Not sure you’re prepared to take that step just yet? Do you feel a rush of anxiety when you’re behind the wheel? Relax, many people who have just passed their test feel like this. Driving on your own can be very nerve-wracking, certainly for the first couple of weeks.

It’s a big step going from catching a bus and walking, or asking your mum for a lift, to driving anywhere you want to go. You’re becoming more independent and it’s going to be an exciting process. It’s perfectly normal to be nervous. Confidence comes with time. If the nerves are really getting to you, here are a few things you can do to help.

1 – Don’t give your friends lifts straight away

The first thing you should do is remove any distractions that are currently making you feel uneasy and one of the main distractions for young drivers can be friends in the car. In fact, according to the Daily and Sunday Express, over a third of young drivers say their friends are distracting passengers. This can be due to a lack of concentration or bad influences, check out this defensive driving texas online.

This may mean telling your friends you can’t give them lifts for a while. It’s your car, think about you. The quicker you become accustomed to driving, the sooner they’ll be able to have lifts. As they’re your friends, they should have no problem with it. They were getting around fine until now anyway, right? You’ll have plenty of time to go on road trips and travel to theme parks later.

2 – Ignore your phone

Not only is it illegal to use your phone whilst driving, just the sound of it going off can be distracting. If you keep your phone on silent whilst you’re driving it could stop you from even thinking about it. According to an article on the Independent, four in five drivers put themselves and others in danger by being distracted at wheel.

3 – Make others aware

It might be worth getting some ‘P plates’. Having these displayed on your car will let others around you know that you’re a new driver. Seeing as though every driver has been a newbie at one point, they’ll hopefully be more understanding if you make any small mistakes. You’ll become more confident after time, so leave the plates on as long as it takes.

4 – Improve skills and gain experience

The best way to conquer your fears is to face up to them. The more you drive, the more you will become used to it. To help, you could take part in a driving scheme like Pass Plus, which gives you an additional 6+ hours of practice with an instructor to help build up your confidence and improve your skills. It might also be a good idea to simply drive around local areas, perhaps with someone you trust, to get more used to the roads.

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