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

Older men need more protein to maintain muscles

November 21, 2017
The amount of protein recommended by international guidelines is not sufficient to maintain muscle size and strength in older men, according to a new study.

Exercising and eating well are greater contributors to health than standing at work

November 21, 2017
By now you've probably heard the edict from the health community: Sitting is the new smoking. Perhaps you've converted to a standing desk, or maybe you have a reminder on your phone to get up once an hour and walk around ...

Motorcycle crashes cause five times as many deaths as car accidents, six times the health costs

November 20, 2017
Motorcycle accidents are costly in terms of lives and health care costs. Compared with car accidents, motorcycle accidents cause 3 times the injuries, 6 times the medical costs and 5 times the deaths, found new research in ...

Dog ownership linked to lower mortality

November 17, 2017
A team of Swedish scientists have used national registries of more than 3.4 million Swedes aged 40 to 80 to study the association between dog ownership and cardiovascular health. Their study shows that dog owners had a lower ...

New shoe makes running 4 percent easier, 2-hour marathon possible, study shows

November 17, 2017
Eleven days after Boulder-born Shalane Flanagan won the New York City Marathon in new state-of-the-art racing flats known as "4%s," University of Colorado Boulder researchers have published the study that inspired the shoes' ...

Vaping while pregnant could cause craniofacial birth defects, study shows

November 16, 2017
Using e-cigarettes during pregnancy could cause birth defects of the oral cavity and face, according to a recent Virginia Commonwealth University study.

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.