If you drive, getting into an accident might well be your worst nightmare. When it happens, and it probably will at some point, it can be tempting to give up. Especially if you are a new driver. Even those that have been driving without incident for years can have a small scrape can find themselves nervous about getting back into the car.

However, it’s important that you do. Learning to drive can be ridiculously expensive. Lessons, permits and tests all come with associated costs. Then, there’s the cost of buying a car, as well as insurance and tax. Driving also gives you an incredible freedom. You can hit the road and go somewhere new, whenever you want. As you get older, being a driver means you don’t need to rely on your friends and family to take you places. Don’t waste your money or give up your independence because of one incident, get back on the road. Here are some tips to help you.

Remember, Everyone Crashes

While it would be nice to think that you’d never be involved in an accident, and it’s entirely possible that you’ll never have a serious incident on the road, most people are involved in a small crash at some point in their driving career.  There are so many cars on the roads, as well as other hazards that it would be naïve to think that nothing would ever go wrong.

The insurance industry estimates that the average driver will make a claim for a collision every 17.9 years. Ask other drivers you know; chances are they’ve all been involved in a road accident at some point. You are certainly not alone.

Get Checked Out

Even in a small accident, it can be easy to sustain an injury. Check out What is a Whiplash Injury for more information. But, even if you feel fine, it’s a good idea to get checked out straight after an incident, to make sure you are fit to get back out on the road.

Get a Service

If your car is damaged, you’ll obviously want to get it fixed before you drive again. But, even if it seems fine it can be a good idea to take it to a garage for a full service just to be sure. A service can pick up on any tiny issues you might not notice. Even if your car is absolutely fine, getting it checked out out can help to put your mind at ease and boost your confidence.

Get a Quote

One thing that worries people after an accident, especially a new driver, is that their insurance will be much higher in the future. However, you may be surprised to find that even if you make an at-fault claim, your premium isn’t affected as much as you thought. While it’s almost certain to go up, it could be as little as a few dollars a month, as long as you don’t make any further claims.

To put your mind at ease, enter your details into a comparison site, including any new claim, to get a rough idea of what you can expect.

Go for a Drive

The best way to get over any nerves is to go for a drive. If you are particularly nervous, you may want to ask a friend or family member to come out with you for some moral support. Or, you may prefer to go out on your own without telling anyone, worried that they may increase the pressure. This totally depends on how you feel. But, whatever you do, go for a drive while it’s quiet, on a route that you are comfortable with. Then, if you feel good, carry on driving for a while before you return home.

If you are really nervous, drive around an empty car park for a while until you calm down.

Book a Lesson

One way to ease the nerves is taking a driving lesson. Even if you passed your test years ago, there’s nothing to stop you taking some refresher lessons at any time. This can be a great way of restoring your confidence and becoming a better driver.

Find the Positives

Yes, you’ve had a crash. But, it most cases it could have been a lot worse. If no one was injured, that’s a huge positive, even if your car is a wreck. Try not to dwell on the negatives.

Learn

There’s always something that you can learn from an accident. Whether you were at fault or not, there will be something that you can learn.

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Emily Muelford

Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.

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