Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are reported to be in more fatal crashes.
Men and women returning home from fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are 75 percent more likely to die in a car crash than civilians.
Those who have done multiple tours in combat areas are at the greatest risk.
The unfortunate reality has come to light as a result of research and observation.
Why it’s happening is harder to say. Some believe it’s simply a carryover of the lifesaving driving maneuvers developed in war zones, most of which don’t translate into safe practices in regular conditions. These include not wearing seatbelts and straddling lanes.
Others say it’s a result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, and the driving is a symptom of the reckless behavior associated with the illness.
Further research is needed to confirm these observations, but indications are crashes will join suicide and interpersonal violence as indirect yet fatal results of the war on terror.
Since 1999 over 4000 active military members have been killed in non-combat related crashes.
Suicides among active duty troops have also increased. In 2011 there were 301 incidents, and that number climbed to about one a day in 2012.