How to Gain Confidence While Driving & Other Car Driving Basics

How to Gain Confidence While Driving & Other Car Driving Basics

by / Wednesday, 03 June 2020 / Published in Tips
Teenage girl driving car.

Learning how to drive can be a very exciting time for young people, but it can also be a very stressful experience. Trying to learn a new skill can be tough, but driving is a skill that’s a major responsibility. And for new drivers who fully understand the level of responsibility that driving involves can feel nervous about getting behind the wheel while they gain the experience they need to become licensed drivers. If this sounds familiar to you, or sounds like a teen driver you know, try these tips to help you build your confidence while staying safe on the road.

Get Comfortable Before Driving

Before you start driving anywhere, it’s very important to make sure your car is properly adjusted. Mirror adjustment is very important for making sure that you’re able to clearly see behind you and in neighboring lanes. But don’t forget to be sure that your seat and steering wheel are adjusted to be as comfortable as possible. If you start driving and realize your seat is uncomfortable, it can be very distracting and take your focus away from the road.

Ditch the Distractions

When people think of distracted driving, they often think of texting while driving. But distracted driving can occur in many different ways, such as eating while driving, having conversations, or adjusting your GPS. If there’s something that might take your mind and/or eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel, try to eliminate those distractions before you start moving. If you need GPS for your trip, make sure it’s all set before heading out of the driveway. If you tend to look at your phone a lot, make sure it’s set on silent so that you don’t get distracted by the sound of notifications. Better yet, keeping your phone in a bag or in the glove compartment can help reduce the temptation to check your phone.

Practice During Low Traffic Times

When you’re just starting to learn how to drive, busy traffic can feel very intimidating and stressful. As you try to build your confidence behind the wheel, try practicing at times when there aren’t a lot of other cars on the road. That way, you have a chance to get used to the feel of your car and build your skills without worrying as much about other people.

Practice in Familiar Areas

Even the most experienced drivers can find themselves getting stressed out over something unexpected on the road, like an unexpected lane closure. While it might be tempting to go out and explore while you practice your driving skills, it can be a good idea to initially stick to areas you’re familiar with so that you have a general idea of what the conditions are like so that you don’t suddenly encounter something stressful.

Maintain Good Following Distance

Proper following distance is an extremely important way to prevent car accidents. If there’s something ahead of you in the road, you need to be able to have enough time to be able to safely react to it. Many drivers with years of experience still make the mistake of not maintaining a good following distance and it leads to many car crashes every year.

Watch Your Speed

Car crashes can happen for many different reasons, but speed is a very common contributing factor in many accidents, often making them more severe than they would have been at a lower speed. Keep a close eye on the speed limit and remember that posted speed limits are based on ideal road conditions. It may be best to drive below the posted speed limit in some circumstances, such as if it’s snowy, icy, or foggy.

Try to Resist Pressure from Other Drivers

Sometimes, other drivers on the road can be very pushy. For example, if you’re waiting to turn onto a street because you see oncoming traffic, an impatient driver behind you might beep their horn to get you to hurry up. Just remember that the other driver might not see what you see, so don’t let them pressure you into doing something that you know to be unsafe.

Car accidents can easily happen to drivers of all skill levels. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, don’t try to go it alone. Contact a car accident lawyer for help with your case to make sure you receive all the compensation you need while you recover. The Law Offices of Goodwin & Scieszka are highly experienced in Michigan car accident law and can help you understand your legal options. Contact us today for help with your case.

Image: iStock / kate_sept2004