Car accidents and other unintentional injuries are the most common cause of unnatural death in the world. “There are 6 million car crashes every year in the US,” according to the Barnes Firm, San Diego accident attorney. Most of them result in minor injuries, but as mentioned, they can also lead to premature death.
After suffering an accident, a lot of thoughts will go through your mind. Depending on an injury, you might suffer a permanent trauma, whether it’s mental or physical. Besides taking care of all the participants, it is your duty to take care of yourself. If you have any unresolved issues, if you’ve lost a loved one or injured someone else, make sure to consult a therapist or get some other necessary assistance.
Here are 7 things that will help you cope after a car accident.
1. Talk about your trauma
The best way to channel a trauma is to talk about it. This is a good way to vent but also remove all the negative emotions out of your system. Ideally, you should share this information with friends and family, but if the opportunity arises, you can talk about your experience with unknown people.
No matter what, try to focus on positive things. To be precise, on the fact that you survived. However, try also to be constructive. Car accidents can often serve as cautionary tales, especially for younger generations.
2. Don’t pretend it didn’t happen
A lot of people, especially men, try to shun away the accident as if it never happened. But, if it was a major crash, you need to deal with it as soon as possible. Not only should you speak with other people, but you might also consider getting a therapist.
If you choose to neglect the crash, things will start pilling up in your head. Trauma might manifest itself in some other, much more volatile way. For example, PTSD is very common among people who have dealt properly with their car accident trauma.
So, to preserve your sanity, it is best to be open about it. In fact, I recommend that you talk about your emotions, fears, and everything else that went through your head on that day.
3. Create a diary
According to psychologists, one of the better ways to cope with a car-related trauma is to write down everything that has happened. You can focus on the accident itself, or you can write about the whole day. Facing your fears is the best way to resolve them. The point of the exercise is not to get insensitive but to get used to every moment of the crash so that the pain and trauma can slowly become bearable.
You can even create a diary listing everything that has happened in the days following the accident. If you lost a dear person, this could help you check your emotions on a day-by-day basis.
4. Drive with another person
Getting back to driving a car is one of the most frustrating things for car crash survivors. The very process brings about so many negative emotions and can easily cause anxiety. So, the best way to tackle the issue is by having another person besides you.
Even if you don’t feel the consequences, it is best to have someone nearby for the first few times. Some people might require additional assistance. No matter what, judge the current situation by how you feel. If you don’t feel good driving, it’s better to postpone it for another time.
5. Don’t exert yourself
When you start driving once again, don’t exert yourself. Try driving shorter distances in your neighborhood just to get back on track. Furthermore, you should do it on clear sunny days, when it’s actually enjoyable.
It is very important to remove all sources of stress and make driving feel fun once again. The last thing you want to do is sit behind a wheel if you’re in a rush.
6. Take classes
A good way of coping is to take classes. Many people blame themselves for an accident, whether they were guilty or not. They might think they are bad behind the wheel, which could prevent them from driving again. So, you should definitely consider taking defensive driving courses.
7. Return to the crash site
Unless the crash site is far away, you should definitely consider returning to it. People often change their driving trajectory just because they don’t want to relive the trauma. They might feel anxious while close to the accident site. However, it is in your interest to revisit the place even if you’re going on foot.