It doesn’t matter where, when or how it happens; a road accident is always a horrible experience. After an accident, it can be difficult to get back in the driving seat and on the road.
Thankfully, Richard Gladman, the Head of Driving and Riding Standards at road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, has some great advice for exactly that.
As Richard explains, the smallest of accidents can have a lasting effect, so it’s vital to ease back into driving.
He said: “Even a minor collision can play on your mind, but it’s important to learn from the experience. A major part in the human factors around driving is the ability to self-evaluate your driving and make a conscious decision to improve. Even a collision where we have to accept some or all of the blame should be taken as an opportunity learn and improve. Recognising that help is needed is a major step to asking for it.”
So, with that in mind, here’s his advice:
Don’t rush back into it
It’s easy to feel pressured into getting back in the driving seat, but there’s absolutely no need to rush into it. Take the time to make sure you’re in a fit state to drive before heading back out on the road.
Think twice about changing routes
For some drivers, the area where an accident happened becomes a no-go zone. But, this is not always the best approach. Sometimes avoiding an area can make your journey more complicated and you may not know the roads as well on an alternative route. It may be difficult, but always think twice about mixing up your route.
Get support if you need it
If the idea of driving again still feels daunting, try getting the support of a friend or family member. Ask them to sit in the car with you while you ease back into driving.
Be aware of the impact
Sometimes an accident doesn’t just affect your attitude to the road, it can impact your daily life. Richard suggests seeking help from your GP if you feel a prolonged impact from your accident. Or, complete a post-accident intervention course with IAM RoadSmart to rebuild confidence.
Remember, it happens
It may be hard, but remember; accidents happen. Actually, they happen quite a lot. The best way to move on from an accident is to learn from what happened and put all your energy into enjoying driving again.
If you’ve had an accident, the most important thing is to ease back into things. Don’t rush, don’t panic, don’t underestimate support, and you’ll be back to enjoying driving again in no time.
If you’ve had an accident we want to know what you did to enjoy driving again.