Driving can be stressful, and even more so for those with a disability. If you’re wondering how to stay calm while driving, there are many things that can help. Driving need not be scary as long as you do the right preparation beforehand.

Most people find that they become less nervous with age and experience, but for others, driving is always quite nerve-wracking. Below is a compilation of advice for nervous drivers to help you feel more at ease behind the wheel. Read on for some top tips to help disabled drivers stay calm.

1. Research your route well

The better you know your route, the more prepared you’ll be, and the more relaxed you’ll feel. When planning your journey, ensure you take into account potentially difficult areas so you’re aware of them in advance and reduce your stress levels. Preparation is key, and a well-thought-through trip always goes a lot more smoothly than one that throws you in the deep end.

person behind the wheel of car
Image by Jannis Lucas on Unsplash: Is it normal to be scared of driving? Yes – but you don’t have to be with these top tips.

2. Ensure you’re well rested

Before undertaking long or difficult drives, get some good rest to make sure you’re fully prepared for your trip. Never start driving when you’re feeling stressed; instead, calm and center yourself before getting into your car in a way that suits you (perhaps taking some deep breaths, meditating etc.). Ensuring you start your journey with a clear and focused mind is much safer and will greatly reduce driving anxiety.

3. Don’t drive late at night

If you’re a nervous driver, you may find that you’re even more anxious behind the wheel at nighttime. Often when driving at night you may also be very tired, which makes it even more difficult to concentrate. Avoid driving late at night if at all possible. If you’re on a longer journey, make sure you take frequent breaks to avoid fatigue and to give yourself a chance to relax before the next leg of the trip.

4. Give yourself adequate time to reach your destination

If you need to be somewhere at a specific time, do yourself a favor and don’t leave at the last minute. You may find it beneficial to give yourself some extra time to arrive so you don’t feel rushed. It’s a lot easier to get nervous and stressed when in a hurry, so avoid this by managing your time well and allocating it generously.

person with hand out the window while driving happy
Image by tekhnika at Pixabay: What helps a nervous driver?

5. Ensure your car is fully kitted out for your needs

You may need to have certain modifications made to your car to make it more comfortable for you. Even some small changes, such as installing extra mirrors, can make driving much less nerve-wracking for disabled drivers. If you’ve recently had new modifications done, make sure you’re fully versed in how these work prior to undertaking a longer drive, so you don’t have to get used to them while on the road and concentrating on your route.

6. Consider taking supplementary driving lessons

Many schools offer driving lessons for those who have recently modified their cars and wish to become more comfortable with these adaptations. You may benefit from a few lessons to increase your confidence on the road, and to decrease your stress levels behind the wheel. Refresher classes are a great way to become more comfortable with driving, so don’t hesitate to contact your local driving school for more information on these.

We hope these tips help you to stay more relaxed behind the wheel. While driving requires concentration and it is important to be focused, it should not be something that causes you to be overly nervous. Having a disability does not have to limit your driving capabilities; there are many modifications available to ensure your vehicle is optimized for your needs. Ensure you’re well-rested and prepared for your journey, and consider taking refresher classes with your local driving school if you feel these would help to give you a confidence boost. With a bit of extra care and consideration, you’ll be well on your way to being a calm and content driver.

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