top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Overcoming the Fear of Driving After a Car Crash: Tips and Coping Strategies

Car accidents happen thousands of times every day in the US- many of which involve serious crashes and injuries. Regardless of how severe an accident is, it can have a lasting impact on a person's confidence and state of mind.

A traumatic car accident can leave people with extreme anxiety and fear of driving. It can be a long road to get back to the same comfort level as before a crash, but consulting with car accident attorneys in Nashville TN and some important steps and strategies could help.

Here are some tips to help overcome fear and anxiety over driving after a car accident.

Is It Normal to Feel Scared and Anxious about Getting Back Behind the Wheel?

Is It Normal to Feel Scared and Anxious about Getting Back Behind the Wheel?

It is important to know how normal it is to have a substantial fear of driving after being involved in a car crash. Physical injuries are only part of it- mental health also suffers when something like that happens.

Victims of car accidents regularly report anxiety disorders, difficulty focusing, panic attacks, and other debilitating emotional reactions following an accident. Anyone experiencing something similar should understand that they are not alone and how they feel is very natural.

Car Accidents and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a condition that kicks in following a traumatic event. People rarely associate it with car accidents, but the two are very much connected.

Vehophobia is the official name for the fear of driving. Many things can trigger vehophobia, but the experience of being involved in a car accident is the most common. This is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder and is recognized as such by medical and legal systems.

It often leads to physical symptoms, including shaking, sweating, nausea, and difficulty breathing- all of which can exasperate the fear the victim already feels. Symptoms and more varied and severe for some than others.

Five Tips for Overcoming Fear of Driving After a Car Accident

Here are five practical tips for suffering from the fear of driving after a car accident that can help them regain confidence, develop coping strategies, and overcome driving anxiety at their own pace.

1: Talk to Someone

Keeping things bottled inside is rarely advisable- especially when dealing with the trauma of a car accident. Taking to a trusted friend or family member can help alleviate some of the inner turmoil and start victims on the road to processing their trauma and its impact.

It may also be worthwhile joining support groups or finding a therapist. These are safe spaces to discuss a traumatic experience and get support moving forward.

Those who don't feel ready to talk can begin by writing about their experience and emotions. This is a private processing method that works well for those who have trouble verbalizing how they feel. The written words can be shared- or not- depending on what the individual wants and thinks would be beneficial. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also help when car accident other driver has no insurance.

2: Ease Back Into Driving

Tackling fear head-on works for some- but not for all. It is far more common for people to take the journey one step at a time.

Depending on the severity of a person's vehophobia, just jumping behind the wheel and throwing fear to the wind may be completely unrealistic- not to mention potentially dangerous if the anxiety affects a person's driving abilities.

Think of it like learning to drive again. Start driving with someone else there for support, and ease in by driving on quiet roads or even an empty parking lot. Gradual exposure to driving is a better way for most to build confidence and battle their anxiety or fears.

It is okay to take things slowly if that is what helps people feel comfortable.

3: Practice Deep Breathing Techniques and Meditation

Taking deep breaths might seem like a basic approach, but it works. Deep breathing is proven to slow the heart rate, clear the mind, and help people calm down. There are various techniques people can use before, while, and after getting behind the wheel to reduce anxiety and limit their risk of having a panic attack.

Meditation and other similar relaxation techniques are also beneficial to those who have difficulty concentrating and pushing past their fears. It is also an effective way to tackle the root cause of the anxiety, face it, accept it, and overcome it.

4: Take Defensive Driving Classes

Defensive driving classes can be a great help for people trying to beat their fear of driving after an accident. These classes are run by professional teachers who share expert driving tips to help people stay safe on the roads.

Evasive techniques, smart driving tips, and practical ways to reduce the likelihood of getting into an accident are all valuable lessons for anyone- especially those who have experienced the trauma of a crash.

5: Explore Manual Therapy

Manual therapy is all about connecting the body and mind. It works by using progressive muscle relaxation and breathing exercises to improve circulation, decrease tension, and promote relaxation. The physical and mental effects of anxiety and fear are deeply connected. Being more in control of one can benefit the other.

Treatment Options

Other therapy options include prolonged exposure therapy- something often used in the treatment of PTSD. It helps people revisit their traumatic experience and the aftermath- confronting their feelings as they do.

Those with extreme symptoms can also explore medical treatments. Anti-anxiety medications, beta-blockers, and sedatives are some of the possible options- although people should consider the side effects and how they impact their ability to take to the driver's seat.

Speak to an Expert Attorney for Legal Help Following a Motor Vehicle Accident

Speak to an Expert Attorney for Legal Help Following a Motor Vehicle Accident

Those involved in car accidents that were not their fault could be eligible to claim compensation for their injuries and the long-term mental and emotional impact the crash had on them. Driving anxiety can be crippling- affecting people's ability to work, live, and earn- and the negligent party responsible should be held accountable.

Schuerger Schunnarah Trial Attorneys go to war for Nash accident victims to get them the compensation and justice they deserve. Arrange a free consultation to discuss a case and see what legal options there are to recover damages and ultimately help in the journey to overcoming the fear of driving.


bottom of page