An off-duty military police officer was killed in a pedestrian accident on Dec. 9 when the Soldier stopped to assist a motorist alongside of an icy roadway.
He walked into the median to cross the road and was struck by a motorist who lost control on the icy bridge and drove into the median, killing the Soldier.
Including this accident, there have been 14 Class A Army Soldier Pedestrian fatalities from fiscal year 2005 to Dec. 9, 2007. Of these, 14 Soldier fatalities, three of them had stopped to render aid to another motorist.
There were three risks involved in this incident: icy roads, walking across the road into traffic, and a car needing assistance beside the road.
In this season of cold weather, icy road conditions frequently develop. It is no longer prudent to drive the same way in winter conditions as under normal conditions since the margin of safety is greatly diminished.
Motorists should prepare their vehicles for winter and equip it with proper winter tires. All the control of the vehicle is delivered through four palm-sized patches of rubber where the tires meet the road.
On snow or ice, the available traction is only one-half to one-tenth that of dry payment. With reduced traction on snow and ice, any harsh movement of the steering wheel or quick application of the accelerator or brakes could result in a wheel spin or a skid. In icy conditions, separate braking or accelerating actions from steering – perform only one at a time to maximize the available traction. Perform each action as smoothly and gently as possible.
If experiencing car trouble, get out of traffic as safely as possible. Coast the car toward the right shoulder of the highway where traffic is usually moving slower.
Once on the shoulder, activate the emergency flashers. In dusk, darkness, or bad weather turn on low beams and interior lights to increase visibility. Open the car hood and set flares, but be alert for approaching traffic and exit on the curb-side of the car. Secure the seatbelt until help arrives.
When approaching a vehicle needing assistance, it would be best to call 911 and leave the rescuing to the professionals.