Learning to drive takes time and practice. It is both scary and thrilling to obtain your Learner Driver Licence, getting you that one step closer to being independent and going out on your own. Your knowledge and confidence will increase and improve with time. In the meantime here are some tips to help you gain confidence as you start driving.
- Practice, practice, practice. It takes time to become a good driver so the more you drive, the more comfortable you will become behind the wheel.
- Eliminate distractions. We all have smart phones and naturally we are quick to view and like our social media feed but when driving it’s one of the biggest distractions. Turn it off and put it in a storage compartment. The vibration of the phone or notification sounds can be a big distraction on the road. Other distractions such as music, radio or outside noise can be minimized by closing the windows and turning off the radio to ensure your undivided attention is on the road.
- Choosing the right teacher. It is important (especially when you are first starting out) to choose the right teacher. You are going to want to pick someone who won’t make you nervous. You are going to want someone who is calm and does not easily get rattled when you make mistakes. In fact, it’s recommended that as soon as you get your learner licence to take your first lessons professionally.
- Start in a quiet area. Many young drivers learn to drive in a big parking lot. This will allow you to learn to maneuver your car without having to worry about hitting anything. You can focus on starting, stopping, and steering your car.
- Once you master controlling the car, gradually work up to busy streets and highways. Once you feel confident enough, you should venture onto quiet residential streets so you can learn to drive with more speed, around other drivers, and using road signs. As you gain confidence, you will be able to go out further and further until you are ready for busy streets and highways.
- Practice in all types of environments. You should try to drive all over and experience all types of roads, including the highway, busy city locations, back roads and even dirt roads.
- Drive in all weather conditions. You also need to be prepared to drive in all sorts of weather conditions, including light rain and heavy rain to ensure you don’t get nervous and lose control of the car. Many people are unprepared with winter weather and you don’t want to be one of them!
- Drive different cars. If possible, you should try to drive several types of cars so that you know how they handle as each vehicle feels different. This will also come in handy when you decide to buy your own car.
It can take a lot of time and practice to get confident behind the wheel. Depending on how much you practice, it can take a few weeks (or months). However, you really need to take advantage of the time that you have with a qualified driving instructor. It is also important that you know how to handle different roads and weather, before you go out on your own to ensure you don’t find yourself nervous and unsure of how to handle yourself or your car.