Returning Warriors: Tell us your story for how you adjusted to civilian driving


Thank you for your service!

Having my wife in the car really keeps me calm and helps me slow down. When I get "road rage" she always tells me everything will be ok. Im getting a lot better

musky4489 - We truly appreciate you sharing your personal experience with us and we're very happy to hear that your getting better. We are always here of you have any questions or concerns that we can help with. Thank you for your service and membership with the USAA Family. - Shane

When returning from my past deployments I have had a tremendous time re adjusting to life back in the states. My first hurdle is learning the locations of things all over again and trying to not get frustrated when i have passed a street or an exit i should've turned on just to get to simple places I used to remember. I have combatter than by (now) using Google maps on my phone which is attached to a stand in my car so that I can look at it and hear it and drive safely. The other issues I've ran into is just keeping calm when motorist are flying down the streets (where's the fire MF?!?), when other motorist insist on squeezing into my purposely maintained bubble, that gets the best of me more times than not. Especially when they're riding my tail when they can see or notice there is plenty of room in front of me (dispersion). I have had MAJOR issues with allowing myself to keep my seatbelt on since 2008 and I know that might not seem like a large issue and one easily fixed I still can't seem to shake the uncomfortable feeling of being in a seat belt should something happen, especially since I responded to an incident in 2011 and 2105 that I attribute my lack of seatbelt wearing was the split second difference. I suppose I have more issues but, these are the less "personal" ones and I just hope that whomever reads this knows that you're not alone and it's a tough road (no pun intended) to travel down and sometimes it doesn't get easier with time as some of my issues have only gotten worse with many deployments behind me.


Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think that its great how you recognize when and what stresses you and then take steps to determine what to do.  I started to always use the WAZE app when I drive because it directs me around traffic jams and lets me feel more in control.  Plus, I've learned some amazing short cuts with it.  Please continue to share your story and helpful tips with other veterans.  Things that you now know are helpful can make an amazing difference for someone just returning from deployment!  Finally, please wear your seat belt!  You are in control, but how about the other driver?

I did notice a difference when I returned home and then I began to get tickets, so I let my wife drive for a while as I began to readjust

Tuck28 - Thanks for sharing your story with us. Stay safe out there. - Jason

One of the biggest things, I have noticed since coming back from my deployment is not driving fast enough because usually when we spotted something on roadways we had to clear the road for other convoys, so back home I'm driving slower for scanning the area. The second thing is not wanted to wear the seat belt right away because on deployment you had to get out, and you didn't wanna be "that guy" struggling to get out and get into the fight.


Thanks for sharing your story in USAA Community.  First, you are already off to an improved safe driving experience because you accurately realize the differences in driving on deployment vs. non-deployed life.  Second, there is a new threat adjustment in driving in a non-deployed location – the threat of car accidents – this is where you need to wear your seat belt at all times.  Finally, think about routes, time of day, and lane selection if you want to drive slower.  Driving in an underused route or earlier / later in the day can help make driving speed less of a factor.  Please, let me know how it goes and thanks for driving safe!