Driving can be a scary experience, especially if you’re a fresh new driver and just got your licence. Being afraid of the road in fact is extremely common – and it’s okay: all new experiences bring a sense of unfamiliarity with them.
Your driving lessons are now far gone, your instructor handed you your licence and is not there to guide you anymore, it’s your time to shine. But how to get rid of that initial nervousness?
First of all, think about the fact that there are around 33 million licence holders in the UK only. If they can make it, you can too.
Driving a car is very similar to riding a bicycle, except you look much cooler whilst doing so. With time you’ll gain more and more confidence, and it’ll quickly become second nature.
The fear of the unknown is understandable. What happens if you panic? Or if an incident occurs? If you’re a new driver and need some reassurance, here’s a list of the most common fears, potential scary situations, and how to overcome them!
The fear of using roundabouts is probably the most common amongst new drivers. If you’re driving down a straight road, the issues you might have to take into consideration aren’t that many but once you get into a roundabout in a busy segment, what do you do? How do you know when to stop and how to deal with the other incoming cars?
The key element here is to always be aware of your surroundings. Whilst you need to be careful of the cars already driving in the roundabout, you might also have a queue of cars behind you waiting to go for it. Take your time and make sure the coast is clear before you go. Some roundabouts are simple but if you find yourself in a multi-exit one, it can cause confusion if you’re not familiar with the roads. Some towns like Hemel Hempstead and Swindon have “magic roundabouts” with several roundabouts within one.
Always make sure you know your route beforehand or have a GPS navigator or Google Maps on your smartphone at hand*. Despite of the nerve-racking situation, be confident in your skills and own the road, one roundabout at a time.
*It’s illegal to be on your phone with the engine running so make sure you have it all set up before you take off. Don’t take your eyes off the road!
Traffic Light Nervousness
One of the most shared fears is stalling at a traffic light. Whilst a red light can be a chance to stop and make sure you know where you’re going, remember it never lasts too long! When the green comes on, people on the road tend to go for it. Either because they’re in a rush, or simply because they want to get home fast, experienced drivers can be impulsive and honk at you for not taking the green as fast as they are.
If you’re driving a manual car, and you’re still pretty new at it, it can be stressful to restart the car if it accidentally turns off. Take your time, and don’t rush. If you panic, you’ll make the situation worse.
Just remember what you learned in your driving lessons and be confident in what you’re doing. You can always signal the drivers behind you and let them know you need some more time.
Accidents happen, and that’s what we’re here for. The easiest way to calm down your nerves is to always be prepared. Remember, you might be confident and self-assured behind the wheel, but you’re never on your own: there are other drivers with you on the road.
In case of an accident, we try and call you to make sure you’re doing fine, thanks to our Accident Alert. The black box installed in your car can sense a strong impact, activating an alarm to our Service Centre.
Excessive speed is a key factor in road accidents involving young drivers in the UK so it’s important to stay below the speed limit and adjust to the road conditions. Your reflexes and the experience you’ll gain with time will help you avoid future accidents.
You can do it!
Avoid the ‘pass panic’ and take the step from a learner to a new driver. Remember, it’s always useful to get a green P plate on the back of your car, to notify your fellow drivers that you’ve recently passed your test and are still getting used to driving.
Even though it’s uncomfortable at first, driving will hopefully soon become a pleasant experience that will give you a sense of independence and freedom. Facing obstacles and irrational fears is key to developing confidence in your driving skills.
The most important thing, for you and all the other drivers, is to drive safely and responsibly. With our black box, safe driving will give you a peace of mind, self-assurance – and up to 100 Bonus Miles a month! Your parents won’t get worried, your fears will go away, and you’ll be rewarded: it’s a triple win!