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CRASH21CCRASH21 Posts: 139
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Water Cooler
I have posted about this before. I was in two car accident in a short amount of time. I am still driving, however I am getting more and more paranoid that someone is going to hit me on the road. I hesitate constantly and find myself slamming on the breaks when I think someone may not stop. When other people are driving I sometimes panic too. They tell me to just close my eyes. I feel like a crazy person. I am not sure what to do. Do I need a shrink? Is there medication for this? Do I just wait it out and hopefully I will get over it with time?


  • I was rear ended after work on a rainy day. It was not a serious accident, but one that started the neck pain for me. I thought that I was being silly about being paranoid about driving, especially when the weather was really bad. I had a friend in the car with me the day that I was hit. She asked me about 2 weeks later if I was having trouble with the after effects. She admitted that she was having some issues with it too, especially when she passed the section of the interstate where it happened.

    The accident happened 01/31/08 and I am OK with driving now.

    There are others on this site who have been in much worse accidents and I'm sure they can respond about their experiences concerning how long they were anxious about driving.
  • I was involved in a very strange accident on a 2 lane bridge, the kind where all the stars had to be aligned in just the right order for it to happen. Fortunately for me, my instincts and reflexes were sharp enough that I was able to stop my truck and avoid a head on collision with a semi and turned the incident into a rear end with another semi. I have no doubt that if I hadn't stopped when I did that I and all the other drivers and the construction worker would be dead now.

    This has made me extrca cautious, for sure, but not to the point that I'm not driving safely. It's also made me go into panic mode whenever anyone else drives me. It's as if I can't give that control to another, that I can only trust myself now. I actually had a full on panic attack once when my niece was here and I was in the back seat.

    All I can do is work on it. I agree with Paul though- if your driving is causing you to stop suddenly for no reason you may be a hazard and need to do something about it. Talk to your doctor and be honest.

    If you need to talk more about this please let me know. I'd be happy to lend an ear....

  • I was rear-ended which is also how all my neck pains started and I'm still afraid of some one slamming into me. I've almost gotten in another 3 accidents since then, none would've been my fault and on was almost head on, but I keep a pretty good distance from the person in front of me in case the person behind me doesn't stop in time. I'm terrified when some one is up my rear and when they stop just before or right on top of my bumper. And my accident was over 3 1/2 years ago! But I still drive safely and if it weren't for my reflexes, I would have gotten in those 3 accidents. Speak to some one about your anxiety, I know several people that have had to take Xanax or something before they get into the car because they were panicked about getting in another accident.
  • Thanks to all of you. Atleast I know others feel the way I do. Fancypants, you hit the nail on the head, I hate when people get too close behind me, I could just scream. I should have a bumper sticker that says "back off". I am always looking for a way to get out, just in case. I saw both of my previous accidents coming at me and had no way out. I now try to avoid driving during peak times as I am uncomfortable in a lot of traffic. Also, I have since had some really stupid people near me driving on the road. Just a few weeks ago I had someone driving towards me on the wrong side of the road!!! :jawdrop: I have discussed this with my PCP before but I think it is time to mention it again. This is just one more thing that is preventing me from living a normal life.
  • "It is not paranoid if there is someone trying to kill you."
    Someone famous said that and I can't remember who but what it means is that some situtations are inherently dangerous. I have fears my self that have not responded to therapy because the danger is real. When I went, no one in group really wanted to hear me talk because they all thought that the situation I was in was terrible. Some fear is designed to protect you.

    You don't say how long ago this was so I am wondering if your body is trying to tell you that another so soon might cause something much worse than what you realize.

    I have had serious illnesses several times that doctors had trouble diagnosing. Each time, I knew I was seriously ill deep down without really knowing what it was and each time I received treatment just in time to save my life.

    All I'm saying is that sometimes it is good to listen to your body and just relize that God gave you a way to protect yourself. Sometimes just relaxing and letting it be OK is good therapy. This is just my own unscientific study. Sorry if I am off base. It's just what I have experienced.

  • I like your way of looking at it! Two accidents that I did not cause in a three month period is enough to make anyone quite cautious. Maybe I am a little extreme but I am in chronic pain and really don't want to deal with any more pain due to someone's reckless driving. Yes, I am sure that another accident could cause irreversible damage to me.
  • Post traumatic Stress is real for many that have been involved in MVA. I was in a head on collision 9/06 and that is how I found this site. However at first I was not crazy about driving and I hated loud noises, and quick movements. Over time I am back to driving normal. Still don't like people trying to kill me but that is pretty much driving in Florida. Make sure you wear your seat belt. Google it and see if it fits, I, I know the doctors said I had it and it was true for me. The good news is that I am not going to be a prisoner to my own home. Life is a gamble, go but go slow. As Paula said if you are slamming on your breaks, make sure you don't cause an accident. Breath. Just my thoughts, talk with your doctor, they can help
  • CRASH21,

    I can understand your feelings and sympathize with you. The problem is if you are that paranoid that you are now stabbing brake pedals, accelerator, making abrupt turns. You are now the enemy to everyone else. You do need to work through this.

    The best driving skill that I could ever teach anyone is simple. Smooth, controlled maneuvers, never abrupt. Constant awareness and visual scanning is critical. Defensive driving is not slamming on brakes. It's doing your best to avoid being the accident. If it will help you mentally then take a defensive driving school. It most certainly will improve your reaction to events when things go wrong.

    As far as can it happen. Yes, been there done that... 7 weeks post discectomy. Doing very well. Driving to my surgeon for 6 week post op to get cleared to normal functions. Got totalled out by a tracker trailer on the interstate. Messed up my surgery nicely. That disc and the nerves around it are not happy. Will need 2nd surgery now to most likely just remove the disc.

    Did that make me paranoid when I saw trucks. Yep. For all of about 2-3 days. Then I got in my other car and drove myself down the same interstate for my next appointment. Take a deep breath. Get right back on the horse. It passes after a bit. If you can't get past it then get off the road, please.

    If you want info about defensive driving schools and the like PM me. Good luck.

  • Crash, I think I may have cursed myself as I actually got into an accident yesterday!
  • I hope you are ok, NancyFancyPants! How bad was it?? I actually avoid driving on certain freeways/roads if I can. I am so paranoid--and my cervical problems weren't accident related! I spoke to a phsycologist about this, and she says it's ok. I hate to think that I am letting this cervical stuff change my life, but who am I kidding? Of course it does!!--Mazy
  • My poor car has a good bit of damage, but I feel okay, nothing like when I was rear-ended after my last accident...I posted what happened in matters of the heart, it was an 86 year old lady...But I wasn't rear-ended, thank the Lord, I think I'd have had to go to the hospital had that happened.
  • Wow! I hate hearing that. What is it with people out there? I hope you are OK. What a mess. I am definitely aware of my surroundings. Maybe too much, but heck, can't afford another accident. I surprised myself when I slammed on the breaks and knew it was a bad idea. I was just scared and reacted. I think I am better. Still very cautious. Probably always will be. I am sure that I will be even more cautious for awhile after surgery too. I am sure everyone is.
  • I don't know what the heck happened, she came zooming out of nowhere and I bet she was partially in the right lane or changing lanes for her to have caught me the way she did!

    I have to admit, I hated my little Blackberry Pearl because my hands were shaking so badly that I couldn't get the trackball to highlight the right number! I called like 3 wrong people and it took me forever to write a text message too! I was still shaking and nervous yesterday!
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