Unpleasant driving experiences or accidents may take new driver’s confidence away and leave them with road phobia.
We often hear stories that a person who has received a driver's license puts it in the desk and never dares to get behind the wheel again. After all, it's scary to step on the wrong pedal, hit a pedestrian, or drive around a narrow street to end up in a traffic jam. Someone is afraid of oncoming cars, and the neighbours in the traffic flow are not very trustworthy. Some people confuse the left and right turn signals due to the excitement or even turn on the wipers instead of turning on the signals.
The feeling of fear forces many drivers – mostly beginners – to only use public transport. Others only drive by car within their neighbourhood and avoid busy streets with heavy traffic. The speed above 40 km / h gives the feeling of insecurity.
The fear of parking becomes irrelevant if you are looking for a parking space that meets your expectations for at least half an hour.
How can you overcome fear of driving after an accident?
The accident is an uncomfortable situation that almost everyone encounters. The most difficult thing is to overcome the psychological barrier, to drive again as a driver. After the accident, the drivers have millions of thoughts in their minds – "What if the next time the accident is more serious?"
After stress, some people even suffer from physical complaints: palms sweat, body tremors, stomach twists etc. They will start to look ridiculous and seek for excuses just to avoid driving. It becomes particularly difficult for a person who has had an accident in which a close person has suffered because of their own fault. Practical experience is quickly lost, especially if not too many have been collected beforehand.
Psychological considerations indicate that the fear of putting yourself behind the wheel again after an accident disappears after a few kilometres. The hardest part is jumping over your own shadow. You could start with a not too busy street or outside of built-up areas. The experience of getting into an accident can even be useful: it can be turned into a rather instrumental skills, such as driving ahead or minimizing recklessness.
There are special courses in driving schools – “rehabilitation programs”. If it is impossible to cope with the fear of an accident on your own, it makes sense to attend such a course. Specialists give you confidence in your own abilities and thus support you in losing your fear of driving.
How can you overcome the feeling of fear and try to drive again
#1. Get to know the driving characteristics of your vehicle
In order to be able to drive successfully without fear of stalling the engine at the next intersection, you have to train the start.
Determine the braking distance of your car. Find a suitable country road with little traffic and practice emergency braking.
To do this, accelerate to the usual driving speed and then jerkily press the brake pedal down to the ground. Note the length of the braking distance. This is the distance you have to keep to the car in front, in the same weather conditions, as at the time of your test. Rainy roads or ice and snow significantly increase the braking distance. Keep this in mind while driving.
Practice parking and maneuvering in large parking lots. This is how you develop a feeling for the dimensions of your car.
Learn the driving characteristics of your vehicle
#2. Train maneuvers to automation
Developing reflexes while driving guarantees driving without fear. So you can only concentrate on the traffic and do not have to worry about how you turn the steering wheel and which gear you want to take.
#3. Refresh the knowledge gained in a driving school
If you haven't driven a car for a long time, or if you feel that driving school lessons are not enough to make you feel confident behind the wheel, find a good teacher and take as many hours as you need to help yourself Driving feel safe. Experience shows that an outsider with the necessary training skills is better suited than friends or relatives.
With our ClickClickDrive.de service you can find and select the driving school closest to you with the most suitable teacher. You can contact us by phone, email and chat.
#4. Practice more often
The more you drive, the less fear you will have. Therefore, drive a car regularly, even if there are no special requirements.
Take friends and relatives with you when your presence calms you down. Even if they already have a driving license, they shouldn't give you any advice while driving. It only makes you nervous.
Driving into town at rush hour is not the best idea. It would be better in the early morning or late evening when the streets are clear and driving is much more pleasant.
If you are afraid to drive yourself, you can first take a seat in the passenger seat to get used to the situation. It is important that you continue! As experienced drivers say, trust and safety when driving only come after a few thousand kilometers.
#5. Prepare the itinerary in advance
Before you set off, take a close look at the route. Note when you have to turn or change the freeway. A navigation system notifies you of a change of lane and tries to avoid traffic jams. Studying the route beforehand is easy on your nerves, so you are more relaxed and confident at the wheel.
#6. Examine your own car
Why do I have to press the clutch or what does the speedometer show? Such questions are sometimes in the minds of the drivers. You can think about whether you can still drive through the green traffic light. However, this reduces the concentration on traffic. That's why you should deal with the technology! Finally, the functionality of vehicle technology is taught for a reason in a driving school. For safe control, you need to understand which technical processes make the car work. At least a rough understanding is an advantage here. You leave the details to the maintenance specialists.
For example, if you know where the washer fluid is topped up or what the pictogram that lights up on the dashboard means, you will have less stress while driving. This is where the instructions help. In some driving schools (including ours), the driving school teachers will even take you to gas stations to show you how to fill up a car, because there is not a service employee at every gas station. So it would make sense to learn these skills.
#7. Repeat traffic rules
The saying "knowledge is power" is for a reason: knowing something on the street is not enough, you have to know the traffic rules. A thin book describes all situations that can arise on the street. That said, after you've learned the traffic rules really well, you'll feel safer when you're behind the wheel because you're sure you know the traffic rules.
We also recommend that you regularly monitor changes in traffic regulations.
#8. Don't drive too fast!
Stick to the speed limit. This helps prevent an accident in good time. It takes time and practice to learn to drive safely on busy roads. Exercise more often and keep calm at the beginning.
#9. Stick the "Beginner Driver" sign in the rear window.
Do not hesitate to put the exclamation mark on the rear window of the vehicle. In many cases, this designation saves you unnecessary signals behind you because you warn the drivers in your area that you do not have enough driving experience.
Remember, it's not the car or road that affects you, it's your. If you are constantly thinking about something bad is going to happen, it will happen.
Sit behind the wheel, think of something good, turn on your favourite music (not too loud) and keep your eye on the road. Good thoughts will shift terrible pictures out and the journey will stop being scary.
Taking a deep breath two or three times can help you calm down and stay focused.