With nearly three months into the new year, there has been reports of numerous accidental Army fatalities.
Still leading the pack is privately owned vehicle accidents with several of those involving motorcycles and excessive speed.
One Soldier lost his life while riding his motorcycle at a high rate of speed and crashing into the back of a semi-trailer as his Family watched from another vehicle. He was 27 years-old with a wife and four children.
Another Soldier, 25 years-old, lost his life while riding his motorcycle home from his duty station. He too collided with the back of another vehicle. Both wore all the required personal protective equipment. A 22 year-old sergeant was riding his motorcycle when he lost control, collided into a guardrail, and was ejected. The noncommissioned officer died at the scene.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funded a study conducted by the University of Southern California regarding the “Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures.” Some of their findings follow:
•Approximately three-fourths of these motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle, which was most usually a passenger automobile.
• Approximately one-fourth of these motorcycle accidents were single vehicle accidents involving the motorcycle colliding with the roadway or some fixed object in the environment.
• In the single vehicle accidents, motorcycle rider error was present as the accident precipitating factor in about two-thirds of the cases, with the typical error being a slide out and falls due to over braking or running wide on a curve due to excess speed or under-cornering.
PPE cannot protect against the force of excessive speed, so smart choices must be made. Be confident of skills but also aware of limitations. Remember, actions affect more than just one person. Consider everyone, to include Family, friends and unit.