Recently, the KMC lost one of its valued Airmen as a result of an automobile crash. While traveling on a rural highway, the Airman lost control on a curve, left the highway and struck a tree. If he hadn’t struck the tree, he would have gone down a steep embankment, which might have caused his vehicle to roll several times.
With the conclusion of the 101 Critical Days of Summer campaign, there is sometimes a tendency to get complacent. Our Airmen die in car crashes year round, not just during the summer months. For this reason, it is important to keep traffic safety issues and concerns on our scope the entire year. Every time we get behind the wheel, we should be cognizant of our actions and others around us.
Because of shorter days and the winter weather approaching, less visibility, slick or wet highways, roads with little or no shoulders, trees and steep embankments all become contributors to the risks that drivers face.
My daily commute to work involves driving on a beautiful German rural road. The road has a speed limit of 100 kph, is bordered by steep embankments and big sweeping curves with trees. It does not have a shoulder on either side. I have noticed that most folks drive between 70 and 90 kph. When the road is wet or it is dark outside, most people adjust their speed accordingly. I have noticed that most people adjust their speed for road conditions on Mackenbach Road, as well.
The most effective reduction in risk that you can make is to obey the speed limit and adjust your speed to accommodate changing road conditions. The American Automobile Association states that more than 90 percent of crashes could be avoided if drivers had one more second. Speeding often takes away that valuable second. Remember to give yourself one more second to avoid a crash.
According to the National Safety Council, it is estimated that speed-related crashes cost the nation $40.4 billion annually. That is the equivalent of $110.7 million per day or $4.6 million per hour in economic loss, not to mention the needless loss of human lives.
Finally, motor vehicle crashes kill more people in the Air Force than any other accidental cause.
Always obey the speed limit
Adjust speed to conditions
(visibility, wet or icy roads, traffic, curves
Give yourself at least two
seconds between you and the car in front of you
Give yourself four seconds
between you and the car in front of you in inclement weather
Your life is important!