Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We determined differences in driving errors between combat veterans with mild traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder and healthy control participants.

METHOD. We compared 18 postdeployed combat veterans with 20 control participants on driving errors in a driving simulator.

RESULTS. Combat veterans were more likely to be male; were younger; and had more racial diversity, less formal education, and lower cognitive scores than control participants. Control participants made more signaling errors (t [19] = −2.138, p = .046, SE = 0.395), but combat veterans made more overspeeding (t [17.3] = 4.095, p = .001, SE = 0.708) and adjustment-to-stimuli (t [17] = 2.380, p = .029, SE = 0.140) errors. Young age was related to overspeeding.

CONCLUSION. Combat veterans made more critical driving errors than did control participants. Such errors made on the road may lead to crashes or injuries. Although limited in generalizability, these findings provide early support for developing safe driving interventions for combat veterans.

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