Critical days of summer begin

Critical days of summer begin
By Jamie Lampros
Hilltop Times Correspondent
May 29, 2014

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Memorial Day through Labor Day are the most risky days of the year when it comes to accidents and fatalities.

Maj. Sean Gradney, chief of safety at Hill Air Force Base said 98 percent of all accidents are caused by human error and almost all of them are preventable.

In 2012, a total of 22 off duty fatalities were reported. Some of them included driving under the influence, a plane crash, a fishing pole that came in contact with a power line, a bicyclist trying to beat a train and five motorcycle accidents.

The base is kicking off its annual Critical Days of Summer campaign in an effort to remind everyone to practice safety during summer activities, such as swimming, driving, boating, camping, hiking, bike and motorcycle riding and alcohol consumption.

“Ask yourself some easy questions. What are the hazards of this activity? Can I be injured or worse yet killed? What can I do to eliminate or reduce the risk?” Gradney said.

Gradney said risks are more easily assessed and managed if you follow a five step plan that includes identifying the hazards, assessing the hazards, developing controls and making decisions, implementing controls and supervising and evaluating.

For instance, before you venture out, look at weather and road conditions, be on the lookout for aggressive and impaired drivers, make sure your vehicle is in good condition and be prepared in case you are stranded somewhere.

When it comes to operating a vehicle, Gradney said to always wear a seat belt, prepare your vehicle for your trip, drive defensively, watch weather reports, get plenty of rest, sleep in a hotel and not in your car, restrain your children properly and don’t drink and drive.

Motorcyclists should always be aware of road conditions, make sure their bikes are in good working order and avoid aggressive driving. It’s also important to be well rested before you get on a motorcycle and make sure you are properly trained to operate one.

If you’re on a boat, Gradney said to make sure you know the rules and laws in the area you’re boating. Don’t overload the boat, don’t drink while operating a boat, get off the lake during bad weather and be courteous to others on the water.

Hilltop Times

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