One of the scariest experiences you can go through is a car accident. And when you’re the driver, it could mean your confidence takes a major knock, which can then affect your ability to get back behind the wheel.
But there are a few things you can do to help yourself take up driving again.
Here are our top tips for helping you get into the driver’s seat again after an accident.
Talk about it
One of the worst things you can do is to keep your feelings bottled up. After a car accident, you might need someone to talk to about what you’ve been through – especially if it was a serious accident.
Don’t feel like you shouldn’t burden your loved ones with your troubles. Your friends and family will want to know what you’re going through. But talking to a professional could help you overcome your fears. This will be particularly helpful if you suffered with a form of PTSD after your accident.
When you’re first trying to get back into the routine of driving, the best thing to do is to start small. You don’t have to take long journeys when you’re just trying to regain your confidence. So think about just taking a – relatively slow – ride around the block or in a large, empty parking lot when you’re just getting back into the swing of things.
Once you’ve done it a couple of times, you might feel confident enough to venture out a little further. And each time you go out, you might end up a bit further from home.
Go with someone
When you’re getting back in the car, you might want to take another driver with you. You could let them start off, with you taking over when you feel comfortable. Just watch the traffic and judge when the right time to swap seats is.
The main advantage of having them with you, though, is to have them take over if you feel like you can’t do it any longer. So if you start to feel a little concerned that you’re not quite up to getting home, your partner can take the wheel.
Choose your times
When you’re just starting to drive again after a few weeks or months off, you’ll want to think carefully about what time you might want to head out on the road. Consider when the roads are likely to be clearer, so avoiding the school run and rush hour is the best idea.
You might also want to make sure you’re on the roads during daylight hours. You might start worrying more as the sun sets, so give yourself plenty of time to get back home while it’s still light.
Don’t give up
You’re bound to feel quite emotional when you get back in the car after an accident. If your concerns about driving don’t fade after the first few attempts, don’t feel discouraged. And don’t give up!
You could just need a little more support. So lean on your friends and family and don’t be afraid to ask for their help. It may just take a little longer to get you back to your best, but if you keep at it, you’ll get there.