Newbie Drivers: How to Deal with Nervousness on the Road

Driving can be an exciting and liberating experience, but for many new drivers, it can also be nerve-wracking and intimidating. 

Whether you’re a teenager just getting your driver’s license or an adult learning to drive for the first time, feeling nervous on the road is entirely normal. The good news is that you can do something to calm your nerves and increase your self-assurance while driving.

In this blog post, DriveSafe PH explored some tips and strategies for dealing with nervousness on the road so that you can feel more comfortable and confident as a new driver. 

If you’re a new driver who feels nervous on the road, there are several things you can do to help manage your anxiety and build confidence. 

Here are some tips and strategies to try:

1. Practice, practice, practice

Does practice make perfect? Nah. practice makes progress. You’ll become more at ease and self-assured the more time you spend driving. So, make sure you’re getting plenty of practice time in various driving conditions, such as on highways, in heavy traffic, and at night.

2. Take things slow

One of the most important things for newbie drivers to remember is that taking their time when driving is okay. In fact, it’s much better to drive at a comfortable and safe pace than to rush and put themselves and others in danger.

New drivers may feel pressured to keep up with traffic or to drive at the speed limit, but it’s important to remember that their safety comes first. Driving at a pace that feels comfortable allows new drivers to focus on the road, anticipate potential hazards, and react appropriately.

If new drivers feel uncomfortable or nervous while driving, it’s perfectly fine to slow down, take a deep breath, and refocus. 

3. Focus on your breathing

Driving can be a stressful experience for new drivers, and it’s natural to feel anxious or overwhelmed at times. However, there are several relaxation techniques that new drivers can use to help manage their nerves and feel more at ease behind the wheel.

  1.  Take deep breaths

When we feel anxious, our breathing tends to become shallow and rapid, further contributing to our stress and tension. Taking slow, deep breaths can help counteract this effect by slowing down our heart rate and promoting relaxation.

  1. Counting to ten

When we feel overwhelmed or stressed, our thoughts can become jumbled and difficult to manage. Counting to ten can help us clear our minds and refocus our attention on the task at hand.

  1. Tense and release

Tensing and releasing muscles is another relaxation technique that can be helpful for new drivers. When we’re feeling tense or anxious, our muscles tend to tighten up. Tensing and releasing specific muscle groups, such as the shoulders or hands, can help us release that tension and feel more relaxed.

4. Stay aware of your surroundings

When driving, it’s crucial for new drivers to maintain situational awareness and constantly scan the road ahead and check their mirrors. By doing so, new drivers can better understand the traffic around them and make informed decisions about their driving. This can help them feel more in control and confident while on the road, which can ultimately lead to safer and more comfortable driving experiences.This may give them a sense of greater control and self-assurance while driving, which may ultimately result in safer and more pleasurable driving experiences.

  1. Scan the road

Scanning the road ahead involves looking beyond the vehicle in front of you and watching for any potential hazards, such as pedestrians, animals, or other vehicles. New drivers should scan the road continuously, paying attention to what’s happening both in front of and around their vehicles. This helps them stay alert and prepared to react quickly to any unexpected situations.

  1. Check mirrors

Checking mirrors is also important, as it allows drivers to monitor their surroundings and stay aware of any vehicles or hazards approaching from behind. Drivers should check their mirrors frequently, especially before changing lanes, merging, or making turns.

5. Avoid distractions

The Anti-Distracted Driving Act was passed in 2017 to promote safer driving practices and reduce the number of accidents caused by distracted driving. The law prohibits using mobile phones and other electronic devices while driving, including texting, calling, browsing, or watching videos. Law violators are subject to fines, penalties, and even license suspension.

New drivers can stay focused and alert while driving by adhering to the Anti-Distracted Driving Act and avoiding any distractions, which will help prevent accidents and keep themselves and other road users safe. It’s crucial to remember that driving requires our full attention and concentration, and any distraction or momentary lack of judgment can have serious consequences.

6. Get a good night’s sleep

Driving requires focus, attention, and quick reactions, making it crucial for new drivers to be well-rested and alert while on the road. Fatigue can impair driving abilities and increase the risk of accidents, making it important for new drivers to prioritize getting enough sleep each night.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. However, many people struggle to get enough sleep due to busy schedules, stress, or other factors. New drivers should consciously prioritize their sleep and establish healthy sleep habits to ensure they’re well-rested before getting behind the wheel.

Driving requires focus, attention, and quick reactions, making it crucial for new drivers to be well-rested and alert while on the road. Fatigue can impair driving abilities and increase the risk of accidents, making it essential for new drivers to prioritize getting enough sleep each night.

7.  Focus and learn well from your defensive driving course

Attending a theoretical driving course can be an excellent way for new drivers to gain knowledge, skills, and confidence behind the wheel. These courses typically cover various topics, including traffic laws, defensive driving strategies, and tips for managing nervousness on the road.

In a theoretical driving course, new drivers can learn about the rules of the road and gain a deeper understanding of safe driving practices. They can also learn techniques for managing anxiety and nervousness while driving, such as deep breathing, positive self-talk, and visualization exercises.

Additionally, theoretical driving courses often allow new drivers to ask questions, get feedback from experienced instructors, and practice driving scenarios in a safe and controlled environment. This can help new drivers feel more confident and prepared for real-world driving situations.

Nervousness and anxiety are common among newbie drivers, and it’s essential to address them to ensure safe and comfortable driving experiences. 

DriveSafe PH is the first online theoretical driving course provider in the Philippines that will help you manage your nervousness and build confidence on the road by equipping you with everything you need to know before you finally hit the road. 

Remember that it’s okay to be nervous, but with practice, patience, and the right mindset, newbie drivers can overcome their fears and enjoy the freedom and independence that driving offers.


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