Think, practice summer safety!

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — The Air Force Quest for Zero, also known as Q4Z, safety campaign is facing the most critical time of the year as we head into the summer and enjoy the many recreational opportunities that Utah has to offer.

With the Q4Z program we work to identify and focus on the most frequent mishaps injuring our Airmen.

Memorial Day traditionally marks the beginning of summer and we’re fortunate to live in a state with endless outdoor recreation opportunities.

Whether you enjoy mountain biking, boating, hiking, golfing, or even just grilling up a great meal, the summer season affords the chance to get out and enjoy more of what life has to offer.

The 75th ABW Safety office would like to seize this opportunity to remind you that an injury, whether on or off duty, can ruin all that summer fun and have potentially life-altering consequences.

Staying safe can be accomplished by conducting personal risk management using the risk management principles that should be a part of your every-day decision making process. Risk management can and should be applied to all of your summer recreation activities.

Think about the activities you are preparing for. If you’re driving, are you well rested? If you’re traveling with friends or family, do you share driving to keep well rested and not put yourself and others with you at risk by driving farther than is safe?

Drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes and 1,550 fatalities a year. Set a realistic goal for how far you will travel and be well rested before you start, plan rest stops and stop at regular intervals to take a break.

Spending time on the water? First, more than 80 percent of drowning victims are male. And 70 percent of the deaths from water activities involve alcohol.

Knowing this you can now apply some risk management to this activity and among all else, be a wingman to those with you and watch out for your fellow Airmen.

Even a simple hike locally, like to the Adams Canyon waterfall, can have risk. The trail is rough in places and the opportunity to slip and become injured is high.

If you have children, are you watching them? Rattlesnakes live along that trail and while they don’t want to meet you, are you prepared to meet them?

I’ve personally hiked the trail and the number of families I see who don’t have water or sunscreen on this moderately difficult hike continues to amaze me. A little advance research and preparation goes a long way to ensuring a pleasant experience and a safe return.

The summer is a great time for all of us to be out and about enjoying all that Utah has to offer. By using risk management you can raise the odds that you’ll be enjoying the entire summer.