Study Shows War Veterans More Likely To Be Involved In Car Accidents

The  Chicago
Tribune
 reported last month about a study done by USAA insurance
company about the frequency of auto accidents by veterans of the wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan.  The study revealed that war veterans are involved in 13%
more car accidents than the rest of the driving population in the 6 months
months after returning home.

USAA found that
soldiers took the driving style that kept them alive on the streets of Baghdad
and Kabul and applied it to the suburban roads at home.  The results were
most dramatic for returning members of the Army and Marines, whose accident
rates rose 23 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively. (Rates were up 3 percent
for the Navy and 2 percent for the Air Force).

USAA found
“objects in the road” to be the most cited of the 13 accident causes
it studied.  The insurer also found a direct correlation between the
number of deployments and the rate of traffic accidents — those deployed three or more
times had 36 percent more incidents, those deployed twice had 27 percent more
and those deployed only once had 12 percent more car accidents. A 2009 military
study found that, since 2001, deployments for reservists had averaged from 8 to
14 months in duration.  There was also correlation by age (soldiers under
22 were involved in more car wrecks than those over 29) and by rank (the more
senior a soldier the lower the number of accidents).

USAA stated in their
study that they have shared their study with the government and traffic safety
groups. USAA’s study also stated that they are taking steps to make veterans
aware of the safety risks of driving after returning home from war. USAA did
not actually state what steps they are taking or how they making veterans more
aware of accident risks when they begin driving at home.  I would be
interested in learning what specific actions USAA are taking.

This is another
example of difficult adjustments soldiers must take when returning from war.

If you or someone you love
has been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident,
then call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation
at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.

Dangerous Dropoffs Causing Accidents On Nation’s Highways

The New York Times recently reported about the dangers caused by drop offs left over from highway construction zones.

Car accidents involving dangerous drop-offs kill about 160 people and injure 11,000 each year. Numerous studies have shown that the steeper the drop-off, the greater the danger.

In Texas in 2002, seven people were killed when a car slipped off a sharp edge of roadway and onto the shoulder, causing the driver to overcorrect into the path of a minivan. Four years before, six people died in a succession of car accidents in another Texas work zone, where contractors had failed to smooth out the edge of a newly paved lane.

there are virtually no laws or regulations mandating safety measures in work zones. There are standards, but they are loosely enforced and differ from state to state. As a result, there are few penalties levied against contractors when, because of ignorance, carelessness or a desire to save money, guidelines are violated. Problem contractors often just keep on getting hired, and dangerous practices remain uncorrected, sometimes for years.

“A lot of work-zone crashes are entirely preventable,” said David Holstein, Ohio’s chief traffic engineer. “It’s not explainable by just driver error or inattention. We can intervene to keep them from happening.”

$27 billion from President Obama’s economic stimulus package is prompting a nationwide boom in highway construction. Federal transportation officials are concerned that work-zone fatalities, after declining in recent years along with traffic deaths in general, could rise again.

To read the complete article, click here.

It will be interested to see if the federal stimulus money will result in a decrease in dangerous drop off and eventually better and safer roads.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an Illinois truck accident or Illinois car accident, then call attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384.