Getting behind the wheel of a car for the very first time, when you are in a completely new country can be a very stressful experience. That being said, it really doesn’t have to be. If you want to make sure that you are as safe as possible when driving abroad then this guide will help you to drive more confidently in no time at all.
Get Used to the Car
The first thing that you have to do is take a bit of time to get used to the car that you intend to drive. Before you set off on your journey, take a minute to get used to being sat at the wrong side and even changing gears. Now may be the time for you to spend some time driving around a nice quiet car park so you can familiarize yourself with the car and you can practice using some of the auxiliary controls on your car too. This could include the indicators, the wipers and even the headlights.
Hire an Automatic Car
Automatic cars are ideal if you are a nervous driver. They are impossible to stall, and you don’t have to worry about the clutch or even changing gear. You can easily sit back and relax, knowing that all you have to do is focus on the road. Not only this, but you can give yourself the chance to rest your left leg. If you have not had the chance to drive an automatic car yet, then it is possible for you to hire one for a couple of days in your own home country. Believe it or not, taking a test drive is the best way for you to get used to the various transmissions you have, and you can also adjust much faster when you do arrive at your destination.
Know the Side of the Road
It is imperative that you know what side of the road you have to be at. If you can, take note of essential equipment or even documents that you may need to carry with you as well. If you need to take a car seat with you then make sure that you do everything you can to understand the laws for this, so you can make the best decisions possible when you are on the road.
It is very natural for you to feel somewhat anxious when you are driving on a foreign motorway or highway. That being said, everything will come to you in time. You just need to ensure that you drive at your own pace and that you feel nice and relaxed whenever you are behind the wheel. One extra thing you can do is take the time to drive in the slow lane until you feel 100% ready to drive in one of the faster lanes. If you are somewhat nervous about driving on the road, then make sure that you leave a big gap between all of the traffic on the road before you choose to change lanes. Remember to never drive when you are tired either. Fatigued driving is a major cause of most road accidents.
Don’t Be Put off
Depending on where it is you intend to visit, you may find that the driving style of the locals is much more aggressive than what you may be used to at home. If you can, try not to let other drivers bother you and also do not be tempted to respond to any gestures by them either. If you do feel somewhat flustered, then take a breath and move into the slow lane. You can also choose to pull over entirely if you know that it is safe for you to do so. Just make sure that you are focused as much as possible.
Don’t be Too AmbitiousIf you can, you have to make sure that you do not plan a drive that is too long when you are behind the wheel. Drive for short distances so you can build up to taking much longer road trips. You may also want to try and avoid driving when the roads are really busy or even city driving in general. When you drive in areas like this, you may find that you have to concentrate far more and if you are a novice driver, then this can be very overwhelming very quickly, so be mindful of this if you can. It’ll help you to be more comfortable all-round and you may find that you are able to enjoy your trip more as a result.