When on the road, the last thing anyone wants to imagine is being in an accident. But the sad truth is they happen every day. Luckily, most are minor and are non-fatal. Some don’t even cause injuries. But even a minor accident is enough to develop a phobia or fear of driving. This is mainly because traffic accidents leave you with psychological wounds, whether you’re physically injured or not. Besides the accident itself, some major reasons for being scared to drive after a minor accident include:
Anxiety about road conditions
Anxiety when near site of the accident
Past accidents by self or others
Try These Tips if You’re Scared to Drive After a Minor Accident
Learn defensive driving
No matter how long you’ve been driving, it’s never a bad idea to brush up on your driving skills. Defensive driving lessons restore your confidence and sense of control on the road. Many people have overcome vehophobia and gotten back on the road with defensive driving classes. If you still feel scared to drive after a minor accident, taking defensive driving training helps you regain much-needed confidence. Some of the tactics you’ll learn are not taught in standard driving lessons.
Share your experience
Some people come out of terrible accidents without a scratch. But if yours was just a minor accident, it doesn’t necessarily mean you weren’t affected mentally and emotionally. Road accidents have a physiologically impact, whether you’re a victim or just a witness. The fears that come with it can be a real torment if not handled cautiously.
Sharing your experience with close family members and friends helps erode your fears over time; it’s a great way to move towards healing. Feel free to laugh or cry about what happened…it’s perfectly okay. Letting out pent up emotions is healing. How did it happen? What did you feel about it? How do you feel about it now? Don’t keep it to yourself!
More Anxiety Tips After a Car Accident
Take a break from driving
Even if you love to drive, you may need a break from being behind the wheel to allow yourself to heal from the physical, mental, and emotional trauma of an accident. As much as it’s a hassle, a break is crucial to your healing process. After some time, start taking short drives around the neighborhood or local area before getting back to your usual routine.
Be a passenger for a while
Once involved in a car accident, however minor it is, you may feel twice as fearful to drive again. Overcoming this fear requires you to start slow. Start by asking a trusted friend to drive you on highways or around the town so you slowly get accustomed to the activity. With time, it will help you regain the much-needed confidence to get back to driving by yourself.
More Ways to Heal From a Minor Accident
If you still cannot overcome the post-trauma stress associated with the accident, consider visiting a counselor. A professional counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist can help you overcome your fears by helping you sail through any haunting emotions and anxieties that have been caused by the traumatic experience.
Join a support group
Finally, consider joining a support group for people suffering from driving phobia, either online or in your community, and share your experiences as you learn from others on how they overcame their fears. Stress management therapy and anxiety medication may sometimes be recommended.
Driving anxieties are common among people who’ve been involved in minor accidents. There may not be a fool-proof formula to overcome these fears, but the above few tips will help you through so you get back on the road confidently.