Tips and tricks for driving alone for the first time
After spending several weeks learning to drive with a driving instructor, you have finally passed the driving license exam and you are ready to hit the road independently. This first step is arguably the most intimidating. Do not panic. Follow our advice to drive alone without stress.
Accept your inexperience
Apprehension before driving alone for the first time is completely natural and normal. Dozens of questions can even clash in your brain: What if I get honked? What if I break down? What if I miss my slot? What if it rains? Take a step back: you won’t get it right the first time, so what? You are a young driver and the “A” that you have placed on the trunk of your car indicates this to other road users. The vast majority of them will be lenient. Tell yourself that you are able to overcome all these situations calmly, if you rationalize.
Trust yourself: You have undergone a complete training, you know your rules of the road and you have passed your license, which means that you are perfectly able to drive. Driving license is not given to everyone. If you got it, it means that the examiner deemed you capable of driving safely. What if you believed in yourself? It is not because you are no longer supervised by a driving professional that you will necessarily have an accident or miss your slot.
Practice and practice again
Confidence comes by practicing. If you wait months before getting behind the wheel, or if you drive occasionally, you will need more time to have the automations adapted to the different situations and to gain self-confidence. Drive as often as possible to lose this legitimate apprehension. If you are driving alone for the first time, do not embark on a journey of several hours, mixing motorway, national road and city. Take short trips that you already know to familiarize yourself with being alone and reassure yourself at the same time. You see that you are capable of it! Once you feel comfortable, lengthen the distances gradually.
To help you take the stress out of the prospect of driving alone for the first time, plan your trip. View your route. If you already know it, you will know how to react appropriately in moments that require certain mastery. Anticipation is the key to a stress-free ride.
If you have chosen to drive several tens of kilometers, or even hundreds of kilometers for your first time alone behind the wheel, consider taking breaks. Driving requires a certain concentration and self-control. The first trips can even be trying if you are not comfortable. If this is your case, no need to force it. Stop for a few minutes to regain your strength. Change the route, if the one you are taking does not suit you.