Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of deaths among combat veterans during the first years after their return home. Several studies have reported an increase in post-deployment deaths among military personnel who served in a combat zone compared to their non-deployed counterparts, who are in the military but not deployed to a war, after both the Vietnam War and the 1991 Gulf War. Preliminary evidence also indicates this is the case with veterans from the Global War on Terror.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Defense (DOD) are working together to reduce these accidents. A new program designed to identify needed research involving recently returned veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and to increase awareness of the importance of safe driving among newly-demobilized veterans has been unveiled.
Experts in transportation safety, veterans’ health and medical care, and public health are identifying gaps in current knowledge and developing a strategic plan for addressing key research questions, in fields ranging from epidemiology to psychology and biomechanics. The safe-driving initiative strives to increase awareness of motor vehicle crashes among veterans and the importance of safe driving, seatbelt and helmet usage, and other measures. To reach out to veterans and their families, VA will create a national educational program using the Department’s network of medical centers, community clinics, drop-in counseling centers (Vet Centers), and veterans benefits offices.
The initiative will also include outreach to mobilize national veterans service organizations; the nation’s governors and state police, safety officers, and state highway safety officials; and the private sector – including employers; automobile, motorcycle and sports vehicle dealers and manufacturers; the motor vehicle insurance industry; and driving and motorcycle racing enthusiasts’ organizations. NASCAR legend and safe driving advocate, Richard Petty, will also be an active partner in the initiative.
According to the Department of Transportation, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for all Americans between the ages of eight through 34. Men constitute about 70 percent of all traffic deaths. In the past decade, both deaths and injuries from motor vehicle crashes have gone down in the United States, due to increases in seat-belt use and decreases in alcohol involvement, among other factors.
The lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience handling personal injury claims including those involving auto accidents. For over 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and surrounding areas.