Like riding a bike, driving is something that naturally comes back to you if you take a break from it. Unfortunately, depending on your circumstances, you might find that getting behind the wheel again after an accident or extended period away from driving is more difficult than it seems. Perhaps you’ve developed a fear of driving after you ended up in an accident, or perhaps you haven’t driven for so long that the newest models of cars confuse you with their features. Whatever the case may be, we’ve put together a short guide on how you can regain your confidence in driving so that you can get back on the road as soon as possible.
Identify the Source of Your Anxiety
In order to beat your demons, you’ll first need to identify them. Try and think back to why you’re not driving anymore. Perhaps it’s because of an accident that you left unresolved, or maybe you simply never had the confidence to begin with. Perhaps moving to the city has put you off driving because it’s a lot more hectic and there are far more people that love to run across the road despite the crossing light being red. Whatever the case may be, you need to identify the reason for your anxiety.
Once you’ve found it, try and get around it or overcome your issues. For instance, if it was a car accident that caused you to lose your confidence, then consider taking additional driving lessons. A course in defensive driving is a great way to boost your knowledge and learn more about driving so that in the future, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding another collision or accident. If the car accident wasn’t your fault but you left it unresolved, then you may want to consider speaking to a lawyer. Take a look at sites such as http://colleylaw.net/austin-car-accident-lawyer/ to help you find the right lawyer. Of course, you’ll need to find a local one in your area that has experience with motoring accidents if you want a better chance of succeeding. However, you can’t wait too long after your accident to contact a lawyer, so it’s best to do this as soon as you’ve recovered from the accident.
If your source of anxiety is to do with the area you’ve moved to, then it may help to find friends who drive and speak with them. Ask them how they cope with driving in the city, consider getting in the car with them to see how they react to certain situations, and slowly build up your experience. Small steps are all it takes to reach your goal, so as long as you’re driving every day (even if it’s just to the grocery store) it helps to slowly build your confidence over time. If you don’t know many people in your area that drive, then look at resources on the internet such as https://www.edmunds.com/g00/car-reviews/top-10/top-10-tips-for-city-driving.html to learn some tips for driving in the city.
Eliminating the source of your anxiety will help you stay focused when driving. It helps to eliminate your fears, it ensures that you’re not overthinking your safety and it will help you regain confidence in your abilities.
Update Your Knowledge
If you’ve not been in a car for many years, then it’s worth updating your knowledge about how cars work. Even if you used to do your own repairs and maintenance on your car, newer models might have different features or internals and it will take a bit of research before you understand how your new car works.
Everyone naturally feels comfortable in their car after a couple weeks or months driving it. They understand how much they can push the engine, they know how far they have to turn the steering wheel to take certain corners, and they know the sound their car makes. All these feelings of familiarity are what make us comfortable behind the wheel. You’ve probably experienced it before when you first got into the driver’s seat. Switching from the teaching car that you learned to drive with to your own personal car was probably a huge difference. The seat might have felt different, you may have needed to change the position of your legs and the wheel was probably strange to get used to. Being confident isn’t always about your ability to drive—it can also be related to how comfortable you are in your vehicle.
If you’ve recently bought a new vehicle, then it’s worth familiarising yourself with the latest new features. From lane departure warning systems to rear cameras that can help you park in tight spaces, there are a wealth of new systems and electronics in the latest cars that can help you ease back into driving. When you first learned to drive, you probably had to do everything yourself. Whether it was driving manual or looking into all your mirrors, those skills still apply to modern day vehicles and, after a bit of practice, you’ll pick them back up with ease. However, before you regain your confidence, make good use of the latest and greatest assistance systems to help you get used to driving again. If you don’t know where to start with these new features, then take a look at the manual. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people neglect to remember their car comes with instructions!
Some Final Words
With a bit of practice, you’ll quickly get back into the swing of things and you’ll be confident in your ability to drive. It’s not uncommon to completely lose your confidence in driving especially if you’ve made drastic changes to your life such as moving to a new city or if you’re recovering from an auto accident. Keep your chin up, keep practising and identify what’s causing your anxiety issues. Once you’ve solved that puzzle, you’ll quickly be on your way to recovery. Before you know it, you’ll be behind the wheel driving with the same confidence you had when you first passed your test.