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7 ways to Overcome Your Fear as New Drivers

noto
8 Minutes

Get Driving On Actual Roads Today!

Are you a new driver?

Chances are, you don’t feel mentally ready to go on the actual roads by yourself, yet. Driving schools are, well, driving schools. It doesn’t really come close to driving on real roads.

If you’re scared, fret not! Here's some valuable advice on from Street Smart Programme on how you can overcome your fear as a new driver. 

Here are 7 ways to gain confidence and drive comfortably.

1. Improve Car Control

Different sized car handles differently. There are few things to take note of if you would like to improve your car control.

First and foremost, get a feel of where your wheels are. Don’t be afraid to test drive a few circles around an empty open carpark. Get a sense of how the wheels turn when you go left or right.

Once you can roughly gauge where your wheels are, try positioning the car in the center of your lane at all times, as much as possible. Look at your side mirrors to help you. 

This practice helps with lane discipline, to avoid  “eating” into other people’s lanes.

2. Find a Driving Mentor

It helps to have someone experienced to sit beside you.

If you’re confident to drive on your own, that’s great. But if you feel like you’re not experienced enough or ready to drive alone, your best bet is to have someone to guide you.

After mentoring quite a few students ourselves, we’ve learnt that the top concerns of our students are generally expressways and parking.

Which is expected, given that driving schools don’t teach students how to navigate expressways or park at multi-storey car parks.

Also, each student has a unique set of problems of their own. Whether it’s oversteering at bends, overtaking vehicles on the road or keeping straight in their lanes, and so on.

It’s all normal problems to have, but a driver mentor would know when and where to point it out for you at the start, so that you can work towards being a safer driver on the roads.

At the end of the day, you’ll want to be a driver who can merge lanes at the expressway, navigate peak hour traffic and overtake vehicles like a pro without causing any unpleasantries.

3. Sign Up for noto’s Street Smart Programme

Which brings us to our next point.

If you’re looking to drive on actual roads after you’ve gotten your driving licence, come join for a driving refresher course at noto’s Street Smart Programme!

Our driving mentors use a systematic and structured approach to get our students up to speed. We offer both starter and intensive lessons for students to build up their confidence.

You can pick from 2 topics to all topics, covering expressways, parkings, roundabout, car maintenance and more!

We cater to those who have vehicles and those who don’t. 

Do note that you can only apply if you have a driving licence!

4. Practice Makes Perfect

You’ll need a lot of practice to overcome your weaknesses.

Of course, there are certain things that you can do to make yourself a better driver while you practice.

For example, taking a quick glance at your rear and side view mirrors every 5 seconds helps you be aware of your surroundings. Your eyes should be moving constantly, observing oncoming traffic coming from the left and right, passing, ahead and behind.

While driving on the roads, you should also look far ahead frequently to anticipate any road hazards, accidents or roadblocks.

5. Mental & Theoretical Training

Let’s just say, driving is not just physically exhausting.

Your mind has to be constantly active to make sure that you’re looking out for traffic. You can be mentally fatigued in short periods of time in high-stress situations. 

Long drives can also cause sleepiness when a person is over or under stimulated.

There are a few ways you can go about training yourself mentally, like gradually increasing driving time, practice night driving or simulating long drives on actual roads or via driving simulators.

While not a perfect substitute, these exercises can help you practice maintaining focus and endurance during extended driving sessions.

Theoretical training is also important so that you avoid breaking the traffic rules. The common causes of road accidents are usually poor decision making by road users who do not abide by them.

6. Set a Schedule to Drive Frequently

We’ve noticed that students that stick to a regular schedule tend to become familiar with driving rather quickly. They spend an average 2 to 4 hours a week, and they quickly improve in 1 to 2 months.

This all comes down to putting a proper schedule and actively practice, rather than “practice when I have the time”. The sooner you start after you’ve passed your driving test, the easier it will be for you.

This is why our Street Smart sessions are done at least once a week for about 2 hours.

Pro tip: Use car rental services and drive at least half an hour every weekday during the off-peak periods to improve quickly. As a new driver, you may look into P-plate friendly car rentals to start off.

7. Just Drive More

Driving, like any skill, is all about practice and intentional repetition.

Well, what else can we say? But seriously, just drive more.

Kickstart with your first driving refresher lesson here!

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