Auto accidents happen all the time…that’s the reality, but it doesn’t help to comfort the fears and anxieties you might be feeling after having caused a horrible accident. Whether the other party was injured or not, realizing that you put yourself, and others, in the line of danger can be very overwhelming to deal with.
Not to mention the mounting stress of dealing with insurance companies, lawyers, and the aftermath of a bad accident, it’s enough to drive a sane person insane. It can often be an eye opener for anyone, and if you’re not careful, it can hinder your ability to drive again.
Be that as it may, life still goes on, and it is important for you to face your fears head on. As scary as getting back on the road may seem, it’s likely something you have to do, and therefore, something you must overcome. But how? How do you get over the feeling, get the images of the accident out of your head, and trust yourself enough to drive once again?
Well I can tell you it won’t be an easy accomplishment, but if you order your steps and try each day, eventually you’ll overcome your anxieties and be able to get back on the road. Below are some suggestions on how to get there:
Finish Handling the Aftermath of the Accident
You can never truly get past your anxieties if there are still events tied to it that you have to deal with. It will be important for you to make sure that you’ve handled all of your obligations so that you can put this behind you. This might mean any of the following:
· Filing an insurance claim
· Paying your deductible
· Attending court dates
· Obtaining an affordable SR22 insurance policy (in the event that the judge requires you to carry this form of insurance as a result of your at fault accident status)
· Paying court costs and obligations
· Taking time to mentally and physically heal
Understand Certain Realities
Once you have tied up all the loose ends to your accident, you are then ready to begin healing from your anxieties. Understanding reality for what it is can sometimes cancel out your fears and allow you to move on with your life. You must sit back and ask yourself a few questions to determine what your realities are. Here are a few you might consider:
· If I don’t drive, how will I get to and from the locations I need to be?
· If I opt to use other forms of transportation, how much will that cost?
· If I opt to have someone else drive me around, how much of my freedom is minimized (i.e. you have to be dropped off and picked up at the leisure of other people)?
· If I don’t drive, how many things in life will I simply miss out on?
Debunk Your Fears
Now you’ve taken a real look at reality. You have a clear understanding of how you’re unwillingness to drive will affect your lifestyle and your finances. Next step is to debunk whatever your fears might be. Cancelling out your fears can help to minimize the pressures you might feel as you get behind the wheel of a car. When trying to debunk your fears and change your way of thinking you must first ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?” Are you fearful that you’ll cause another accident? Are you afraid that another accident would be even more deadly than the one you just caused? Are you afraid that you could possibly hurt someone who’s in the car with you at the time?
Once you know what your fears are, you must then debunk or cancel them out by applying realities. Here’s an example:
I am afraid that I will get in another accident – It is a very real possibility that you could get into another accident. However, that possibility was there before you caused this accident and you still chose to drive. Another reality to add would be the lesson you learned from the first accident. Let’s say you were texting instead of paying attention to the road. You now know that you should not allow your phone to distract you while driving and therefore should not make that same mistake again.
Take it One Step At a Time
“Mind over matter” is a very true phrase when discussing driving phobias or anxieties. Most of what you fear is in your mind, and if you’ve taken the time to tie up all the loose ends, understand the realities of not driving and how it will impact your life, and debunking your fears with actual reality, then you’re ready to try your hand at driving again. However, because the mind is a very powerful thing, it may be best to take it one day at a time. Maybe at first you want to stay within your city limits and not get on a highway, then as time progresses you decide to take a quick highway ride, and eventually you get back to driving full time. Go at your own pace, but the important part is that you actually drive as the only way to overcome a fear is to face it head on.
I hope that I have been able to help you in some way to overcome your driving phobias and anxieties. Being in an accident is certainly a traumatic experience that no one wants to encounter, but unfortunately, it happens daily. The best thing you can do for yourself is to continue to build your self confidence, and motivate yourself to press past the fears. With time, you will eventually come to drive again being more aware than you were in days prior.