It is common for learner drivers to have anxiety, especially during those first few times behind the wheel. Any good driving instructor will know how to reduce this anxiety so that the individual can become an assured, confident and capable motorist.
Driving can be incredibly dangerous so some anxiety is actually good; however, too much fear can stop the individual from performing and make them overly cautious on the roads, which is also dangerous.
So, how can a driving instructor help a particularly nervous learner driver? There are a few different ways they can do this. Below are some tips which will help instructors guide their students to overcome their anxiety.
Build a Relationship
One of the most important attributes of a good driving instructor is the ability to forge a connection with their students, since working closely with different people is one of the main perks of the job.
You need to be friendly and supportive of all students so that they feel comfortable in your presence. This will help build confidence, and while it may take some time, having conversations and getting to know them straight off the bat is helpful. You should also ask if there is anything that you can do to help reduce their anxiety, such as allowing a friend or parent to sit in the back seat for the first lesson.
Tell Them Anxiety is Normal
It is likely that a learner driver has friends and family members who are confident and assured behind the wheel. But what they might not realise is that it takes time for this confidence to develop and most people are nervous when they first start. Be sure to tell them that anxiety is normal and that it will fade with time spent behind the wheel.
Teach Them How the Car Works
It can feel strange and overwhelming the first time you drive because cars are complex machines. It is worth spending the time explaining to the learner exactly how a vehicle works and what all the different controls are before getting started. When you have knowledge of how something functions, it becomes less foreign to you, which is helpful for reducing stress.
It might seem obvious, but you need to start off small and avoid anything which makes the learner overly anxious. Every student will have a different learning curve and a good instructor will be able to determine what each student is ready for and what they’re not.
Confidence is built when a person knows that they are doing the right thing; therefore, positive feedback while driving is essential. Additionally, do not shy away from telling the learner what needs improving, but be sure to do this in a friendly and supportive manner, assuring them that you will work together to build their abilities and confidence.
Learning to drive can cause a great deal of anxiety for many people, and as the instructor, you will want to do all that you can to help an individual to calm down. These tips should help you to be the best instructor that you can while enabling your students to feel more confident behind the wheel.