Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Risk: Double checks, not second thoughts

From Air Force Safety Center

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.  —  The Air Force core values, which define our standards of conduct including how Airmen behave, also set the environment for how we live and work. As we begin the summer season, taking leave and getting away is one of the first activities on our minds. When you include risk management and safety as part of your summer activities you will be upholding the standards of conduct and maximizing your chances of having an enjoyable activity.

Planning ahead is always a good step to help avoid the many risks that have the potential to ruin your vacation. Your road trip planning should always begin with TRiPS. This is an effective risk management tool to find hidden dangers in your travel plans.

It’s easy to think, “This won’t happen to me,” but does anyone plan on a tragedy? During the 2013 Critical Days of Summer period there were seven Airmen killed in vehicle and nine in motorcycle accidents. None planned for this to happen. Regardless of what caused the tragedy, using every risk management tool reduces your odds of being involved in a mishap.

The hazards associated with summer driving appear to be fewer than winter driving. This is not the case. Some of the situations that make it dangerous include:

· More teens on the road

· Drivers on vacation add to road congestion

· Tire blowouts

· Increased road construction

· More bicycles and motorcycles on the road

· Sun and excess heat

Before you can call your plans final, your vehicle should be part of your plans. Take care of any needed maintenance and ensure you have an emergency kit in your car. The kit should include:

· First aid kit

· Flashlight

· Flares and a white flag

· Jumper cables

· Basic repair tools

· A jug of water and paper towels for cleaning up

· Nonperishable food, such as granola bars and drinking water

· Extra windshield washer fluid

· Maps

Go to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration at http://www.nhtsa.gov/links/SummerDrivingTips/ for more information on summer travel.

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