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If you’re scared to drive after a car accident, you’re not alone. Taking a defensive driving course, participating in a support group or therapy, and driving with a buddy can help you become more comfortable behind the wheel.
You’ve just had a fender-bender and now can’t even drive to work without breaking out in a sweat. As if that’s not enough to make you nervous, an accident can negatively impact your car insurance rates.
To help you through this tricky time, the car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled some tips that can help you feel more secure while you’re on the road.
How to feel comfortable driving again after an accident
Start with easy drives
Like any recovery process, take your time getting back to a normal routine. If you’re seeing a therapist or support group, work with them on a plan that is right for you.
Generally speaking, starting with short trips around your neighborhood can ease you back into things. As you regain your confidence, try longer drives—like to a local mall or restaurant. Only once you’re feeling comfortable again should you tackle the highway.
Take a defensive driving course
If you’re feeling insecure about your driving skills—especially if the accident was determined to be your fault)—brushing up on the rules of the road can help improve your confidence. Being back behind the wheel in a secure environment can also help decrease anxiety.
You can find state-approved defensive driving courses through your local DMV. Many offer online portions, too, so you can start at home before getting into the car to work on practical driving skills.
MORE: 14 safe driving tips
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
This app is great, but the customer service is even better! Not to mention convenient! My husband and I got the lowest rate (much lower than the rates I was finding online through my own searches), quickly, and pretty much all through text message! Thank you so much for a hassle free experience👍
Drive with a buddy
Sometimes, having someone there with you is all you need. Grab a friend or family member to ride alone. They’ll give you great moral support—plus they’ll be able to take over if fear gets the best of you.
Work with a therapist
If you’re experiencing overwhelming anxiety or vehophobia, a good therapist can help you deal with it. Find one that specializes in anxiety or PTSD—or even a generalist who can help with coping mechanisms.
Many therapists offer free consults, so you can explain your situation and make sure you’re working with the right one for you.
Seek out a support group
Whether you’d rather be in a group setting or don’t have the funds for private therapy, support groups could be a good option. There are support groups specifically for vehophobia and PTSD—and they’re generally free.
To find a support group in your area, do a quick Google search. You’ll likely find both online and in-person options.
Ask your doctor about medication
In conjunction with therapy, anti-anxiety medication can temper the highs and lows of anxiety while you recover.
Be sure to ask your doctor whether the medication they prescribe will make you drowsy. If so, ask for something else that is safe to take before you hit the road.
Don’t bottle up your anxiety
Talking to friends, family, or significant others about your feelings can help ease anxiety. But make it a productive conversation—focus on your survival and solutions for moving forward.
How an accident affects your car insurance
There’s no pretty way to say it: on average, your insurance premium will increase by about 34% after an at-fault accident. It could go as high as 80% in extreme cases.
This is because after a claim, insurance companies consider you at higher risk to submit another one. To account for this increased risk, they hike your premiums—often for about three years.
How to find car insurance savings with Jerry
Whether you’ve been in an accident or not, the super app Jerry can help you find a great deal on your car insurance.
With Jerry, it takes under a minute to sign up and start comparing quotes from more than 50 insurance companies, including top names like Progressive and Allstate. Once you’ve picked the right policy for you, Jerry handles the paperwork to finalize all the details and even helps cancel your old one.
The best part? The average Jerry user saves $879 per year on their insurance!
“Amazing! I’ll admit, I’m young with 2 accidents. This spiked my insurance rates and every quote I found. Jerry, though, helped me find affordable insurance. It truly helped me!” —Marcus F.
Haven’t shopped for insurance in the last six months? There might be hundreds $$$ in savings waiting for you.
Judith switched to Progressive
Saved $725 annually
Alexander switched to Travelers
Saved $834 annually
Annie switched to Nationwide
Saved $668 annually
How long does anxiety last after a car accident?
Is it normal to be traumatized after a car accident?
Yes. If you’re experiencing vehophobia (feeling scared to drive after a car accident) it can feel like you’re alone. But thousands of Americans experience the same thing and it’s quite common to feel anxiety when getting back into the driver’s seat.