Being A Nervous Driver.

I have always been a nervous driver.
That’s just a fact about me that I doubt will ever really change and I’ll probably never be 100% confident behind the wheel.
I passed my test just under 3 years ago now; I know right, still pretty inexperienced, but if anything I feel like this lack of confidence is getting worse, not better.

I suffer from anxiety anyway, but aside from that I am just so constantly aware of how wrong things could go. I dunno if anyone else used to get those visits from a police officer in their school where they’d talk about horrific crashes and how awful young drivers were, but I sure did.
I think young drivers get a lot of stick for the fault of a few.
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I recently got a new car, my first car that isn’t what you’d call an ‘old banger’ and doesn’t have a high risk of cutting out at any given time.
The irony is that I actually feel less confident now than I did driving a car that was nearly as old as I am.
The clutch on my new car is so high and I just can’t get used to it! It’s been 3 months now and I’m trusting myself less and less because I do a lot of stalling and revving and generally making a fool of myself.
If hill-starts were a problem before, they are a massive no-no now.
The difference between the clutch bite and stalling the car is the width of a hair, I kid you not.

Anyway, all of this is just making me more nervous than I already was about driving – something that is vital to be able to do so I can get to work, go see my family, go to the shop – EVERYTHING.

So aside from complain, I thought I would make this post to share how I combat these nerves to keep my journeys as stress-free as possible!

Pre-drive preparation:
I think this is one of the most important steps. I like to know exactly where I’m going, what route I’m taking and roughly how long it’s going to take. By researching everything beforehand there are no nasty surprises to stress me out!
This step also includes making sure my phone has plenty of charge in case of emergencies.

Stay Calm:
I cannot stress the importance of this enough. The worst moments I’ve had whilst driving have been when I’ve let my anxiety run away with me and haven’t remained calm. Deep breaths and reminding myself of where I am and what I need to focus on is key, as well as remembering that coming to a halt and crying isn’t going to help, it’s just going to make things worse!

Make a decision and STICK TO IT:
One of the worst things you can ever do as a driver is hesitate.
That’s when accidents happen. It is so important that if you make a decision, like pulling out onto a roundabout, you then commit to it. It’s no use braking because you’ve seen a car coming round the roundabout too late, you need to put your foot down and get out of the way.

Don’t give in to peer pressure:
Whether it’s from other drivers on the road, or your mate sat in the passenger seat; you know the speed limit and it’s your job to stick to it. It’s not going to be anyone else’s fault that you get caught! I’m one of those people that hates people driving right up my bumper so much that I’ll squeeze on the gas just to make them happy. This is so bad and I am trying so hard to stop and just concentrate on what I’m doing. Just try and remember that if they wanted to go faster, they can overtake you and if you’re doing the speed limit it is not your problem.

Doing these 4 things has really helped me.
They’re something to remember whether you’re a rabbit-in-the-headlights like me or not!

Are any of you nervous drivers? Is there anything you do to keep calm?
Comment below and let me know! x

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