Between avoiding weaving cyclists to dodging stray cats, driving around town can often lead to white knuckles and sweaty palms. With so many potential obstacles on the road ahead, it can be easy for occasional driving stress to become persistent driving anxiety. However, developing more confidence behind the wheel can be as easy as taking a defensive driving class or practicing just 15 minutes a day. Read on for six tips for increasing confidence behind the wheel, so you’re comfortable each time you take the driver’s seat.
Enroll in a defensive driving school
Signing up for a class from a defensive driving school will do more than improve your defensive driving skills behind the wheel. A driving course can refresh your knowledge of local driving laws, save you money on car insurance, and even reduce points on your license – all while helping you become a more confident driver.
Practice makes perfect
Even after enrolling in a defensive driving course, you’ll want to make sure you follow up your hours of logged classroom time with plenty of practice. Make sure you’re getting in around 10-15 minutes of driving per day, even if you don’t have anywhere in particular to go. Additionally, try to practice at different times each day to really solidify your skillset.
Become acquainted with your car
The car you’re driving now might be very different from the car you drove when you first hit the road. Make sure you learn what different indication lights mean and understand how to turn on your hazard lights and windshield wipers. Becoming more comfortable with your car will translate to more ease behind the wheel. Just another way of increasing confidence behind the wheel.
Swear by the speed limit
Sticking to the speed limit can help you feel safer when driving, especially since speeding can increase your chances of skidding or having a close encounter with another car. Plus, if your insurance company has installed a black box to monitor your speed while driving, sticking to the posted limit will help you keep rates low.
Address any distractions beforehand
Text message notifications and Spotify glitches can prove distracting when you’re trying to merge onto the freeway. Before you hit the road, queue up your music, respond to any last-minute messages, and set up your GPS navigation. If anything urgent grabs your attention during your drive (like multiple phone calls from a family member), you can pull over before addressing the situation.
Have faith in yourself
There’s no doubt that driving can be anxiety-inducing, and sometimes accidents even happen to the most careful of drivers. If you’re still finding yourself fighting anxiety each time you take the wheel, make sure you spend a few minutes before your trip taking in deep breaths and relaxing. If needed, you can even visualize safely getting on the road and merging into traffic.
From persistent notifications to unexpected jaywalkers, driving can often be a stressful experience. However, by practicing your driving skills, sticking to the speed limit, and steering clear of distractions, you can hit the road with confidence every time you get in the driver’s seat.
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