This post is about How to Feel Confident Driving Again After an Accident. A car accident can be a life-altering experience. One in ten crash victims who describe their collision as traumatic develop PTSD, which prolongers their physical and psychological recovery. With that in mind, it makes sense why getting back behind the wheel is difficult.
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Were You at Fault for the Accident? You May Need an SR-22
Before you start driving again, you need to make sure your insurance is up-to-date and legally compliant. Drivers who commit certain driving-related violations, such as driving while uninsured or under the influence, may be required to purchase an SR-22 certificate with their insurance.
While you can find the cheapest SR-22 insurance provider by using comparison sites, an SR-22 isn’t actually a type of insurance. Instead, an SR-22 is a form filed with the state that proves your insurance policy meets the minimum liability coverage covered by local and federal laws.
How to Start Driving Again After a Car Accident
If anxiety, depression, or other mental health symptoms are preventing you from driving, know that it’s possible to regain your confidence slowly as a driver by taking the following steps.
Step 1: Focus on Your Physical Health First
Whether the accident caused a severe injury or a slight bruise, it’s essential to slow down and pay attention to your health. Implement a few healthy habits such as eating well, drinking water, and doing light exercise (if you’re able) because they’ll help you feel more positive and confident.
If your doctor suggests avoiding physical activity or driving until your injuries heal, listen to them! Use public transit, bike, or walk to your destination if you’re well enough to continue working.
Step 2: Start as a Passenger and Build From There
Acclimate yourself to the road gradually by asking a friend or family member to drive you around town. This gets you used to the vehicle again without the pressure of driving. When you feel ready, ask to switch places. Keep a passenger in the car in case you can’t drive back home.
When you’re able to drive solo, start in a quiet neighborhood or suburb. Then, move to a low-traffic area, like a city neighborhood, before approaching busy streets, like major highways.
Step 3: Purchase a Safer Vehicle and Pay Attention
There are plenty of accidents that can’t be prevented, but if you were distracted or driving under the influence, commit to making safer choices. Never drive while intoxicated, and don’t take your eyes off the road or your hand off the steering wheel, even if you’re at an intersection.
If you’re in the market for a new car, consider purchasing a Top Safety Pick vehicle winner. SUVs are typically the safest vehicle type, especially if they’re made by Honda, Ford, or Acura.
Step 4: Speak to a Mental Health Professional
It takes time to recover from a traumatic incident, but if you’re unable to drive after a year, you may want to speak to a mental health professional. Even if you’ve made significant progress, a counselor can help improve your recovery rate via talk therapy, medication, or VR techniques.
If you don’t have access to a therapist, contact your state and local health department. They can set you up with free or low-cost mental health treatment in person or through an online portal.
Step 5: Get Help From a Driving Instructor
Some driving instructors are licensed to help drivers overcome their anxieties when behind the wheel, and they’re typically able to gauge if you’re ready to drive solo. They’ll assess your current driving skills and confidence before creating a specialized course for your needs.
Driving instructors can also teach you defensive driving skills. Defensive driving techniques will improve your ability to anticipate potentially dangerous situations and avoid serious collisions.
I hope my post about How to Feel Confident Driving Again After an Accident has helped you or someone you love in some way. If you have anything to add, please leave me a comment below! Thank you!