Learning to drive can be extremely difficult and sometimes stressful. We know exactly how it feels.
We are here to help. We will go over the reasons that learning to drive is so difficult and the best tips to help you relax and make driving more simple.
It’s not easy, but following these steps will really help with the process of learning to drive.
The reason learning to drive is so hard
Let’s take a look at those who have passed their test and have a lot of experience on the roads.
How do they make it look so simple?
The reason seasoned drivers make driving look so simple is because most of the work is done subconsciously. This means they don’t need to think so much about what they are doing while on the roads.
The more hours you put in to driving, the less you will have to think about the little details such as the clutch and gears.
When you start to learn driving or any other skill, you are in the cognitive phase. This means you must be fully aware of everything you are doing.
After fully understanding the process, your brain moves into the association phase. Here your brain is building the association in between neutral circuits through repetition.
This is why the saying “practice makes perfect” came about.
After enough repetition, your brain will slowly need less and less conscious awareness to complete the task.
How can I use this to my advantage?
Because your brain works like this, driving will become easier over time. But we must make sure to practice in a way which allows us to learn each skill properly. Practising the correct way allows us to move the skill from our conscious mind, into our subconscious. We will go over this later.
Just because you are finding the driving difficult just now, doesn’t mean it will always be so tough. Once you move the skills into your subconscious, driving becomes much easier.
There are so many things to think about when driving. Over time you will start to become experienced in each of the skills.
Experience is the most important thing when it comes to driving. We recommend that everyone is patient when learning to drive. And get out on the roads as much as possible, whether it is with your own car or through a hired car.
How can I make learning to drive easier?
There are many necessary skills when driving which include;
- using mirrors
- reading road signs
- keeping to the speed limit
- clutch control
- hill starts
- road awareness
When you look at driving as an accumulation of all of these skills, you can start to see why it can be so difficult.
One extremely useful tip is to isolate each skill group when practising.
The first step to this method of practice: find the most basic skill that you struggle with. The most basic skills are the ones you use most often; gears, clutch and steering.
Know your weakest skill. Instructors will have a good idea about what you need to work on.
What we want to do with this skill is isolate it during practice…
How do I use skill isolation when learning to drive?
Skill isolation works very well with most crafts. Driving is no different.
To use this method of practice you must put yourself in a situation where you only utilise the particular skill you are working on. Sometimes may not be possible to fully isolate a skill but we do as best we can.
Let’s imagine we are uncomfortable with the clutch when driving on the roads.
We want to practice this skill because it is very important when driving and is used constantly.
When we are driving on the roads, we have so much to think about; road signs, other cars, stop-starting, the list goes on.
What we want to do is isolate the skill of using the clutch.
We need to take out all of the other worries and anything else that will take up a lot of conscious brain power.
If we are isolating the clutch then this means finding an empty road with no cars or signs to worry about. Concentrate fully on how you are using the clutch.
Using this method of practice will allow you to learn the isolated skill much quicker.
You want to keep practising like this until you feel confident carrying out the skill with little thought.
This may take hours, days or even weeks. But you will notice a massive improvement on the skill you are working on.
Why should I use the isolated skill technique?
Isolating skills when learning to drive is very important. As we stated earlier, there are so many different skills involved when driving.
By isolating a skill, it puts all of your attention on learning that one thing.
The benefit of learning this way is that you can focus on the most important skills first.
When it comes to driving, you want to be comfortable with the skills which are used most. This would be; clutch control, breaking, steering and changing gears.
Once you feel comfortable with the skill you are working on you can move on to another.
After you are comfortable with the main skills it will make it much easier to be out on the roads. Because you wont have to think about the most used skills, you can focus more on the roads and traffic.
Other tips to make learning to drive easier
Another main problem for learner drivers is that they get very anxious when driving. This makes learning a little more difficult.
Being worried about driving will clog up your mind, meaning you cannot focus as much on the important skills.
One of the best ways to relieve this stress is to remember that everyone started as a learner. Everyone else on the road has made mistakes. If you are worried about errors, this thought will help you keep a little more calm.
If you would like more advice on calming your nerves as a learner driver you can read our article.
If you are still struggling then you should speak to your driving instructor.
Your instructor will always give you great advice. If there is a part of your driving that you find difficult then ask your instructor for help.
They may not know that you are struggling with a certain aspect. They can give you great advice on how to improve.
Some areas where a lot of people struggle is with manoeuvres. There are plenty of videos on YouTube which give great tips.
I have tried everything but I still find driving extremely difficult
If you have tried everything we have suggested with no result then don’t worry about it.
Not everyone can learn to drive as quick as everyone else. If you take longer to learn this is completely okay.
Remember that it will take a lot of practice. Make sure you accept this and are okay with it.
Once you take away the pressure of passing quickly, you can relax and take things as slow as you need to.
This may involve asking your instructor to take things a little slower.
If there is anything else that you are having trouble with then please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try our best to help you out.