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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

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101 Critical Days of Summer – Week 3: Traffic Safety

By Lance Cpl. Emmanuel Necoechea | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | June 7, 2016

Week Three of the 101 Critical Days of Summer series of base safety briefs focuses on Traffic Safety.

In the weekly newsletter, base safety officials reminded service members and their families about the importance of safe highway habits and defensive driving mindset.

Cell phone use, lane splitting and speeding are all issues that drivers must be aware of in order to foster safe highway habits. California State law prohibits using handheld devices while driving.

“Driving on highways is unpredictable and people never know when unexpected changes alter their driving routine,” said Jonathan McKinney, ground safety manager with the base. “One of the most important habits to practice is to always be aware of your surroundings.”

According to the base safety newsletter, drivers should not only be aware of tangible things such as drinking and cell phone use, but of intangible factors such as fatigue, stress and emotions. If a driver is worried, upset, frightened, depressed or excited, this may negatively impact their driving skills.

“When we get behind the wheel of any type of motor vehicle, we must drive with the correct mindset,” said McKinney. “There are so many variables that change alter the way we driver. There are courteous drivers, aggressive drivers, young drivers and elderly drivers. At any moment, what others may do or not do may affect whether our chances of making it to our destination."

“If you allow someone else to change your mindset, you are no longer in control,” added McKinney."

The Network for Public Health Law’s latest statistics revealed that there were 10.8 million motor vehicle collisions and 33,800 deaths caused by motor vehicle collisions this year, making vehicle accidents the leading cause of injury death among children and the sixth leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

“Traffic accidents, no matter how minor have an impact on unit morale and decrease the commands ability to accomplish the mission,” said McKinney. “Personnel injuries may equate to time loss from work, medical care and treatment, and financial expenses. Personnel fatalities impact families and loved one, the teammates who are depending on their fellow Marine or Sailor, the command mission is degraded due to the loss of a skilled combat resource."

The 101 Critical Days of Summer briefs encourages service members to keep their family’s or their own personal safety and security in mind as they spend time during the summer season, participating in leisure travel and activities such as travelling, swimming, boating, sports and other events.

For more information visit the link to Base Safety at: http://www.pendleton.marines.mil/StaffAgencies/SafetyCenter.aspx