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Tips for Building Confidence on the Road

More often than not, people accuse drivers of being too confident on the road. But there are some drivers out there who aren’t confident enough. Lack of confidence on the road can endanger yourself and others. So if you’re unsure of yourself behind the wheel, here are some tips to help you drive with more confidence.

#1 Use back roads

If you’re struggling with confidence when driving, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just start small and work your way up. Start in an empty parking lot, progress to back roads, then to main roads, and then tackle the highway when you’re ready. Drive less busy routes until you’re comfortable enough to consistently go the speed limit and make the harder turns without wondering, “Am I doing this right?”

#2 Practice, practice, practice

Knowing the rules of the road is one thing, putting them into action is another. Are there certain aspects of driving that you find intimidating? Practice them. You could also practice things that many people find tricky, like merging. Just remember to do so in a stress-free environment like an empty parking lot (see #1) to take away the added pressure of other motorists.

Also, practice focusing only on what is necessary to drive where you are. While it’s important to pay attention so that you don’t miss an exit or something like that, try not to take in everything you see like billboards and such. Simply focus on getting where you’re going safely.

#3 Slow your breathing

Sometimes, when we lose confidence in ourselves and our abilities, we begin breathing too quickly. Breathing too fast can lead to hyperventilation and make you feel sick. So slow down. Breathe in slowly through your nose and then out slowly out through your mouth. Remind yourself that YOU control what the vehicle does. Your car will do what you give it permission to do.

If you’re struggling with lack of confidence when driving, the best thing to do is to practice over and over again in a comfortable environment until you feel more confident. Of course, if you are fearful of driving or are having panic attacks when driving, talk to a therapist to help you get over that fear.

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