PTSD affects even driving, study says

WASHINGTON – The daily commute can be stressful, but imagine what it would be like to drive in a war zone.

Returning to the mean streets of the United States after a tour of duty in Iraq might not seem like a challenge, yet a new survey suggests that driving becomes very difficult for many combat veterans when they’re back home.

The United Services Automobile Association, an insurance company that serves the military, has found that crashes where service members were at fault increased by 13 percent after they came home from war.

Experts believe post-traumatic stress disorder plays a role, along with the fact that military personnel are taught how to drive aggressively when under fire.

The New York Times reports accidents were especially common in the six months after a deployment overseas, according to the three-year study that covered the driving records of thousands of military personnel.

The Times reports the Department of Veterans Affairs in Albany, N.Y., has started a special program to help veterans understand how their experiences in war might lead to negative reactions while behind the wheel.

Also, researchers in California, are working on an app for iPhones for people with PTSD who become anxious or angry when they’re driving, according to the Times.


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