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How to Stay Calm When Driving for the First Time

A start/stop button that reads 1st lesson that illustrates the action of driving for the first time

For people riding as a passenger, it’s easy to be a “back-seat driver.” But when the time comes for them to drive and obtain auto insurance, their perspective changes. Regardless of age, learning to drive is downright scary for a lot of people. But it doesn’t have to be. With the provided information, learn how to stay calm when driving for the first time and master the art of driving while ensuring you have adequate and affordable auto insurance coverage.

Feeling Anxious and Scared

Both of these emotions are good to have. When driving for the first time, it’s reasonable to have these feelings. If not, you probably shouldn’t drive. The key is to use anxiousness and fear to your advantage. What you don’t want is to allow these emotions to control you to the point that you make serious mistakes. Instead, rely on them to stay alert and attentive to your surroundings.

If you struggle more than most, you might talk to your doctor about driving anxiety medication. This won’t make you feel sleepy but more relaxed.


If you haven’t yet passed the driving test, meaning you only have a permit, you need to follow the laws. For instance, who can be in a car with a permit driver? While driving with only a permit, you must have a fully licensed adult over the age of 21 with you whenever you’re behind the wheel.

In response to the question of who can be in a car with a permit driver, remember, this isn’t the time to have friends or even family members tag along. That would create too much distraction.

Tips on How to Overcome the Fear of Driving

two female friends high five on a car one is a first time driver

The following are some things to consider when learning to drive. Whether tooling around on country roads or driving on the highway for the first time, they’ll help.

  • Practice, Practice, Practice – Initially, have a trusted adult driver take you to an isolated place where you can practice. A good spot is an open parking lot before or after business hours. You can practice driving forward, parking, braking, reversing, and maneuvering around stationary objects. The more time you spend practicing, the more confident you’ll become. If you have the chance, you’ll benefit greatly from taking a driver’s education course.
  • Avoid Distractions – Beyond people, many other distractions could cause a problem when driving for the first time. Avoid eating or drinking (non-alcoholic and especially alcoholic beverages), having pets in the car, and even listening to the radio. That way, you can focus better.
  • Choose Practice Time Carefully – When driving on the highway for the first time, do so during the slowest times of the day. Also, drive while there’s still light outside. Just because the speed limit is 70 doesn’t mean you have to go that fast, at least at first. It’s even important to choose the highway itself since some are easier to handle when driving for the first time than others.
  • Stay Prepared – Whether driving with a permit or driver’s license, you must carry proof at all times. Also, make sure you have proper insurance coverage with proof either in the vehicle or on your phone. Being prepared will eliminate a lot of unnecessary stress.

In a Nutshell

Driving for the first time is unnerving for everyone. Regardless of the road, take your time, pay attention, and eliminate distractions. Once you pass the test for your license, you’ll have the opportunity to start driving alone. With that comes a new set of challenges. However, you can apply these same tips to overcome them.

Don’t ever feel too confident. Driving isn’t something you should ever become complacent about. Practice as much as you can and listen to experienced drivers. If you feel overly nervous, discuss taking driving anxiety medication with your physician. In time, sliding behind the wheel will feel completely comfortable.

Make sure you have the protection and peace of mind you need with a Freeway Insurance policy. Our agents are ready to serve you over the phone or you can start your free car insurance quote online.

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