Picture courtesy of Andy Karmy, via Flickr Creative Commons.
Your first driving lesson can bring about a wide range of emotions, including excitement, anxiousness, and nervousness. While this is completely normal and expected, there are a few things that you can do to make your first driving lesson a positive experience.
Take a look at these first driving lesson tips before you get behind the wheel for the first time. Once you feel prepared, you’ll be able to focus more and get the most out of your lesson. You’ll be driving on your own in no time.
How to Calm Nerves Before Your Driving Lesson
Once you schedule your first driving lesson, the excitement you’ve been feeling might be replaced by nervousness. Don’t spend the time leading up to your lesson stressing out. Keep these basic relaxation techniques in mind as the big day gets closer and be sure to have some downtime scheduled before the lesson so that you can get your body and mind in a happy state before getting behind the wheel.
Remind Yourself You’re Not Alone
First driving lesson nerves are normal and actually expected. What you’re doing is new and exciting. Being a bit nervous shows that you understand the responsibility required to drive a vehicle safely.
Practice Breathing Techniques
If you’re nervous about driving lessons, sometimes all it takes is a little breathing to put yourself in a better state of mind. There are quite a few different breathing exercises to choose from. Spend some time practicing a few to see which works best for you. Practice your breathing in the days before your first driving lesson and right before the lesson begins.
Talk It Out
It might help to have a conversation with someone who has their driving licence so that you can learn from their experience. They might have a specific way that they calmed their nerves that you can really relate with or other first driving lesson tips that completely take away your nerves.
How to Prepare for Your First Driving Lesson
When you are fully prepared for your first driving lesson, there will be less surprises and hiccups along the way to bring those nerves back. Here are the basics that you should cover in the time before your first driving lesson.
Get Your Provisional Licence
Remember that you can’t get behind the wheel legally until you have your provisional licence. Your instructor will be checking that you have it so this is an absolute must before your first driving lesson.
Plan Your Outfit
This might sound a bit silly but you want to make sure that you are completely comfortable for your driving lesson. This includes making sure that your shirt and trousers are form fitting but not too tight. You also want to make sure that your shoes are comfortable. Ladies should avoid high heels when first learning how to drive.
If you have access to a car, spend some time sitting in it just to get a feel for being behind the wheel. This will help you to feel a bit more comfortable when you are in control of a vehicle for the first time.
Write Down Questions
Your instructor is not only there to physically show you how to drive. They will also answer any questions that you might have. They want you to succeed in all areas of your driving test, including the written test portion. If you have questions, now is the time to ask and your instructor certainly won’t mind. They might have some great first driving lesson tips as well.
What Happens On Your First Driving Lesson
While each instructor has their own way of teaching you the basics, they all follow a similar protocol when it comes to the first driving lesson. Here’s what you can expect when it’s finally time to start learning the rules of the road.
Being Picked Up
Your driving instructor will pick you up at either your home or work. Make sure that you double check the time so that there are no conflicts.
You won’t start driving right away. Instead, your instructor will drive you both to a more secluded location, like a car park or side street, where you can get better acquainted with the car before driving with heavy traffic.
Introduction to the Cockpit
At this point, you’ll most likely switch seats with your instructor and they’ll go over all the switches, buttons, levers and knobs that make up the cockpit of the car. If you haven’t sat in a car before, this could be a bit overwhelming at first but rest assured that once you’re actually driving, everything becomes much easier to remember.
On the Road
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! Based on your previous driving experiences, your instructor will have you start on a side road or maybe head out to a main motorway. Don’t worry, they will only work at a pace that you’re comfortable with. Enjoy the experience, don’t be afraid to ask questions and do your best to retain as much information as possible.
What to Do After the Lesson
Congratulations! You made it through your first lesson. But you’re not off the hook yet. There’s still plenty of things you need to do to make sure you get your driving licence.
Get Some Feedback
Ask your instructor for some feedback. Ask what you did well with and where you need some improvement.
Book Your Next Lesson
If you’re happy with your instructor, ask about booking several more lessons at this time. You can often receive a discount if you book several lessons at a time. It is recommended to have two or three lessons a week so that you don’t forget too much in between lessons. If your schedule doesn’t allow this, stick to having a lesson once a week.
Don’t Give Up
You won’t learn overnight but if you keep up with your lessons, keep these first driving lesson tips in mind and push yourself a bit, you’ll have your driving licence in no time.