Tuesday, August 28, 2012
For the first time, a new study looks at the risks of injury associated with riding in a Humvee while deployed. Soldiers who were in a Humvee during combat, and those who were driving the Humvee or serving as gunner were most at risk for injury, according to the study.
Report co-author Susan P. Baker, MPH, a professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, said of the study:
"The finding that the odds of being injured when the crash occurred in combat indicates that in a high-stress situation, the soldier may be distracted or less likely to take self-protective measures or follow safety regulations.
As motor vehicle crashes are responsible for one-third of all U.S. military deaths annually, it's imperative that significant measures be taken to save lives."
Baker recommends Humvee drivers receive training for operating their vehicles in combat-like situations. In addition, the military might look at developing equipment to protect gunners from injuries sustained in rollover crashes.
Researchers looked at data collected by the Army on military vehicle crashes in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan from 2003 to 2006. They found almost half of those military vehicle crashes involved Humvees.