An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Travel safe and sound this holiday season

  • Published
  • By Tech Sgt. Shawanda Peterson
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Ground Safety
"Safe-n-Sound, All Year Round" is the theme of this year's holiday and winter safety campaign. The theme's message from Air Force leaders is simple: the holiday season is time to celebrate, relax and enjoy time with family and friends, but it's vitally important that we keep safety in mind and incorporate risk management principles into all our seasonal activities.

The National Safety Council estimates 407 traffic fatalities will befall U.S. motorists between Dec. 28 and Jan. 1. During this period last year the Air Force experienced six fatal mishaps.

The following precautions can help eliminate traffic mishaps and increase the odds of surviving a vehicle crash:

Buckle Up. Always wear your seat belt and ensure your passengers do too! You are 10 times more likely to survive an automobile crash if you are wearing a seat belt. It's the law; you can receive a ticket and monetary fine for failure to wear a seatbelt.

Rest. Driver fatigue is just as risky as driving drunk and both are 100 percent preventable. Get a good night's rest before hitting the road. NSC recommends avoiding driving between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m., and to stop every 100 miles or two hours of driving to get out of the car and walk around; exercise helps to combat fatigue.

Focus. According to the NSC, approximately every 24 seconds, a crash occurs involving a driver who is texting or using a cell phone. Distracted driving includes any activity that takes your focus away from the road; like eating, applying makeup, shaving and changing radio stations.

Don't drink and drive. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, alcohol-impaired driving accounts for approximately one third of all U.S. highway fatalities. Drinking alcohol, using illicit, prescription or over-the-counter drugs while driving impairs and affects one's ability to drive. Read and follow the instructions when taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. If you plan on drinking alcohol, have a plan and a designated driver. The NSC estimates that someone is killed in the U.S. in an alcohol-related crash every 30 minutes. Airmen Against Drunk Driving is available if your plan falls through.

Drive defensively. Follow all traffic signs and posted speed limits. Be prepared, recognize hazards and respond accordingly. Drive like your life depends on it.

We all have a responsibility to be good wingmen and ensure our teammates have a happy and safe holiday season. Lets make this a zero-mishap holiday season by starting 2013 "Safe-n-Sound!"