Are you a nervous driver? If yes, you definitely are not alone. This article will give you some tips on how to alleviate your nervousness when it comes to driving.
While so many people get an adrenaline rush whenever they sit behind the wheel, many others are not that fortunate. We have to drive out of necessity, not really because we want to, and when we have to take that wheel, we can sense a surge of nervousness and anxiety taking over. If you feel this way, the first thing we want to say is that you are not alone. A lot of drivers feel the same way as you do, so there is nothing to get ashamed of. Fortunately enough, there are some methods you can follow to ease our tensed-up mind.
Dealing with nervousness when driving in ways below
1. Prepare your car
Anxiety is not a nice feeling to have, but preparing your car with care and meticulousness beforehand does help a lot of people. Prior to taking your car out for a drive, it is recommended that you check your car to ensure that everything is working fine and stuff that you need are where they should be. Some simple things that you would want to check are the tyres, the fuel gauge, leaks (if there are any), turn signal lights, tailgate lights, brakes, and other things that are indicated on the dashboard lighting section. If you are not confident that you can carry out these examinations on your own, you can refer to your car owner’s manual, get someone from the family who is more familiar with these things, or get a professional technician.
You should also keep the windows and mirrors clean because if those things are dirty, they can interfere with your observance and make you feel on edge. The more we can do to minimise the anxiety on the road, the better it is.
You should check your car for any problems before going for a drive
2. Plan your trip
Besides preparing your car, you should plan your trip. Knowing where and when you are going gives you a certain amount of certainty that will undoubtedly lower the nervousness level. If you feel tense and anxious easily, it is highly recommended that you plan a journey that can avoid a lot of traffic and bad weather. Practising at the easy level first, and slowly get into the normal level, and the hard level. Do not rush yourself.
If you are particularly scared, it is better to drive on the same route that you are already familiar with over and over again, until you feel confident with that route and you can move onto a different one. It is also a good idea to pick a route that does not involve complicated junctions, crossroads, and roundabouts at your first few times.
Moreover, you should do some practising in beautiful sunny dry weather and avoid rain or snow at all costs. Rain and snow are likely to make the road slippery and prevent you from seeing clearly.
The biggest advice here is to progress at your own pace and do not rush to be as “good” as others. You will drive well. Take your time.
Plan your trip beforehand so that you can gradually get familiar with your driving
3. Drive when you are in your top state
When you feel anxious while driving, the last thing you want to do is to drive when you are already upset. This also ties with our previous point, which is to plan the trip in advance. It is better if you can plan your trip to avoid the time that you are sure you are not in your top state, such as tiredness, frustration, disappointment, anger, or sorrow. The negative emotion that is already present will only add to the anxiety that you will experience when you drive.
Furthermore, you should not try your best to take the wheel when you feel sleepy or when you just have taken medications. The effects that sleepiness has on drivers are even more severe than being high on drugs or intoxication. This is not to say that you are better off if you are in a delirious state of mind, but drowsy-driving is extremely dangerous. Coffee and tea do not help either. Taking in caffeine when you are sleepy actually creates short moments of napping and unconsciousness that you are not even aware of. So, under no circumstances are you to do some drowsy-driving.
The conclusion here is that you should pay attention and be aware of your own state at that moment and ask yourself whether you can fully concentrate on driving. If you do not feel good, do not drive.
When you are a nervous driver, you would want to drive in your best state
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