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Top down, accidents up

  • Published
  • By Benjamin Newell
  • Air Combat Command Public Affairs
Private motor vehicle mishaps continue to be the number one cause of off-duty fatalities in the Air Force during the summer. 

Over the past three years, 36 Airmen have died in personal vehicle accidents. Personal vehicle related deaths also remain, by far, the most significant cause of off-duty fatalities year-round, according to the Air Force Safety Center.

"When we conduct our safety briefings, we emphasize that Airmen should approach preparing for a road trip like running checklists at work before an inspection," said Master Sgt. Sean Rouillier, Air Combat Command's manager of ground safety operations. "Just like you wouldn't pilot an aircraft without following a safety check, you wouldn't get in a car without making sure you've got properly inflated tires, enough gas for the trip, plenty of sleep, and your seatbelt properly fastened."

Airmen under 26 years old are also required to have a pre-departure brief one-on-one with a supervisor before leaving on a trip requiring more than one duty day to return from, according to Rouillier.

The Air Force Safety Center reminds Airmen getting "On the Road Again" to keep in mind the family, friends and co-workers relying on you to use caution and arrive alive. To help you return, remember you have the responsibility to plan for and mitigate hazards.

To plot your trip, and ensure the safety of passengers and fellow motorists, ACC's safety office recommends using the Army Travel Risk Planning System, accessible through the Air Force Portal.