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Car tips & advice | 02.06.2014 - 19:39

Accident Aftermath - Tips for Getting Behind the Wheel Again After a Wreck

Overcoming your fear after a car accident starts with small, manageable steps to gently get you back into the swing of driving

It's quite common to develop a phobia for traveling by car after you've been involved in a serious accident. You've seen how quickly things can go from good to bad, and you're convinced that it's too risky to travel by car anymore. While traveling by automobile can have its fair share of risks, so can many other aspects of life. Overcoming your fear after a car accident starts with small, manageable steps to gently get you back into the swing of driving. The following are a few tips which anyone who has been involved in a recent accident can employ to ease back into the driver’s seat.


Don't Immediately Begin Driving


When many people take the first step towards overcoming their fear of driving, they make the mistake of trying to build up enough courage to immediately begin driving without much—if any—preparation. The key to overcoming your phobia of driving is to do it step by step. Reintroduce yourself to driving by simply sitting in the driver's seat and remembering what it feels like to be in control. Sit in your driveway or garage and simply allow being in the driver's seat to become comfortable again.


Use an Empty Parking Lot to Your Advantage


If you can, travel to a nearby parking lot to practice getting re-acquainted with driving. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can opt to walk to the parking lot while a friend or relative drives the vehicle over. If you're comfortable with riding as a passenger while someone else drives, you can use this method to travel to the parking lot as well. Once you get there, take your time and drive around the empty space. Take things slow, and if it becomes too much, there's nothing wrong with stopping the vehicle and taking a short break to calm yourself.


Start with Low-Traffic Streets


If you become comfortable with driving in the parking lot, move on to back streets or any roads not regularly frequented. Opt for streets with low speed limits so that you aren't dealing with any fast-paced or hectic situations. Try to work your way up to streets with regular traffic once you feel comfortable on empty roads.


Manage Your Anxiety


You will likely become overwhelmed at some point when attempting to overcome your phobia. This is to be expected and planned for so as not to compromise your efforts. A representative from a Fredericton personal injury firm says these feelings of anxiety and apprehension about driving are very common in accident victims, especially those who suffered an injury.  To cope with these anxious feelings, when you feel like quitting or are on the verge of panic, attempt to maintain your breathing by taking steady and deep breaths. Stay calm and, if things get out of control, simply pull over to a safe spot until the anxiety subsides. If it is safe to exit the vehicle, take a short walk to clear your head.


Meet With a Professional


If you can, consider seeking professional help to assist you in overcoming your fear. Therapists can be wonderful resources in dark times, when your own efforts simply aren't enough. If you can, try to seek a therapist with a specialty in phobias.


Informational Credit to Cantini Law Group

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