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Car accidents even if it isn’t your fault can be a shocking, disruptive and life-altering occurrence, particularly for the people involved who were not culpable.

Fortunately, for blameless parties whose vehicles are damaged or written off, Australian law stipulates that they are entitled to an accident replacement car. Technicalities and entitlements aside, however, and it can be easier said than done for drivers to get back behind the wheel after a potentially traumatic experience.

Why crashes can be so emotionally difficult

Drivers involved in a crash that was not their fault can expect to feel a range of emotions in the weeks and months afterwards. At first, they are likely to feel shock or numbness as the body goes into a protective mode. This may be followed by an overwhelming sense of powerlessness as they realise how random the event was.

Further down the line, feelings of anger may start to bubble up as they reflect on the driver at fault, even if it is clear that they had no intention of harming anyone. When experienced together, these feelings can produce physical reactions including insomnia, panic attacks, headaches, or loss of appetite, and can make drivers very reticent to get back behind the wheel.

Overcoming distress and getting back on the road

One of the first things to realise after a crash is that the feelings you are experiencing are a perfectly natural reaction to a traumatic event, and will not be cured in an instant. Having said that, it is also possible to start the recovery process from day one.

Receiving an accident replacement vehicle will help reassure you of your innocence in the crash, and encourage you to get driving again, so do not hesitate to apply for one.

Once you have done this, there are plenty of self-care strategies you can use to calm your nerves and settle your worries. These include eating a balanced diet, exercising frequently, getting plenty of rest, and sticking to a comfortable routine. You should also take the time to talk through your experiences with friends, families or a qualified counsellor, as this can be a wonderfully therapeutic process.