Life can be tough for U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Post traumatic stress disorder must make everyday tasks hell to deal with.
Not the least of which is re-adjusting to American road rules. In Iraq, the goal of the morning commute is to reach the destination alive. The more speed the better, and anything not moving out of the way quickly enough gets plowed into the pavement.
Many returning military personnel find it difficult to forget the lessons they've learned on hostile foreign roads. Over there, smart drivers follow the center line to avoid IEDs on the shoulders. Turn signals only give the enemy advance notice of your next move, and stopping at intersections makes you an easy target. When back in the states, those tactics are still effective for negotiating traffic, but aren't appreciated so much by fellow drivers.
A new study by insurer USAA (which serves members of the military and their families) shows that on average, returning troops had 13 percent more at-fault accidents than before they left. U.S. Army personnel showed the largest change at 23 percent, with Marines showing 12.3 percent increase.
Fortunately, USAA says it has no plans to raise rates in response to the study's results. It's also sharing the data with researchers and traffic safety experts in hopes of finding a solution.