Winter driving is here - get prepared

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Darrell Judy
  • 71st Flying Training Wing chief of Safety
With Halloween behind us, I'm sure many of you are looking ahead to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and planning to visit family and friends. 

These holidays are a great opportunity to spend quality time with the special people in our lives. However the holidays also pose a threat to us as we expose ourselves to congested highways and hazardous driving conditions while traveling during the winter months. 

I know many of you may think you are great drivers and this only happens to "the other guy," but in reality, anyone can be involved in an automobile accident. 

So far during the 2008 Fall Safety campaign we have lost nine Air Force personnel to motor vehicle accidents alone; this is an increase of 80 percent over the same period last year. 

It is sad to say that these mishaps could have been prevented. Winter is an especially dangerous time as snow and ice degrade road conditions and colder temperatures could place you in a life-or-death situation if stranded. 

While there are many factors that contribute to vehicle accidents and deaths during the winter months; proper preparation, planning ahead and using good risk management will prevent most mishaps. 

To help you prepare for your winter travels this holiday season, the Safety office will print a few tips each week on winter driving. I highly encourage you use these as memory joggers on how to prepare and operate you vehicle safely during this holiday season. 

Winter rolls around once every nine months, so just like any other "seasonal" activity, it is good to take a few moments to prepare and think about what you're about to do before just jumping behind the wheel during winter weather. 

The holidays are a special time, but they can become tragic if a family experiences the death of a loved one on the highways. In order to make the most of this season, make driving safety a top priority. Your family and friends will be glad you did. 

For more information, contact your unit safety representative or Wing safety, 213-7233.