Driving safely: coming and going

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Justin Ulmen
  • 319th Air Refueling Wing Safety Office
Sometimes our busy schedules get the better of us. We get in a hurry and try to squeeze in 12 hours of activity into an eight-hour day. With all this hustle and bustle, we tend to take shortcuts and lose our situational awareness. Before you know it, you’re in a minor traffic mishap that could have been avoided had you paid just a little more attention. 

Minor accidents happen more often than you think and believe it or not, small fender benders can be a big problem. They are often associated with repair costs, higher insurance premiums and sometimes emotional distress or physical injury. Fortunately, a few simple precautions can help you prevent accidents: 

- Always wear a seat belt. 

- Hang up the cell phone while you’re driving. It’s not just the device, it’s also the distraction of the conversation that creates the problem. 

- Turn the stereo down. 

- Slow down in pedestrian areas, like base housing. Be extra vigilant in “high kid zones;” (i.e. near playgrounds, parks and recreation areas). 

- With summer and kids out of school playing, look twice at intersections before proceeding. 

- Be aware of your surroundings at all times and watch out for “the other guy.” You may be doing everything right and still be able to avoid an accident by anticipating what they may do. 

You never know what is lurking around the next corner that could make a long day even longer. Be vigilant … drive safe and drive smart!