According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, SUV and truck drivers survive crashes at a higher rate than sedan drivers. However, crashes involving trucks are far more likely to injure or kill pedestrians.
For that matter, driving a pickup truck is 2.5 times more likely to result in fatal injury for someone else. Accidents on the road are steadily increasing, and truck drivers have tremendous responsibility and pressure to practice safe driving.
So it’s no surprise that anyone involved in a truck collision could have their confidence shaken. That motorist may never want to drive again, even though for all practical purposes, most people need to be able to drive on a daily basis.
That’s why the next step is to get back your confidence after a trucking collision and don’t let fear hold you back from moving forward in life.
In this article, we will include some tips on how to gain that confidence back.
Plan On Short Undemanding Drives with a Friend
One of the best ways to get over driving anxiety after a traffic accident is to bring a friend with you as an observer and a friendly distraction from any potential stressors on the road.
Plan a drive around a sleepy neighborhood or past a small park, something short and undemanding without too many obstacles so you can focus on comfortability behind the wheel again.
Find Out How to Recover Lost Wages from the Incident
If you weren’t at fault for the accident, you might be eligible for recovery of lost wages. An important step you should take is writing down exactly how the accident happened from memory, preferably the day of or soon following the incident.
You should contact a lawyer if you’ve accrued any medical expenses due to your not-at-fault accident.
The same goes for psychological damages, if you’ve had to pay for any kind of therapy since then. Amaxophobia, or fear of getting into a car accident (which can also extend into fear of being a passenger) is real and very identifiable by a mental health provider.
Think Like a Therapist and Treat Yourself with Kindness in Recovery
Some of the best treatments for PTSD following a collision is to treat yourself and your brain with the professionalism and understanding a psychologist would give you.
Consider for example:
Plan on a route and have a designated driving buddy tag along to help you recover from driving anxiety. Gradual exposure can help alleviate some of the stress.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is an important tool most mental health professionals use to help reshape behavior and thoughts behind most common anxieties, including driving anxiety.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Processing
EMDR is a less-used but effective psychological tool that “reprograms” you to use grounding techniques to focus on certain things when you’re in a stressful situation.
For example, focusing on the horizon when you’re driving can keep you from worrying about what other drivers around you are doing.
You should of course keep other drivers in your periphery but focusing on your own right of way on the road will help you feel more at ease.
Take a Refresher Course on Defensive Driving
Taking a refresher course on defensive driving could help tremendously. Remember that everyone occasionally forgets the tidbits that we first learned in driving schools so many years ago. Why not refresh your memory to gain more confidence?
Consider Consulting a Doctor About Anti-Anxiety Medication
SSRIs or other medications could definitely help, especially after a majorly stressful incident like a truck accident. There is some debate on SSRIs vs non-SSRIs for PTSD and you can read about it here.
In certain doses, you can use medication behind the wheel to keep yourself from having a panic attack. Your brain and your nerves are a very delicate system and you should treat them with the same consideration you would treat a muscle for being damaged after a workout or a bone after having been broken.
You should make sure in consulting with your doctor the correct dosage to take in the event that you might need to take it before going behind the wheel.
Remember that you can always recover, both mentally and physically, from even the worst incidents.
Being more vigilant on the road is a good thing. The anxiety associated with an accident can be treated if you’re willing to work towards regaining trust in yourself and confidence in your abilities.