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Is Fear of Driving a Normal Reaction After an Accident?

Wilson & McQueen Dec. 8, 2021

After a car accident in Kentucky, you may face a long road to recovery. Managing physical injuries, property damage settlements and emotional trauma may leave you feeling uncertain about the future.

When you do reach a point in your recovery where you can safely drive again, the trauma of your accident may hold you back. Knowing how to circumvent irrational fears, acknowledge your emotions and regain the courage to drive can help you in your quest to rebuild your confidence.

Show Yourself Grace

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that feeling scared to drive after an accident is normal. Enduring a traumatic event can disrupt feelings of security which may impact your willingness to participate in certain activities that could trigger unwanted feelings. Acknowledging the validity of your thoughts and showing yourself grace can help you not feel so uncomfortable for experiencing fear.

Regaining the confidence to drive may require patience and slow, measured progress. The Anxiety & Depression Association of America suggests increasing your self-care to improve your mental health while you recover from trauma. Recording your experiences and sharing them with others may help you to process your feelings in a healthy way. You can talk about your experience with a therapist. Various rehabilitative therapies may enlighten you to methods of managing triggers and overcoming irrational fear.

Make a Plan

Setting goals can help you visualize your progress. You will most likely start small. For example, you may have a goal to sit in the driver’s seat for 20 minutes even if you do not actually drive. Practice driving in areas with minimal traffic. Large, open parking lots or slower-paced residential roads are a great place to start. You may also consider taking someone with you to provide moral support. Community resources, such as a driver improvement course, may also provide education and encouragement as you work your way back to driving.

Involvement in a motor vehicle accident does not have to end your driving days. Overcoming the fear of driving will require determination, but with the right support, you can take control of your emotions.