THE FEAR IS REAL
A car crash is terrifying. There is no minimizing the pain, loss, depression and fear caused by the negligence of others.
It's time to recognize that fear is real. And real fear demands real answers.
For many car crash survivors, getting back behind the wheel is also a real problem. Driving is not just a privilege, it is an absolute necessity for many Canadians. Work, medical appointments, family, groceries and more require that car.
Call it driving fear, anxiety or phobia, but call it real. Some survivors lean on their partners to drive or just stay home at every practical opportunity. But these are short term coping mechanisms. Avoidance is not a true solution.
What is the solution? Sadly, there is no easy answer or quick fix.
Please understand that you are not alone. You do not have to suffer in silence. Not only have many survivors experienced a similar fear, there are many community and online lifelines ready for your call and contact.
Likely no one perfect solution exists. You are unique. Your plan should be tailored to you for the best fit. But a combination of practical strategies may give you the support you need:
- Drivers' Ed: re-build your confidence and refresh your driving skills. Give yourself the power to take back the wheel. A certified driving instructor may give you the practical skills and confidence to get back on the road;
- Take It Easy: set realistic and attainable weekly goals. Once around the block today. A few slow spins around the mall parking lot after hours when the lot's empty. Small, consistent baby steps may give you bite sized rewards. And small accomplishments give you the courage to make sure there is a next time behind the wheel;
- Get Local: your family doctor should know you and your medical history. Your doctor should also know what local community resources are available in your area. Ask your family doctor for a referral to a specialist or therapist and ask about community resources unique to your area. Funding for therapy may be available through your Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits (SABs) with your own car insurance policy;
- There's An App For That: many motivational or self-help applications are readily available for download on your phone. But no app could ever take the place of a trained, experienced medical professional who knows your history and unique needs. And, as we know, free apps are never really free. The collection, protection or even sale of your personal health information is and should be a real concern for all consumers. Your privacy is precious and once it's gone, it's gone. A highly recommended and well vetted app may play a part in your support strategy but is never a substitute for a therapist or psychologist who understands that your personal information is personal and is required by their professional governing association to safeguard your private records;
- Online Support: network with friends, family and social media to find reputable web groups led by crash survivors who know and understand what you're going through. Ghost for a while until you are comfortable connecting. Take it at your pace. They understand;
- Listen To You: Know your own triggers. No one in this world knows you like you. If you are having a particularly bad day, forcing yourself into failure may not be a good or safe idea. Know when your mind and body tell you not to get behind the wheel; and
- Meds: your family doctor knows you. Find out what is right or wrong for you and if medication is a safe and helpful part of your recovery plan.
You are not alone.
Your injury lawyer and your family doctor are great resources. Use them. Let them do their job. Put their experience to work. Let them help.
Experienced injury lawyers know that crash survivors suffer from many injuries and not just broken bones.
Call Martin Law and find out what we can do to help.
Finding Real Support For Real Problems