Coping With Stress When Driving | Learn to drive: Nerves & Anxiety

[Music] many people feel nervous or anxious about driving and this can become a distraction that prevents them concentrating fully it can even lead to a driver avoiding certain situations or even driving altogether this video will take a look at why a driver might feel nervous suggest general strategies that can reduce stress and finally offer advice that may help a driver cope in challenging situations [Music] there are many reasons that a driver could feel nervous about driving and lose their confidence these could include feeling inexperienced after recently passing the driving test putting pressure on themselves to be a perfect driver a recent accident stress from other situations in their life criticism from other people a long break from driving or the effects of aging or other physical conditions if you recognize any of these reasons then there may be a coping strategy to help you regain your confidence and start enjoying driving again feeling nervous or anxious about driving will have a negative effect on your driving ability and may make you more likely to make mistakes worrying about what might happen is a distraction and this can reduce your focus on actually driving the car when we get anxious our bodies start to perspire more and our breathing rates and muscle tension increase in addition our brain will struggle to process information about hazards and this will lead to mistakes or slower reactions then if the driver makes a driving error it can increase their levels of anxiety even further making it even more difficult to concentrate on their driving this vicious circle could eventually lead to stopping driving altogether so we recommend taking the time to analyze the situation we should understand that challenges are a normal part of everyday life and it is how we manage each challenge that matters use challenges as an opportunity for growth and development and devise a strategy to help handle situations that have caused problems in the past the following strategies could help you control your stress levels whilst driving driving on roads that we are familiar with is much easier as we can plan ahead further making it far less likely to get stuck in the wrong lane or surprised by a tight Bend when you need to drive on new roads use a Sat Nav as it makes the job of navigation far easier and will even replan a route automatically if a wrong turn is taken allowing plenty of time for a journey makes everything easier there will be no need to rush and even if there is a delay of some kind it won't really matter as you can take a detour or even stop for a break driving in heavy traffic is stressful for the driver and the constant stopping and starting wastes fuel driving is much more enjoyable when the roads are clear so try to plan your journeys for when the roads are quiet always drive at a safe speed driving too fast forces the driver to think faster as they will approach hazards more quickly which will make it easier to make a mistake however don't drive unnecessarily slowly as it could annoy following traffic and encourage them to overtake which may not always be safe switch your phone off and keep it out of sight as they are a dangerous distraction when driving this will ensure there is no temptation to look at it when you hear the sound of a message or call driving when distracted by any worries or concerns can affect your concentration so if you need to find a safe place to stop take a moment to compose your thoughts and only continue driving when you feel safe to do so it is important to identify what particular situations make you most anxious so an effective coping strategy can be developed here we will look at five common scenarios that could challenge a driver and then suggest ways to cope we hope they will help you make the necessary changes from your normal approach and reduce your stress level it can be difficult to emerge from a busy Junction and sometimes a driver can worry that they are holding up the vehicles behind them the challenge is to stay calm and make safe decisions even when feeling under pressure your strategy could include remember that it isn't your fault that the junction is busy it might take a little while to find a gap don't be distracted by the vehicles behind just focus on the approaching traffic only you can decide when it is safe to go don't get intimidated into taking risks if your view is obstructed edge forward to improve it someone may even let you out there will always eventually be a safe gap in the traffic just relax and be patient driving at night can feel completely different to daytime it is more difficult to spot hazards oncoming headlights k'en'dl and it's easier to get lost the challenge is to remain as safe as possible and complete the journey without feeling anxious strategy ideas include check that your car's lights are all clean and working properly use the road markings and cat's eyes to help see the road ahead driver to speed that gives you plenty of time to spot hazards use the lights of vehicles ahead to warn of approaching bends if you're dazzled slow down until your vision returns to normal driving in poor weather such as heavy rain or snow can be difficult you have less visibility your car has less grip to the road and it's hard to judge how fast to drive the challenge is to correctly assess the risks present and drive at an appropriate speed for the conditions we would suggest use dipped headlamps so that other drivers can see you drive slower than normal as this will give you more time to react to any hazards allow a much larger following distance to the vehicle in front corner at a lower speed and steer very smoothly brake early and gently to reduce the chance of skidding parking in a busy High Street needs precise car control in addition it's hard to judge the size of the spaces and there might be people waiting for you to finish parking so it's easy to rush and make a mistake the challenge is to carry out a safe parking maneuver with the minimum of stress and anxiety our top tips are allow plenty of time to find a good parking space don't worry about holding up others focus on the maneuver look all around the car for danger when reversing drive really slowly to give more control and time to think remember that everyone makes mistakes sometimes [Music] driving on long journeys can be filled with unpredictability such as new roads to drive on the possibility of getting lost and even the need to find rest or fuel stops the challenge is to plan as much of the journey as possible to keep unknown worries to a minimum you will need to consider planning the route beforehand and print the journey details give your car a quick check over making sure the tires and fluids are correct is a good idea make sure your mobile phone is fully charged just in case it's needed use the sat-nav on the journey knowing how far away the next road is really helps check the traffic news for problems on the road ahead if the situation that you feel most anxious about when driving hasn't been covered here then you can follow the same process have a really good think about what causes your stress and work out your own strategies to cope with it having a plan to follow when you are being challenged really helps if you feel that there is a problem that you can't sort out yourself why not book a refresher lesson with a local driving instructor they will be happy to help you improve your skills [Music] so remember to use our general strategies to help with your everyday driving analyze your most challenging driving scenarios develop your own coping strategies to help manage the situation and when you're under pressure focus on making safe decisions [Music] if you found this video interesting then please click our logo to subscribe to our channel and click the bell to be notified of our next video if you would like to help support this channel then please click the patreon link to find out about our crowdfunding campaign thanks for watching