Accident Focus – 4 Tips To Recovering And Getting Back On The Road
It happens to the best of us. Even though some of us are exceptional drivers, we still always run the risk of tripping up. Even in racing, drivers still make mistakes, chucking carbon fibre flying everywhere. Sometimes even before the racing begins. And they are the best of the best. The level of active and passive safety of road vehicles today is very high, which means that we’re more likely to walk away from accidents. But on the road, having one can still be traumatic. As we focus on the accident, how do we get past this, and recover so we can drive as normal again?
(Before we begin, feel free to make use of our services, and don’t forget our 10% Referral Refund Scheme, for anyone who sends a customer to Motorkwirks. Maybe you could be the next to benefit).
Accept Responsibility If It Is: Now the accident may not necessarily have been our fault as a driver, but playing the blame game is not going speed up our recovery if it was. Recognising where we made a driving error is the first step to eliminating it from our repertoire. It gives us a target area to improve, and this is why accidents can actually make people better drivers. As long as the mistake does not cause too much upset, we should be able to recover.
Be Rational If It Isn’t: If the accident completely wasn’t our fault, and the driving error came from someone else, is there anything we could have done differently? Spoiler alert: there almost always is! Did we spot the driver driving aggressively earlier? Could we next time give them a bit more space such that we are not caught up in their mistakes? Could we allow a bit more time for a given journey so that we are not under as much stress?
If conditions were poor, we could revisit how we maintain our vehicle so it’s best placed to tackle whatever the roads throw at it. We should avoid being too self-critical, because some road accidents are unavoidable (unless one simply stays at home). But impartially analysing what led to an accident might just keep us from having too many more of them. And that can only be a good thing.
Use It As Learning: We ultimately learn (or should learn) from mistakes, whether they are ours or other peoples. As drivers, mistakes are made fairly often. We just don’t tend to pay as much attention to them as not all mistakes will lead to an accident. And on the flip side, we can be driving to a reasonable standard and be in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is all part of the bigger driving journey, and the more we learn, the better a driver we should become.
Don’t Be A Quitter: If it’s a major accident, and we have serious injuries, it can take a lot of convincing to get back into a vehicle if and when we have recovered. I feel that it’s important that we do get back behind the wheel, if we’re physically able. Perhaps we won’t do as many journeys, and maybe the journeys we do undertake won’t be as far. But I feel it’s important to ensure that driving doesn’t remain a permanent fear. We need to reassure ourselves that actually driving doesn’t always lead to disaster. The mind can play tricks on us, especially if the last time we were behind the wheel was the accident. We need to make sure we combat this, and if we are to eventually stop driving, it needs to be on our terms.
My Story: I had a bike accident a few years ago. I was going round a roundabout a bit too quickly and lost the front end. I went down and for a few seconds was sat in the road, looking at my bikes headlights! No injuries at all (ego excluded). But as the bike I was riding was the Suzuki GSXS 1000F I did do quite a lot of cosmetic damage. Around £2000 worth actually. But I was never going to quit. Partly because I’d only had the bike a couple of months and I liked it. Partly because I crashed on a cold November day, and I knew it would be better in the summer. Mostly because I wanted to stop motorcycling on my terms.
So what happened? I got the bike fixed and was back riding on it a week later. In May the following year, I and about 20 other people went on a bike riding trip to France. And it was absolutely brilliant. I had changed the tyres by then for better ones, but still the bike was excellent. When I didn’t eventually stop riding a couple of years ago, the accident was still a memory. But importantly, it was not the trigger for the move away from biking. And to me, that’s very important.
Conclusion: Normally at this point I would ask whether anyone has had this sort of experience. I would ask if they want to comment below. But accidents can be very scary (I’ve only mentioned one of mine). And it can take a lot of mental battling, effort and outside support to get back behind the wheel (or handlebars). If anyone is in a position to do this, I would encourage them to do so. I strongly feel that tackling fears head-on is a solid route to conquering them. Take care on the road, and thanks for reading.