Getting into an accident can be scary. The accident doesn’t have to be major either. Whether you got into a little fender bender or you totaled the car, knowing what to do in the event you’re in an accident is extremely important. That includes getting information from the other driver and potentially seeking the help of a lawyer.

However, knowing what to do after a car crash includes a lot more than what you should do immediately after the accident. It also includes what you should do in the weeks and months afterwards. Especially since getting back into a car can be scary.

If you’re struggling to get back into a car after an accident, take a look at these tips.

Start Small

It’s recommended for teenagers to practice driving in driveways and parking lots. If you’re worried about getting back out onto the road, you can benefit from these first steps, no matter what your age.

If you’re nervous about getting into another accident, avoid the interstate and start driving to the gas station in your neighborhood instead. If you slid on some ice or weren’t able to brake in time, discover the limits of your vehicle by slamming on the brakes in an empty parking lot. The more confidence you can build by driving in no- or low-risk situations, the easier it will be to get behind the wheel on busy city streets and on the highway.

Bring Someone With You

Passengers get a bad rap. It is for a good reason. Passengers can be extremely distracting, especially for young drivers when their friends are in the car. However, if done right, having someone in the car with you can actually enhance your driving.

Who you have in the passenger’s seat matters. If you have been in an accident, driving with someone you trust can make it a lot easier for you to get behind the wheel. They can provide you with encouragement as you relearn how to be confident operating your vehicle.

If you caused the accident, driving can be even scarier. Don’t be afraid to start even smaller by asking a trusted friend or family member to drive while you’re the passenger instead.

Drive a Different Vehicle

If you got into an accident in your car, chances are, you feel fearful whenever you think about getting back inside. Don’t feel like you have to get back inside your car. If you’re able, you can drive someone else’s car.

Ask a friend or family member if you can build up your confidence by driving their car instead of yours. After some practice, you may find it easier to drive your car again.

If you still aren’t comfortable driving your vehicle, consider selling it or trading it in for a new one. Your comfort behind the wheel is important, and if a new car will make it easier for you to drive, you should replace it.

Plan a Road Trip

There are many great reasons to take a road trip. One is that it could potentially help you get over an accident!

If you got into a car crash going to work or running errands, you’ll likely feel nervous the next time you try to drive to work or to the grocery store. A trip can give you something to look forward to, and because your destination is different, it may just make the experience of driving different enough to help you feel better about being in a car after an accident.

Talk to Someone You Trust

It doesn’t matter if you’ve just had your accident or if you’ve been struggling to get back into a car months after a crash, it’s never a bad idea to talk to someone you trust.

You should talk to a therapist after experiencing trauma, but it doesn’t have to be so formal. Other people you can talk to include:

  • A family member
  • A friend
  • Others who were in the accident with you
  • Someone you know who has experienced a serious accident

Just make sure you are open and honest when you talk. The only way you will work through your feelings is if you feel like you don’t have to hold anything back.

Getting back into a car after an accident can be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. Have some patience with yourself, work through your feelings slowly, and you’ll find that you can feel comfortable in a vehicle again.