CITATION: Possis, Elizabeth, Thao Bui, Margaret Gavian, Jennie Leskela, Effie Linardatos, Jennifer Loughlin, and Thad Strom. "Driving difficulties among military veterans: clinical needs and current intervention status." Military medicine 179, no. 6 (2014): 633-639.
ABSTRACT: Military personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan often develop mental
health difficulties, which may manifest as problematic driving
behavior. Veterans may be more likely to engage in risky driving and to
subsequently be involved in motor vehicle accidents and fatalities. This
article reviews literature on driving difficulties among military
veterans and evaluates available research on the potential pathways that
underlie risky driving behavior. Current interventions for problematic
driving behaviors are considered, and the necessity of modifying these
interventions to address the unique difficulties encountered by military
veterans is highlighted. The review concludes with a discussion of
clinical implications of these findings and identification of possible
avenues for future research and intervention.
MY TAKE ON IT: This review identifies fear- or anxiety-related behaviors as a cause of unsafe driving behaviors in military veterans. This anxiety can be expressed in risky responses like drunk-driving and road rage. It may also be expressed as classic phobic behavior like avoiding highways and other situations perceived as dangerous. The recommended treatment for driving phobia is cognitive-behavioral therapy and counter-conditioning, although the authors note that their effectiveness specifically with veterans is not well studied.