September 20th, 2012
After passing your driving test there’s no doubt it’ll be strange getting used to the empty passenger seat. Some new drivers become extremely nervous and somewhat anxious when it comes to driving for the first time on their own and, if this is something you can relate to, then you’ll be pleased to know that there are many ways to beat those pre-driving jitters.
We’ve put together a few hints and tips on how to build on your confidence once you’ve passed your test.
- Consider displaying a ‘P’ plate on your car to let other drivers know that you’ve just passed your test and may not have had much experience on the roads. By indicating to other motorists that you’ve just passed, they may behave more tolerantly towards new drivers in particular circumstances such as junctions or tricky roundabouts.
- If you really don’t feel up to driving on your own just yet then don’t worry – consider taking a friend or family member out with you – preferably someone who has been driving for while and has a lot of experience on the roads. Go round the block with them a couple of times or around areas that you know well. Keep doing this until you feel you’ll be able to take a couple short trips out the house without that extra pair of eyes in the passenger seat.
- When you regain confidence, remember to drive like you own the car and not the road! Too many new drivers get too big for their boots and try exceeding their comfort zone as soon as they’ve passed their driving test.
- Remember that you’ve passed both your theory and practical test for a reason – you have the knowledge of the road and sufficient skills to be able to drive safely and carefully. With this in mind, remind yourself to stick to everything you’ve learnt and you’ll be completely fine on the road.
- Try to drive in a style that suits your ability, as well as the traffic conditions. Don’t try and impress anybody once you’ve passed otherwise you’ll probably just end in a heap of trouble!
- Get plenty of sleep before driving on long journeys and take plenty of breaks in order to restore your concentration and alertness of the road.
- Try and leave the radio off or refrain from playing any music while you are still getting used to the roads. Fiddling about with radio buttons and the volume or switching to another song can be very distracting, as is having your music on exceptionally loud. Only play music (at a respectable and safe noise level) when you feel confident that you won’t get distracted.
- Similarly, if you’re travelling with your phone in the car then switch it off. Many drivers (not just new drivers) become distracted every now and again by their phone going off. Only switch it on in case of emergencies or when you’re leaving the vehicle.
- If your mates ask you for a lift then make sure they understand you are new to the road. Don’t ever give into peer pressure and stick within your driving ability at all times.
- Never tailgate or get impatient with other drivers. Remember that everyone has different levels of experience on the roads; some may have less experience than you so be lenient with them, just like other drivers may be treating you.
- If you feel a sudden burst of ‘road rage’ coming along then refrain from driving erratically and aggressively and avoid obscene gestures. This will only wind other drivers up and jeopardise the safety of you and other road users.
- Although it seems very obvious, keep your eyes on the road at all times and watch out for any potential hazards or oncoming hazards. You should give the road your full attention.
- If you approach a sticky situation then shave off your speed and proceed accordingly. Try not to panic and really think about how to approach the situation on the road – ask yourself: what’s the safest way of overcoming the situation? Can other drivers see me? Are there any past experiences I can relate to?
- Plan your journeys – it may be worthwhile to carry a map, pen and paper, torch, warm clothing and some small change for those minor emergencies.
- Remember to change your driving ability according to road conditions. If the roads are wet then use the foot controls a little more gently.
As with all things, practice makes perfect. Good drivers stick to the rules and keep safety in mind; as long as you feel confident in your driving ability and remember everything you’ve learnt during your past tests, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.
If you’ve just passed and you’re looking for car insurance then you’ll be pleased to know that Rescuemycar.com offer various insurance products in addition to car breakdown cover. For more information on any of our services please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Good luck and happy driving!