Blundering troops cost the Government millions after crashing military vehicles

Tanks and military vehicles were involved in almost 3,000 crashes last year.

The Ministry of Defence paid out more than £3.4million in compensation claims after incidents involving the armed services.

The Army had the worst drivers, with soldiers having almost twice as many accidents as sailors or airmen.

Troops have overturned cars, driven into buildings and crashed tanks while parking them.

Between April 2019 and March 2020, troops were involved in 2,989 road traffic collisions, equal to eight every day or one for every 50 troops.

One soldier confessed: “Squaddies like to drive fast – whether it’s on a motorbike or in a car. It’s in their DNA.”

Things have now got so bad that defence chiefs have had to lecture soldiers on the risks posed by speeding and poor driving.

Survive The Drive video sessions have been given to more than 10,000 people in the Royal Navy, Army and RAF in the hope of reducing crashes.

Dan Lester, who helped to design the sessions, said: “Armed forces are statistically more at risk than civilians.”

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A report put together by the Defence Safety Authority said 18 armed forces personnel were killed while driving last year. At least 170 personnel were reported injured.

The MoD said: “While the majority of accidents reported are for minor bumps or scrapes, a number of personnel have tragically lost their lives driving off-duty on public roads.

“We run regular road safety campaigns and have introduced intervention programmes in recent years, contributing to a decline in fatalities from road traffic accidents.”

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