Regardless of how highly rated your car’s safety features are, you could find yourself involved in a car accident at any time.
And when it does happen, your priority will usually be on recovering from whatever injury you sustained and getting your car repaired. You might not think about getting back behind the wheel straight away.
But this could prove to be a challenge when you’re eventually ready to climb into the driver’s seat again.
After an accident
When thinking about injuries caused by car accidents, we all tend to focus on the physical ones. The psychological ones usually get pushed into the background, so we often don’t even realise we’re suffering from them.
That is, until we want to start driving again and find that we can’t quite turn the key in the ignition. It’s something plenty of us have gone through. Experiencing some anxiety or nervousness before driving for the first time after an accident is to be completely expected. But you may find that you’re feeling more intense negative emotions.
How will you be feeling?
A car accident – especially when it wasn’t your fault – can really shake your confidence. It could leave you feeling angry, afraid, humiliated or helpless. You might find that you’re suffering flashbacks to the accident or nightmares that mean you won’t be sleeping particularly well.
Without the right help, you might find that these feelings and experiences continue and, often, even get worse. So what can you do about the way you’re feeling to stop it interfering with your day-to-day life?
See your doctor
Visiting your doctor is a good way to start your psychological recovery. They can help you figure out what you need to get yourself back to your best. If that’s a referral to a mental health specialist or therapist, it could be the best thing for you.
It’s also important to be completely honest with them, even if it’s uncomfortable. If you’ve been drinking more than usual or you’re struggling to leave the house, make sure they know. You’ll only be able to get the best help if you’re upfront about what you’re dealing with.
Lean on your family
When you’re struggling with a psychological problem, you’ll need all the support you can get. And this is probably going to be by your family. You’ll definitely want to make sure you’re letting them help you through this tough time.
They may not know exactly what you’re going through, but they love you and want the best for you. Let them know how you’re feeling and what they can do to help. When you’re ready to get back to driving, you might want to get someone to join you in the car for moral support.
Take small trips
When you can get yourself back in the car, you might want to take it easy at first. It might not be the best idea to head out on the highway and go for miles. Start out by taking a little trip around the block. A few short journeys can help build your confidence and help you get used to driving after taking some time off.