***image1***The KMC 101 Critical Days of Summer campaign has reached the halfway point. However, there is still a lot of summertime remaining.
With that, members are asked to continue focusing on safety and risk management while traveling throughout Europe.
“Nothing ends a good time or puts a damper on summer activities faster than being unprepared for the unexpected,” said Senior Master Sgt. Steven Benoit, 435th Air Base Wing, Safety office superintendent.
“Prepare yourself and get plenty of rest before operating your vehicle,” said Sergeant Benoit. “If you get tired when driving, take periodic rest breaks, 10 to 15 minutes every couple of hours. Allow extra time for changing driving and road conditions. Try to familiarize yourself with the route you’ll be taking, and let someone know your route in case something happens along the way.”
When traveling, passengers must wear seat belts and be aware of posted speed limits. Children may also require different restraints depending on size and age.
Posted speed limits are engineered for ideal weather conditions. Weather conditions, such as sudden rainstorms or downpours can create a hazard from rain mixing with oily deposits, making surfaces extra slick. Adjusting speeds accordingly could prevent the automobile from hydroplaning, said Sergeant Benoit.
“If you do hydroplane, turn your vehicle in the direction heading back onto the road, put the gear in neutral and keep your feet off the accelerator and brake until you regain control of the vehicle. When you do regain control of your vehicle, press on the brake firmly but gently. Pum-ping the brakes or slamming on the brakes will only cause the car to slide out of control,” said Sergeant Benoit.
Also, “drinking and driving is never a good mix,” Sergeant Benoit adds. “If you are going to consume alcohol, always have a plan to arrive alive ( i.e. designated driver, taxi, supervisor, first sergeant or Airmen Against Drunk Driving.)
“Medications as with alcohol can also create a disaster while operating a vehicle. Driving while under the influence of drugs is just as dangerous as drinking and driving, he said. Always read the caution statement for your prescription and never mix alcohol with drugs.
Taking precautions is a must. Whether it is ensuring grills are safe for cooking, performing proper warm-ups before participating in sporting events, obeying posted speed limits while driving or deciding to not drink and drive – everyone has a responsibility, said Sergeant Benoit.
By taking a few moments to plan accordingly, people can ensure the chances for a more relaxing and safe summer, he said. (Courtesy of 435th Air Base Wing Safety Office)