After being involved in a car accident, it is perfectly normal to feel anxious about driving again. This is true whether you were a victim in the collision or the one that caused it. For those that experience driving anxiety, just sitting in the driver’s seat of a car can cause many unpleasant symptoms from sweating and an elevated heartbeat to panic attacks. These symptoms can disrupt your life in a big, especially if you have to drive to work. Thankfully, it is possible to overcome this anxiety. With that in mind, here are seven ways to regain your confidence.
1. Start As A Passenger
Often the most stressful aspect of driving is the fact that you’re in control of such a powerful vehicle. Not only are you responsible for your own life, but for those of your fellow passengers and anyone else that might be on the road too. Getting straight behind the driver’s seat, therefore, probably isn’t the best idea. Instead, start by letting a trusted friend take you for a drive around town. This will help you get used to being in a vehicle again without any pressure.
2. Talk About The Accident
As with most of life’s stressful situations, it’s always better to talk about your fear and anxiety than bottle it up. If you were the victim in the accident, then you’ve probably already spoken about it with an auto accident attorney, as well as the police. However, a lot of what you talked about would have been the events of the accident. It’s just as important that you speak about the effect it had on you. Holding onto these feelings will only make them worse, so open up to a loved one.
3. Wait Until You’re Ready
Getting back behind the wheel too early will only make your anxiety worse. Because of this, you should wait until you’re sure you feel comfortable enough to do so. Once you are, you should start will a short journey, preferably on a route that you used to drive regularly. Make sure that you choose a time of day that’s likely to be quiet, as this will reduce the pressure on you. The longer you wait to drive again, the harder it will be, so start to ease yourself in as soon as you can.
4. Drive By The Site
Although it won’t be easy to see it, you can’t avoid the site of your crash forever. In fact, you shouldn’t do so at all. Changing the routes you drive so that you don’t have to pass that one place will only feed the anxiety. If ever you were to pass there by accident, all of the anxiety that you’d worked so hard to overcome would all come flooding back. When you feel like you can’t keep driving by the site like normal, you should consider speaking about it to a professional.
5. Take A Driving Course
Even if you’ve been driving for years, taking an additional driving course can be incredibly beneficial, especially after an accident. Most cities offer defensive driving classes, which you could take to learn new skills for on the road. These classes can give you back a sense of control, which is necessary when regaining your confidence. You’ll learn how to avoid any more accidents in the future, as well as the knowledge you need to minimize many other risks.
6. Get A Safer Vehicle
A serious accident can cause a lot of damage, which means that you might be in the market for a new car. Opting for a safer vehicle can instill a lot of confidence. For this reason, you should research crash survivability statistics and safety ratings before you go out and buy one. If you don’t need a new car, there are still things that you can do to make yours safer. You could check with the manufacturer of the vehicle, for example, to make sure that there aren’t any recalls.
7. Be Patient With Yourself
Being involved in a car accident can change your entire life. While most people are able to overcome this trauma and regain confidence in their ability to drive, it won’t happen overnight. Mastering anxiety is a process that every person has to do differently. You can’t push yourself, or you could make the anxiety worse. Instead, be patient during the healing process and let yourself recover at a pace that you feel comfortable with.
Regaining confidence after a car accident isn’t easy, but the advice above should be able to help.