Getting into a car accident can be scary and frustrating. It can be devastating if you experienced a hit and run accident, but it can be equally scary if you sustained injuries and have to see a doctor.
Minor accidents can be frustrating too. Whether you were sideswiped in a parking lot or you got into a fender bender, getting back into your car can be a challenge.
Don’t let your freedom suffer because you’re unable to get back behind the wheel! You can drive your car safely after an accident when you follow these tips.
Have the Car Thoroughly Inspected and Repaired
Even if your accident was relatively minor, don’t make the mistake of driving your car on the road without getting it thoroughly inspected and repaired.
First, it’s important to get your car inspected because you can turn in your estimate to your car insurance. Depending on the extent of your damage, who was at fault, and the details of your policy, your insurance may cover the cost of most of your repairs.
Even if your insurance isn’t willing to make the repairs, you should still get an inspection anyway. You may discover that no major repairs need to be made, which will provide you with peace of mind the next time you pull out onto the road. If you do need a major repair, you can keep yourself safe by not driving your vehicle until the repair is made.
Consider Replacing the Car
In some cases, you may not have a choice when it comes to replacing your car. If it was severely damaged or totaled, it won’t be worth fixing. However, even if you were in a minor accident and your car is still drivable, you may want to consider replacing it anyway.
Getting back into the same vehicle you were in when you experienced an accident can be hard. If you don’t trust your vehicle after your accident, or if you simply feel nervous every time you get back in your car, consider selling it so you can use that money to buy a new one.
Talk About How You Feel After the Accident
Not all injuries are physical if you get into an accident. A car accident can take its toll on your mental health as well.
It isn’t uncommon for those who are involved in a car accident to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. Some may develop phobias of driving or post traumatic stress disorder. You can increase your chances of avoiding these mental illnesses if you talk about how you feel after an accident.
Talk with friends, family, and your therapist about:
- Your memories of the accident
- How it affects your feelings about driving
- Why you feel like you’re to blame
- Your medical and mental health worries
By talking through these feelings and getting help, you’ll find it much easier to get behind the wheel of your car and drive with confidence.
Get Behind the Wheel With a Trusted Passenger in the Car
The fear of driving is surprisingly common, especially if you have been in an accident, but getting back behind the wheel can be a little easier if you take someone along for a ride.
If you need to start small, go for a short drive with a friend to the gas station. Ask a family member to go with you as you drive to the grocery store, or ask a coworker if they would be willing to carpool to work for a while.
If you’re really nervous about getting back into your car, you may want to take a defensive driving class where a knowledgeable instructor can help you build your driving skills and your confidence.
Don’t Avoid the Crash Site
Although you may never want to go back to the scene of your accident ever again, it’s an important step towards feeling confident behind the wheel. The longer you avoid it, the more unsure of yourself you’ll become.
Exposure therapy can help you overcome negative feelings about your accident. Revisit the site on foot with a trusted friend or family member. Once you feel comfortable doing that, revisit the site in your car until it no longer scares you.
It’s important to feel safe and confident when you get back into your car after an accident. From making important repairs to talking about how you feel with someone you trust, you can leave your accident behind and drive your car with confidence.