A car accident can change your life. In addition to injuries and financial impact, the accident can have long-lasting emotional effects.
It is common for people who have experienced a car accident to develop driving anxiety or even vehophobia, a specific phobia about driving. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome this fear.
Start driving again as soon as possible
Unless an injury prevents it, you should resume driving as soon as you can. Avoiding driving can reinforce your anxiety and make it even harder to start again. Avoid pushing yourself too hard, however. Stick to short, familiar drives in good weather until you feel more confident behind the wheel.
Practice safe driving habits
Safe driving is always important, but it is especially important when you are recovering from an accident. Avoid distractions, wear your seatbelt and follow the rules of the road. Knowing that you are doing all you can to stay safe may ease your anxiety.
Travel with a friend
If possible, ask a friend or family member to ride with you as you ease back into driving. Not only can your passenger provide encouragement and emotional support, but he or she can take over if you experience a panic attack or become overwhelmed.
Work with a therapist
If you have severe vehophobia, it might not be effective or safe to try to work through it on your own. Even if your case is mild, you might benefit from the help of a therapist. If another driver was responsible for your accident, you may be able to collect damages to cover emotional distress and the cost of therapy.
Driving after a car accident can be stressful, but with professional help and coping techniques, you can get back to your normal activities.