Experiencing and being involved in a collision is an event that we all hope we will never have to be involved in, however sometimes, unfortunately, accidents cannot be both predicted or stopped. It is expected that post collision, your mindset towards driving would have been negatively impacted. Many people suffer from a significant lack of confidence along with a feeling of anxiety when faced with the thought of getting back in the driver’s seat.
Post Collision Tips
Whether you were involved in a minor or major accident, it is likely that it would knock your confidence and this is a typical reaction. Some people will immediately get back on the road and others will put off driving for as long as they can. Each person deals with traumatic experiences differently and advice that some people may find very helpful, others would find useless. However, here are some of our top tips on how to regain back driving confidence post-collision.
Take It Slow
If you are suffering from severe anxiety due to your experience and are dreading driving again, then take the process slow at your own pace. No one can judge how ready you are apart from yourself, so do not try to rush the process even if people are trying to encourage you to drive. Don’t try to jump straight back in with a long, strenuous journey where you will be faced with many different situations such as busy traffic and motorways. Start with smaller trips in areas that you are very familiar with and slowly build yourself up. If you know the area well then, you know exactly what you expect meaning stress levels will be lowered because you will be avoiding the fear of the unexpected.
Drive With Someone You Trust
Many people recommend that the best way to recover is to drive independently, but in many cases, it is better to drive with company. Only invite someone that you know you trust and will be patient with you if you do start to panic or worry. Your passenger needs to be able to keep you calm and can be helpful rather than raise your stress levels. Having an extra driver in the car is comforting because it means that if driving does become too much, they are able to take over and step into the driver’s seat, there will be no pressure on you to drive the full journey. Another benefit of taking a passenger is that having someone to talk to will take your mind off the accident; it is the best way to stay relaxed.
A great way to regain confidence is through post-collision courses with a highly trained instructor who can empathise with your current situation. All training courses are tailored to your needs; instructors understand that everyone is different which means that even driving during training will be done at your pace. The primary focus of the lessons will be areas which you are less confident in. You will have to explain to your instructor precisely what happened during your accident which may be hard, but it means that they can make the best use of your time. A massive advantage of post-collision courses is that you will be taught valuable techniques which if followed, will reduce the risk of accidents in the future, as well as how to deal with situations if you are faced with another collision.
Talk To Others
It is a known issue that the more you hold thoughts in, the more they build up and anxiety starts to grow. It is a huge relief when you are finally able to let go of all negative thoughts, and a weight is lifted off your shoulders. The best way to avoid stress reaching an unbearable level is to talk to someone that you feel comfortable with. More people than you think would have experienced a similar situation to you and can help to advise on ways that they found helped to cope and ways to calm nerves. Talking to others gives a massive sense of reassurance as all the negative thoughts are out of your head. If you are unable to speak to a family member or a friend or feel as if you need professional help, it may be worth taking a look into whether you need counselling.
Don’t Be Harsh On Yourself
It can be easy to find yourself continually going over the experience and thinking about where things go wrong and what could have been done to change the final result. The most important thought to remember is that, although it is hard, the past cannot be changed. Focus on doing activities that you enjoy to take your mind off of things and look towards how you can avoid the same situation in the future.
Remember The Benefits Of Driving
Taking time off driving to recover from a collision is understandable and expected, but try not to wait too long before you start driving again and never make it permanent. Remember that there is a whole host of fantastic benefits that come alongside driving. You would have invested a lot of money into taking driving lessons and purchasing a car, so you want to make the most out of it. Driving gives a massive sense of independence and opens you up to so many opportunities, so if you have all of the factors to drive, don’t let an accident put you off!
For anyone who experiences a driving collision, it can massively damage their level of confidence, and it will be a tricky task to build up enough courage to drive again. The key to regaining trust is to take each step at your own pace and never rush into a situation that may cause a further knock. As soon as you start to feel anxious or stressed, take yourself away from the situation and take a couple of minutes to calm yourself down.