There will always be those individuals who for one reason or another seem to take to driving like ducks to water and pass their tests practically without even thinking about it. For others however, the process takes infinitely longer and no matter how much hard work and effort goes into the process, that shiny new license seems to elude them.
So what’s the problem? Poorly chosen Oxford driving instructor? The wrong car for the job? A simple lack of driving skills? Generally speaking the answer is none of the above, but could in fact be nothing more than a case of being held back by nerves alone.
There are two primary problems when it comes to over-nervousness when learning to drive and the first of these is the effect it can have on your progress. When you’re scared of something and find yourself loaded with anxiety, it’s largely impossible to give the job in question your full attention and focus. The reason being that nerves and anxiety naturally lead to something of a “no way I can do this” attitude and you can end up persuading yourself you’ll never get it right. In the worst cases, you’ll end up proving yourself right time and time again.
The second issue with this kind of nervousness is that there’s sadly no ‘magic switch’ you can flip to get rid of the nerves and gain control of the situation. Worse still, the more you beat yourself for not being able to fight your nerves, the worse you’ll feel as a result and the cycle perpetuates itself. It’s natural to have some level of anxiety when learning to drive, but for certain learners the whole process can seem nothing short of terrifying.
Give it Time
Above all else, the primary tip offered by driving schools across the country is that of making sure you give yourself ample time to get your nerves under control. If, for example, you expect to drive with supreme confidence by your third lesson, you could well be in for a shock. Some feel great after one lesson, others don’t find their feet until their fifth and then there are those than need at least a dozen before the shakes come to an end – there’s no set rule to go by.
Something else to be aware of is that just as is the case with all things in life, compatibility matters. In this instance what’s important is ensuring that you end up with an instructor, you’re compatible with and one that’s totally on your side when it comes to nerves. You’ll no doubt have heard scare stories about strict, loud and downright mean instructors who live for little other reason than to be nasty – they do exist though in mercifully small numbers. As such, it’s in your best interests to choose wisely and never to be afraid to walk away and find a new instructor if you’re not happy with yours.
Practice More Often
Something else that can help get those nerves in check is to limit the space between each lesson you take. The reason being that the longer the gap between your lessons, the more time you’ll have to sit around and dwell on how frightened you are. One lesson every two weeks, therefore, may not be the best idea if you’re likely to spend 13 of these days thinking up an excuse to get out of the lesson – three lessons per week on the other hand could suit your needs much better.
Request Quiet Routes
If you’re still in the kind of stage where your nerves go to pieces the moment you see any other traffic on the road, there’s no shame in asking your instructor to take you to quieter areas until you feel at least a little more confident. What you must remember is that you are the customer, you are paying for the service and therefore to a certain extent at least it is you that gets to decide what happens.
Don’t Set Unrealistic Goals
Last but not least, talk to any sample group of drivers and they’ll tell you that there is indeed something of an average when it comes to how many driving lessons you can expect to take before being ready for your test. Ask a professional however and they will tell you that this is pure garbage – every single driver’s needs are different and therefore no targets can be set prior to establishing their rate of progression. As such, it’s never a good idea to say to yourself “I must pass within 20 lessons” or really set any such goals of the sort as you cannot measure your own progress by the standards of others.