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).
“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.