The nervous driver is often perceived as careless or inattentive and can suffer the loss of a driving license and/or expensive fines. However, there are some simple tips that all nervous drivers can learn to minimize their driving anxiety. If so, this blog is for you. Here, you’ll discover proven strategies and tips to help calm your nerves and reduce your stress levels behind the wheel.
1. Don’t think about it
It’s not going to go away. Just get in your car and drive. The worst that can happen is you will have an anxious moment or two and then you’ll be OK. The more you think about it, the more you will worry and create a flood of adrenaline which will make things worse. So don’t think about it. Just do it. By the way, this strategy works with just about anything you are afraid of. If you’re scared of heights, don’t look down. Look at the horizon or something else you are sure is safe.
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2. Think about something else.
Like how pretty the flowers are outside your window, or how delicious the dinner you’re going to eat when you get home, or maybe the fact you get to go on a little vacation (any nervous vacation will do). Try to think about as many pleasant things as you can. It’s like the adage “fake it ’til you make it.” In other words, if you believe positive thoughts will create a positive outcome, then they probably will. If you get anxious, instead of worrying about it, concentrate on some pleasant thoughts.
3. Keep it slow.
If you have the option, then drive at speeds that are comfortable for your level of anxiety. Keep in mind there will always be someone who drives faster than you and slower than you but doesn’t slow down or speed up based on other drivers’ behavior.
In fact, if you are already a bit anxious, then driving a bit slower will probably be better than speeding because it will allow you to see what’s ahead of you more clearly (i.e. other cars, potholes, traffic lights). If you feel yourself getting nervous about another driver who’s driving too slow or too fast, just remember that staying in your own lane is the best option.
4. Relax your grip on the steering wheel.
It is natural to feel nervous before driving a long distance on a road you’ve never been on before. To overcome this feeling, let go of the steering wheel a little bit. Release your grip on it, and place your hands lightly on the wheel. In this way, you will stay relaxed, and not tense up when driving. This is very important, because if you get tense, your reflexes will slow down, and it will be difficult to drive carefully and skillfully.
5. Look ahead and not at the side of the road.
It is much easier to drive carefully and skillfully when you are looking straight ahead, than when you are looking at the side of the road. Therefore, the best advice for nervous drivers is to keep their eyes focused as far ahead as possible.
On a long trip, it is natural to look at the scenery from time to time. But do it only when you are going straight, or doing an easy turn. If you are looking at the side of the road when you are making a turn or going straight, it is almost certain that you will make a mistake. Therefore, always remember, the best place to look while driving is straight ahead.
So there you have it. The ultimate driving tips that make nervous people feel more comfortable and confident as they drive. Get out there and drive with confidence.