Learning to drive and the actual driving test itself can be incredibly stressful, but for many drivers, that anxiety doesn’t simply vanish once they pass their test.
Ways New Drivers can Reduce Stress
Research has shown that young drivers (17-24-year-olds) are at a much higher risk of crashing than older drivers, with those aged 17-19, while only making up 1.5 percent of licence holders, responsible for 9 percent of fatal or serious crashes.
Clearly, a combination of youth and inexperience can put young drivers at risk. Research has also shown that young drivers who are over-confident are more likely to crash in the first two years than those who are insecure about their driving skills, so perhaps feeling a little anxious behind the wheel isn’t always a bad thing.
However, it is important to feel comfortable behind the wheel and to be able to enjoy the experience of driving; after all, it cost you enough to pass that test. With that said, here are five ways for new drivers to reduce their stress...
- Start with small journeys you know well
Rather than rushing out to take on motorways or country lanes, or going for long journeys with passengers in the car, get used to driving on your own by doing small journeys that you know well. Mastering these short routes is a great way to build your confidence and prepare yourself for roads you’re less familiar with.
- Be confident in your driving ability
There’s no reason not to be confident in your driving ability. All new drivers feel unsure to start with, even if they don’t admit it. You passed the test because the examiner believed you would be perfectly safe to drive alone. So, trust your judgement and don’t second guess yourself. Being uncertain will only increase the risk of an accident.
- Put those P-plates on
It’s well worth putting P-plates on the car to let others know you’re a new driver. Most experienced drivers will be more patient and understanding of small mistakes if they see P-plates. You can leave the P-plates on for as long as you like, but make sure you do take them off when you start to feel more confident. After all, you can’t keep those stabilisers on forever.
- Take the Pass Plus
Pass Plus is a practical training course that takes at least six hours to complete and helps drivers to improve their skills and drive more safely. There are six different parts of the course, including:
- Town driving
- All-weather driving
- Driving on rural roads
- Night driving
- Driving on dual carriageways
- Driving on motorways
The Pass Plus course isn’t a test you can pass or fail. Instead, you’ll receive a training report from your instructor when you’ve reached the required standard in all six parts of the course. You can then apply for a Pass Plus certificate, which will potentially get you a discount on your car insurance.
Remove all distractions
Not only is it illegal and extremely dangerous to use your phone while driving, but just the sound of it can be enough to take your attention away from what you’re doing. Make sure you put your phone on silent before every journey.
Another common distraction for young drivers is travelling with their friends in the car. The statistics show that the risk of new drivers crashing doubles when they drive around with their friends. There’s plenty of time to go on road trips, just make sure you get your confidence up first.
Looking for affordable young driver insurance?
At Tradex, we reward conscientious new drivers with flexible and affordable young driver insurance policies
that treat you as an individual. We also insure young drivers for business use and offer high excess options to bring down the cost of the premium. For more information, contact Tradex