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Wreck Effects

Back in January when I was pregnant with Eli I got in a car wreck while driving down the highway.

It was so scary but thankfully both Eli and I were just fine. My car on the other hand was not and was totaled. It was a bad wreck.

Since that date I have developed a sort of fear of driving.

I still drive, and most days I'm fine, but there are times where I can picture the wreck all over again in my mind and I suddenly become convinced that every single car on the road next to me has one goal and that is to crash into me.

The person that wrecked into me was behind me and came into my lane. So now if a car is next to me on the road - which by the way happens A LOT while driving I get sick thinking they are going to come into my lane.

It's very unfortunate because I have become the world's worst passenger seat driver ever. I have actually embarrassed myself while riding in the car with friends because they were simply driving down the road minding and their own business and I suddenly jumped out of my seat because I thought the car next to us, who was also going straight, was going to wreck into us.

When I have my spells where I freak out in the passenger seat Luke compares it to a cat trying to claw itself out of the car. I'm a delicate flower what can I say.

Has anybody else ever experienced this? How long does it last? I need it to go away!!

I think I have some sort of post traumatic stress disorder from my wreck and I am ready for it to go away. And so is Luke. And anybody else that I ride in the car with.

Moral of the story, don't ride in a car with me until I get this mess figured out. Unless you like riding around with cats trying to claw themselves out of cars.


  1. Hi Megan, I'm Melissa. I've never commented before, but I enjoy your blog and I've been where you are. When I was in college I blew a tire, overcorrected, and spun out across 5 lanes of a six lane freeway. Thank God (and it could have only been God) no one hit me, and I hit no one. Unfortunately, I totally had the same kind of PTSD you're going through now. I was constantly thinking that my tire was about to blow. I convinced myself of this every time my car made what I thought was a funny noise. Anyway, I'm telling you this so that you 1. don't feel alone and 2. know that it does eventually go away. I think it was 6 or 8 months later I asked my psychology professor about it. He said I really should be recovered by then. At first that made me feel pretty crummy. A funny thing happened after I spoke about it (and bawled about it) in my psychology class... it started to get better. Maybe this blog post will be your psychology class, and your fears will start to go away soon.

  2. I haven't been in an accident like yours, but in the last two months I've had 3 people swerve into my lane and almost hit me along with watching the two cars in front of me almost merge into each other. So, I feel like im constantly on the lookout for people about to hit me. On one hand i feel like with all the distracted cell phone drivers being alert isn't a bad thing, but at the same time I get really easily freaked out and yell at my husband to "watch out!" So, if you figure out how to get over this, please let me know. Also, i would also like to say that I wish we had some way of making bad drivers, like a reckless driver scarlet letter. Just say'n.

  3. Yes, I did. I took a half a Klonapin for a few months when I was a passenger to help me relax! Really! Don't take them and drive though, not safe. I do not need it now unless I see a wreck on TV or have some other stressful thing going on. You might talk to a doc about this... you can get sweet relief!

  4. I've actually been hit twice as a pedestrian. Once when I was 12 yrs and and again when I was 18. At 12 the car was going 65 miles and hour and hit me head on.

    It took me a long time to even get my license. I didn't trust myself let alone other people. Sometimes I still cross the street and think a car is coming straight for me. While I am over the fear of driving, and I a VERY safe driver. My friends and family make fun of me, but I am very cautious. I don't think that is a bad thing. I do get nervous still sometimes, and it has been 19 yrs.

  5. I've been in a car wreck twice. Both were on a bridge during icy weather. The most recent one was 9 years ago. Still, to this day, I always take my foot off the gas and the brake when going over bridges and overpasses in the winter. I don't think I'll ever get over it!

    I'm giving away a free one-year subscription to Disney Family Fun magazine on my blog to celebrate my girls' picture in the magazine! Stop by and enter!

  6. That really really REALLY sucks Megan :(
    I don't know how to help you get over it, but I am assuming like all things - time heals. It's probably just going to take a little bit longer for you to feel better about driving.
    Maybe a prayer before you hop in the car will help ease your mind?
    I'm thinking of you!!

  7. Hi Megan,

    I'm Jennie, and I've been reading your blog for awhile. As someone who can relate, the best thing I can tell you is that it takes time. If you do have a trauma-related reaction while in a car, make sure to take some time to take deep breaths. Do something nice for yourself when you get home, and make sure to stay hydrated. Above all, recognize that this is not uncommon after intense accidents or situations; the more anxiety and/or shame you feel about your reactions, the more time it could take.

    You are not alone. I'll be thinking of you.

  8. Hi Megan!

    Unfortunately, this has never left me. I am also the worlds worst back seat driver. I can't help it.

    We were rear ended 2 years ago while towing our boat to the cabin. The boat was pushed up on the trailer and went through our back window. I was also pregnant when that happened.

    I have terrible anxiety that every car is going to crash into me at every stop.

    I also HATE driving next to semi's. I speed up to get away from them, which I know is bad. Then they can't see you.

    So I guess I don't have any advice, just know you are not alone!


  9. I use to have really bad car anxiety as well. I can tell you it gets better with time.

  10. I got rear ended pretty bad. Totalled my car. The anxiety was pretty bad for the first year after. Everytime I came to a stop I looked at the rear view and freaked out thinking the car behind me was going to hit me. It is a bit better now 4 years later, but I am still not as carefree as before. It also made me a back seat driver. To make matters worse, my hubby rear ended someone when I was pregnant with my twins, so now I am the most annoying back seat driver ever. I brace for impact multiple times when driving with him. He is not a bad driver either, the accident wasn't really his fault, but I can't help it. I hope it gets better for you :)

  11. Can't say I've ever dealt (that seriously) with the after-effects of a traumatic car accident...but I have dealt with you in my front seat. And THAT was definitely an experience. (:
    Love ya!

  12. Oh Megan I'm so sorry! I know how that feels and it is no fun! I think for me it took about a year to finally get over my fear of someone crashing into me again. Just remember, God is in control!

  13. I am so sorry! Last year in 10/2010, I was pregnant with my daughter and I also had a bad car accident that was not my fault. Like you, I still worry about cars coming into my lane and am super paranoid and anxious about it. It hasn't gone away, but I try to focus on the road in front of me as much as possible, rather than what is going on next to me. The more I look at the car(s) next to me, the more freaked out I get!

    I'm so sorry you are also going through this, and I hope it gets better for both of us SOON! :)

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  15. I have a fear in the car as well. About 6 months ago J and I were driving to a friends house. I was driving. We were on a back road, sort of in the country, when all of a sudden I felt pressure on the back of my head and I was so dizzy I couldn't see straight. I was probably going about 45mph. It hit me so fast. I remember pressing on the break and grabbing J's hand. I was able, somehow thank you Lord, to pull over. I couldn't see straight at all. J was able to get me out of the car and switch me sides. I was crying because I was so scared. By the time we got to our friends house my I could see much better but was still a little dizzy. I am so thankful J was in the car with me. Now I'm scared every time I drive alone, which is about 95% of the time. I especially get scared on the free ways. What if that happened to me then? How could I get over?? I don't think there is ever a time when I don't think about it when I'm in the car. I seriously pray every time I get nervous about it happening because I can just feel myself become more anxious. I think over time I will relax more. I need to show myself that I will be okay and that God will take care of me. I can't prevent anything like this from happening again, but I have to tell myself that I will be okay. I still have no idea how this happened. I'm thinking that it was fluid in my ears/head moving around and vertigo set in. I tend to get that when the weather is changing, which it was at the time.

    Best of luck with your car worries. Just take a deep breath and say a little prayer!

  16. I can totally relate. A year ago we were stopped in construction on the highway and someone rear-ended us going 65 mph and our entire trunk and backseat was gone. I saw the pickup truck coming and tried to move out of the way --- the paramedic said he was shocked no one was dead. I always think someone is going to run into us and am hyper-alert now. I will say that it is a little better than before, though! I think each time I drive it gets a little easier --- but I think I'll always be hyper-alert and now when we look for new cars we always look for safety above all else!!!

  17. I've definitely been there. One month after getting my license in high school I was in a bad t-bone accident (my fault). In my case, I wasn't worried about others hitting me, but I didn't trust myself and my own abilities. It took a LONG time to get past that and feel safe on the roads. I now drive without the fear, but I am very cautious and attentive while driving since I have experienced first hand just how dangerous a vehicle can be.

    I still can hear the sounds of my wreck and picture it all clearly. It's terrifying. I wish I could tell you that fades, but my accident was over 11 years ago and I remember every detail.

    (and that was a downer of a comment!)

  18. I got into a pretty bad wreck in college that I should not have walked away from. For months I was TERRIFIED to get into a car, but eventually it gets better. It took me a very, very long time though..

  19. Aww Im sorry! I hope it gets better soon.

  20. I think that is pretty normal. I was hit by someone running a red light about 10 years ago and for the first year or so I would get nervous every time I would enter an intersection. The freak-out's got less and less and though I occasionally will think about it now (very rarely), there is very little trauma associated with it.

  21. I definitely went through this. I totaled a car I was driving for work with myself and 2 co-workers in it after my sophomore year of college. Shortly after, I went to Ireland to study abroad, and didn't drive again at all for almost 6 months. When I came home, I refused to drive at all. Thank goodness, I turned 21 and my mother said that there was no way she would drive me to the DMV to get my new license. It certainly took awhile to get over it, but I did get there. I honestly don't remember how long, though.


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