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If people have been involved in a car accident in Washington, it is not unusual for them to feel apprehensive to begin driving again. Where they may have previously been confident about driving and enjoyed the flexibility of traveling, now those positive emotions may have been replaced with anxiety, fear and dread. 

Acknowledgment of these emotions and the implementation of supports to minimize triggers are critical steps in helping people overcome their phobia of driving. 

Understanding driving phobia 

According to verywellmind.com, once people have experienced a car accident, situations that may not have stressed them out in the past may be indefinite triggers of paralyzing fear in the aftermath of their crash. Some of these triggers may include the following: 

  • Driving in heavy traffic. 
  • Driving in an unfamiliar area.  
  • Driving in inclement weather. 
  • Being pulled over, especially if it requires crossing multiple lanes of traffic to safely get to the side of the road.  

Getting past the fear 

When people are fearful to get behind the wheel even after they are physically healed from their accident, it may take time for them to get past their fear and begin driving again. Geico.com suggests some things people can do to regain confidence in their ability to drive again including participating in a driving course. Defensive driving courses can provide reassurance and instruction on ways people can efficiently analyze various driving scenarios to respond appropriately and safely. Such education can also acquaint people with common road hazards so they can increase their vigilance while driving and be prepared to circumvent those hazards before they present a threat. 

When people begin driving again, they may benefit from driving with another person whom they trust, eliminating all distractions and practicing driving in areas where traffic is relatively low. In serious cases of driving phobia, people may consider the implementation of professional therapy to help them learn how to cope with their accident in ways that are healthy and will allow them to become a confident driver again.