Driving Around A Learning Curve: Getting Behind The Wheel After An Accident

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It is unfortunate to say that car accidents are all too common. There is always someone who has complete disregard for other drivers on the road. They will only too quickly cut someone up and cause absolute havoc on the road for a split second. We’ve all been there, and we’ve all had our close calls one too many times. But what about those that have had that unfortunate near fatal accident, and it completely shakes their confidence in driving? There are people who have never been able to get behind a wheel again after such a bad accident. But there are ways to slowly get back into the driver’s seat. We shall have a look at some methods to help get behind the wheel once more.

Be A Passenger

After an accident that is so traumatic you wouldn’t want to even think about getting in the driver’s seat anytime soon. But one way around it would be to sit in the passenger seat, or in the back of the car. You can do this while the driver is making a short trip to the shops or down the road. Making short trips to local areas is a good foundation to building up your resilience, because the speed limits will be slow. It would help to make the journey at a time of day where the amount of traffic is low. That way, you can gradually shift the journey time closer towards a more busy period. If all of this is too much to begin with, the best start would be to just sit in the car and get a feel for it. The trick is to make baby steps back, not to attempt the whole hog in one go. Whenever you don’t feel comfortable with something, take a step back and reassess the situation. When you are ready to move on, only then you should do so.

Make Short Trips

After spending some time getting used to being a passenger, if you are ready, then the next step would be to get behind the wheel. Like above, there is no need to jump straight in and drive for hours up and down a busy motorway. Make sure you start small. Even if you get in the driver’s seat and start to get a feel for the pedals again, it is a step in the right direction. Do it bit by bit, and when you feel ready, turn the engine on and put it in gear. By this point you will have done a very difficult thing, so remember that. Driving around your local streets is the best place to begin, as you will know the roads well and how the traffic flows. If you live in a built up area and it is too stressful, find a time in the middle of the night. That way, it is more peaceful and the stress will be off you.

After making that first successful trip, start to build up your journey. If you spent 5 minutes driving on your first go, aim for 6 minutes on the next one. That way, the more you do it and the further out you drive, the confidence you had will return. Then the process of driving will start to become an automatic one again. Wherever you live, you will have roads that are viewed as challenging. If you use these roads as the ultimate goal, you can structure your trips around that. And when you feel ready, you can conquer that road.

Practice Some Self-Help Approaches

Driving is a stressful activity for lots of people, even those who have never had an accident. It feels like it’s a mentally draining activity which requires lots of focus. So, using certain self-help techniques can help you to focus, decrease stress and reduce your nerves. That way you can focus on the task of driving instead of focusing on your anxiety. A few approaches can consist of the following:

Meditation. A time-proven method to gaining a sense of calm. Spending 10 minutes in the morning and night can aid you in many ways, from your focus and confidence, to feeling more relaxed behind the wheel.

Hypnotherapy. Do you feel that your confidence is a factor in struggling to get behind the wheel? If so there are many hypnosis tapes on sale and online to help you.

Positive self talk. It has been proven that your brain does not know the difference between reality and imagination. So tricking your brain into believing that you are a brilliant driver and confident can be achieved over time. This is done by using self talk and affirmations. This method is very popular with athletes and business types as it can help them visualise their end goals.

Deep breathing. If you aren’t into re-aligning your chakras and all that, just try some deep breathing. Filling your lungs with oxygen will help your body calm itself. Doing this for a few minutes before getting in the car will aid relaxation.

If it becomes apparent over time that these methods are not helping, you may want to take it one step further and seek the advice of a professional. Counselling has many benefits for those that have suffered a major traumatic experience. It can give you approaches to dealing with anxious situations, and offer therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This is one method of helping people regain perspective on how they perceive themselves, and is very beneficial for those that have negative thoughts. It may also help, that if you seek the advice of a medical professional, they may recommend specific medication. Anti anxiety medication like beta blockers may be of assistance in that, and can help you to get back to driving quicker.

Re-educate Yourself On Driving

Sometimes looking over the rules of the road or having a refresher lesson can give you a better idea of what to expect when you’re out there driving. Having a lesson with a professional next to you can help give you some confidence and they can tell you if you are doing it well or not. Having a couple of lessons with a reassuring presence next to you can be enough to instill that confidence in your abilities once again. Sometimes the word of a professional who knows enough about accidents and how to avoid them may be able to alleviate your fears about driving and give you that closure once and for all.

If you feel that you have to gain closure from an incident after a crash, you may feel that you will want to either make a claim or take legal action. If that is the case, the best approach would be to find out if you have a valid claim to make. Looking online, or looking at specialist webpages, such as Do I Have A Road Accident Claim should give you the information that you require.

Keep Your Perspective

When it comes to driving, it is important to realise that we are all learning. Those that feel they know all there is to know about the road are ones which you need to watch out for, as they may be ones that are driving recklessly. Keeping your perspective on your driving and being aware of your surroundings while on the road will make you a better driver. It’s when we take our eye off the road for a split second is where accidents can happen. So, be focused, and above all, always be learning. After an accident, it’s not just the victim that needs to be learning, it’s the person that caused it too.  

 

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