Last Updated on February 23, 2024

As a learner driver you will be learning many new skills and be faced with new challenges during your learning to drive journey. The roads can be unpredictable and you need to react as and when things happen you, need to be able to face challenges with confidence. In turn becoming a more confident driver!

Overcoming driving anxiety and fears takes work to improve and become more confident. In this blog we are going to cover how to build your driving confidence so that you can face any challenges you may come up against on the road. Whether it be roadworks, or an intimidating driver on the road, these tips will help to prepare you.  

Know your weaknesses and fears

There will often be things that come up when you are learning to drive that you do not feel 100% comfortable with. This could be certain manoeuvres or driving in rain. Identifying your weaknesses and fears when driving, could help you to better prepare if they come up when you are driving. It also means that you can expose yourself to the situation and grow your confidence to deal with the fear and improve as a driver. Think about situations you have been in where you have not felt like a confident driver and note them down for future reference. 

To be a confident driver, you need to be able to navigate challenges appropriately. By knowing what you are not comfortable with, you can start to expose yourself to these situations and learn how to respond. This will help as the more you are exposed to a situation the more you can learn how to deal with it.

Grow confidence by practicing driving

One of the main ways to become a more confident driver is getting experience out on the roads. By driving more, you will be exposed to more situations and start to feel more comfortable in different driving situations. It is good to practice at different times of the day, in different weather conditions and on different road types. This can set you up to be a more confident driver. During your driving lessons you will learn the basics to make you a good driver, but you may not get experience in rush hour traffic or at night.

As a learner driver you could get insured with Learner Driver Insurance. This allows you to get practice in more situations and help with your confidence. Alternatively, when you have passed your test, you could get exposure to different driving conditions, and you could even bring along a more experienced driver to help you gain even more skills.  

Know the rules of the road

You will need to have good knowledge or the road rules to pass both your theory and practical driving test. By knowing the rules of the roads, you can feel confident in knowing you are following the rules and doing the right thing. It can be easy to get flustered if you have another driver beeping their horn and being angry. If you are following the rules of the road, it may be less stressful to know you are not in the wrong. In order to be a confident driver, you need to be sure of the decisions you are making and not second guess yourself. If you know a road has a 20mph speed limit and there is an impatient driver behind you, have peace of mind knowing that you are following the rules.  

Plan your routes

Before you go on any journey, plan the route you will be taking. This allows you to check if there is anything you should be aware of. Find out if there is anything that could affect your journey, especially if you are driving in . Things that could be useful to check:  
-Are there any roadworks?  
-Is there busy traffic?  
-Any road closures or detours?  
-Are there schools in the area that may cause extra traffic when you are planning on driving?  
-Are there any events happening in the area?  
If you know what to expect when you are out on the road you can better plan your journey. You can be more prepared for what challenges you could face on the road and avoid potentially overwhelming situations.  

Woman using map to plan driving route to encourage being a confident driver.

Be prepared for change  

You cannot prepare for every situation, even with a lot of planning and preparation there are situations that will emerge that you are not fully prepared for. You need to be adaptable and open to doing things differently to what you planned. 

Being a confident driver means being able to react and adapt to the roads safely. So, make sure that when new challenges are faced, you feel confident in your ability to adapt without panic. To do this, you need to be able to proactively respond to what is happening on the roads around you. So, you always need to be using your hazard perception skills, looking ahead on the road, and analysing potential issues that can affect your driving and reacting appropriately.  

Be in the right mindset  

Driving requires concentration and patience to stay safe on the road. If you are not in the right mindset, it can be easier to make mistakes and experience issues when you are driving. If you are tired, stressed, unwell or any other hard to deal with feeling, it may not be a good idea to get behind the wheel. 

Not being in the right mindset can make it harder to concentrate. Causing extra challenges for you when you are out on the road. For example, if you are not very well and are focusing on having a cold, this takes your focus away from the road.  

Alternatively, it could be a sign for some self-care and managing your anxiety. Try some breathing exercises, meditation or just have a relax day to refresh your mind. This may help to give you some mental clarity putting you in a better mindset before you drive. This may help in overcoming driving anxiety.  

It is also a good idea to make sure there are not too many distractions when you are driving. If you are struggling to concentrate due to music playing, or your phone ringing, turn them off. Alongside this, if you have passengers who are talking loudly and affecting your ability to drive, let them know.  

Conclusion: Working towards being a confident driver

Overcoming driving anxiety and becoming a confident driver is an ongoing process, especially when learning to drive. There are plenty of skills to learn, but you need to be proactive in practicing and improving your own skills. Be aware of your fears and weaknesses, practice on the roads, know the rules of the road, plan, be prepared and be in the right mindset. Working on these skills can help you to improve your confidence. As you get more experience on the road you will naturally build up your confidence and improve. 

If you are looking for more practice Collingwood Learner Driver Insurance may be able to help. Get a Quote today