3 Steps to Getting Back on The Road After an Accident

When you’ve been in an accident, it’s often hard to get back behind the wheel. The memories of what happened, or what almost happened, tend to haunt us for a while after – and to some, this means reaching out for a bit of help. While a close friend, for example, a family member or even a therapist may make the process a whole lot easier, it is also helpful to understand the steps to recovery.


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Here is a simple guide on how to get behind the steering wheel a bit faster and regain your confidence on the road, one turn at a time.


#1 Talk about the accident

The first and most obvious step is to reach out to someone and talk about it. Not just the fact that you experienced an accident, but also everything you did right during the incident. By keeping a positive attitude and focusing on the fact that you survived, it’s a bit easier to chase the anxious thought away – or at least keep them at bay.

Remember that, while talking about trauma is always helpful, it may be counterproductive if you or the person you talk to only focus on the dangers of driving. Try to think about what you did immediately after; did you manage to keep your head cool, call for assistance, and collect the details your car accident lawyer needed? Maybe you even helped someone who was affected by the accident?

The stories we tell ourselves will determine how much control you’re giving those anxious thoughts. Express them, talk about it, but try not to feed them.

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#2 Visit the scene of the accident

Even if the accident was minor, it’s very common to hesitate with driving immediately after. When you feel like getting behind the wheel is pushing yourself a bit too much, make an effort to visit the place where the accident occurred nonetheless.

Go with a friend, have someone drive you, it doesn’t matter; by returning to the scene, you’ll be able to get a clearer picture of what happened – and those anxious thoughts may stop.

Our memory is less dependable than we might think, and few of us are able to remember exactly what happened. It means that your mind allowed to roam freely, making up stories, and exaggerating the details, which again gives you less control over your thoughts.


#3 Have a short drive as soon as possible

It’s always better to go with a friend the first time you get back on the road, in case you need a break at some point. The first trip you make doesn’t have to be long, even a quick trip to the grocery shop may be enough to get you on track again. If the scene of the accident is close to where you live, you might as well pay it a visit and talk about it afterwards to refresh your memory a bit.

We are, unfortunately, less in control on the road than we like to believe. Other vehicles may be reckless, the roads may be slippery, and you can’t always predict the other driver’s behavior.

Give yourself the time you need to recover, and remember not to push yourself until you’re ready – when you start driving again, it will be for many years to come in anyway.

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