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Can driving classes help with post-accident anxiety?

You get into a car accident when another driver merges into your lane without seeing you and without using their blinker. The sudden impact knocks you into oncoming traffic, where your car gets hit by a pickup truck.

You're lucky in some senses. Your physical injuries heal. However, even after they do, you still can't bring yourself to get back behind the wheel. You have extreme anxiety, and you fear it may even be post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You're afraid that if you drive, you'll have a panic attack. You fear that you'll get into another accident.

There are a lot of potential ways to work through this --anxiety medication and therapy, for instance. One thing that may help, which you may not have considered, is taking driving classes.

It sounds counterintuitive. Why spend more time behind the wheel if that's exactly what you're afraid of? However, that is a style of therapy known as exposure therapy. Many people worry excessively because they never actually face their fears. Putting in some hours with an instructor may be hard at first, but it can get easier with time.

Also, having the instructor will provide you with a sense of safety that you wouldn't have in the car alone. They give you tips and advice that can actually make you a better driver. You know that you're learning from the accident.

Even if you're able to bring yourself to drive again after you are involved in a crash, remember that emotional and mental disorders after accidents have very real costs. You may be able to seek financial compensation for therapy in addition to medical expenses for your physical injuries.

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