Repeat after me: “I am a strong, confident, driver”.
ARE YOU A nervous driver? Does the thought of driving make you feel anxious? Well, you aren’t alone. According to a survey by Liberty Insurance, nearly two-thirds of Irish drivers still feel underprepared for driving after passing their test.
It really can take a lot of time and practice to get confident behind the wheel. To become more confident and beat the nerves, it is important that drivers know how to handle different roads and weather and know their way around their car.
Here are six tips to help you reduce driving anxiety, calm the nerves and increase your confidence whilst driving.
Know your car inside out
In order to feel comfortable and confident in your car you need to know it inside and out and master all of the controls. Familiarise yourself with all the switches and buttons and what each of them do. Know exactly where your lights are and where each setting is and when you should use them. Where is the horn, the air-con, the radio, the button to open the boot, bonnet and fuel flap?
You also need to walk around your vehicle and get familiar with its size and dimensions. This will help you judge distances and parking spaces better.
Once your car becomes familiar, you’ll start to feel more and more comfortable in the car and this will make you feel more confident being in the vehicle.
Make use of driving aids
Most modern cars come with plenty of safety kit and driver’s aids as standard. Make clever use of safety equipment such as Blind Spot Monitor or Emergency Collision Autonomous Engine Braking by turning them on and using them. These technologies play an important role in minimising the chances of an accident. Knowing that your vehicle is helping you be a safer driver and is making the roads safer for you should go a long way to improving your confidence especially if you are nervous about having an accident.
If you car isn’t fitted with technology like this, you can buy and install some items yourself like a hands free kit, a reversing camera and parking sensors.
Get in the zone
In order to combat the nerves and anxiety around driving do all you can to make your environment as relaxing as possible. Set up your driving position so that it is comfortable and you can see clearly out of all the windows. Make sure your mirrors are in the correct position so you can see the other cars on both sides. Clear all the clutter from your car. Download a calming classical music playlist or your favourite songs and play them whilst driving – research has shown that this helps drivers to calm down.
Don’t wear bulky jackets when driving, these will restrict your movements and if you are nervous you will probably start feeling very hot very soon. Make sure the air-con is nice and cool to keep you chilled.
Practice makes perfect
Like most skills, the best way to become more confident at anything is to practice as much as possible. With driving you need to just get out more and drive in as many different scenarios as possible and be conscious of your driving.
Get out on to the motorway when it is quiet, and then again when it is busier. Find a quiet roundabout in an estate and practice getting in to the correct lane. Drive at night. Find the one driving situation that makes you the most nervous and practice it as much as possible.
You should also get out and practice in all types or weather. This helps you become familiar with how you need to adapt your driving style depending on the conditions.
Just remember, driving is a skill that we learn and it can always be improved.
Get more lessons
Just because you have passed your test doesn’t mean that the lessons have to stop. Nervous drivers can benefit greatly from extra lessons that cover motorway driving, defensive driving techniques and other skills not covered in learning to drive lessons.
Having professional advice and someone to show you what to do in a safe and controlled way will hopefully put you at ease and make you more relaxed when trying out the new skills.
Remember, mistakes happen to everyone
Just because someone beeps at you for stalling at a roundabout or because you took too long to perform a manoeuvre doesn’t mean you are a bad driver and you should try not to let it affect the rest of your drive. Motorists love to beep and make out like these things never happen to them. They do. They happen to everyone.
If you make a mistake just take a deep breath and start again. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t let one mistake or one aggressive driver dent your confidence. Acknowledge the mistake, and then move on. Making mistakes is how we learn.
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This article was co-authored by Simon Miyerov and by wikiHow staff writer, Sophia Latorre. Simon Miyerov is the President and Driving Instructor for Drive Rite Academy, a driving academy based out of New York City. Simon has over 8 years of driving instruction experience. His mission is to ensure the safety of everyday drivers and continue to make New York a safer and efficient driving environment.
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Driving can be a nerve-wracking endeavor, especially if you don’t have much experience, haven’t been on the roads in a while, or have a fear of driving. Don’t worry, though, it’s easy to gain confidence as a driver. Make sure you know the traffic laws and are familiar with the vehicle before hitting the road. With a little time and practice, you can become a confident driver!
Driving Instructor Expert Interview. 4 December 2019. Knowing the traffic laws takes much of the uncertainty out of driving. When you’re driving, take notice of speed limit and other signs, and be sure to signal when appropriate. It’s also important that you understand what all the signals, signs, and symbols mean. You can easily find diagrams online, if necessary.
- For instance, “yield” means that other road users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers, have the right of way and you must wait for a break in the traffic to continue.
- Another example is the sign with 2 arrows pointing vertically in opposite directions, which signals that there is 2-way traffic.
Learning how to drive and to do it well, takes time and practice. There isn’t a magic wand you can wave to instill confidence in yourself, but there are actionable steps you can take over time to improve your confidence while driving. Here are 6 tips to assist you in confident driving.
- Practice Often. To really embody confident driving you’ve got to invest time and effort into getting behind the wheel. Log those hours! The cliche phrase “practice makes perfect” really does ring true.
- Bring an Experienced Driver Along. Ask an experienced driver (that you are comfortable with) to accompany you on your practice runs. This is a time for you to listen to their suggestions and for them to support you in your good driving habits. Top Driver offers quality training and coaching to assure even the most timid driver is equip to handle the road.
- Drive in All Weather. One of the most important skills a driver can have is the ability to analyze the driving environment . There are only two types of driving environments we can encounter, ideal and adverse. As someone looking to practice more confident driving, you must prepare for all weather conditions — even less than ideal conditions. Remember to analyze your space, traction and visibility (S-T-V). Become familiar with as many environments as you can so that you can.
- Drive On Multiple Terrains. Hills, dirt roads, highways, narrow streets, busy streets and parking lots are all areas you should be comfortable and confident with driving on. Start small and rank each in order of how you feel about each of them — most confident to least confident. Tackle the easier terrains first and work up to conquering the more difficult topographies as you move along.
- Mix Up Your Practice Vehicles. Try something a little new. Have you been practicing in the same vehicle the entire time? If you’re up for it, consider switching your practice sessions to another vehicle for a short time. If you’re in a small car, practice confident driving in a truck and vise versa. Maybe switch from an 8-cylinder to a 4-cylinder or front-wheel drive to all-wheel drive. It’s important to know how other vehicles handle and how comfortable you are with each scenario.
- Complete Refresher Driving Courses. There is always something fun and new to learn. Don’t stop honing your driving skills just because you pass your driving exam. Continue to practice and take online refresher courses to stay current with law changes and driving best practices. Even just a few lessons can provide tips and tricks to calm your nerves. Do all of this and your well on your way to becoming a confident driver.
Confident Driving is Within Your Reach
After you become proficient in the basic handling of your vehicle it will be easier to become more confident and comfortable while driving. The key to building confidence while driving is practice. Continue to practice, ask questions, take things step by step and make sure your environment promotes calmness. Reduce your nerves by playing some of your favorite songs while you drive. Another quick tip is to run through your pre-driving checklist .
Don’t be too hard on yourself either. Every driver has made mistakes at some point while driving—the key is to not dwell on your mistakes. Assess what went wrong and come up with a plan to solve the issue should you encounter a similar situation again.
If you’re interested in sharpening your knowledge and becoming a more proactive driver, contact Top Driver today! Consider signing up for an online refresher driving course . Each of our drivers improves their driving skill set considerably after completion of a refresher course.
Kwik Fit | Tuesday 8th October 2019 1:40pm
Driving can undoubtedly be stressful at times, especially if you�re a novice behind the wheel. If you�re making up excuses not to drive because you�re nervous or anxious, the following tips should help you to boost your confidence.
Hit the road as often as you can
As with most things, practice is the key to becoming a better and more confident driver. If you�re very nervous, start off with a friend (preferably an experienced driver) in the car with you. They can help you to navigate, provide reassurance and keep you calm.
However, it�s important to practice driving solo too. Taking away the safety net of a trusted passenger can be scary, but it�ll become less so every time you drive on your own. Before long, it�ll feel like second nature.
To boost your confidence and skills even further, why not challenge yourself to go somewhere new? A familiar route is easy to follow, but a new one shakes you out of your comfort zone and gives you the skills to prepare for anything. You�re likely to face new situations at some point in the future, so do it now to build up your confidence. Choose a quiet time of day, take it slow and you�ll soon be giving yourself a well-earned pat on the back for arriving without incident.
Get to know your car
You know the basics of driving your car, but do you know where the fog lights are? Which button do you press if the windscreen steams up, and how do you control the windscreen wiper speed? These tiny details can be so important when you�re trying to concentrate on the road. Take some time with your car�s manual and get to know each control inside out.
Do some route preparation
When you�re focused on driving carefully and safely, the last thing you want is to get lost. This can cause stress and panic, which is no good if you�re already feeling nervous about driving.
You can�t guarantee that you�ll always take the right turning, but you can take steps to prepare your route. Run through the route on a map in advance of your journey or better still, key the address into your sat nav. Do this before you set off and you can calmly follow the instructions until you reach your destination.
Focus on your own driving- and don’t be intimidated
This one is easier said than done, but it�s a vital tactic to minimising your stress levels while driving. Obviously, you need to be aware of other vehicles on the road, but you don�t need to feel intimidated by them. Another driver may be in a hurry and want you to speed up, but that isn�t your problem. Stick to the speed limit, drive carefully and try not to worry about anyone else. Even if you make a mistake, it�s unlikely that you�ll ever see the other driver again, so don�t stress if they start honking their horn.
Take some refresher driving lessons
If you haven�t passed your test yet, it�s always worth taking a few extra lessons before attempting your test. If you�re a driver already, there�s no harm at all in brushing up your skills with a handful of refresher sessions. You�ll be out on the roads with an experienced driving instructor, refreshing your knowledge and skills while getting in some solid driving time. Feel free to ask questions and seek reassurance from your instructor, as they�re likely to have plenty of tips on building up your confidence.
Take it slowly
Getting comfortable behind the wheel, especially if you�ve had a long break from driving, is all about taking things step by step. Head to a large, quiet car park to practice some basic manoeuvres – such as parking, turning and reversing. Then you can use quieter roads during times when there aren�t many other cars around. If you�re feeling good, it�s time to tackle some other challenges. Force yourself to take a short trip at night or in the rain, or try a short drive in busier traffic.
Pop a ‘P’ plate on your car
The green �P� plate is nothing to be embarrassed about. It�s actually a very handy tool for new or nervous drivers. It tells other road users that you�ve only just passed your test, so you�re likely to be a little nervous, hesitant or slow. They should then give you extra space and breathing room to build your confidence, without feeling harassed or intimidated. You can leave the P plate on for as long as you need to, even if you�re not a brand new driver.
Avoid any distractions
You may feel like having the radio on will relax you, but it can in fact have the opposite effect. The radio can be distracting when you need to concentrate, especially if a deafening thrash metal song comes on unexpectedly just as you�re navigating a busy roundabout. If you do have the radio on, turn it down low. Although hands-free calls are legally allowed, it�s best to avoid them as they can also be very distracting.
Don’t drive when tired or over-stressed
If you�re sleepy or already feeling stressed-out, it isn�t a good idea to drive. A tired driver is a dangerous one, as fatigue causes a drop in concentration and focus. If you�ve had a mega stressful day at work, perhaps leave the driving practice until another time – as the experience may raise your stress levels even further.
Remember- caution is a good thing
Don�t be too hard on yourself for being overly cautious or underconfident when in control of a vehicle. Driving can be hazardous, so it can be a very good thing to go slowly and exercise caution. It�s completely fine to apply the brakes before a blind bend, or ask yourself �what if someone pulls out of that junction suddenly?� and adjust your speed accordingly.
Caution can keep you safe on the roads, but in the right measure. With a little time and practice, you�ll soon feel confident in your ability to drive safely and calmly. You never know, you may even start to enjoy it!
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Belinda Neame is completely comfortable driving around the streets near her home in Canberra. But, until recently, country roads were a different story.
“I’m fine driving around town, [where] I know the roads, but I get really nervous driving outside of that,” she says.
But lately she’s been building up her confidence, and she’s now driving by herself to her holiday rental in Gunning, about 40 minutes away.
“Gunning has been what’s made me think I have to do it, because [my husband] Tim isn’t going to always be around,” she says.
Many of us will be holidaying closer to home and spending more time on the road this summer.
So if something about driving makes you nervous, here are some ideas for building confidence while staying safe.
Consider getting a driving coach
When we need help with our fitness or our finances, often we look to someone with experience to help us on the journey.
It’s the same with driving, says Tracey Thomson, a driving coach and instructor based in Geelong.
And getting help isn’t just for people on their L plates.
“Definitely anyone who is nervous or anxious, they can definitely get some training to get over whatever it is they’re struggling with,” Tracey says.
“That’s the most rewarding thing about this job. You see people conquering these mountains they never think they’re going to overcome.”
Tracey has helped people overcome all sorts of fears about driving, but she says there are no quick fixes. Often it takes patience and lots of practice.
“Just recently I had a young girl, who couldn’t do roundabouts,” Tracey says.
“We learned all the process, and the risks. And just recently we were driving along, and she’d gone through several roundabouts without even noticing.”
Lessons can be helpful, but keep in mind they can cost $60 per hour or more, so for some people they might not be affordable.
Going outside your comfort zone
When you’re having an anxious time, everything is harder. So what do you do when your comfort zone completely disappears?
Build up to it
When you’re trying something new or challenging, it’s important to build up slowly, Tracey says.
It’s something that Belinda found helpful while overcoming her fear of driving on country roads.
One of her fears was that the car would break down in the middle of nowhere, and she’d be stranded.
So, the first time she tried to drive to Gunning herself, she brought her daughter along.
“She chatted to me the whole time and played music. It was kind of a distraction really,” she says.
“It was a nice introduction, and I would definitely recommend that — do it with someone first.”
That first trip was nerve-racking, but Belinda was exhilarated when she arrived.
Later on, she did the drive herself. And since then, she has hadn’t any issues driving to the holiday home.
“After that one by myself, I’m completely fine. I needed to get that one out of my system,” she says.
What helped was that she never pushed herself too far out of her comfort zone, which could have been unsafe.
“I really truly believe that if a fear is going to make you feel out of control, you’re not ready to do it, and it could be unsafe,” she says.
“You have to listen to yourself and go when you’re ready. It’s gentle, slow introductions.”
7 car tips to save you money and help the environment
From driving smoothly to taking off roof racks, here are some simple things that can help you save money and make your car more environmentally friendly.
Plan your trip to avoid surprises
Regardless of how confident you feel on the road, it’s important to be make sure you’re prepared for a road trip.
Here are some things to keep in mind from Tracey and Alex Vouvaris, who runs a defensive driving course in Melbourne.
- Check your fuel levels, tyre pressure, engine fluids and lights before you depart.
- Plan your route. When driving with her students, Tracey sometimes looks at online maps to better understand the roads they’ll be taking.
- If your trip is going to take more than a couple of hours, plan to stop for a break.
- Think about the time of day you are most comfortable driving, and plan around that.
- Think about potential risks, and how you might mitigate them. Wildlife is often more of a risk during the night-time and early mornings, Alex says, so you could avoid driving during those times.
Finally, Tracey says it’s important that you give yourself plenty of time.
“I would definitely be prepared for a relaxed journey,” she says.
“Talk about it … plan the trip from the minute you leave the house to when you arrive.”
Practice makes perfect
Belinda’s feeling more confident now she has some strategies for managing her fears.
Importantly, it’s meant that she’s been able to travel to the regional areas that she loves so dearly.
Recently, she drove two hours to Bowral to meet a close friend.
“It’s just given me that confidence boost knowing that I can go on those day trips,” she says.
“I still wouldn’t drive to Sydney, but even just going to Gunning … it just feels good.”
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Getting your driver’s license is an exciting time in your life! It can be scary when you realize that when you are behind the wheel, you have total control over a large moving metal vehicle. Feeling confident behind the wheel will not only make driving an easier experience for you, but it will also set you up for success and safety in your driving. Next time you jump behind the wheel, keep these tips in mind.
Here are the 7 Techniques
1. Practice: Go to a non-crowded parking lot and practice driving, braking, and using your mirrors. Training yourself on these things will not only make you a pro behind the wheel, but it will also increase your confidence in your driving. Schools are a great place to go on the weekend or at night, as they generally have large parking lots with open space where you can practice without others around. Practicing is the #1 way to increase confidence, and doing it in a place where you don’t feel stressed or pressured can only help.
Review Traffic Laws: Even if you just completed Driver’s Ed, it never hurts to review driving laws. Make sure you are familiar with laws specific to your area such as the speed limit, signaling in the appropriate amount of time, stopping at red lights, stopping at stop lights, keeping a proper distance with you and cars around you, etc. Make sure that you are not driving too fast or too slow. Stick with the other cars around you unless they aren’t following speed limit laws. Knowing the traffic laws will help you feel more confident behind the wheel.
3. Familiarize Yourself with Your Car: Perhaps part of why you are nervous to get behind the wheel is because you’re nervous for something to go wrong with the car. Make sure you know the basics of car ownership – how to put gas in the car, how to change a tire, how to jump the car and use jumper cables, etc. When you know these things, it will make it easier to get behind the wheel and not be afraid of getting stranded somewhere. Also, make sure you know how to turn on your blinkers, how to honk, how to use the windshield wipers, where the lever that opens the gas cap is, and how to roll the windows up or down.
Set Yourself Up for Success: When you get behind the wheel, make sure the steering wheel is at a proper height for you, check that your chair is positioned comfortably, make sure you can see out of all mirrors, and check for anything that may obstruct your visibility (ex. something on your dashboard or window). Put your hands in the proper place on the steering wheel and your feet in the proper place on the floor.
5. Rid the Car of Any Distractions Before Driving: Before driving, turn your music on, set up your GPS, send any text messages that you need to so that you are not tempted to send them while driving, put on sunglasses if you need them, and ask any others in the car to keep their voices calm and quiet while you are driving to prevent you from getting distracted or alarmed. Anything else that you may need to do while driving, do it before or wait until you get to your destination. If it’s an emergency, pull over.
6. Brake Early Rather Than Later: Knowing when to brake takes some getting used to. When you are behind the wheel, start slowing down to stop sooner than you think you need to. This will help you start to learn and understand how much time you need to stop, and therefore help you feel calm behind the wheel.
7. Believe in Yourself: Before you start driving, take a deep breath, relax your hand muscles so you aren’t white knuckled on the wheel, and believe in yourself. If you need to, take a minute or two before you start driving to calm yourself, steady your breathing, and visualize yourself driving well. You can do this!
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be a pro behind the wheel in no time.
Meet the car
Safety is our #1 priority – Commercial Certified Training Vehicle 06.07.2021 SenSen Driving School is excited to announce we have a brand new training .
Meet the instructor
Alex Sen is born and raised in Vancouver, B.C. He has a certificate in Culinary Arts, a degree in Hospitality Management and a license for driver training. Alex has .
What we teach
Topics covered during lessons include: Left and Right Turns Small vs. Large Intersections Building Confidence Pre-trip Check Steering .
SenSen Driving School is excited to announce we have a brand new training vehicle! We are upgrading to a 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE model featuring a backup camera. Of course, the vehicle will still have the dual steering wheel, brake and gas pedals. Start your lessons today with us and experience the new car!
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“Alex is a fantastic instructor with confidence in his skill which translates into great results as a student. I’m not surprised to see all the 5 star reviews on his page. Will definitely go back to him as I approach my full license.”
“Just passed my N on the first try!! Yay!! After only 5 lessons, I learned so many things that I didn’t know how to do before (how to properly parallel park, reverse park, shoulder check, pull over etc). Alex’s way of teaching is step by step and really easy to follow. He’s also very punctual, funny and truly makes you feel comfortable on the road. His rates are very reasonable and I would definitely recommend getting 1.5 hours per lesson because I’ve learnt so much just in 5 lessons. 5 stars!! I would recommend him to anyone of all ages! See you in 2 years for my class 5 test!”
“Alex is an excellent instructor who walks you through all the steps at the pace which you need them. He’s punctual, polite, and attentive. I never felt unsafe with him in the car, and he helped me ace my test the first time around within a short period of training. He’s also just a great guy and a pleasure to chat with in the car, making the whole experience very positive. Absolutely recommended!! Thanks Alex.”
“Alex is great! He’s calm, patient, friendly and informative! He’s very accommodating and always ready to help you learn. I would recommend him to anyone looking to get their licence! Thanks again Alex! You gave me the confidence to be a safe and smart driver and pass my N test on the first try! Couldn’t have done it without you!”
“Alex has been a fantastic teacher for me over the past 2-3 months. I was able to understand his instructions fairly quickly because of his encouraging personality and his approach of teaching you to drive safely rather than to solely pass the road test. This way of teaching helps foster confidence not only for the road test, but also for driving in the future. Thanks Alex!”
The word stress has become part of our everyday language with people using it to describe themselves, work or modern life. It is not unusual to hear learner drivers describe learning to drive as stressful. Even many qualified drivers describe driving as stressful, especially if driving somewhere new. A Lloyds car insurance survey suggests that 70% of motorists experience anxiety in difficult driving situations after they’ve passed their test. So what is it that makes driving stressful for some?
As a driving instructor, you will have noticed that different people seem to experience varying levels of stress in the same situations, making it confusing to work out what triggers a stress response and what feeling stressed means for different people.
Stress is experienced when a person perceives that they are not able to cope with the demands of a situation or task that is important to them (in this case driving) and has four different stages.
1. Situation or task – let’s take a learner driver negotiating their first roundabout as an example. The driver has to learn how to approach the roundabout safely, be aware of other road users, position the car correctly, judge the correct speed, mirrors, signals, brakes, clutch control, steering etc. It can be a lot to learn and remember!
2. Perception – the learner driver will perceive whether there is a gap or not between their own ability and the demand required to complete the task.
3. Stress – if the learner driver does perceive a skills gap, and that the gap is threatening, they will begin to experience signs and symptoms of stress. These may be physical signs such as sweaty palms, shaking, butterflies in the stomach and/or they may be mental signs such as overthinking or negative thinking.
4. Behavioural consequences – if the learner driver experiences a level of stress which is manageable then this may increase their attention and effort, thus improving their driving performance in successfully negotiating their first roundabout. However, if the perceived gap was over threatening, leading to high levels of stress symptoms, their driving performance is likely to decline and they may have a negative first experience of negotiating roundabouts.
The learner drivers experience and resulting behaviour and performance will then influence their self-confidence and future perceptions the next time they experience the same situation.
Understanding more about stress, how it can influence learning and how to manage the signs and symptoms of stress can all help to reduce the impact of stress on driving behaviour, helping to create safer drivers.
Confident Drivers offers subscription plans to support learner drivers and group plans for driving instructors with a range of stress management solutions created specifically to help with stress and learning to drive.
On the road again … Ammar Kalia behind the wheel. Photograph: Sarah Lee/The Guardian
On the road again … Ammar Kalia behind the wheel. Photograph: Sarah Lee/The Guardian
After one too many rainy nights waiting for the bus, I decide to face my ultimate fear. Can I learn to drive, despite a disastrous attempt in my teens?
I t has been 10 years since I last stalled a car. I was 18 and drifting across several lanes of an A-road roundabout while my driving test examiner gripped his seat. It was my second attempt at taking the test and my brain had turned into sweaty spaghetti. As I casually cut in front of an HGV, the examiner gasped and demanded I take the next exit. I mirrored, signalled and manoeuvred, found a safe space to pull up, and promptly stalled metres from the curb.
I failed – of course I did – and didn’t get back in the driver’s seat in a hurry. I finished school and went to university, always deferring the prospect of booking another test. Years passed, priorities shifted, and even though I kept telling myself that driving is a scourge on the environment, a decade of scrounging lifts from my friends and family has taken its toll.
After one too many nights standing in the rain waiting for the bus, I decided it was time to get back behind the wheel. On a blindingly sunny but bitterly cold autumn morning, I emerge blinking into the light to meet my new instructor, Vikram. I find myself feeling more nervous than I expected as he starts the car. Are people staring at me? Do they think it’s embarrassing that I’m learning so late?
He begins by taking me through various safety features with the help of a laminated picture book. I want to tell him that I know all of this already, but I soon realise I actually never knew how to open a car door properly (using the arm that is furthest away from the latch, known as the Dutch reach). After what feels like an eternity of animated diagrams and looking into assorted mirrors, I get behind the wheel, fire up the engine, get into gear – and stall. But Vikram reassures me this is to be expected and, over the next five minutes, I cruise around the block.
Despite my approximately 10mph speeds, I return home exhausted yet full of adrenaline. When I meet Vikram again a week later, I am fizzing with fear and excitement. This time, I’m in the driving seat immediately, but the level of concentration needed reduces my communication to a pre-verbal gurgle.
I am merely a recipient of Vikram’s calm instruction now, nervously taking him on a slow journey to nowhere. Yet, surprisingly, I don’t falter; I’m in third gear and I feel I could take myself anywhere – as long as Vikram and his dual control pedals were there, too.
I keep driving for at least 45 minutes and, despite a police car following us down several streets, it’s a success. I am frustrated that I left it so long before trying again but pleased to be back, giving it another go. Vikram assures me that “smart drivers take less time to pass”, so I should be able to take my test again after only a dozen or so lessons. I’m not sure how much I can buy into that flattery yet – mentally or monetarily – but I feel more sure now that there is a time for everything, and that perhaps 18-year-old me just wasn’t ready. In that spirit, I am re-booking my theory test for the new year, with dreams of driving myself to see friends far and wide by this time in 2022 – without stalling at the first roundabout.
Learning how to drive can be a frightening experience, as it requires the acquisition of a whole new set of skills. If you’re still a learner driver and would like some more pointers before your next lesson, here are some excellent recommendations to help you stay motivated and maintain your driving confidence despite any little hiccups during your sessions.
- Consider your driving lessons and how well you did.
How confident you are in your driving skills is influenced by your past experiences with success (and failure) in driving classes. Make a concerted effort to balance out your tendency to focus on the negative and overlook the positive aspects of your experiences.
Take a few minutes at the end of each drive to reflect on what went well. These can be minor triumphs, such as a seamless gear change, or major triumphs, such as navigating a difficult crossroads or roundabout.
Try to repeat those victories in your memory, recalling what you accomplished and how it felt, in order to increase your self-esteem and confidence.
- Establish objectives for eachdriving lesson.
Your driving teacher will likely ask you what you hope to gain from each lesson – take some time to consider your objectives and how your instructors can assist you.
Some instructors use a reflective record in which they write down what went well and what they want to work on for the following lesson.
Before each lesson, revisit your reflective log and ask yourself the following questions:
– What do you wish to practice in your upcoming lesson?
– How will an improvement appear/feel?
– Is there a way to tell if you’ve met your goal or not?
– How can you prepare before your lesson?
– What information do you require from your instructor that may be beneficial?
It’s possible to move through your classes at a speed that works for you by working with your instructor to set small goals for each lesson and then reflecting on your results.
- Don’t let yourself be controlled by your fears or worries.
Make a list of the things you’re telling yourself if you’re having trouble with anxiety or confidence. Are you your own biggest supporter or your own worst critic? Log your thoughts and see if you can spot any patterns in harmful thinking or restricting ideas by keeping a record of the words, phrases, and tone that you use in them.
If you tell yourself things like, “I don’t, I can’t, I mustn’t, I am not,” or “Others will,” you may be damaging your confidence.
Begin challenging any negative tendencies by asking yourself, “Is this an idea or a fact?” How did you figure that out?
Try to counteract any negative ideas by adding a balancing remark, such as “I’m still learning,” “I’m improving with each lesson,” or “I’m doing the best I can.”
- Learn more about road safety
Being a safe and confident driver involves not just having the necessary driving skills, but also having a thorough grasp of traffic safety and other road users.
Your theory test is meant to ensure that you and fellow road users understand what you should do (and why) in various driving circumstances.
If you’re having trouble feeling confident in your driving lessons, consider which things in particular make you nervous. Do you have any knowledge or understanding gaps when it comes to driving? When in doubt, ask your instructor questions about it and look back to your theory test training and the highway code for further guidance.
The Official DVSA Guide to Driving: The Essential Skills is an excellent starting point for new drivers.
- Acquire practical ways for calming nerves and anxiety when driving.
It is very normal and natural to have some level of anxiousness when learning new skills, and learning to drive is one of those talents. There is nothing wrong with feeling a little bit nervous, as it will help you improve your lesson by allowing you to be more attentive and aware of what you’re doing.
High amounts of nerves, on the other hand, can have a detrimental affect, triggering a fight or flight stress reaction, which can result in jerky movements and impaired decision-making.
While there are numerous stress management approaches available, the good news is that you can learn how to calm your driving nerves and keep them at acceptable levels by utilizing breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, mindfulness, coaching, hypnotherapy, and other methods. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all technique for everyone.
DRIVE WITH CONFIDENCE MOTOR DRIVING TRAINING SCHOOL is Incorporated in the Driving Training industry on the 11th of Januaray 2012 with the registry at LICENSING AUTHORITY(regional transport office) at SURAT, GUJARAT.
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An accident can be a psychologically traumatic experience, even if the drivers are not physically wounded. The close call can shake people to their core. Some may experience minor anxiety, especially around the accident scene, while others may suffer a more severe form of anxiety.
After an accident, experiencing any form of anxiety is entirely understandable. However, anxiety and fear do not have to stop you from ever driving again. Naturally, getting comfortable behind the wheel may take time, which is okay. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to get your confidence back after an accident.
3 Tips to Help Regain Your Confidence After a Car Accident
Sometimes the aftermath of an accident feels just as traumatic as the accident itself. While not every driver experiences difficulty getting behind the wheel after an accident, it is normal to be hesitant to drive again. People can lose confidence and trust in their ability to drive safely. The following tips can help you regain your confidence:
1. Talk About It
It is understandable to shut down after a traumatic event like a car accident, but it is proven that talking things out benefits the healing process. Talking through your fears and concerns out loud can be a cathartic feeling, and those fears may be lifted off your chest once they are spoken out loud. Letting anxiety and fear fester can mean letting them grow into unbearable levels. Start by talking to people you trust to support you in difficult times. It is important to keep in mind that loved ones can only provide so much emotional support. In some cases, it is beneficial to seek professional mental health support.
2. Start Small
Regaining your confidence to drive again is not likely to happen overnight, especially if the accident you experienced left you with more than minor anxiety. A good first step is to get yourself re-acquainted with your car. Start by simply sitting in the driver’s seat again and getting used to the feeling of the wheel without turning on the car. It may sound simple, but for some, even stepping into the driver’s seat again is triggering.
Try not to push your limits before you are ready to turn on the car. Turn on the engine once you feel comfortable in the driver’s seat again. You do not have to take a thirty-minute drive. Instead, take a small drive, just to the end of the street and back. From there, slowly increase the length of your drives until you find you are no longer counting down how long before you get to stop.
3. Take a Defensive Driver Course
People tend to feel more confident when they know what they are doing. Driving defensively is a unique skill set that can help prevent accidents. Being a defensive driver means being more aware of your surroundings. Defensive drivers develop skills that help them analyze and recognize potentially dangerous situations and that helps them minimize the risks of an accident. Learning to be a defensive driver helps you regain confidence because you become equipped with new skills to help prevent you from getting into another accident.
Contact Marsalisi Law Today to Help with Your Car Accident Claim
Even the most cautious drivers get into accidents. Sometimes someone’s negligence makes an accident inevitable. When you did everything you could to stay safe on the road, and someone else’s behavior placed you in danger, you may be entitled to fair compensation.
If someone’s negligence is to blame for your injuries, our car accident attorney may be able to help. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Frank P. Marsalisi wants you to feel comfortable discussing your claim in the language you prefer. His extensive knowledge of car accident law and experience in the legal field allows him to offer clients honest and dependable guidance. For a free consultation, call (727) 800-5052 or fill out our contact form.
Lisa Hall, 57 from Bedfordshire, has retained her priceless ability to drive following a life-changing amputation, thanks to the support of a Driving Mobility centre.
Lisa Hall, 57 from Bedfordshire, has retained her priceless ability to drive following a life-changing amputation, thanks to the support of a Driving Mobility centre.
The charity Driving Mobility accredits a network of 20 independent driving assessment centres with over 70 outreach facilities, which provide guidance to drivers with restricted mobility. Service users either self-refer or are signposted for assessment from the DVLA, Motability, the Police or NHS – so the most appropriate means of driving can be recommended.
Lisa was referred to a Driving Mobility centre early in 2020 after undergoing a fore quarter shoulder and arm amputation due to bone cancer. At this time one of Lisa’s main concerns was the possibility she would never drive again. However, her consultant at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Stanmore assured Lisa she would be able to drive again. This led to a referral to a Driving Mobility centre (Herts Ability) via Lisa’s assigned Occupational Therapist (OT). The friendly and knowledgeable team at this independent charity would provide full assessment and recommendations regarding vehicle adaptations so Lisa could potentially drive comfortably with one arm.
Being able to drive again was a major focus for Lisa after her operation as she explains: “I needed to get behind the wheel as fast as I could after being in hospital. It was my main focus and a goal to aim for. I have always been a confident driver as I live on a farm and always running short notice errands for the business. Managing our busy 700-acre arable farm with my husband means I need to be driving for lots of jobs, from banking to collecting machinery parts. Not being able to drive would be a disaster.”
Lisa continues: “When you undergo an amputation you can be in a state of shock, you can lose yourself. My op could have had a massive impact on my life and business, especially as driving was vital for both. Even during time away from the farm, I was always the regular driver for my group of friends. I’ve always loved driving. This could have all been taken away from me. Thank goodness my consultant had confidence in me that I would be able to drive again one day. He said I’d find it second nature again with new controls. He was right and the Driving Mobility centre made it happen.”
Lisa’s assessment was booked for February 2020. She spoke to the Driving Mobility team beforehand and completed an online form, so a suitable vehicle was ready for her visit. The team explained what to expect during the assessment and offered calming reassurance. Lisa felt fine on the way to the centre as she says: “Despite a lot riding on being able to drive again and some anxiety, my apprehension was manageable thanks to the support I received from the centre. My husband drove me there, so I was even more relaxed on arrival. I hadn’t driven for several months so it really helped I felt no pressure from the staff, especially as they kept asking me if I was ok.”
“Once the initial welcome and meeting was completed, I was accompanied by a driving instructor and two therapists to a car adapted with a ‘lollipop’ steering knob. The instructor drove first and then it was my turn. I was given plenty of time to get used to the car on a quiet industrial estate before starting my 45-minute driving assessment. I feel comfortable and not stressed throughout the experience.”
When the driving assessment was complete, Lisa was given an appraisal of her performance and a written report. The ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) and OT (Occupational Therapist) explained their findings and recommendations regarding suitable vehicle adaptations. They felt with appropriate equipment Lisa could continue to drive safely and independently. A steering knob or ‘lollipop’ with ancillary controls including indicators, lights, horn and wipers was deemed ideal for Lisa’s disability. The necessary paperwork was processed that day and sent to the DVLA so Lisa’s licence could be updated, and her insurance company informed.
The adaptation to Lisa’s Land Rover Discovery then needed to be arranged. The Driving Mobility team were able to suggest several local vehicle adaptation specialists, so Lisa wasted no time in contacting them seeking assistance. She selected PB Conversions based in Leighton Buzzard who completed the work within a week – with the actual installation taking a few hours. As Lisa’s new steering ‘lollipop’ operates wirelessly, it can be easily clipped on and off the steering wheel so the car can be used with either standard or adapted controls.
Lisa concludes: “I was so lucky to complete my assessment and have my car adapted just before lockdown. Now I can definitely say being able to drive has given me my life back. I felt comfortable and supported throughout the whole process by the Driving Mobility centre and the steering controls they recommended are perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was thrilled to pass my assessment! Using a car is now second nature to me again and we have flexibility with the controls so my husband can drive without the ‘lollipop’ attached, it’s so easy. Driving has always been a big part of my life and I am delighted to say this will now continue. I would encourage anyone in a similar position to do the same and give it a go, I thoroughly recommend Driving Mobility.”
28/02/2022 Learning to drive
At Young Driver we get how important it is to build your confidence. It’s totally normal to feel nervous before driving, but how do you overcome the nerves to become a safe and confident driver?
What makes you most nervous behind the wheel?
First up, we looked at what makes you lack confidence whilst driving. For many of you, it’s being out on the roads with other road users that makes you most anxious. It’s the fear of holding up the traffic if you mess up a gear change, or having other drivers beeping at you if you stall at the lights, for example.
So how can you take away that anxiety and build confidence whilst driving?
We take our responsibility as a provider of driver training for youngsters seriously. So, we engaged with a teen brain specialist and counsellor to work through the question of how to become a confident driver.
We could give you all science stuff*, but in essence, it’s all about practice. The more you drive, the more confident you’ll become.
That’s where we come in.
How does driving with Young Driver increase my confidence then?
The big thing is that all our experiences and lessons take place away from the public roads, so there’s no worrying about what other drivers are thinking. That alone brings the stress levels down massively.
Add into that mix, the fact that all our instructors are super patient (so no confidence-shattering shouting from Dad) and that they are so good at motivating and encouraging you. They explain everything really well and help you keep calm and happy at the wheel.
And, of course, our modern fleet of funky Vauxhall Corsas are all dual-control, so you can be confident that you’re going to be safe whilst driving.
But will I lack confidence when I do head out onto the road for real?
We’ve thought of that! At our Young Driver venues we set out a road layout for you, with junctions, roundabouts and traffic lights. This all helps in building up your confidence to not just be able to drive the car, but to do so safely, as a road-aware driver.
That means when you do get out and about on the actual roads as a learner driver, your lessons and experiences with Young Driver will help you stay cool, calm and collected.
Great! When can I start?
No need to wait for your provisional licence to start building your confidence behind the wheel. If you’re aged between 10 and 17 years, Young Driver lessons are available around the UK for you right now. And the earlier you start, the more of that all-important practice you can get in!
*In case you’re wondering, teen expert Nicola Morgan’s report concluded that: “Everything I know about both teenagers and how brains learn, leads me to agree that having early driving lessons in the controlled and safe environment Young Driver has created is a very good idea.”
Attaining confidence in driving…
Given the relentless efforts and sacrifice you have made, there is no doubt that your acquisition of driver’s license is a moment of joy and excitement in your life. Nonetheless, this achievement can turn-out to be unworthy particularly when you discover that you often shake and fear behind the wheel.
Undoubtedly, this is an outright demonstration of lack of confidence. Consciously or unconsciously, there are a number of drivers suffering from this same lack of confidence. Therefore, it is important to examine how to gain confidence in driving a car.
The truth be told, feeling confident behind the wheel is instrumental in having a smooth and pleasurable driving. It will not only make driving an easier experience for you, but it will also set you up for success and safety in your driving. This should be bear in mind so as to always awaken your confidence.
More often than not, it has been observed that women top the ladder of fearful drivers. Unfortunately, the perpetual nurturing of fear and anxiety behind the wheel has led to a number of avoidable accidents. This is dissatisfactory. It is high-time; you learned how to gain confidence in driving a car. Confidence, on the road, is required so as to practically handle the car and drive in any form of weather or condition.
It is fundamental to note that, the content of this piece will eliminate your fear and awaken your confidence. Owing to the ingenuity of our – www.nationaldrivingschool.ie – professional driving instructors, we have taken the assignment upon ourselves with the aim of eliminating fear in the minds of drivers
Worthy of note, however, is that anxiety or nervousness is not only peculiar to the first-time driver, there are few cases in which experienced driver also shiver behind the wheel. In an attempt to overcome this bad habit, kindly find these pieces of information on how to gain confidence in driving a car resourceful.
Are you a nervous driver? Does the thought of driving on the road make you tremble? Are you curious to learn how to gain confidence in driving a car? Interestingly, here lies a golden opportunity for you. In accordance to a survey conducted by Liberty Insurance, virtually two-thirds of Irish drivers feel underprepared for driving despite the fact that they passed their driving test.
The Techniques of Boosting Driving Confidence
In light of the foregoing, the following techniques will guide you towards the development of driving confidence. These include but not limited to;
Practice, Practice, and Practice
There is no doubt that the old saying ‘practice makes perfect’ continues to hold true. When you regularly practice, your confidence will be increased because of your familiarity with the road. More importantly, always drive your car every day even if you have no specific place to go, a 10-15 minutes drive will be better. Also, try to incorporate roundabouts and park along the route so as to build up confidence.
Given the fact that you have become a certified driver, you still need to consolidate your knowledge of traffic laws. By being familiar with the traffic laws, your eyes will be opened to some peculiar regulations within your area. These often include; the speed limit, the appropriate time for signaling, stopping at red lights, stopping at stop lights, keeping a proper distance with other cars and so on. To this end, your confidence will be bolstered.
Get Familiar With Your Car
It is important to categorically state that, your familiarity or non-familiarity with your car will determine if you will shiver behind the wheel. There is no gainsaying that closeness with your car will overwhelm your fear while driving. Therefore, boost your confidence by knowing how to fill your car with gas, how to change the tire, how to jump the car and the use of jumper cables, among others.
Distractions are variables that should be avoided while driving. Driving requires 100 percent attention. Consciously or unconsciously, the high level of distractions will affect your driving confidence. You are, thus, urged to do things that could distract you before the commencement of driving. These may include; turning your music on, setting up your GPS, attending to urgent text messages if needed and so on.
Stick to the speed limit
The speed limits are fundamental to attaining driving confidence. More instructively, over-speeding can make you lose control. It will not only diminish your confidence but can also result in an untimely accident with other cars.
In the same vein, the following tips will be helpful to boost your confidence while driving;
- Brake Early Rather Than Later
- Believe in Yourself
- Drive in All Weather
- Complete Refresher Driving Courses
- Go out on your own
- Force yourself to drive somewhere new
- Don’t worry about other drivers.
Are you driving a boat for the first time?
You might still not feel confident on the water after hours of training, completing your boating course, and renting a boat after doing your research.
That’s alright. Let’s chalk it up to water fright.
It’s common for boaters to feel nervous when piloting their boat for the first time. So, here’s something you have probably heard dozens of times: Relax!
Boating is a fun and leisure activity, and worrying about what will happen if you fall off the boat or if it capsizes will do no one any good. As a captain, you must make everyone feel safe, and you can exactly do that if you don’t know where to steer.
Are you feeling calm now? Now let’s build up that confidence of yours.
Tip #1 Identify Your Blind Spots
Before you shift the gear into drive, the most important thing to do is check the blind spots from the helming position. This refers to the view when you stand behind the steering wheel. If you are tied to a dock or pier, note how it looks from your position.
Tip #2 Support the Boat Without the Mooring
If this is your first time on a boat, you might feel a little ill from the swaying motion. Once your boat is on the water, work on keeping it steady. Hold it stationary for at least 5 minutes with the mooring; this takes practice but helps you develop essential boating skills.
Tip #3 Control Your Speed
Let’s say you are in a confined space and have difficulty taking your boat out. You move with the high throttle, and the jerk makes you feel like the boat is out of control. This usually happens when you don’t have a handle on speed. Hence, you need to practice driving at specific speeds. This will give you an idea about how slow or fast the boat goes at 1 knot or 3.4 knots.
Tip #4 Count the Seconds When Moving Out
Like a car, a boat takes a specific time to start and move onto the water. Whether you are reversing or going forward, count the seconds. This will help you on windy days when you are blown to the side. The delay in time might not feel too alarming because you will be prepared for it.
When cruising in rough weather, make sure to check the wind’s direction. This will help you determine whether there’s a storm coming or not. Always follow the weather report before heading out. Lastly, if you find yourself stuck in choppy waters, keep the boat steady until you see an opening.
If you are planning to buy a boat, the first thing you need to do is build a dock for it. Visit the website EZ Dock Texas for options such as floating docks, do-it-yourself docks, drive-on docks, and more. To request a quote, email them here. For more information, call (800) 654-8168.
how do you get confidence in driving ?
by driving , without time pressures , if you live somewhere where you can get to some reasonable country roads go and practice there – it;s what people do when they are doing prep for advanced and what the emergency services driver trainers do with middle of the course drivers ( when response techniques are introduced )
if you are struggling for confidence etc then pass plus or similar becomes an even better idea than it is for the ‘ordinary’ driver ( pass plus should have the biggest effect on the two extremes of drivers i.e. the nervous and the recklessly over confident )
I got my driving instructor to come back again in my own car and he just watched me drive and said I was fine because I took my parents out beforehand and they rushed me and kept telling me off which decreased my confidence but he just told me to ignore my parents. I live in London aswell so I don’t need to explain how difficult it is driving in London but I’ve been driving for 4 months now and I’m only 17 get your driving instructor to come back. It may feel abit embarrassing but it’s really helpful
Believe it or not, you actually need to make mistakes to gain confidence. Making mistakes to deal with them & make sure you don’t make them again is what improved my confidence on the road. You’ve been deemed capable enough by an examiner to drive safely & responsibility on the roads.
Don’t feel rushed, if you’re unsure on anything take your time. Sod what other motorists think, we were all new drivers at some point too
When I first passed my test, I didn’t get a car straight away and it was over 6 months till I eventually got one. I was so eager and excited to finally get one, and I got in it and I was just overwhelmed like. Uh oh. I used to imagine my driving instructor was still in the car and her voice was in my head coming up to traffic lights and roundabouts etc. I just imagined what she would tell me to do so it felt as though I was still being supervised. This helped a little and I also did what you did and went out when it was quietest, just to get used to the car.
When you do though, it’ll be like you’ve been driving that car since forever
By: Tamir Davies
Last updated: 22 March 2018
Spring is here, and summer will soon follow, with millions of Brits jetting off for some sunshine, warmer seas and sipping on countless Piña coladas. It’s all worth it once you arrive at your destination, but how do you get there?
Renting a car abroad isn’t everyone’s first choice, due to the uncertainty of how to drive in a country that you’re unfamilar with. But renting a car abroad is proving even more popular for easiness of travelling around, and knowing your cost of travel, whilst being able to make your own timetable.
Driving abroad can be a daunting experience, especially if it’s your first time. Some things you must consider are: driving on the opposite side of the road, familiarising yourself with local laws and regulations, and understanding the etiquette of locals, it’s a challenging one.
But let’s face it, you must start somewhere – and perhaps you leave it to your partner or to a family member to sit behind the wheel when you go abroad, but maybe this year is different. It’s about time you rose up to your fear and followed these 6 easy tips to confidently driving abroad when renting a car.
Choose a small car
Even if you drive a 4×4 back home, opt for a smaller car when abroad. When you’re driving for the first time abroad and renting a car, you have a lot to face head on. You may be used to a big car at home, but when renting a car abroad, the roads are often very different and learning the width of your car is not an easy task when you’re away just for a week. If you know you are coming with a lot of luggage, assess beforehand whether the car you choose is suitable.
Photo credit: Ramazan Ece/Shutterstock
Similarly, to choosing a small car, going automatic is a great way to calm your nerves when driving abroad for the first time. Automatic cars are practically impossible to stall, so there’s no hesitation should a situation arise and you feel pressure mounting from drivers behind you. When you rent a car abroad, opting for one that is automatic is quite common, and it just means you have a much easier ride, where you can feel relaxed and focused. And the beauty of an automatic, you just need to learn how to start it, and everything after that is self-explanatory. No pre-lessons required!
Photo credit: AlexandrMakedonskiy/Shutterstock
Don’t let locals push you around
When renting a car abroad, your first impulse reaction is to mould in and be like the locals, so you’re not percieved as a tourist, who has lost his way and driving slower than their speed limit allows. On the one hand, you wish to learn from the locals, so you pick up driving abroad more easily, but at the same time, you don’t know how ‘legal’ their driving habits are. Not to mention, the last thing you need is an intimidating driver who pushes you around, causing you to feel flustered and panicked and to do something wrong. Just stick to the slow lane if in doubt, and go above and beyond doing what you think is right. Do this, and hopefully no one will notice you’re not another tourist.
Photo credit: Anna Kraynova/Shutterstock
Take a Sat Nav
No matter if you’re at home or abroad, one of the biggest anxieties for drivers is a fear of getting lost, or not having the means to find your way easily. On top of this, it is daunting to rely on the knowledge of locals who perhaps don’t speak your language. So, whenever you rent a car abroad, take a GPS with you that can be configured in the country you’re in.
Photo credit: mariakraynova/Shutterstock
Get to know local driving laws
Every country has driving rules and regulations that are important to recognise and understand when renting a car and driving abroad. Truly each to their own, some laws are more obscure than others – but nonetheless important, as if you are caught in the act, thinking you have done no harm, you could pay the price. Before you go away, get reading – buy some books, or simply browse the web, but make sure you read up on some of the basic driving laws, so you feel more prepared.
Photo credit: Carsten Reisinger/Shutterstock
Don’t be too over ambitious
When driving abroad, don’t over-estimate how confident you feel on the road. Whether it is day 1 or day 8 into your holiday, you should still refrain from driving too much and for long periods of time without a break, as you can become easily tired when tackling local traffic, which could be a danger to yourself, your passengers and those on the road. If you’re planning on driving into heavily populated cities, or areas – don’t. it may be worth your time, money and confidence to avoid it like the plague, to risk feeling nervous.
Photo credit: EpicStockMedia/Shutterstock
Feature image credit: mangostock / Shutterstock
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Driving a boat is one of the most liberating and enjoyable things to do. However, learning how to drive a boat isn’t so easy for the new boater. The following are ways to go from zero to hero in your quest to become a better and more confident boat driver.
BUY THE RIGHT BOAT
One of the most overlooked things is simply buying the right boat. All too often, new boaters buy boats that are way too big or sophisticated or have restricted visibility and maneuverability. The last thing a new boater needs is more things to worry about. For most people, buying a simple, single outboard, center console is all that’s needed. It’s a “do everything” boat and allows the captain to have ease of movement, visibility, and an excellent “feel” of the environment.
GO SLOW AND DON’T PANIC
If there’s one thing that you take away from this article, this is it. Deteriorating situations always get worse when the boat driver doesn’t go slow and panics instead.
If the wind catches you and you are drifting into a dock or someone else’s boat, panicking and hitting the object hard (likely causing damage and more embarrassment) is worse than if you simply used a fender and gently bounced off whatever you hit. It is almost always better to go slow if you’re in an uncertain situation. For example, docking, boat ramp loading, and disorientation regarding channels and shallow water are all reasons to go slow and not panic.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
There’s no substitute for on-the-water experience. It’s best to take the time and learn the proper way to drive a boat and then practice those skills every time you go out. Over time, you’ll encounter a variety of different situations that you’ll learn from. Each one of these experiences will make you much better the next time you face them. They’ll also do a great job of building your confidence along the way.
KNOW YOUR AREA
One of the best ways to become familiar with your home area or an area you plan on visiting is to use Google Maps and a website like “KnowWake”.
Google Maps is great because you can get a satellite view of your area. This view will help you learn about shallow and deep water, plan destinations and routes, and get a feel for your day before it even happens.
KnowWake is a free service that’s similar but uses nautical overlays on the map. It’s an excellent site for viewing slow-speed zones, popular sandbars (i.e. Lazy Locations), waterfront restaurants, and more. Click on “Live Chart” on their website to access the chart on your computer. You can also use their mobile app so they travel with you on your boat. They’re like “wayz for the water” and are a great tool!
LEARN ABOUT COURTESY ON THE WATER
Courtesy on the water is something that every boater should know but, sadly, many don’t. Examples include staying clear of fishermen (if safe to do so), slowing down for boats in tow and other boaters stopped by law enforcement and minimizing your wake if you’re near paddle craft or small boats, etc. Understanding these things makes life on the water better for everyone.
UNDERSTAND SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
Understanding situational awareness is very important. Situational awareness examples include weather, passenger condition, large boat wakes, current, an awareness of who’s behind you when slowing down, and many more. Understanding situational awareness often means anticipating situations before they materialize and the ability to do this is a common trait of a good boater.
USE ONLINE LEARNING TOOLS
One of the big benefits of the advancement in technology is the number of online learning tools available to boaters. Websites like BoatUS, YouTube, America’s Boating Club, and Lazy Locations are all great resources. Social Media sites like “The Qualified Captain” are also great because they highlight what not to do. My boating course titled “How to Drive a Boat with Confidence” is the perfect example of an innovative online boating course. The availability of all these tools allows the new boater a way to become proficient before ever leaving the dock.
“HOW TO DRIVE A BOAT WITH CONFIDENCE”
If you want to become a better boater and learn to drive a boat with confidence, you have to start. Like everything, if you want to get somewhere then you have to begin the journey. Don’t worry about making mistakes. Every good boater has made his/her fair share of mistakes, it’s part of the deal. The key is to use the information available to you and take the initial time to learn properly. That way, when mistakes happen you’ll handle them with discipline and fast-track your journey to driving a boat with confidence.
Drive with Confidence
At Dunlop, we know what it means to love driving. Our tires are designed to help you get the very best performance from your vehicle, time after time.
It’s all about the drive
Our philosophy is simple: the more you feel the road, the more exciting the drive becomes. That’s why we put road feedback front and center of our development efforts. Better feedback means a more tactile driving experience. Greater precision on the curves. A faster response to every turn of the wheel. And more time to react when you need it most.
When you drive on Dunlop, you feel the difference.
From the racetrack to the road
Every Dunlop tire benefits from our success on the racetrack. We recorded our first race victory in 1902. By the 1920s, we were making tires capable of speeds over 300 km/h. Today, our record includes 34 wins at Le Mans, 8 F1 World Championship titles and over 100 MC World Championship titles. We continue to push performance boundaries in motorsports racing. And we put the best of what we learn into the tires we sell.
Chosen for the world’s best sports cars
We work with leading car manufacturers to maximize the performance of their sports and luxury models. Cars like the Porsche 911 Carrera, BMW 5-Series, Audi TT and Mercedes SLK are fitted with Dunlop tires as original equipment. It’s an endorsement of the performance and quality that you get with every Dunlop tire.
Cheryl ‘s Story
Cheryl needed to regain her self confidence in driving after a serious car accident 10 years earlier that caused her to be hospitalised.
Karen Heywood is the Gold standard for driving instructors, 10 driving hours ago in tears, gripped by anxiety caused by a car accident that hospitalised me and apprehensive about who my driving instructor would be I met Karen. Whether you are a beginner learner, or looking for refresher lessons or anxious after a car accident, whatever it is that you need Karen is the answer.Her ability to teach you the technical side of driving in bite sized manageable steps make you get out of the car and fully understand positioning and push you at a pace that suits you.
She never gets flustered , never looks nervous and remains calm under all,circumstances, which is a gift to nervous learners. This contagious calm with her kind and candid guidance got me out driving on my own immediately after 10 years of not driving. Who an instructor is is more important than what they teach . Everyone needs a Karen.
Drive on your first lesson
I started to drive in June 2018 .I had Mandy as my instructor all this time. I was very scared to.
Regaining Confidence as a Driver
I just wanted to say a massive thank you to driving instructor Chris Smith with Pass Driving Scho.
Overcoming physical difficulties to achieve freedom on the road
Liz Camp is a real life angel. Due to a physical issue I never thought I would be able to drive, .
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This is a slightly off beat post-however, one that lot of us have perhaps faced. If this isn’t the right sub-forum, I request the moderators to move it one that is appropriate.
My daughter turned 18 a couple of years ago. She was keen to learn driving and did so. She obtained her driver’s license and was slowly gaining confidence. She was comfortable driving my Kona Electric around the city. However, she was still not allowed independent trips and one of us parents would always ride shotgun. Then the COVID inspired lock-down came into force. This, along with the weekend curfews, resulted in a situation that she could not drive for over a year.
After a gap of almost 15 months, we took the car out one Sunday afternoon- a time that I thought would be quiet. She was driving at a very sedate and safe speed, very well after the gap I would think. I was, as usual, riding shotgun.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, came a mini-truck (of the tata ace type), overtaking at high speed from the left. She braked the car, however, the rear of the truck swiped the front fender of the Kona. A protruding edge of the welded door of the truck, I guess, yanked off the entire left fender, lights etc. She instinctively brought the car to a complete halt safely. No one was injured.
The mini truck was being driven by a 10 year old, with his inebriated driver-father in the passenger seat. Photographs taken, police arrived and confirmed the situation of minor driver with drunk co-passenger etc. That story is for another time perhaps.
The matter I want to bring up, is this:
1. Daughter was driving correctly and safely.
2. She had the reflexes and the presence of mind to stop the car in a straight line. She resisted the instinct to turn away to the right, which would have resulted in us running into the tall concrete road divider-with a greater chance of injury.
3. She was not at any fault. I cannot think of anything she could have done differently to avoid this collision.
4. However, she feels tremendously guilty for having “caused” the accident, and the resultant very expensive repairs (all of which was covered by insurance). More so, she was quite spooked by the way the police handled the driver of the mini-van. As children were also involved in the fracas, she was even more disturbed.
5. She refuses to drive any more, despite this entire episode being almost 6 months behind us.
I think strongly, that driving safely is a life skill, that like riding a bike or swimming, all of us should be comfortable with.
So how can I help her regain her confidence?
Safe. Driving. Options.
Concerned about whether a family member is safe to drive? Are you a new driver with different abilities? Would you benefit from driver training?
* Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist & CarFit Technician
* Member – State OT Association (OTAC), National OT Association (AOTA), Association of Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (ADED)
* Licensed Occupational Therapist for 22 years (Specializing in geriatrics, home health)
A three hour clinical and behind-the-wheel assessment is $500 and includes follow-up with your medical provider and the DMV. The cost is not covered by insurance. Further driver training, if appropriate, is offered at $125/hour.
Hand control training is $600.
How It Works
Drive with Confidence provides driving assessments, training and adaptations for drivers of all ages. For those towards the end of their driving career Jill can help determine fitness to drive. She can also help new drivers with physical or cognitive limitations in need of adaptations.
1) The Clinical or Pre-driving Assessment occurs at the driver’s home. This includes: vision, cognition, strength, mobility and coordination, reaction time, review of medical history and medications, driving history and family concerns.
2) The Behind-the-Wheel Assessment (if deemed appropriate) is completed in the instructor’s vehicle with an Instructor Brake (and other adaptations as needed). This assessment includes: basic vehicle operation, ability to safely get in/out, managing adaptive equipment, adhering to rules of the road, self-awareness, emotional regulation, insight, judgment, distractibility, anticipating other drivers, and speed control.
3) Recommendations may include: further training, introduction of adaptive equipment, providing restrictions as appropriate, educate family/driver in area of concerns or assist with driving cessation if needed.
4) A valid driver’s license or permit is required for the Behind-the-Wheel Assessment.
5) A prescription from a MD, Optometrist or Physician’s Assistance is required.
I contacted Jill for a driving assessment for a patient that I was treating. There was beginning to be conflict between the patient and the family regarding safety with driving and family agreed that having a professional third-party assessment would be the best and safest route…
4/16/21 – DH (driver) didn’t give me anything specific to share. However, the absence of is a positive one. From me (spouse), I am extremely grateful for your sensitivity (and directness) in delivering challenging-to-hear feedback. Your personal demeanor and unassuming presence enabled it.
4/10/21 – It was clear to me that my husband was becoming less proficient behind the wheel. He and I decided to seek an expert opinion on the subject. Jill Kelly is that expert. Jill is friendly, calm, supportive, patient, competent and totally knowledgeable. She admittedly enjoys helping her clients remain independent for as long as possible.
My husband found the driving sessions with Jill to be extremely positive and beneficial. Thank you, Jill. It was a pleasure working with you!
1/7/21 – As a bilateral below-the-knee amputee, I appreciated the opportunity to work with Jill. She is a very thorough and patient driving instructor, and she worked with me to develop a customized plan to suit my specific needs. She also worked directly with my doctors and the DMV to ensure I had met all requirements and was able to start driving again. I would highly recommend Jill to anyone who needs specialized driving instruction.
1/4/21 – What could have been a very stressful situation, with clear instructions, you put me at ease and made the driving evaluation a positive experience. Your car was extremely clean and very easy to drive.
11/23/20 – Jill was great to work with. She went out of her way to find a time and place that worked well for us to test. She is very knowledgeable about her job and was very kind to us. She kept in touch and did an all around great job. I highly recommend her services.
9/22/20 – Jill was totally professional, kind and gracious. She was extremely patient with my husband who had recent health issues and was concerned about his driving abilities. I would highly recommend Jill for anyone seeking a professional approach. She prepared a detailed report which was shared with family members and my husband’s doctors. It is my pleasure to highly recommend Jill and her company, Drive with Confidence.
When you pass your driving test you want to be a safe and confident driver. So where better to get your driving lessons in Portsmouth than with Drive Confidently Driving School.
For some young people learning how to drive is an imperative life changing experience. Having that driving licence in their wallet opens the way to greater independence. However younger newly-qualified drivers have the highest levels of road traffic collisions.
Helping learner drivers
As a parent, you can play and dynamic and critical job in your youngster’s driving lessons. Here are some tips to impart to be better, more safe drivers.
- Wear your safety belt at all times in the car. Safety belts work since they convey powers from an accident over the chest and pelvis, probably the most grounded pieces of the body. With the goal that belt could mean the contrast between getting minor injuries versus your body flying into the windscreen.
- Put the mobile phone away: Don’t utilize telephones at all while driving. The physical, visual and subjective diversion prompts hazardous driving and builds the chances of an accident. Prior to starting the vehicle, have your learner switch off his telephone and put it in the glove box. In the event that they have to utilize the telephone, instruct them to stop at a location a cell phone won’t be a risk to themselves or to other street clients.
driver siting in a car and steering wheel