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I am afraid to drive in a motor vehicle. Please help!

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Dear Life Coach,

Two weeks ago my friend and I were driving out in the country when my tire blew out and we rammed into a tree. The front of the car was badly dented and we were both shaken up, but not otherwise hurt. Since then I have not been able to get the image of the crash out of my mind and I have avoided getting into any motor vehicle. I need your help!{{more}}

Nervous Wreck (NW)

Dear NW,

Your car crashed recently and since then you’ve been having severe flashbacks and avoiding motor vehicles.

Your Situation:

Here are some factors that have contributed to your present situation: Road traffic accident, motor vehicle maintenance, accident prevention, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I will address these briefly.

Road Traffic Accidents

Road traffic accidents are one of the 10 major causes of death and injuries worldwide. You, your friend, and other road users were very fortunate in not sustaining injuries.

Motor Vehicle Maintenance

It is important to have your motor vehicle serviced every 5,000 to 6,000 miles that you have travelled or every three to six months. During servicing tires, brakes, steering wheel, suspension, lighting, windscreen wipers, oil, oil filters, air filters, spark plugs, and fuel filters are checked and replaced as needed, which helps to ensure that your vehicle remains road worthy and that you and other road users remain safe.

Accident Prevention

You did not mention your attitude on the road and your style of driving. So, I take it that you are a good and careful driver, who does everything in his power to prevent accidents.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Individuals who experience trauma, including motor vehicle accidents, may experience post-traumatic stress disorder with symptoms such as avoidance of similar activities that serve as a reminder of the incident, as well as recurring memories, dreams or nightmares connected to the event, which may cause you to feel that you are having the experience all over again.

What to Do:

Visit your Doctor

Since you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident you should check with your doctor even though you feel fine and there are no signs of injury. This is important since it is possible to have internal injuries. Dark red discoloration of your feces (stool/poop) is an indicator that you may be bleeding internally, so watch out for this when you use the bathroom.

Seek Therapy

Since you are most likely suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder it is important for you to seek help from a therapist who specializes in treating PTSD.

Drive Defensively

Apart from driving safely and observing the road code, it is also important for you to practise defensive driving, which is a style of driving that takes into consideration your driving, as well as that of others, in order to ensure road safety, accident prevention and saving lives – as you drive you look out for and prevent danger on the road as far as is possible. So, for example, if you notice a vehicle speeding towards you, you would slow down. You would also check your rear view mirror constantly so that you can take precaution when being overtaken etc.

Make Servicing your Vehicle a Priority

Take your vehicle for servicing every three months and make it a priority. Write it on your calendar. Put a reminder on your phone and ensure that you get it done on time. This way you will protect yourself and others. If for any reason you are unable to service your vehicle (e.g. due to a lack of finances), please refrain from driving until you are able to do so.

NW, thank God you and your friend were spared. Please take precaution from now on, as your luck could run out next time. I wish you the very best in your future travels.

Life Coach,

DYNACII

Need help with relationship and other problems? Ask DYNACII’s Life Coach. Email your questions to dynacii@gmail.com. To chat with the Life Coach, visit: http://www.dynacinternational.com. Dynamic Action Center International Inc. (DYNACII) a non-governmental organization committed to social and spiritual empowerment.

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