RTAs in Iraq in Afghanistan

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by dexey, Feb 13, 2007.

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  1. I recently read 'Squaddy" by Steve Mclaughlin (or similar) and noticed he suggested that a lot of RTA's in Iraq are caused by tiredness. I assume from this that there are normally limits to a driver's time behind the wheel that are not being observed in Iraq.
    It concerned me that if it were true then people are dying needlessly. I wrote to my MP and he asked for a written answer which seems to show that a high proportion of service personnel deaths in both Iraq and Afghanistan are caused by RTA's.
    Is this problem and if it is does anybody know if it is being addressed?
  2. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    Welcome Dexey.
    Personally,I would'nt know but asking a question like that on your first post is gonna get you tagged as a journo in all honesty.
    But I'm sure that the troops are tired but considering the condition of the streets & the constant threat of IED's accidents are inevitable.
  3. Look at the list of fatalities on the MoD website,

    which will give you brief details on the cause of death for each case. For some time in the recent past, it was inherited wisdom in parts of the Army (at least those that I came into contact with) that you were more likely to die in an RTA or any other non-battle cause than at the hands of the enemy. In Iraq you are twice as likely to die at the hands of the enemy than from anything else.

    Boards of Inquiry reports for a number if incidents are also shown there, if a Board was held, and if the Board has been completed.

    My purely personal view (as someone from a transport background, who has investigated approximately 12 of the deaths, and has a working knowledge of factors surrounding a number of the others) is that you are barking up the utterly wrong tree, mate.

    Furthermore, to suggest people are dying 'needlessly' as a result of tiredness is to suggest that their comrades & immediate commanders who task them to go out on the road are being reckless with their lives. That is not a very pleasant accusation to level.
  4. Firstly, I am not a journalist I am a teacher who was a soldier over 30 years ago.
    Secondly, I haven't made an accusation. I have asked a question based on information found in a book written by somebody who has recently served in Iraq. I have no certain figure, but given the written answer to my MP's question and the information on the website mentioned above it seems to be about 10% of deaths in Iraq are RTA. That seems a lot.
    What tree do you think that I am barking up, Dilfor?
  5. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    Sorry about the mis conception Dexey. Just we get a lot of journo's on here fishing & the site is often quoted in the press.
  6. I had an RTA in Iraq caused by bad Iraqi driving. I'm sure that has alot to do with things.
  7. H3

    H3 LE

    A mate of mine got side swipped by a local truck driver, he thought he was being ambushed and put the pedal to the floor and drove out of the what he thought was the killing area, they have initiated contacts like this in the past, as it was it was just another every day accident, he sustained several major injuries to his head and spine which meant he had to return to the UK.

    It's just the locals are crap at anything they do.
  8. A lot of effort goes into safe driving on Ops. Troops are well briefed when they first arrive in theatre.

    Many of the accidents are due to lack of experience usually young driver + large powerful vehicle = greater chance of accident.

    The powers that be are aware of the problem and do the best that they can, but what else can they do - a soldier is required to do a job and if he/she has the relevant qualifications they will be employed so. We can all hold driving licences, but they don't denote experience.
  9. got to agree with dingerr on that one. telic 1 we had 1 lad crashed 3 trucks in 4 days. before deploying, units always try to increase the number of pers holding driving licences so bump up the driver training a lot of young lads just don't get enough time behind a wheel before they go so they end up crashing due to inexperience.

    telic 4 we were doing a job for a month no RTA's, took us off put some other lads from another troop on it. same guy hit the saxon inside the gate at osb on the way in and on the way out and most of them punctured tyres on the hesco at some point. just not familiar with the veh.

    i read this guys book and was not overly impressed with it, i think he joined for the wrong reasons and after basic he was only biding his time to get out.
  10. Drivers hours are something which is taken seriously in the army and almost every commander will take these into account when writing up stag lists or allocating duties.

    However, in Iraq the standard of driving is unreal. It's not uncommon to see children barely tall enough to see over the dashboard driving and vehicles often drive at night with no working lights. Couple this with the state of some of the roads over there and consider the operational circumstances (If your muckers are being shot to sh!t just down the road, you're not going to drive slowly) and you can see why RTA's happen.

    (Edited for fat useless clumsy mong fingers.)
  11. Once driving up Tampa in the middle of the night something whizzed past my left. It was a cyclist pissed up wobbling down the MSR. If I'd hit him it wouldn't have been pretty.
  12. Thanks to everybody who replied and especially i.d.10 t who has read the book. I found his brief analysis very interesting.
    It seems that you are happy, more or less, with the state of affairs. Therefore, I guess that I have found out which tree Dilfor suggested I was barking up wrongly.
  13. Your statistic is a bit meaningless. In Bosnia the percentage of deaths due to RTA is far higher - as you would expect given that no one is planting roadside bombs or conducting firefights in Bosnia.

    What you need to consider is the number of casualties in relation to the total number of drivers hours and perhaps compare that relationship with civilian road traffic accidents in the same environment. Then you will have a picture of whether the figures are 'high' or not.

    Every RTA death is a tragedy, but stringent force protection measures are taken to reduce their frequency, and they include restrictions on driver hours.

  14. To be more specific: it seems that 10% of deaths of service personnel in Iraq are RTA's.
    My enquiry was prompted by an observation in a book that suggested that tiredness was a factor and that tiredness was caused by restrictions on driver's hours not being robustly observed. However, that seems to be refuted by the replies in this thread which I accept.
  15. I nearly piled my 110 (worth approx 110 pounds) into a predator (worth aprox 110 milion dollars) on the taxiway at KAF after pulling a 30 hour shift, got an uber bollocking off my stripey, who then proceeded to to drive a BFA right infront of a C130 thus causing it to stop and take avoiding actions, how we giggled as he had to go and apologise to the pilot next day.

    happy days