According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, (ADAA) 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Americans spend over $42 billion a year to combat their anxiety in therapy sessions, medication and workshops. Anxiety can be crippling, detaining you from participating in life’s activities, like going on dates, visiting the park or going for a drive.
If you have been involved in a car accident, getting back behind the wheel can induce some major panic attacks. You can hear the screeching tires, crunching metal and shattering glass before you’ve even put the key in the ignition. Driver anxiety keeps you from living your life comfortably, and significantly affects your mood and work. You worry about another raise in your insurance premium, the way your car is going to run and if you’re going to be hit again at another blind corner. In essence, driver anxiety keeps you from living your life. To help ease your fears, let CoverHound help. We can help you with your car insurance compare questions and get you connected with the right agent in a snap.
How to Curb Your Driver Anxiety
Do you feel nervous when you get into your car? Does the idea of driving to a destination that is more than twenty minutes away freak you out? If you have to get on a freeway to get to your destination, do you cancel your trip? If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of the above the questions, then you suffer from driver anxiety.
Having driving anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of. In a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, it was learned that 9 percent of traffic accident victims suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), preventing them from getting back in the car. In another study, 27 percent of drivers who sought treatment after the accident suffered from anxiety before the accident, PTSD adding another layer of anxiety. Another 15 percent had suffered from driving phobia before having been involved in the accident.
So what can we do to get back in the driver’s seat?
Face the Fear Head On
To combat our fears, we have to face the fear head on. This won’t be so easy for everyone. If you have an issue even getting in the car, we suggest taking the steps here. If you are able to get in the car, get in and drive around your neighborhood. Driving in short, well-known areas will help to make you feel more comfortable behind the wheel, and will show you that you are capable of driving without getting in an accident.
Drive a Planned Route
As alluded to in the above paragraph, driving a pre-planned route will help you to combat your driving fears. Familiarizing yourself with the speed limit, traffic light signals and street signs will help you to control your fear in the ebb and flow of traffic.
Drive on a Highway
After you have driven around the neighborhood and taken some side streets, it’s time to graduate to highway driving. Drive along the highway until you reach the first exit, then take it. Next time you’re on the highway, travel to the second exit, and take that. Continue this cycle until you have driven on the highway for one hour.
Soon, your driving fears will begin to shrink and get your life back. Driving opens up the world to us; only through practice can we accomplish our goals. For more driving advice and car insurance information, visit our learning center today.