A new study conducted by the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) found a correlation between military service and car accidents.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans More Susceptible to Car Accidents after Return from Overseas

Now that your loved one is home from their military service in Iraq or Afghanistan, they are safe from harm, right? Unfortunately, a new study has shown that veterans of recent wars are significantly more likely to be involved in serious car accidents after returning from overseas.

While many civilians may guess that the leading cause of death for recent veterans is suicide, the leading cause of death is, in fact, traffic accidents. According to a study conducted by the United Services Automobile Association (USAA), recently returned veterans from Iraq an Afghanistan have a 13-percent higher chance of being involved in an at-fault accident. The risk is even higher for Marines and Army veterans.

The risk of being involved in an at-fault car accident is even higher for those who are still enlisted (a 22 percent increase) and those who were deployed three or more times (36 percent). The risk falls after a soldier has been home for six months or more.

Why are recent veterans at a higher risk for car accidents in Washington State?

  • They are used to driving in combat conditions. Driving during a war is extremely different than driving on our roads and highways. Veterans may simply not be used to the differing conditions or the different aspects of driving that they should be focused on. Many younger soldiers also learn driving behaviors during their service that are dangerous in civilian life – such as changing lanes quickly or swerving suddenly to avoid debris in the road. 
  • They are suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome or other mental health issues. Many soldiers returning home have been through situations that we can’t imagine – and many are still dealing with the emotional trauma of those events. PTSD and other mental health issues like depression and anxiety can make driving difficult. Veterans may have trouble concentrating or may have a panic attack while behind the wheel. 
  • They are suffering from behavioral issues or risk assessment issues. Also as an effect of being in combat situations and high-stress environments, veterans may be more likely to speed or drive recklessly when they return from combat.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a Washington car accident that involved a veteran? You may need the assistance of a Seattle injury attorney to help you collect the compensation you deserve. Call Andrew Kim today and have an experienced car-accident lawyer examine your case.