What to Do If New Drivers Are Afraid to Hit the Road?

Seven-day Driving Tips

What should novice drivers do if they are afraid to drive on the road after getting their license? Here is a seven-day driving guide to help you become an experienced driver in just one week.

Let’s start with the first day. You must stick the learner sign on your vehicle. This is especially important for female drivers as it helps other drivers notice you, keep their distance, and reduce the chance of accidents. Then, you need to quickly familiarize yourself with the various buttons and functions in the car. You should also learn how to use the lights, windshield wipers, and adjust the seat and mirrors to suit your comfort level. Find an experienced driver to take you to a less crowded road area and practice driving there for half a day. After that, you can move on to driving on a less crowded national or provincial highway for the other half of the day.

On the second day, you need to drive alone to the practice area from the previous day and go through the route again. This will help you become more familiar with the driving functions of the vehicle and reinforce your muscle memory.

On the third day, you should drive at a time when traffic is not as heavy and go to the city to drive on urban roads. This will help you improve your driving skills. Don’t forget that urban roads have many traffic lights and road markings, so make sure to remember them.

The fourth day is still about driving. You should choose a route that you are familiar with. Since it’s during rush hour, you can also experience what it’s like to drive in traffic congestion.

By the fifth day, you should have a basic grasp of driving independently. Now, it’s time to further strengthen your driving skills. So, try driving in unfamiliar environments and go farther away. After all, when driving, you will inevitably encounter unfamiliar places, so don’t be afraid. As long as you drive without breaking any traffic rules, believe in yourself and take it slow at first. The speed doesn’t matter as long as you don’t violate any rules.

On the sixth day, you can drive during the daytime without any problems. You can also try driving at night to familiarize yourself with how to use the lights properly.

On the seventh day, you have already mastered the skill of driving. At this point, you can confidently drive your own car without much difficulty in reaching your desired destinations. However, you must practice parking well, such as reverse parking and parallel parking. We should strive to be qualified drivers and abide by traffic regulations. If you have any opinions, feel free to discuss them in the comment section below!

Points to pay attention to when driving

It’s alright. Remember the following points:

  1. When driving, relax and sit naturally in the seat, not straight and stiff;
  2. Adjust the seat and rearview mirror before driving. You decide the position of the seat based on your feet, and the angle of the backrest should be like this. Relax against the seat, with both hands extended and placed on the upper edge of the steering wheel. If your wrists or palms naturally rest on the upper edge of the steering wheel, then the distance is appropriate;
  3. Use the turn signal in advance when turning;
  4. Before changing lanes, check the rearview mirror first;
  5. If you find that you took the wrong lane at an intersection, it’s better to stick with it and make a U-turn rather than changing lanes randomly;
  6. Always wear a seatbelt;
  7. Maintain a similar speed to the surrounding vehicles, neither too fast nor too slow.

Drive carefully during your internship and ignore impatient drivers who cut in. Watch out for construction trucks.

Put the “Intern” sign on.

Then just drive steadily.

Go a little slower.

Don’t pay attention to the car behind honking at you.

No matter what car it is, don’t panic when encountering a million-dollar Mercedes, BMW, Audi, or Land Rover.

As for me, I drive normally, even if the car behind me wrecks its steering wheel, it’s not my problem.

The more they honk out of impatience, the calmer I stay.

I never care whether it’s a Mercedes G-Class or an Audi A8, if you’re behind me, you wait in line like everyone else.

The reasoning is simple, if they get angry and impatient, it’s their problem.

On the other hand, if you panic and get into an accident, you bear the responsibility, they won’t compensate you.

If you encounter a car that cuts in aggressively, don’t panic, don’t force the steering.

Because forcing the steering is very likely to collide with pedestrians, electric bikes, or bicycles on the non-motorized lane on the right side.

If you encounter a car that cuts in aggressively, gently hit the brake, honk at them, and confidently continue driving your own car.

Remember one thing, aggressively cutting in is a violation, because changing lanes must not affect the normal driving of vehicles in the relevant lane.

When you no longer feel nervous about ignoring honking from behind and encountering aggressive drivers, then you have graduated from the beginner stage.

Oh, and one more thing, watch out for construction trucks and vehicles carrying mud.

Some, and I mean some, when they are not driving construction trucks, they may be ordinary people, but as soon as they drive construction trucks, they can transform into demons at any moment.

For some drivers of construction trucks, you cannot use normal thinking to deal with them. After road rage, they are capable of doing anything.

First time driving: test drive experience, car selection dilemma, hitting the road alone

You have to learn from me.

After getting my driver’s license, I didn’t drive for about 2 years.

Later, when I bought a car, I asked a friend who had a car and a girl I liked to go look at cars with me.

We went to a Ford dealership and test drove the Focus. I sat in the passenger seat, while my friend and the girl sat in the back.

The car was driven by a salesperson from the dealership who wanted to show off the good quality of the vehicle. They took sharp turns at high speed, causing the two people in the back seat to collide with each other.

After getting out of the car, I walked away with a sullen face.

In the end, I decided to choose a Cruze. The dealership was far away, about 50km, and I had to drive on the highway.

The salesperson told me that I could pick up the car.

My first thought was to ask a friend to help me drive, but then I remembered the test drive incident. It was also the first time I was driving a new car.

After much contemplation, I made up my mind and took the subway alone the next day.

I completed the necessary procedures and took photos with the car. The salesperson said they would take me to refuel. After refueling, they let me drive on my own. However, I couldn’t shift into reverse gear no matter what I did.

The salesperson glanced at me and asked if I wanted to call a friend to help. There’s a ring on the gearshift for reverse. You need to lift it up to shift into reverse.

I tried it and successfully shifted into reverse. I bid farewell and drove into the traffic.

I drove for nearly 3 hours on the 50km journey, missing several highway exits. That area near Guangyuan in Guangzhou was really difficult to navigate. There were many cars, and the roads were complex.

I was still driving a manual transmission.

I was ecstatic when I was almost home. After all, it was just driving. I managed to drive back by myself on my first attempt.

I asked the girl to come down and see the car.

But when we reached the entrance downstairs, I accidentally hit a stool, causing the license plate to bend up, and I couldn’t fix it.

Sometimes, if you don’t push yourself, you wouldn’t know how tough you can be.

Confidence Issues for Novice Drivers

If you have an auxiliary driver, let them fully assist with driving the vehicle.

If not, watch more driving videos and practice on less crowded roads.

Let me share my own experience. I belong to the “driver with a license for 6-7 years, but just bought a car” group. When I received the car, it was driven back home by a family relative. The next day, my wife (a novice driver with a one-year-old license) accidentally scraped the rear wheel arch and became too scared to drive. So, she circled the neighborhood three times before reluctantly getting onto the highway. We opened all of the collision warnings and vehicle assistance features and found that driving on the road wasn’t as terrifying as we thought. However, I still made a mistake. On the fifth day, while parking in the underground garage, I accidentally hit a pillar with the front bumper, causing the chrome trim on the grille to crack. This painful experience made me realize the importance of being honest and even getting out of the car to check while reversing or parking.

Now, I hardly ever have any scrapes or scratches. After driving long distances and taking highways within half a year, I’ve become less afraid. Let the auxiliary driver fully assist, drive with a humble attitude, and there won’t be any problems for sure. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Novice drivers rarely encounter problems on the road; most problems occur during parking or reversing.

As a side note, many people say it’s most cost-effective for novice drivers to practice with a used car. Is it because they feel less guilty about scratching a used car compared to a new car? In reality, the cost is still included in the car’s depreciation. It’s like thinking that cheap things don’t cost money when, in fact, you end up losing more.

To get back to the main point, believe in yourself. The main problem for novice drivers is lack of confidence, not lack of skills. Follow the laws and regulations, and if you’re still nervous, ask an experienced driver to accompany and guide you. It will definitely be fine!

Tips for Driving on National Highways

If you feel nervous about driving on national highways, invite an experienced driver friend to accompany you as a co-pilot. Take a trip to a place within 100 kilometers of the city and have a meal there. On national highways, there is less congestion compared to urban areas, so maintain a distance of at least 30 meters from the vehicle in front of you. Stay in the right lane and let others overtake if they want to. You don’t have to worry about them; just drive at your own pace. You’ll get used to it with more experience.

Tips for Beginners

Experienced drivers were once beginners too, so be bold and give it a try!

In fact, everyone is the same. After getting their driver’s license, they can’t wait to hit the road and experience the joy of driving. But when it comes to actually driving on the road, it’s inevitable to feel nervous, because the road is completely different from the driving school.

First of all, you need to overcome your fear and be confident.

Furthermore, drive with caution and care.

It is also best to have an experienced driver by your side to give you guidance. When encountering any situations, they can remind you promptly, correct your mistakes, and help you avoid developing bad habits.

The First Time Driving Alone after Obtaining a Driver’s License

Hire a designated driver. (Just kidding.)

I remember when I bought a car for my wife, she was hesitant to drive on her own even after getting her driver’s license. Several times, I had to push her to drive by herself, but with the condition that I must sit beside her, and we had to take major roads. If the road was narrow or crowded, she would hand the car over to me.

In order to help her overcome her fear, one night we went out for dinner together. I deliberately had a few drinks and told her that we didn’t need a designated driver, and that either I would drive back or she could drive back. She said, “Then let’s drive ourselves and you can keep an eye on me.” I said, “No problem.” The restaurant was located in a small food street in our area, next to a third-grade hospital, and the roads were narrow. As soon as I got in the car, I pretended to fall asleep. She bravely navigated through the crowd and safely brought us home. The next day, she confidently took the keys and drove herself to work.

Overcoming the Fear of Driving

Letting experienced drivers take the passenger seat and drive on county roads at speeds of 100-200 kilometers per hour can essentially help overcome the fear of driving, and it is relatively safe as well.

Passing the Psychological Barrier in Driving Training

As a novice driver, you need to pass the psychological barrier. First, find an experienced driver at home to accompany you in practice. It is best to practice in a secluded and uninhabited open space. Novices should practice slowly and perform various actions at a slow speed, such as turning left and right, making U-turns, reversing, parallel parking, etc. All of these require slow movements. In other words, you need to learn how to control the speed under your feet and become proficient in checking the three mirrors. Only when you have mastered these slow movements can you drive on the road without panic and with precision. Once you can smoothly and confidently drive through a narrow, congested road crowded with pedestrians on both sides selling vegetables, then you have graduated.