It’s natural to be somewhat nervous as a new driver. Unfortunately, some find it difficult to drive confidently in city centre environments indefinitely.
If you find yourself struggling to get to grips with city centre driving, you’re far from alone. In fact, research suggests that a surprising proportion of drivers (new and experienced) actively avoid city centre driving where possible.
The good news being that there are various options available for making things that little bit easier and less daunting. With this in mind, here’s a brief overview of a few tips and guidelines on keeping calm and safe when driving in a busy city centre:
1. Consider additional lessons
First and foremost, it’s worth considering a course of refresher driving lessons to boost your confidence. Specifically, city centre driving lessons from an established driving school could help you build the confidence you need to take on the city streets without apprehension. However experienced as a driver you may be, refresher driving lessons or specialist driving lessons are always worth considering.
2. The right attitude
It’s also worth remembering that your own attitude and approach to driving will have a significant impact on the whole experience. For example, if you’re in a rush and feeling nervous or anxious before you set off, you’re far more likely to succumb to panic when things get chaotic. By contrast, take your time and keep yourself relaxed for a more tolerable driving experience.
3. Know your route
Struggling to find your destination (or even your way) when driving through a busy city can be stressful at the best of times. This is where the importance of forward planning comes in, along with a reliable satellite navigation system. Instead of making things up as you go along, plot your route ahead of time and get a good idea of where you’re going and how to get there.
4. Focus on your surroundings
Driving safely in a city centre is about more than just focusing on the road ahead. At all times, you need to be aware of what’s happening around you on a 360-degree range. It can therefore be useful to eliminate as many distractions as possible, including the music you’re listening to at the time. Particularly if you usually listen to loud, heavy, fast or aggressive music, it’s probably best left out of the equation when driving in a city centre.
5. Avoid peak travel times
For obvious reasons, it pays to avoid the busiest times on the roads when driving in congested urban centres. Try to time your journeys to avoid the morning and evening rush hours, even if it means arriving at your intended destination earlier or later than you’d like.
6. Don’t be afraid to stop
Last but not least, it’s important to keep reminding yourself at all times that if things get too much, you can stop and take a break. Just as long as you choose a safe place to do so; stopping and getting out of the car just for a couple of minutes really can make all the difference.