101 Critical Days of Summer, Week 1 - Memorial Day Weekend

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Ignacio Castro-Luna
  • Air Force Flight Test Center Ground Safety
Every year from Memorial Day to Labor Day the Air Force campaigns for safety during the Critical Days of Summer. It is a reminder to encourage Airmen to focus on safety for themselves, their wingmen and their families.

There is an increased risk of injuries and fatalities resulting from this season. The challenge for Airmen is to minimize risks and to look out for each other since the primary causes of injuries or death are privately owned vehicles and recreational activities.

Team Edwards' goal of zero mishaps can be attained with proper risk management. Air Force-wide there were 21 fatalities in 2009 versus 16 in 2010 during the Critical Days of Summer.

Most were preventable.

Remember speed can kill. Of the twelve Air Force motorcycle fatalities in 2010, all were exceeding the proper speed for the conditions.

Following are some tips for driving long distances:
  • Plan your trip.
  • Give your car a safety checkup.
  • Check the tires and brakes for wear.
  • Check the belts, hoses and fluid levels.
  • Get a good night's rest before you start.
  • Drive for three hours and then take a break for 30 minutes.
  • Do all of your driving in the daytime if at all possible.
  • Driving at night adds to the risk of having a mishap.
  • Observe and obey all road rules.
  • Let a friend or supervisor know your itinerary.
  • Stay alert while driving so you can arrive at your destination safe and sound.
Do you know what could happen when you don't pre-plan a long driving trip? You could injure or kill yourself, your passengers and other drivers on the road.

Private motor vehicle fatal factors that YOU must control are: excessive speed, not wearing seatbelts, alcohol involvement, fatigue, and distractions while driving.

Airmen, supervisors and family members are making great strides in staying safe and we must continue the trend into the summer!