Memory Jogger for Motorcycle Riders

A good example of risk management is taking the time to carefully inspect and service motorcycles that have been in storage over the winter months as well as brushing up on riding skills. The following tips are offered by the Army Safety Center: • Change oil and fill tank with fresh gasoline • Inspect tires for dry rot and wiring/cables for cracks or rodent damage • Ensure front and rear lights are operational • Look for loose kickstands, seat assemblies, safety shields, etc. • Inventory safety gear, replacing anything damaged, torn or worn out (especially helmets) • Rehearse rusty skills. Rider courses are available through the Garrison Safety Office and online refresher exercises are available at https://safety.army.mil/OFF-DUTY/PMV-2-Motorcycles/Training. • Be alert for road damage. Freezing temperatures and prolonged wet weather have left many roads riddle with potholes. Check out the Army Safety Center website for more detailed checklists and accident prevention recommendations.

With the arrival of Spring two weeks from now, and unseasonably warm temperatures already upon us, Army community members are no doubt chomping at the bit to get outside and hit the pavement for weekend road trips, local sightseeing, gardening and other recreational activities.

Unfortunately, there’s always a drawback to all this rejuvenated fun in the sun. During this time of increased activity, safety is usually the last thing on anybody’s mind. The spring and early summer months are some of the deadliest ones for the Army, with notable increases in off-duty fatalities.

To counter this dilemma, organization and installation leaders across the Army typically launch a full-court press toward risk management and accident awareness. Some may perceive this additional engagement as merely “checking a block” or monotonous lecturing that interferes with personal time. Those who think that way, however, are missing the big picture.

Leaders are obligated to show the workforce – every Soldier, civilian and family member – just how important they are to the Army. Every member of the community contributes to the success of military organizations. You are an asset that cannot be easily replaced. A loss is loss, no matter how or where it happens.

Here’s another way to look at it. It’s the little things, those routine tasks, that oftentimes present the most risk. Individuals may remember to buckle their seatbelt but forget that texting while driving is equally dangerous. Parents will shoo their kids away from a hot barbecue grill but forget to keep them at a safe distance when running the lawn mower.

Safety briefings and awareness training expands the focus. It disciplines members of the team to be risk assessors in everything they do. The sessions also provide new perspectives and reveal the latest education and awareness tools created to keep individuals thinking safety.

Much of the Army’s safety awareness efforts are centered around the Army Safety Center website, which contains feature articles, posters and interactive tools, all themed on seasonal topics to augment existing education programs. These products are easily downloadable and ready to use in whatever format the individual accessing the information prefers.

Beginning in early April, the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center will release separate campaigns for National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Be sure to visit the website, https://safety.army.mil, for the most up-to-date safety multimedia on each of these critical topics. A memory jogger for motorcycle riders also accompanies this article.

Soldier safety is paramount. When accidents take the lives of military personnel, they also take strength from the battlefield and degrade combat readiness. One loss is too many. Through engaged leadership, the nation’s fighting forces will remain postured and ready to defeat those who wish to do America harm.

As always, the USACRC welcomes input while utilizing the tools provided on its website. Simply click any button labeled “feedback” to provide a comment or suggestion.