It can be a daunting experience being involved in a car accident.
Car accidents can be costly and painful; you may suffer physical injuries – from the relatively minor, such as mild whiplash, to the serious or long-term, such as a traumatic brain or spinal injury – and you may also have psychological ‘injuries', such as post traumatic stress syndrome and depression.
On top of this, you may be fearful of getting back on the road and driving. You may become overly-sensitive to the sights and sounds or the road, particularly anything that is sudden, unexpected or hazardous, and driving may become a painful reminder of the car accident you have experienced.
If this sounds familiar, you may find it helpful to begin your reintroduction to motoring gently, by simply being a passenger. Get used to sitting in a car and being driven before you think about getting back behind the wheel. If you can, travel with someone who you know to be a careful and responsible driver.
Counselling or therapy may be an option, as talking to someone or seeking professional help may help you work through the event and come to terms with its consequences. All of the following types of therapy may offer some benefit to a driver experiencing anxiety following a car accident:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping)
Finally, when you do get back on the road, start with short trips close to your home so that you do not feel daunted or stranded. You can take longer trips after a while, when you feel ready for it. This should enable you to become gradually become more confident about driving.
Vehophobia – Fear of driving
The word “vehophobia” is derived from the Latin word for drive, ‘veho’ and the Greek word for fear, ‘phóbos’. Vehophobia is slightly different from amaxophobia, the fear of being in a vehicle, and hodophobia, which is term used for the fear of traveling.
In a way it is not always helpful to categorise people who are experiencing post-accident fear in this way. This is because it is natural and normal to be fearful of something that has caused you harm and/or alarm. This is why it is probably more useful to think of any post-crash anxiety about driving you may be experiencing as a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Improve Your Driving Confidence
For many a defensive driving course may be the best way to regain confidence following a car accident. By improving your driving skills you can feel assured that you have the best possible chance of responding positively to any hazardous situation you might face while on the road.
There are other benefits too: being back behind the wheel, but on your terms and in a situation in which you are working towards a positive outcome, can help reduce any anxiety you might feel.
Compensation for a car accident with Thompsons
If you or anyone in your family has suffered injuries in car accident, please do not hesitate to contact Thompsons specialist personal injury solicitors on 0800 0891331. We will help you take your first steps to receiving the compensation that you deserve. Our service is available on a no win, no fee basis.
To find out more about the claims process following a car accident, please click here.