A new USAA study suggests that returning soldiers from overseas deployments are more likely to be involved in a car accident where they were at fault.
What the study foundThe study concluded that soldiers returning from overseas duty were 13 percent more likely to cause an accident within six months of returning as compared to the six months prior to their deployment.
Who was studiedThe USAA:
- Studied 171,000 deployments.
- Of those deployments, 158,000 were USAA members.
- Conducted its study over a three year period ending in February 2010.
Other key resultsThe USAA study determined that:
- Members of the Army and Marines were more inclined to be involved in a car accident, as opposed to members of the Air Force and Navy.
- Age played a role. Military personnel returning from overseas and who were under the age of 22 were more likely to be involved in an accident where they were at fault than those over the age of 29.
How the number of deployments made an impactAccording to the study, the number of deployments revealed a direct correlation to the rate of accidents soldiers were in. The USAA found that soldiers serving:
- Three or more tours had 36 percent more car accidents.
- Two tours had 27 percent more accidents.
- One tour had 12 percent more accidents.
Key conclusionThe USAA attributed this phenomenon to military training where many soldiers were taught how to avoid improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other roadside dangers while in combat. In many instances the driving styles soldiers used to keep them safe in Baghdad and Kabul were dangerously applied on American roads.
Action by USAA“USAA has shared its research with each military branch’s safety center commanders,” the company said. “USAA has also shared the study with academics and traffic safety experts and has taken steps to make USAA members aware of the behind-the-wheel risks for returning troops.”
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