A long weekend is near, please think safety

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As we enter the Veterans Day holiday weekend, the 75 Air Base Wing Safety Office would like to thank all Veterans past and present for their service and for our freedom.

Please consider the following ideas to help you and your family have a safe weekend.

If you are planning to travel, please remember that the potential for wintery road conditions increases around Veterans Day. This demands that operators be more aware of surroundings, drive defensively, and execute extreme caution, especially while driving at night. Always wear seatbelts and avoid speeding. Extend vehicle following distances for each additional risk encountered (e.g. poor weather, visibility, or road conditions, heavy traffic, construction zones, or unfamiliar roads). Consider the safety of other motorists and eliminate distractions while driving. Place your cell phone out of reach or turn it off. Your phone will be happy to save your messages for you until safely parked. Avoid heavy meals if driving long distances. Don’t rely on caffeine drinks to beat fatigue, instead, pull over and rest when feeling tired. Avoid actions and situations which could escalate into road rage.

Be aware of the possibility of sudden weather changes. Utah weather conditions are known to be unpredictable during the spring, fall, and winter seasons. If possible, avoid driving when the weather conditions are poor. Prior to long-distance travel, especially in northern states, ensure your vehicle is equipped with an emergency kit consisting of water, non-perishable food, flashlight, shovel, sand or kitty litter (for traction), warm clothes, and blankets. If you break down and are forced to spend a night or two in your vehicle, these items may help keep you alive. Keep wiper blades in optimum condition and the windshield washer reservoir full.

If you drink, do so responsibly. Never operate a motor vehicle if consuming alcohol. Have a plan that prevents getting behind the wheel if drinking, and execute the plan. Ensure fellow Airmen are monitored closely, and intervene immediately when a situation does not look or feel right. Excessive alcohol consumption is proven to impair judgment and decision making, thus jeopardizing safety. Make smart decisions and protect those you love.

Plan ahead and manage the risks before they arise and have a safe Veterans Day weekend.