Returning Military Personnel Are More Likely to be Involved in Accidents
It’s a little known fact but men and women who return from war zones are almost twice as likely to be involved in a car accidents than civilians.
It’s an issue that’s very relevant in Hampton Roads with its large military population.
Last year The Washington Post reported on how after they leave military service, veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan “have a 75 percent higher rate of fatal motor vehicle accidents than do civilians.”
Servicemen and women have a higher risk of crashing their cars in the months immediately after they return from deployment than in the months immediately before. People who have had many tours of duty in combat zones are at highest risk for traffic accidents.
The phenomenon is based on a number of pieces of research as well as observations of service members, veterans and interviews with counselors.
One of the most likely explanations for the upsurge in accidents is that returning service personnel have become accustomed to so-called “defensive driving.”
The Washington Post article said this included “racing through intersections, straddling lanes, swerving on bridges and, for some, not wearing seat belts because they hinder a rapid escape.”
Another part of the equation was said to be post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition that has affected thousands of veterans. It can make drivers more aggressive behind the wheel. The article pointed out that “drunken driving and thrill-seeking” are also more common after combat, according to many veterans.
The increased risk of car accidents is just one of the many problems that veterans face after returning from war zones.
The website Costs of War states: “The war’s violence has rippled through the nation, affecting families and the communities where they live. A July 2010 report found that child abuse in Army families was been three times higher in homes from which a parent was deployed”
The years from 2001 through 2011 saw alcohol use associated with physical domestic violence in Army families rise by 54 percent and with child abuse by 40 percent. The site stated the trend “may be associated with research linking increased alcohol consumption with partner aggression among veterans suffering from combat-related wounds, injuries and illnesses.”
Thousands of people who have served this country have paid the ultimate price but many others have been left to battle a range of problems back on US soil.
If you have been injured in a car wreck in Virginia or North Carolina, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers for a free consultation at 757.455.0077.