Slow down, pay attention|
Posted 6/8/2012 Updated 6/8/2012
by 341st Missile Wing Safety Office
6/8/2012 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Private motor vehicle mishaps are a serious danger to Airmen's safety. Reckless driving behavior includes excessive speed, alcohol use, not wearing a seat belt or extreme maneuvers (tailgating, drifting, racing, etc.). Eighty-six percent of four-wheeled PMV fatalities, as of Sept. 30, 2011, were attributed to these factors. It is this behavior that continues to threaten Airmen.
The following statistical information on speeding was taken from the National Safety Council website at http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/DriverSafety/Pages/Speeding.aspx.
Speed is involved in about one of three fatal crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is the third-leading contributing factor to traffic crashes. Injuries and fatalities due to reckless behaviors has been significantly reduced but speeding is still a challenge.
Common excuses from drivers who were speeding are:
· They were in a hurry.
· They were inattentive to their driving.
· They don't take traffic laws seriously or don't think the laws apply to them.
· They don't view their driving behavior as dangerous.
· They don't expect to get caught.
Other speeding statistics:
· More than 13,000 lives are lost in accidents with a speeding vehicle each year.
· Speed was a factor in 27 percent of fatal crashes within construction and maintenance zones in 2005.
· Compliance with lower speed limits in school zones is poor.
· Speed-related crashes cost society over $40 billion annually, according to NHTSA. Every minute "gained" by a person speeding to a destination costs the U.S. society over $76,000.
Most Airmen know aggressive driving when they see it, but the NHTSA defines aggressive driving as "a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property."
The following information was taken from the official government website for distracted driving at http://www.distraction.gov/.
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:
· Using a cell phone
· Eating and drinking
· Talking to passengers
· Reading, including maps
· Using a navigation system
· Watching a video
· Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
Distractions can be broken into three main types:
· Manual: Hands not on the steering wheel.
· Visual: Eyes not on the road.
· Cognitive: Mind not on driving.
Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is the most alarming distraction. Every 24 seconds there is a crash that involves a driver using a cell phone.