For some, driving evokes stress or nervous feelings. Here are some ways to deal with that kind of anxiety so that you don’t become a liability on the roads.
Driving may not be everyone’s cup of tea. While some of us actually enjoy driving, there are others who get anxious or distressed when they have to get behind the wheels. And that sense of nervousness can make a driver a liability on the roads. To help nervous drivers combat their fears, follow these surprisingly simple tips.
KNOW YOUR CAR
You need to feel confident about your car before you can feel comfortable driving it. So get to know your car, how it works, where the essential switches and knobs are, how the lights and wipers work, and how to operate the air conditioner and radio. Once you are familiar with your car and its functions, you will start to feel more comfortable driving it on the roads. Over time, some of these functions will become second nature to you, and you could end up loving the drive.
Just like how you would make your abode as cosy as possible, make your car a relaxing place to be. Start off by adjusting the seats so that your driving position is not only comfortable but also gives you an optimal view out of the windows and from the mirrors. Make sure the windscreen and mirrors are clean and clear. Declutter your car by getting rid of unwanted junk from the boot and storage pockets. Make sure any loose object is securely fastened. Lastly, make a playlist of your favourite soothing tunes to calm yourself as you venture out on the roads.
HAVE SOMEONE WITH YOU
If you are a new driver or someone who takes comfort in company, then have someone you trust and feel comfortable with along for the ride. This person doesn’t necessarily have to be an experienced driver — just someone who makes you feel relaxed. If that person can tag along for most of your journeys for a good part of the month, that could go some way towards making you feel more confident to actually start driving alone. Nonetheless, avoid distraction during driving.
STICK TO DRIVING IN THE DAY
Driving at night can be challenging, even for an experienced driver. During the night, your visibility decreases, making it difficult to see and negotiate the roads effectively. Often, the glare from the headlights of oncoming traffic can be uncomfortable, too. These can all add up and compound the problem for an already nervous driver. Get yourself accustomed to driving at night by taking short trips each time.
PLAN YOUR ROUTE
Make sure you know your route by sticking to familiar areas. What this gives you is better anticipation of how the road runs, such as whether there’s a turn up ahead or a roundabout to negotiate. With fewer surprises, your anxiety level should remain low. Check your navigation app if you have one to visualise your route. Some apps have real-time road monitoring that can warn you of heavy traffic conditions or temporary roadworks that may affect your usual route. Use these to plan your detour, so you don’t fret at the last minute.
PRACTISE AND PRACTISE
The best way to be a confident driver is to practise frequently. As with most skills, practice really makes perfect — at the very least, you’ll better! Get out more and try driving in different scenarios. Each trip can be short but make sure they are different. Pick off-peak periods to try driving on the expressways. Get comfortable in tight spaces like car parks. Get to grips with night driving but do it in familiar surroundings. The key is not to let your nervousness impede your driving growth. Driving is a skill that can always be improved.
PEACE OF MIND
If you’re new to the world of driving, you’re probably a little apprehensive about taking to the roads, especially on solo drives. For peace of mind, why not get insured and protect yourself in case you make a rookie or nervous mistake?
The Young or New Drivers Motor Insurance, developed by AA Singapore subsidiary, AAS Insurance Agency (AAS-IA), is especially for young drivers below the age of 24 or inexperienced drivers who have less than two years of driving experience. Purchase this policy and you’ll also have the privilege to track your daily journeys using the DriveWellTM telematics app — safe drivers are rewarded with petrol vouchers!
For more information and request for a quote, click here.