Is It Time? Starting To Drive Again After A Long Break

Posted by at 3 August 2019, at 09 : 47 AM

Is It Time? Starting To Drive Again After A Long Break

There are numerous reasons we take a break from driving. Perhaps we had an accident, and it’s put us off driving somewhat. Or perhaps we learned how to drive, and then had to give up due to a lack of finances. Getting back in the driving seat after a long time can be intimidating, to say the least. Not just because it’s a big step, but the concerns that the road has changed while you have been away are very real as there are more cars on the road than ever. And wherever you go in the world, it seems that everybody has their own opinion of what constitutes as “great” driving. People are a law unto themselves now. But that’s not to say you should avoid the roads completely. Starting to drive again after a long break is a long road, but it is one you should take slowly…


You have got to feel as comfortable as possible in the driving seat. This means that you could feel overwhelmed by going around numerous car dealers, listening to their spiel about the latest models. So instead, you could go to a used car dealer, and get something in your budget. Because car salespeople are all about the hard sell, it can be so easy to go along with this and end up with something that really isn’t you. Take your time. Finding the right car isn’t something that happens overnight. Think about the reasons why you have difficulty driving in the first place. Maybe it was because you struggle with the mechanics. In which case, perhaps an automatic, instead of a manual or stick shift will take that pressure off. Finding the right vehicle that’s within your budget is important, but remember, you’ve got to balance it out, because if you choose something that’s cheap, are you going to pay more in repairs? Take your time, test drive as much as possible, and sit in the vehicle. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small car, or a station wagon, the fact is, it should feel right for you.


This all goes back to the reason why you gave up driving in the first place. If it was a financial issue, getting a cheaper car will go some way to remedy this. But also, you’ve got to think about the fact that cars these days are built to run economically. While an electric car or a hybrid is more upfront, you will save a lot of money on fuel. On the other hand, if you have a deep-rooted issue with driving because of a near miss, or something similar, you’ve got to remember that it’s all about baby steps. It would be so easy for someone, like a partner, to pressure you to get behind the wheel because you are the only person that has a license. If you have gone so far without getting behind the wheel, surely a couple of months won’t make that much of a difference? Getting a refresher course is always beneficial, especially if you feel that you have forgotten a lot. But, as the saying goes, it’s like riding a bike. A lot of it comes flooding back to you. But if you feel you have specific issues, either with regards to maneuvers, or little rules of the road that are few and far between, there are so many resources online.


If you are determined to get back onto the road, but there are financial issues getting in the way, getting insured on someone else’s car can give you those little baby steps. It can be reassuring to have someone in the vehicle next to you. But the big difficulty with this is if you have someone who’s been driving for so long that it’s second nature to them. They can either be too laid-back, or too precious. It all depends on what you are like. But if you want to get it right, getting insured on someone else’s vehicle can give you that opportunity to drive around now and again, just to get a feel for the vehicle. There is no point in pushing yourself to the point of stress. Driving is, for many of us, a very automatic process, where we get from A to B without an issue.

It can be so easy for us to think of the worst-case scenario, especially in the fact that vehicles are, in essence, killer metal boxes. This is going to do nothing for your confidence. It could be better for you to sit in the passenger seat for a while, and get used to the idea of driving while watching the person behind the wheel doing their thing. It could very well be that they just talk incessantly, and not necessarily think about what they’re doing, but this is because they’ve been doing it for so long. You’re at the point where you have to focus on the task, and think about where your hands are and the rules of the road; it’s not automatic within your mind yet.


As time goes on, and the more you spend behind the wheel, the more confident you will get. And if you struggle to increase your confidence gradually, it’s all about breaking it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. So let’s provide you with some essentials to ensure that you do get back on the road successfully:

Stick To Roads That You Know

It all depends on where you live, because if you feel that you need to drive in your local area just to get a feel for the vehicle, you know how much traffic there is, and if there are more pedestrians around. By sticking to roads that you know inside out, you already have a certain amount of knowledge in relation to this. It’s also that sense of comfort. On the other hand, if you feel that you need to go to the quieter, more rural areas, so you can practice on your maneuvers, this is fine. The important thing is for you to feel like you’ve accomplished something at the end of each journey.

Think About The Time Of Day

Rush hour is the worst time of day to increase your confidence behind the wheel. You may feel that this is an ideal opportunity to get your skills fine-tuned, but people are so eager to get home, they will do pretty much whatever it takes to satisfy their own needs. If you are looking to increase your confidence behind the wheel, rather than going during rush hour, find quieter times of day for certain roads. It all depends on what you want to practice. Maneuvers can be done in quiet places, but if you want to practice merging into freeway or motorway traffic, it’s about finding that sweet spot between rush hours.

Driving at night is one of those things that some new drivers can feel intimidated by, but by slowly increasing your confidence in different scenarios, it will become second nature after a while. The mechanics of driving become second nature, and that is when you can start to drive more dynamically. Everybody will attest that rush hour is a very stressful time of day, and these are people that have been driving for 30 years. So do yourself a favor, and don’t overwhelm yourself by diving right in. Because if you have a near miss, or even worse, an accident, this will set you back.

Think About Minimizing Anxiety

Because it’s been a long time coming, there can be a lot of pressure to get it right. A lot of people stress about driving at the best of times. Others find it doesn’t come naturally. And if you are someone who needs to get behind the wheel, but doesn’t necessarily want to, this is a lot of pressure to put yourself under. Driving anxiety is one of those things that get in the way of you doing a good job behind the wheel. You can overthink every little thing, and this gets in the way of being confident. If you’ve ever met someone who learned to drive later on in life, they will tell you that they hesitated more, especially in comparison to those learning to drive as teenagers. Stress is something that gets in the way of a journey. And this is why you need to make your car as calming as possible. Think about the things that calm you down, and in fact, there are driving hypnotherapy courses out there. You will have put a lot of pressure on yourself leading up to this moment. This is why driving is a skill that is better learned over time. And at the same time, if you find that you had a near miss, you shouldn’t let it stop you. Unfortunately, there are plenty of idiots on the road. But this is something that should spur you on. Because if you are anxious about getting behind the wheel, and you want to get it perfect, there are so many people out there that don’t put in half as much thought as you do.

If it is time for you to start again, you’ve got to take it slow. Driving is one of those things that can open you up and free you in so many different ways, but you need to make sure you get it right first.

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