After a horrific accident, I've lost the motivation to drive. Please help.

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jazzBLUisgood4u
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After a horrific accident, I've lost the motivation to drive. Please help.

Postby jazzBLUisgood4u » Sat Feb 10, 2007 3:13 pm

Hey guys, so this is my first post on here after being an inactive member for a few years but I finally feel compelled to share an experience and hopefully gain some feedback.
My interest in VW's started when I was 16; I dated a VW enthusiast and soon found myself accompanying him to meets, shows and crazy drives in the Santa Cruz mountains. Naturally, I wanted my first car to be a Volkswagen. And so on that hallowed day when I saw a used '98 jazz blue Cabrio staring back at me on the VW lot on Steven's Creek Blvd, I knew it was a match made in heaven.
That's when the drives in the Santa Cruz mountains started. Hwy 9 to Skyline, Skyline to Alpine Rd, Bear Creek Rd, Hwy 92, Portola Rd, Stage Rd. connecting Pescadaro to San Gregorio and then over to the east up Mt. Hamilton Rd. to the observatory. All in my little manual Cabrio.
I can safely say I was obsessed. I even considered putting a VR6 in it and smoking the asses out of all those who made fun of me for driving a "chick car." Of course I was in high school and could only dream about affording modifications.
After high school, I moved to Santa Cruz from San Jose and finally, I was on the other side of those mountains for good. Unfortunately, it was the end of the journey for the Cabby.
It was the first rain of the year on November 29, 2005 and I was driving hwy 17 towards San Jose to visit some friends. As I was easing into a turn, I began to hydroplane towards the right lane. Against everything I was taught, I followed my first impulse and jacked my wheel to the left. The result should be seemingly predictable. My rear-end spun forward and the force of the spin caused my car to roll multiple times until it finally came to a stop right-side up, perpendicular to the road. Now keep in mind that I was driving in the middle of the day in a steady stream of traffic. No one else was involved in the accident and I miraculously survived with merely a laceration on the side of my head. But my car was totaled beyond repair. Completely fucked up.
I eventually recovered from the shock of being inches from death and the fact that my car was completely ruined but the post-traumatic stress remained.
Over a year later, I still can't drive in the rain. I've developed a habit of unconsciously grinding my teeth whenever I drove and eventually at all times of the day. Loud noises scare the shit out of me. I went to therapy for a while but it got to0 expensive after I realized that most driving was bearable if it didn't involve ass-holes cutting me off or people tailgating me due to the fact that I drive a lot slower than usual. And the rain of course.
Anyways, a month after the accident, I was perusing another VW lot in Sunnyvale after getting sick of being car-less and there she was, a Jazz Blue 20th anniversary GTI. The same exact connection as that day when I saw my Cabby. Maybe it’s the blue that strikes me so much. Or maybe it’s the VW charm. Whatever it is, my broken heart seemed to be less painful. A month after owning the car, I got my first speeding ticket in two years.
“What an idiot,” you say, “you’d think she would have learned her lesson after almost DYING.” I thought that too.
My bad luck continued with another ticket that I successfully contested in court. Then there is the issue of freezing up whenever I drive around turns. For months after getting the car, I’d relive the accident in my head anytime I drove a curvy road (maybe it’s the knowledge that I’m driving on high-performance racing tires that lack sufficient traction in the rain). Living in fear, driving just isn’t the same for me anymore.
So here I am, over a year later with a gorgeous car and a lack of motivation or confidence to drive it. I’ve considered taking some sort of defensive driving or high-performance racing course but being an unemployed student is definitely a setback. And the numerous mechanical and technological malfunctions that seem to keep popping up are dejecting as well. Hell, I’ve had two blowouts with only three days between in the past week. Damn potholes.
I’d appreciate any advice given dealing with driver confidence or anything to do with bringing me up out of the dumps. I like to think of myself as a matured driver and a cautious one at that, maybe overly cautious at times. Oh, and it’s been over a year since I’ve had a run-in with the cops (and I’d like to keep it that way). So please, take your time reading this and if there is anyone who has endured a similar experience as mine, I’d love to hear your two-cents on the subject. Happy driving to you all.

Kristina

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si9ma25
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Postby si9ma25 » Sat Feb 10, 2007 4:08 pm

2 years ago my dad and i got into a crash. we owned a volvo and good thing it was a volvo! my dad and i were slowing down at a stop light, then VROOM! some ricer 300ZX passes by us hella fast, i say to myself "stupid ricer" then BAM! my dad and i get rear ended by a volvo wagon, i felt my ass lift off my seat. my dad saw a break between the stream of traffic and went through it and there was cars still passing by us, i looked out the window and behind us i saw some fluid, i thought it was gas so panicked even more. so i collected myself and went out of the driver's side(i was in the passenger seat). there were 7 cars involved in the accident, couple of cars got scratches, my dad's volvo was totalled, the volvo wagon that his us was totalled, the honda that was involved in the accident, a camry got scraped on the side, an infiniti got scratched a bit, and another car got scratched a bit, and there was another car, but it fled the scene. since then i developed a shoulder twitch, whenever i hear loud noises, or im playing a video game and i crash, it causes the twitch. im always holding onto the car when i ride, im always telling the driver to watch out.

i got over it though after a couple of months. i got back into scootering and would always mess around and ride really fast. (kick scootering this is) but just picking up a dangerous hobby i guess would help you out. skateboarding? going to a shooting range? im not sure, but i guess for me the fear of falling off my scooter and busting my face helped me get over riding in a car and having a back injury.

maybe you should move to a less mountainous area. when my family goes on trips, i get scared just even going through the mountains, i can't imagine living in an area like that.

i think you getting a speeding ticket or 2 is cool because it's kinda helping you get out of the "drive slow to avoid any danger" kinda phase. glad you got back into dubs. CHANGE THOSE HIGH PERFORMANCE TIRES! get some winter tires, or something with good traction in wet conditions.
'79 Scirocco.
Keepin it oldschool :)

si9ma25@yahoo.com

ohsnap
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Postby ohsnap » Sat Feb 10, 2007 5:06 pm

I say you get back in the car and drive around aimlessly. Remind yourself of how fun it is to be behind the wheel, especially of a VW. Try to live in the time before your Cabby had its issue. :wave:
"The administrator has decided that ohsnap should be quiet for a while."

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Silver6
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Postby Silver6 » Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:28 pm

Get back in that car and drive around and take those back mountain roads build your self up gradually.....

HumboldtCorrado
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Postby HumboldtCorrado » Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:29 pm

damn, i know how you feel. a few months ago, i rolled my car on the highway a few times. it was shitty.
i didn't drive for like... a week. then, i was driving really, really slow for about a couple days. but then i realized that it was because i was back down to driving my diesel jetta. :rofl:

oh yeah.. anyway.. i think it's just something you gotta work through yourself. it helped me to cut up my car that i rolled in. i kicked it a few times. telling it to fuck off as i cut through the body with a sawzall felt really good (i put a LOT of work into my car too). crashing is a bitch, but at some point, you just gotta say "fuck it" and get in and drive.
i know, probably easier said than done for some people, but if you wanna drive, you just have to sit down and go. good choice on the jazz blue 20th, that's an awesome color by the way. you got a 6 speed, so you need to enjoy it. :)
like somebody else said, maybe go out somewhere by yourself on some nice semi-slow twisties. take it easy, but have some fun. maybe a parking lot out in the middle of nowhere? push the car a little bit to find it's limits. after a while, you'll be having fun again, fer shizzle.

here's my thread from when i wrecked (with pics!)
http://www.norcalvw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14616


p.s.
at least you had airbags. :thumb:

eminent_gti
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Postby eminent_gti » Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:10 pm

wow, i'm sorry to hear that, but i've been through a simillar situation. I've been riding motorcycles since i was 16 and i hit a patch of loose gravel and slid out at about 50. everytime i passed that turn, i'd sit up and get target fixation, which everyone who rides knows that thats when you focus on a target straight in front of you rather than looking through the turn. it was hell tryin to ride with my boys again through there and everytime i'd sit up. what helped was realizing what i did wrong, and just committing myself to doing it a different way. I think you build confidence by sayin you have it. just know that you are a safe driver, and i think you'll be one. thats how i eventually got over it. hope this helps.

vwabbitman
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Postby vwabbitman » Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:00 am

i acctually have three accidents. ill start with the first one and the only one dmv knows about and was ever reported. the second two where delt with through friends so no government officals where notified. i had a 97 pontiac sunfire back in highschool. i only had it and my liscense for two months and went around a s turn kinda wrong and way to fast. anways got spun backwards and hit a fence post at 85mph(was doing around 100 before i wreaked) 7k worth of damage to the rear of the car. i got pics somewhere but it was drivable but the insurance company called it totaled and took it. i had my senior prom two days later so i had to drive me and my gf at the time. bout a week later my dad told me that he would pay to fix up the vw that had been sitting in the back yard for 7 years. i took him on that offer and i still drive it to this day. but i had two big accidents that i havent told many people about but i think its about time to. i was on a back road in eastern washington in a friends car. my friend told me to take a certain road that he said was shorter and funner than the one we were gonna take. got about half way down the hill and came up onto a tight corner way to fast and hit the brakes. somehow made it around the corner but ended up hitting a tree (that was just right off the pavement) with the passenger headlight and spinning then hitting a post on the other side of the road with the drivers side rear quarter and rolling about 4 times and coming to a rest on the roof. walked away from that with just a scratch on my right ankle. that one made me think alot. the other one that was about 3 months later up in the far north area of california i was driving another friends newly rebuilt car we where doing 140+ and the drivers side steering knuckle broke, the wheel turned and ripped the rubber off the rim and then the rim and front suspension out of the car. the car slammed down into the ground, dug in and fliped a few times, rolled a few more, hit a tree, spun a few times and finally landed on what was left of the wheels. i still to this day cant figure out how i got out or even survived that accident with the way it looked when we regained ourselves. basically the roof was on the dash, the seats where pushed against the dash and the whole firewall forward part of the car was GONE. we retraced our debris trail and picked up the big shit. he called his friend that had a flat bed truck to come get us and what we could get of the car. all we left was the engine and i went to where the car stopped and stuck the front bumper into the ground as far as i could. also it was raining in all three of these accidents. i was really really skidish for about two years after that but never stopped driving just drove really caucious until about a year and a half ago i went back to where the accident happened and 'relived' it as i walked the trail of marks still in the road. the bumper was still where i put it and the tree is still missing the bark where we hit it. but going back and walking and reliving the accident was the best thing i could have done. i would reccomend going back there and just walking around retracing the path of the accident. that is unless the road is busy and or dangerous.

i still to this day am skidish but i dont drive really slow anymore. i acctually am starting to trust myself alittle to much. but i never let any of the accidents stop me from driving. my heart races when im driving when its raining. if its night and raining ill get to where i need to go and stay there. i do not like driving in the rain at night. during the day is ok but at night no.


sorry for the long winded post but im done.
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jazzBLUisgood4u
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Postby jazzBLUisgood4u » Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:36 am

vwabbitman wrote:i acctually have three accidents. ill start with the first one and the only one dmv knows about and was ever reported. the second two where delt with through friends so no government officals where notified. i had a 97 pontiac sunfire back in highschool. i only had it and my liscense for two months and went around a s turn kinda wrong and way to fast. anways got spun backwards and hit a fence post at 85mph(was doing around 100 before i wreaked) 7k worth of damage to the rear of the car. i got pics somewhere but it was drivable but the insurance company called it totaled and took it. i had my senior prom two days later so i had to drive me and my gf at the time. bout a week later my dad told me that he would pay to fix up the vw that had been sitting in the back yard for 7 years. i took him on that offer and i still drive it to this day. but i had two big accidents that i havent told many people about but i think its about time to. i was on a back road in eastern washington in a friends car. my friend told me to take a certain road that he said was shorter and funner than the one we were gonna take. got about half way down the hill and came up onto a tight corner way to fast and hit the brakes. somehow made it around the corner but ended up hitting a tree (that was just right off the pavement) with the passenger headlight and spinning then hitting a post on the other side of the road with the drivers side rear quarter and rolling about 4 times and coming to a rest on the roof. walked away from that with just a scratch on my right ankle. that one made me think alot. the other one that was about 3 months later up in the far north area of california i was driving another friends newly rebuilt car we where doing 140+ and the drivers side steering knuckle broke, the wheel turned and ripped the rubber off the rim and then the rim and front suspension out of the car. the car slammed down into the ground, dug in and fliped a few times, rolled a few more, hit a tree, spun a few times and finally landed on what was left of the wheels. i still to this day cant figure out how i got out or even survived that accident with the way it looked when we regained ourselves. basically the roof was on the dash, the seats where pushed against the dash and the whole firewall forward part of the car was GONE. we retraced our debris trail and picked up the big shit. he called his friend that had a flat bed truck to come get us and what we could get of the car. all we left was the engine and i went to where the car stopped and stuck the front bumper into the ground as far as i could. also it was raining in all three of these accidents. i was really really skidish for about two years after that but never stopped driving just drove really caucious until about a year and a half ago i went back to where the accident happened and 'relived' it as i walked the trail of marks still in the road. the bumper was still where i put it and the tree is still missing the bark where we hit it. but going back and walking and reliving the accident was the best thing i could have done. i would reccomend going back there and just walking around retracing the path of the accident. that is unless the road is busy and or dangerous.

i still to this day am skidish but i dont drive really slow anymore. i acctually am starting to trust myself alittle to much. but i never let any of the accidents stop me from driving. my heart races when im driving when its raining. if its night and raining ill get to where i need to go and stay there. i do not like driving in the rain at night. during the day is ok but at night no.


sorry for the long winded post but im done.


I would definitely be up for re-living the accident for real but it would be kind of hard; highway 17 is an extremely notorious highway for accidents. There are even names for all the turns that people crash the most on. Mine was called "valley surprise," I know this because after my car came to a halt and I ran to the other side of the road, the median wall had the name sprayed on the side of it.

I appreciate everyones comments and stories; it helps to know that I'm not abnormal for still feeling some mental effects from the accident. I agree with all of you though; some solo driving in the mountains would definitely benefit me. Especially to the sounds of Radiohead (my favorite driving music).

Inner Nerd
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Postby Inner Nerd » Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:16 am

The answer is actually pretty simple. It's the same principle you use after a motorcycle crash.

If you don't feel comfortable or something doesn't feel quite right, just don't do it. Give it time and you'll eventually pick it back up. You have to build up your confidence slowly and in short intervals. If you jump right back into it, you're asking for trouble.

After I crashed my car I didn't drive for a few days, and it wasn't until several months later that I started driving aggressively again.

Take your time and go easy for a bit.
Max
2008 Ducati 848 <~ Daily
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2008 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner

norcalstyle
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Postby norcalstyle » Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:42 am

if it was me, i would jump in a car and go balls out down a road...just because of how it makes you feel so...alive. i dunno, im a spiritual driver like that, i love tearing down a road on that edge, its just what does "it" for me. i think you need to get in your car, start it up, melt into the seat, feel that wheel, and start your way down a road. start slow and build yourself back up. take a few turns nice and deliberate, dissect them, get that feeling for your car, regain confidence in yourself, and get on it.

i've had a few close calls that probable would have teaken my life if i would have reacted differently or would have just been unlucky. the first thing i did was turn around, and go re-take that turn, and learn from it. letting it eat at you from the inside is the wrong thing to do, you have to get back on that horse and ride.

zuhaelter_82
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Postby zuhaelter_82 » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:30 am

1959, 1964,1998, 2000, 2001

zuhaelter_82
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Postby zuhaelter_82 » Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:26 pm

hard for me not to. I am grateful that i had a wonderful friend there to take care of me. i was broken in the worst kind of ways...
1959, 1964,1998, 2000, 2001


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