Don’t let getting behind the wheel stress you out this Christmas with these handy tips.
Christmas is a stressful enough time of year, braving heaving shops and making sure you’ve got everyone’s gifts in time.
For some of us, Christmas may be a time when we head abroad to get away from the chilly weather, or maybe to visit family in a different country.
Whatever the reason, getting behind the wheel can feel a little daunting, especially if you find yourself in a non-English speaking country.
Recognising driving anxiety
The first steps to dealing with driving anxiety is to recognise and accept it. Once you’ve acknowledged you feel a little on edge, you can then start to think about how best to move forward.
There are a few ways to identify driving anxiety, both in yourself and in others.
You may find that you are more tense than usual or your shoulders are lifted a little higher than normal. A few more signs are headaches, faster heart rate and a tight chest.
Keeping calm and carrying on
Whenever we’re stressed or frustrated, we can find ourselves flapping and panicking. This can hinder our driving abilities even more than usual and if you’re already finding the rules of the road a little difficult, this could increase your chance of having an accident.
Whenever you find yourself in a situation that you’re not comfortable with or if you’re unsure if you are following the rules of the road, try and keep a calm and level head.
Take deep breaths whilst behind the wheel to help you think straight and if you need to, find somewhere safe to pull over and collect your thoughts.
What to watch out for when driving abroad
When you’re in a strange country with signs different to that in the UK, it can be easy to become confused and make simple mistakes.
One of the biggest issues drivers have are speed limit signs. In the UK, our speed limit signs are in MPH, however, some countries may show the speed in KMPH. This can result in drivers becoming confused as to how fast they are actually allowed to drive.
Thirty seven per cent of drivers are pulled over due to speeding whilst abroad and this can often be chalked up to the confusion in speed limit signs.
It is also good practice to research the highway code of the country you plan to visit or at least take a look at the main rules of the roads you plan to drive on the most.
To help you with any worries or driving anxieties you may have whilst visiting another country over Christmas, Autoclick, one of the UK’s leading car hire companies, have created a handy infographic to help clear up any issues you may be worried about and make driving anxiety a little less stressful.