Study explores injury risk in military Humvee crashes

August 27, 2012
Study explores injury risk in military Humvee crashes

A new report by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy examines the risk factors for injuries to U.S. military personnel from crashes involving highly mobile multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs), more commonly known as Humvees. According to the study, involvement in combat and serving as the vehicle's operator or gunner posed the greatest risk for injury. It is the first published analysis of factors associated with Humvee injury risk in a deployed setting, and is in the August issue of the journal Military Medicine.

According to the U.S. Department of , crashes—both privately owned and —account for nearly one-third of all U.S. military fatalities annually and are among the top five causes of hospitalization for personnel.

"Nearly half of all those involved in motor vehicle crashes in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan from 2002-2006 were in Humvees at the time of the crash," said principal investigator Keshia Pollack, PhD, an associate professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Research and Policy and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "It's critical that we consider risk factors for these crashes, and use this knowledge to develop injury prevention programs and policies," she said. For example, given the association between being in a combat setting (versus crashes that do not occur during combat situations and injury), training for the military in combat-like situations through simulation or live-training exercises for all drivers could be important. Similarly, as gunners are often in an exposed position on top of the vehicle, equipment or devices that protect them from injury in rollover crashes should be explored.

The authors, who included researchers from the U.S. Army as well as the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, used data on U.S. Army vehicle crashes from 1999 to 2006 collected by the Army Safety Management Information System. The total documented cases of crashes was narrowed to focus on the sub-population of active duty U.S. Army, Army Reserve, and National Guard soldiers involved in military vehicle crashes in the countries of Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan, occurring during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

"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," said study co-author Susan P. Baker, MPH, a professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. "As motor vehicle crashes are responsible for one-third of all U.S. deaths annually, it's imperative that significant measures be taken to save lives."

Explore further: Fatal crashes in the US: Fewer Canadian drivers under the influence

Related Stories

Fatal crashes in the US: Fewer Canadian drivers under the influence

October 18, 2011
A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and Columbia University finds alcohol-related fatal motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. are much lower among drivers with Canadian licenses ...

Oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico claim 139 lives in helicopter crashes

September 12, 2011
A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy finds that helicopters that service the drilling platforms and vessels in the Gulf of Mexico crash on average more than six times per year ...

Driven to distraction

April 29, 2012
It's well-known that using a cell phone while driving can lead to motor vehicle crashes. New research — presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston — shows that even anticipating ...

Recommended for you

New insights into controversial diagnosis of adolescent chronic fatigue

October 23, 2017
Crucial new research could provide some clarity around the controversy surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in adolescents. The research by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute published ...

Do boys really have a testosterone spurt at age four?

October 23, 2017
The idea that four-year-old boys have a spurt of testosterone is often used to explain challenging behaviour at this age.

New prevention exercise programme to reduce rugby injuries

October 23, 2017
A new dynamic 20-minute exercise programme, performed by rugby players before training and pre-match, could dramatically reduce injuries in the sport according to a benchmark study published today (Sunday 22 October).

Our laws don't do enough to protect our health data

October 23, 2017
Have you ever wondered why your computer often shows you ads that seem tailor-made for your interests? The answer is big data. By combing through extremely large datasets, analysts can reveal patterns in your behavior.

Expert: Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data

October 20, 2017
As of 2016 there were more than 165,000 health and wellness apps available though the Apple App Store alone. According to Rice University medical media expert Kirsten Ostherr, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates ...

Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds

October 19, 2017
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.