The average American drives 29.2 miles per day. That number may seem like a lot when you’re first starting to learn to drive, especially if your anxiety levels skyrocket when you just think about getting behind the wheel. Since cars (and driving them) are a necessity in most parts of the country, driving anxiety can severely limit how you’re able to get around, as well as your overall independence. While a fear of driving is fairly common, you don’t have to let it dictate your life. Our adult driving classes will allow you to receive individualized training and advance at your own pace, which can help to reduce driving anxiety. It will take some time and dedication, but if you follow the tips below, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a confident, competent driver.
Our Top Tips For Anxious Drivers
Create a relaxation ritual
Before you even get in the car, it may help you to have a little relaxation routine to ease your mind and body. If you’re prone to anxiety attacks, make sure you eat a nutritious meal and hydrate adequately prior to your driving sessions. You’ll also want to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Should you start to feel nervous, deep abdominal breathing can help immensely. Focusing on these slow breaths will take your mind off your nervousness. Once you get into the car, check items off your prep list, like adjusting your mirrors and seat.
Find an understanding instructor
Of course, taking adult driving courses are an important part of facing your fears. But it’s also important to find an instructor who understands your situation and teaches in a way that reduces, rather than exacerbates, your anxiety. All of our instructors and educators for our adult driving classes are highly experienced and knowledgeable. In fact, they’re the best in the entire state. Most adult driving schools will be able to make recommendations for instructors who are particularly adept at working with new or anxious drivers. Not every instructor’s teaching style will be the same, so finding an encouraging, understanding instructor can make all the difference.
Take it slow
When you practice driving with your instructor, remember that you should take things at your own pace. Feeling rushed or under-prepared will just add to your anxiety, so don’t be afraid to take your time. Start by building your skills in less-stressful environments and build up to more complicated tasks in crowded areas. Your instructor should check in often with you and make a determination as to whether you’re ready to move on to the next level. If you don’t feel quite ready, schedule an additional lesson to work on it a bit more. Want to practice turning or parallel parking? Your instructor can take you to a less-busy area to hone your skill. Feel uncomfortable on the highway? Schedule your lesson during mid-day, when it’ll be less crowded on major roadways, and ease into it.
Practice, practice, practice
If you don’t drive, it’s always going to seem daunting. The only way to increase your skills and your comfort level is to practice driving. Ideally, you’ll want to schedule lessons weekly; if you schedule them bi-weekly, you’ll want to practice quite a bit in between. Don’t go too long between lessons, as this will give your anxiety a chance to creep up and keep you from wanting to get behind the wheel. If you don’t feel like you have enough experience with a particular skill, don’t avoid it. That avoidance will just create more anxiety. Instead, face your fears in a controlled environment with an instructor you trust. As you drive more and more, you’ll gain experience and will be able to gauge situations better. Keep at it, and eventually you won’t even remember a time when you were scared to drive!
If you’re ready to overcome your driving anxiety, our adult driving classes can help you achieve your goals. For more information on our adult driving classes or hourly individual training sessions, contact Driving Arizona today.
Traffic Survival School
Traffic Survival School is an MVD mandated or Court Ordered class. You need to complete Traffic Survival School if you have received a Corrective Action Letter/Proof of Assignment or Court Order. Call 480-777-7303 if you have any questions.