According to officials at Fort Benning, which is located just outside of
Columbus, Georgia, members of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Division,
3rd Infantry Division have gone 368 days without a
traffic fatality. For over a year, the Brigade has sought to bring attention to the importance
of motor vehicle safety, and motorcycle safety in particular. The Brigade
initiated a program in June 2012, and continued the initiative even while
nearly 2,000 of its troops were deployed in Kuwait. The program was initiated
after two soldiers were killed in a motor vehicle accident last July.
The accident occurred when their car hydroplaned and struck an oncoming
truck on Interstate 20. Robert Topolewski, who serves as a safety and
occupational health specialist for the Brigade says that the accident
had a serious effects on other soldiers’ morale.
The Brigade implemented multiple motor vehicle safety initiatives.
Topolewski says that the program seeks to prevent motor vehicle accidents
by educating troops regarding motor vehicle safety before it is too late.
According to Topolewski, the success of the program is largely attributed
to strong leadership that makes an effort to teach by example as well
as, extensive training efforts. For example, the Brigade provides multiple
safety courses for their estimated 300 motorcyclists. Soldiers were recently
offered an eight hour safety course which included inspection of their
motorcycles for safety issues. Over 230 soldiers attended this training.
Another initiative under the program targets young soldiers who are at
greatest risk for being involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents. The
program encourages young soldiers to have their vehicles inspected for
safety issues before going on leave.
Motorcycle accident fatalities have been a longstanding issue within the military.
Motorcycle accident fatalities have been a longstanding issue amongst military
personnel, particularly those who ride sports bikes. In 2010, the Department
of Defense sought to address the rise in motorcycle accidents within the
military and to identify strategies for preventing motorcycle accidents
and reducing motorcycle accident fatality rates. In order to do so, the
Department of Defense commissioned the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to
conduct focus groups throughout the United States. The focus groups identified
motorcycling habits and attitudes among military personnel.
The increase in motorcycle accident fatalities among military personnel
follows a nationwide trend. According to reports from both the U.S. Highway
Administration and the
Governors Highway Safety Administration, while fatalities resulting from motor vehicle accidents are generally
on the decline, the country has experienced an increase in motorcycle
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, or if
your loved one have been killed in a motorcycle accident, you should contact
an attorney immediately. An attorney will be able to review the facts
of your case and determine if someone is liable for your losses. If so,
an attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve.