New Study Reveals PTSD Can Affect Driving Ability

Most of us who commute to and from work know how stressful the drive can be but we don’t know what it’s like to drive through a military war zone. Many war veterans are experiencing this difficult transition as they return to driving the streets in the United States after time spent in Iraq or Afghanistan.

A new survey focused on when veterans return home and how driving can become difficult for them, especially those who were in military combat. A United States insurance company that serves the military shared statistics showing a 13 percent increase in at fault accidents by service members returning from war, according to an online news article. It can be a real challenge for those trying to drive down normal U.S. streets after the aggressive way they were taught to drive in combat.

Experts now believe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can play a significant role in how military personnel drive once they return home from war. Veterans are taught a certain way to drive when they are under fire in combat and they learn to drive this way aggressively.

A recent article in the NY Times reported that accidents are common in the first six months after returning from an overseas deployment. A three year study has uncovered the driving records from thousands of personnel in the military. In Albany, New York the Department of Veterans Affairs has started a program to help them understand how war experiences might cause harmful reactions to veterans driving vehicles when they return home.

The Times also notes that California researchers are currently working on an iPhone app in order to help those with PTSD who have trouble with anxiety or become angry while driving.