regularly, after passing your driving test, can help you to systematically and consistently develop your confidence on the road, in addition to holding onto the skills, lessons and insights you have already picked up.
If you do end up going for a long time after passing your test, before driving again, it’s a very good idea to look into booking yourself some refresher courses — for your own safety as well as that of other motorists, if nothing else.
Make sure that you’re as well-rested as possible before driving
According to various leading experts on the subjects of sleep and the circadian rhythm, sleep deprivation is essentially at epidemic levels in today’s world — for many reasons ranging from blue light exposure in the evening, to an increase in shift work.
When it comes to driving, though, being even moderately sleep deprived is extremely detrimental. Not only does it lower your reaction times and make you more susceptible to fall asleep at the wheel, but it also increases stress levels and makes it more difficult for you to understand and react appropriately to what’s going on around you.
As simple as it sounds, making sure to be as well rested as possible before driving can help to make you a lot more confident on the road, while significantly reducing your overall stress and anxiety levels too.
Practice getting into a regular driving routine before going for longer-distance drives
Long-distance drives naturally tend to be more stressful and daunting than short-distance drives for obvious reasons — and yet many new drivers create a lot of additional stress for themselves by not establishing a regular daily driving routine, but simply going for occasional longer drives instead.
One of the best ways of building your confidence on the road as a whole is to simply drive around your local area each day, and to get familiar with particular routes — such as the route to work.
This will then help to generate the kind of confidence that makes longer-distance drives less daunting.