I write a great deal in this space about behavior behind the wheel and the impact of distracted driving on highway safety, but sometimes interesting new angles appear in the debate surrounding such subjects.
For example: there’s an awful lot of research about how young, inexperienced drivers (read as: teenagers) suffer from higher-than-average crash risks. But here’s a population at a high risk of crashes we often don’t consider: military personnel returned from deployments in combat zones.
According to study entitled Returning Warriors conducted by insurance provider USAA, troops coming back from deployment had 13% more at-fault accidents within the first six months of returning when compared to the six months prior to deployment.
[As it’s also National Work Zone Awareness Week, I’m going to veer off for a moment on a tangent. The video below, dubbed The Close Call, is a stark reminder that what goes on while we’re on the road often circles back to impact us when we’re off it.]
The company’s research – conducted on private passenger vehicle driving experiences of USAA-member military personnel over a three-year period, which included 171,000 deployments to various overseas locations – also found that enlisted personnel are far more prone to such accidents than officers, with those in the Army and Marines suffering much higher crash rates than those in the Navy or Air Force.