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Almost got in an accident

Ok so I got my license like a month and a half or two months ago?? Idk but point is: I am a new driver. I am still getting used to driving by myself. I just went up to my post office which is legit like 5 minutes from my house and I made a dumb mistake while driving ( no didn’t run a light lol) not gonna say what though bc I don’t want to sound stupid. And a car almost hit me. It was not insanely close but they honked at me too and it just was enough to be really nerve racking. I feel SO bad bc if the accident had occurred it would have entirely been my fault. After I got parked where I was going I almost had a meltdown in the parking lot and still feel pretty triggered and cant get the image out of my mind. ( may I also add I have a severe fear of death and fear of bad things happening to me and I often don’t feel safe due to my bad anxiety anyway ? :frowning: ) So stuff like that happening shows me that I am not safe and that its easy to get hurt or die. I just cannot get it out of my head. I am constantly living in fear anyway so stuff like an almost ACCIDENT makes things sm worse. I have been trying to reassure myself that I am usually a pretty safe driver though and I typically am cautious since I worry. I sure as heck KNOW never to make that mistake again. Its actually good that this maybe happened since no one was harmed & the only damage the experience did was cause bad feelings because when I just had my temps and was driving with my dad there were several times I made dumb mistakes too and it scared me bad enough to know never to do those things again and I think its the same case for this. Life is about learning right? I feel scared because I don’t drive around tons yet, just here and there in my town but I am afraid because im getting a job here soon this summer probably & I am gonna be driving to school every single day next year and its like 15 mins from me. That feels so overwhelming, am I even capable of driving places on my own and doing that? I mean obviously I passed my drivers test for a reason and this is the first ( & hopefully last) bad mistake ive made out by myself. So really, I should be okay. I am just horribly stressed abt what happened. I guess I just need some love and reassurance I am safe and okay now. Yikes… man things like this happening really make me wonder : am I really ready to soon be thrown in the adult world?? I am a legal adult in October- I am graduating school next year. You might think its kinda premature of me to worry about those things since I haven’t even started my senior year yet and I should just be trying to focus on the last bit of my highschool days but MAN am I gonna be cut out for this whole adult thing? Sometimes I realllly don’t know. Jeesh.

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Hi cs,

I understand how this has left you shaken.

Be assured though, everyone makes mistakes, we all start somewhere, and driving is scary. I didn’t get my license until I was 23. Everyone who tried to teach me had a bad way of doing it and made sure to constantly tell me that I was driving a 4000 lb bomb which, as you can expect, did wonders for my anxiety.

I eventually got my license after doing several months of drivers ed with a teacher who actually knew what he was doing. I gained a lot of confidence on the road and I felt a lot more comfortable. That being said, driving was still pretty scary for me for a long time.

I’m not saying this to scare you, but don’t be upset that this happened so close to home. Many accidents happen within a mile of the home, probably because people are overly confident - they are in their territory and they feel like they can let their guard down.

It is good that you are learning from your mistakes, that is the best way to approach something that you are still new at. If I had to guess, you’ll never do again whatever it was that you did recently, which is great. Like I said above, we all start somewhere.

I think when you start driving to school every day you’ll likely become far more comfortable in and around your vehicle and traffic. You’ll find over time that your reflexes are probably a lot better than you expect, especially being so young, so trust your gut and pay attention. I saw once a strategy to be a more mindful driver by forcing yourself to acknowledge everything you see. Pay attention to what is going on in front of you, watch what they are doing, pay attention to when they put on their breaks, try to look at the lights now and then to anticipate if people are going to break in front of you.

But don’t worry. It will come to you over time. You did fine.

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Hey @cs15, I’m sorry to hear you had a bad experience when driving today. You’re not the first person to make a mistake while driving, and you probably won’t be the last. I’ve made some mistakes while driving and have even been in a few accidents myself. I used to work at a job where I was driving for 5 or 6 hours a day, and when I was in training for the job, they put a HUGE emphasis on defensive driving, which is essentially always preparing for an accident when you are driving. To do this, you should control your speed and always stay within the speed limit (maybe even going slower if the weather is bad), always look at the road ahead of you, and always be alert and free of any distractions. Something I often do is assume that other drivers are not paying attention like I am, and be prepared in case they do make a bad decision when driving. Maintain a safe following distance between your car and the car ahead of you. Usually at lower speeds in a town or city this would be 1.5 car-lengths, and on the highway at a higher speed, it may be more like 3 or 4 car-lengths. Don’t be in a rush. Every road is connected, so if you miss your turn, you know that you can easily find another route to get you where you need to be.

When you drive defensively, you are greatly reducing your chances or being in an accident, and if an accident does occur, you’re increasing the chances that it will be less severe.

Driving can seem really scary and overwhelming when you’re a new driver, but with time and practice, it will become a lot more comfortable and will come much easier.

Good luck!

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thank you so much! <3

Thank you so much. It for sure is nerve racking at first ! Hopefully I am eventually not as nervous with it with more practice like you said:)

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First off, I’m glad you’re alright and didn’t get in an accident. There is no need to feel stupid for whatever it was. By the numbers, most accidents are caused by adults, often while doing stupid things. Eventually we’ll all do something stupid behind the wheel. It may be accidental or a dumb stunt, and it may or may not end in a collision, but everyone does stupid stuff behind the wheel at least occasionally.

One of the scariest moments of my life was when I was driving at 17, a couple miles from home. It was noon on a Saturday, I was tired and ready for a nap, and I pulled out to take a left turn in front of an armored truck going 50. I was in a haze and didn’t even notice him coming. He honked, swerved, and smoked his tires to avoid hitting me. I finished the turn, then pulled into a gas station to catch my breath and calm my nerves. That was a powerful lesson to always check carefully before turning.

I’m 32 and still wonder this all the time :stuck_out_tongue: nearly everyone on this forum who is out of school wonders the same thing. You don’t graduate adolescence when you graduate high school, or even college. There is no “ready.” You do the best you can out in the real world, ask questions, make mistakes, learn, power through, and make the rest up as you go along :upside_down_face: Just try to savor the moments along your way!