Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) May 14, 2012 - New research from United Services Automobile Association (USAA) shows that soldiers returning home from active military duty in the Middle East are having trouble relearning how to drive safely on American roads.
Since maneuvering armored vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan requires an aggressive driving style to stay alive, enlisted service members adopted some habits that would keep them alive during wartime but might get them in an accident in the United States.
Statistics from insurance carrier USAA show that returning military are about 13 percent more likely to get into an at-fault accident when they come home from a deployment than they were before they left. Those statistics lessen over time, but they are troubling.
“The key to bringing down these accident rates for our returning military service members is awareness,” said veterans's disability lawyer,Jim Fausone of Legal Help for Vets. “These men and women have been through a lot and the instinct to stay alive is a strong one. It is important that the military retrain returning soldiers about the dangers on American roads.”
Many of the returning soldiers in the study had been in at-fault accidents that were the result of losing control of the vehicle. This often comes from driving over the speed limit and driving erratically. Both of these behaviors are natural in a battlefield environment. In a hostile area, a vehicle is one of the least safe places to be, so military drivers are taught to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible with no regard for traffic signs or often even public safety.
The USAA survey also found that because military drivers had spent their entire deployment staying as far from the shoulder of the road as possible to avoid roadside bombs, they tended to drive down the center of the road when they got home to the United States, too.
“It is important that we give returning warriors as much support as we can when they get home from the battlefield and it seems that also means retraining them on driving norms,” Fausone said.
James G. Fausone is a Veterans disability attorney and Veterans attorney with Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC. To learn more or to contact a Veterans disability attorney or Veterans attorney call 1.800.693.4800 or visit http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com.
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
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Northville, MI 48168
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