Don’t Let Summer Bring Out Risky Behaviors > Air Force > Article display

Summer is starting soon, bringing warmer weather and longer days. Many families start planning outdoor activities like swimming, boating, camping, and road trips. As such, Airmen and their families must use risk management in all summer activities to help mitigate accidents.

According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States, an estimated 3,960 unintentional fatal drownings occur, with children ages 1 to 4 having the highest drowning rates. In fiscal year 2021, the Department of the Air Force lost seven members to drowning.

Could these deaths have been avoided? Have the risks been assessed and have life jackets been considered? Asking the right question and assessing the risks is essential to staying safe.

According to US Coast Guard, in 2020 there were 5,265 boating accidents resulting in 767 fatalities and 3,191 injuries. When the cause of death was known, 75% of fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of these victims, 86% were not wearing a lifejacket.

Being in, on or around water can be dangerous. Know your limits and ask everyone on the water to wear a US Coast Guard approved life jacket. To develop your skills, stay physically fit and consider signing up for swimming lessons.

“Every airman and guard needs proper training before participating in summer activities. It is important that we remain aware of and assess the risks of every activity we participate in,” said William Walkowiak, chief of occupational safety for the Department of the Air Force, “Be responsible and weigh the risks to stay safe. safety this summer.

If you plan to travel by vehicle or motorbike, inspect them before hitting the road. Check all fluids and make sure the tires are in good condition. Keep a safety kit, extra water, snacks, or extra riding gear in case of an emergency.

The US Department of TransportationThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that 38,824 lives were lost in traffic crashes nationwide in 2020. This number represents the highest number of fatalities since 2007. Reducing risk is as simple as plan before you go and share this plan with your family or friends. , check the weather and plan your trip to avoid roadworks or storms.

The National Safety Council Injury Facts listed 5,579 motorcycle fatalities in 2020. The factor that directly influenced motorcycle fatality trends is helmet use. Motorcycle helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries for operators and 41% for passengers.

The U.S. Air Force lost 18 bikers and 14 members in motor vehicle accidents in fiscal year 2021. Inexperience, alcohol, and speed were often the root causes. Motorcyclists and drivers should never drive while intoxicated. Motorcyclists should commit to practicing their riding skills every time they ride by wearing the proper protective gear and thinking beyond riding. Vehicle operators should never drive distracted, always wear a seat belt and obey all traffic rules.

The Air Force Security Center launched in the spring the launch of the pre-season of the DAFRider page and the DAFRider motorcycle video series. It offers cyclists another way to learn current standards and techniques, build skills, and help develop a cycling mindset. The series will run throughout the year with new videos highlighting a host of motorcycle topics.

“Wearing an inflatable motorcycle jacket or vest with a Department of Transportation-approved helmet has the potential to eliminate injury or even death,” said Dave Brandt, director of the Department of Transportation’s motorcycle safety program. the Air Force. “Having the mentality of a cyclist and practicing every time you ride can help you develop riding skills when you need them – and you’ll definitely need them if you keep riding.”

Kirtland Air Force Base will be the first base to receive inflatable motorcycle vests for use during lessons and demonstrate how they can help reduce or alleviate blunt trauma. Just like airbags in a vehicle, motorcycle airbags have been proven to save lives and help motorcyclists avoid serious injury or death by using a variety of on-board airbags that detect a real-time crash or a system captive that deploys after the pilot. fell from a moving motorcycle.

Camping can also be a great break during the summer months, but remember to always be prepared for the unexpected by checking the weather, following all local fire and wildlife laws, and telling family or friends of your plans, and never leave food or waste where animals can get it.

Whatever the activity, one can easily become dehydrated or sunburned while enjoying the summer sun. Be sure to hydrate often and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF15.

“I ask each of you to use sound risk management this summer to help minimize risk,” Walkowiak said. “Ask yourself, ‘Do I have the right skills or do I need to take a refresher course? Do I have the right equipment for the activity to make sure I get back safely?’ others could just save your life or the life of someone you love.

Don’t be a statistic. Use sound risk management in all your summer activities to stay safe.

For additional guidance, visit AFSC Summer safety page.

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