If you’ve been involved in an accident on a motorcycle, it can be a very traumatic experience, even if you only suffer from minor injuries or no injuries at all. Unfortunately, riders involved in an accident are often seriously hurt, and some experience a loss of confidence that makes them afraid of getting back on their bike again after they’ve recovered.
Experiencing a loss of confidence is normal after you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, especially one in which you’ve been injured. Not only will your body be injured, but the accident may result in a bad memory which can trigger negative, fearful thoughts every time you think about getting back on your bike after an accident. You may even think about selling your motorcycle.
Some riders involved in accidents may experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of the physical as well as mental trauma. Some common symptoms of PTSD include:
- Flashbacks to the accident
- Increased stress and anxiety levels
- Hyperarousal (feeling stressed, angry, on edge)
- General lack of interest
Learning from your experience
Take some time, if you can, to think back to what happened and how the situation unfolded. Could you have done anything differently to avoid the accident or could you have reacted differently? You may come to the conclusion that you did everything right and still ended up being involved in the accident. What matters in the end is what you can take away from the experience and how you can recover from the trauma.
Before riding a motorcycle again after you have had a motorcycle accident, there are some important steps to take to assure that you are ready to get “back in the saddle”.
If you’ve been hurt in an accident, the first thing to do is go to a hospital and get treated for your injuries, even if they are minor. Make sure that you are injury free, physically as well as mentally, before getting back on your bike. It’s risky to start riding again earlier than advised by your treatment team.
Take some time getting “reacquainted” with your motorcycle by practicing the basics in a controlled environment like an empty parking lot. Go on some short rides on familiar roads during good weather. Riding with friends or a family member may help you feel more comfortable and secure.
Your guide to getting back on the road
In addition to being in good physical shape, make sure your safety gear is in good condition; if not, replace it. What about the motorcycle’s condition? Consider taking it to a certified mechanic for a full inspection before trying to ride it again. Perhaps, you’re wondering if you had a louder bike could you have avoided the accident. But, are loud motorcycles safer?
Then, when ready to enjoy riding your motorcycle again, you will have a safe motorcycle, the proper safety gear, and the support of other riders.