6 tips for anxious drivers: Grow your confidence
By Bethan Harper
Driving can be a stressful experience for anyone, especially for those who suffer from anxiety. The fear of accidents, vehicle malfunctions, or even the pressures of navigating through heavy traffic can be overwhelming. And these fears are only likely to increase when undertaking long journeys or journeys through new locations.
But, with the right strategies and understanding, even anxious drivers can gain confidence and enjoy a smoother journey.
In this article, we’ll share six helpful tips for anxious drivers that might help you navigate the roads with less anxiety, including:
- Familiarise yourself with your vehicle
- Plan your route in advance
- Avoid peak hours
- Take breaks
- Use relaxation techniques
- Consider motor breakdown insurance or scratch and dent insurance
Familiarise yourself with your vehicle
Understanding your car, its features and how it responds in different situations can significantly increase your confidence when behind the wheel.
Even if you’ve had your car for a while, you might never have thought to sit down and really assess how it works and what you might do in specific scenarios.
Further to this, you could even spend time practising in a safe area. Familiarise yourself with the controls and try to understand what your car can and cannot do.
Hopefully, after some familiarisation, some of your anxiety will be dispelled.
Also see: Is alloy wheel insurance worth it?
Plan your route in advance
When you’re taking a trip to a place you’ve never been before or you’re not sure of how to get there, consider planning out your route in advance.
With such advanced car technology, it can be tempting to rely on your GPS directions to help you arrive at a new destination. However, getting in-the-moment directions can actually be quite stressful and sometimes even confusing.
Avoid peak hours
If you already have a good idea of the route you’re due to take, combined with your GPS, your anxiety should be much reduced.
Even the most confident drivers find travelling in heavy traffic stressful. And, while it’s impossible to totally remove the risk that you’ll find traffic during your journey (particularly if you’re taking a longer trip), there are some things to consider that could reduce the chances of finding yourself in a long queue.
Everyone knows that during rush hour the number of cars on the road increases. So, if possible, try to leave before or after the peak time hits. That way, you’re more likely to have a relaxed drive.
If you’re embarking on a long journey, plan for regular breaks. Stop at service stations or even small towns you pass to stretch your legs, breathe and relax. A few short breaks could help reduce tension and refresh your focus.
And this isn’t exclusive to long journeys. If you find driving particularly stressful, you can take a break whenever you need it (providing it’s safe to do so). So, even if you’re only driving for 20 minutes, there’s nothing wrong with pulling over safely to have a 5-minute breather.
Also see: Is scratch and dent insurance worth it?
Use relaxation techniques
The way you handle driving anxiety isn’t too dissimilar to how you might handle generalised anxiety, so all the typical tips and tricks tend to apply here too.
For example, breathing exercises, calming music and positive thinking are all tricks anxious drivers can use to help reduce anxiety while driving. Find what works for you and incorporate it into your driving routine.
Consider motor breakdown insurance or scratch and dent repair insurance
Some of the typical driving anxiety triggers tend to centre around unexpected vehicle problems, motor breakdowns or even vehicle damage.
Unfortunately, you can never totally rule out the possibility you’ll run into one of these common motorist problems. But there are some things you can do to make sure your anxiety stays in check if anything should go wrong.
For example, motor breakdown insurance could provide you with peace of mind that should your vehicle break down unexpectedly, you know where to turn for reliable help. Additionally, policies like scratch and dent insurance or tyre and alloy insurance can make sure that any damage you suffer on a journey is already financially taken care of (providing you’ve paid your premiums and your policy covers the specific claim).
The bottom line
Driving doesn’t have to be a source of anxiety. With the right preparation, understanding, and protective measures, you can navigate the roads with greater confidence and peace of mind. Remember, the more you drive, the more comfortable you will become. So, take a deep breath, plan your journey, and enjoy the ride.
And, while these tips can help anxious drivers, it’s important to remember that no amount of preparation can eliminate all of the risks that driving comes with.
Insurance can’t take away the threat of potential issues, but it could be helpful in easing your anxiety around those risks and provide somewhat of a safety net. After all, knowing that you have motor breakdown insurance to assist you if your car fails, coverage for punctures to get you back on the road, or scratch and dent repair insurance to handle those minor scrapes can significantly alleviate the worry of ‘what-ifs’.