Passing your driving test is a hugely exciting milestone, but it can also be a scary prospect. No longer will you be required to have a driving instructor or indeed anyone at all in the car with you – it’s time to go it alone and that can be pretty daunting to say the least.
If you’ve just gotten your licence and you’re worried about driving solo for the first time, here are some tips that may help to ease your nerves:
Don’t give lifts
Okay, so you might want to take someone responsible with you to the Nissan Dealership or wherever to collect your brand new car for the first time, but for the most part, you should avoid giving lots of lifts to friends when you’ve just passed your test. They can be distracting, and they could cause you to feel even more nervous than you might be on your own, So, although it is tempting to have some support with you, be very careful about packing people into your car, and if you must have someone along, choose a sensible friend or family member who you know will behave appropriately.
Plan your route
Most cars have sat navs to help us get around now, but when you’re a new driver, they can be another source of distraction and anxiety, which is why it may be a good idea to plan any routes you’re unfamiliar with before you head off. That way, you’ll know what to expect and you can prepare appropriately. Obviously, you can still turn your sta nav on if you need to, but it won’t be as big of a distraction as it would if you were relying solely on it in the moment.
Turn your phone off
It’s illegal to use your phone when you’re driving, as you will surely know, but there is no law saying it must be turned off. Despite that, it is probably a very good idea to do just that because a ringing phone can prove both a temptation and a distraction that you could easily do without.
Get some P plates
P plates are a great tool that makes other road users aware that you’re new to the roads. As a result, they are more likely to go easy on you and be a little more understanding of your actions if you’re feeling nervous being out along for the first time. Once you’ve built up your confidence a bit, you can remove them and be like any other user on the road.
Face your fears
Whether you’re scared of hitting the motorway or have a fear of driving in heavy rain, the only way you’re going to get better and gain more confidence if by facing your fears and doing them anyway. A Pass Plus course is a great way to do this in a controlled way, but simply driving around the places that scare you in a relaxed way will help you to get things under control.