Sometimes the most aggravating thing about an accident is your lack of confidence and that getting back on the road can sometimes take longer than you would like. At Dalgarno Solicitors our concern isn’t just about getting your compensation and ensuring you are physically fit and well, but we are also keen to get your confidence back up and get you back to normality as soon as possible.
An accident on the road can cause mild to severe signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which can cause flashbacks or nightmares about the event for weeks, months or even years after. It is these symptoms that can take away a driver’s confidence and can in rare cases lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is why the team at Dalgarno’s will encourage you to seek medical help both for physical and mental trauma.
If you’ve suffered from PTSD after an accident it’s up to the medical professional to decide whether or not you are safe and able to drive again, so please trust their expert opinion when it comes to this. You do not want to rush back into driving until you are confident enough, but at the same time you do not want to leave it too long after the doctor says it’s okay, so here are some tips to help you gain more confidence and get you driving again a little quicker.
1. Drive with friends in the car.
It’s a good idea to drive with a friend in the car the first few times you go out after an accident. If your confidence isn’t fully restored then their presence can be soothing and they can offer support, even better if your friend is an experienced driver. Ensure you also drive on roads that aren’t too busy to begin with.
2. Ensure you have physically recovered.
This may sound very basic but it’s not unusual for people to start driving again too soon. Even if you’re not suffering from any mental signs of trauma or shock you should ensure you are physically fit again and not stiff or still in pain from any injuries sustained.
3. Avoid alcohol.
This is obviously something you should avoid when driving, but your doctor may advise you to stay away from the booze altogether when recovering from PTSD. In some cases alcohol and even caffeine can have a detrimental effect in the recovery process, but you should discuss this with your doctor at the time.
4. Be social.
Talking to friends and close family members is the best way to regain your confidence before you set out to drive again. Talking to them about the accident and about any concerns you may have can be very relieving and is often the simplest solution.
5. Keep busy.
Obviously you need time to recover from your accident both physically and mentally, but sometimes volunteering for a charity or helping a friend in need can be very therapeutic. A lot of people who are suffering from PTSD or general shock and lack of confidence after an accident can experience a sense of helplessness or guilt, even if the accident was not their fault and couldn’t be helped. Something that some people find helpful is helping others as this can make you feel good about yourself and make you feel more in control of your own actions and help restore your confidence.
As always you must seek professional medical advice before driving again and your solicitor can help you decide whether or not it is necessary to seek the advice of a therapist. Above all you must remember to trust your doctor’s advice and be patient with yourself.