Safe driver, safe soldier.THE WORD accident, by definition, is an unplanned or unexpected event that can cause injury or loss of life. But, can the rate of recurrence of any such event be controlled or regulated?
The answer is a resounding re·sound
v. re·sound·ed, re·sound·ing, re·sounds
1. To be filled with sound; reverberate: The schoolyard resounded with the laughter of children.
2. "yes," according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. COL Michael Powell, operations director at the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Synonymous with operational readiness, with respect to missions or functions performed in combat. Center (formerly the U.S. Army Safety Center). Powell said that today most manufacturers have safety concerns uppermost in their minds when turning out products for the consumer. But, he said, the key to controlling accidents is educating consumers in how to handle the equipment safely.
"Statistics show that nearly 75 percent of all Army accidental fatalities have been caused by vehicular accidents, be it Army motor vehicles, combat vehicles or privately owned vehicles," Powell said. "In all the accidents, driver errors such as speeding, fatigue and improper reactions have been major contributing factors. So a cultural change in life skills behind the wheel is needed to really quell this problem."
The USACRC USACRC United States Army Crime Records Center traffic section, in conjunction with General Motors, has decided to confront the problem head on.
"Safety consultants at GM had recognized similar driving problems, more than 10 years ago, and developed a training program for company employees and their dependants. The training was based on a program, which had been in existence [or more than 40 years, to train members of the police forces and other emergency-vehicle drivers. The course is suitable for any type of vehicle and is designed to improve drivers" reactions to unexpected driving situations," said Jay Minotas, manager of GM's safe-driving program. This program is now being developed and implemented throughout the Army.
Powell said that GM had supplied vehicles and experienced instructors to provide train-the-trainer courses throughout the country. The initial objective, he said, is to have at least one Advanced Skills Driver Course set up in each state, at willing installations. The early target group, he said. would be Soldiers in the 18 to 24 age group, identified as the most at-risk drivers. The program can then be expanded to cover all Soldiers, dependants and civilian employees. He added that there had been an overwhelming request for information, and safety personnel from installations worldwide are interested in the program.
"During training individual drivers go through exercises in controlled braking, evasive maneuvering, backing up in a straight line, serpentine weaving, off-road recovery, backing in a parking lot and a stint with the skid monster," said John Kolkman, safety manager of the Army Traffic Safety Program. The skid monster is an apparatus that is substituted for the back wheels of a front- wheel drive vehicle and can simulate skids in a variety of environmental conditions. With the push of a button the instructor can dictate the condition and severity of a skid and then advise the trainee on the proper procedures for steering, braking and acceleration to drive out of the skid. Kolkman added that with many of the accidents in Iraq and Afghanistan occurring because of skids and drivers having to swerve to avoid obstacles, this training will be invaluable in teaching Soldiers how to react in various conditions.
"This training gives you the skills on how to react in times of stress, behind the wheel of a vehicle. It teaches you not to panic or overreact o·ver·re·act
To react with unnecessary or inappropriate force, emotional display, or violence. but to brake and steer correctly out of the situations you may find yourself in," said Carl Henderson, a train-the-trainer student at the advanced driver course conducted by GM at Fort Rucker Fort Rucker is a U.S. Army post located mostly in Dale County, Alabama. It was named for Confederate General Edmund Rucker. The post is the primary flight training base for Army Aviation and is home to the United States Army Aviation Warfighting Center (USAAWC) and the United , Ala. Henderson is the driver-training supervisor at Fort Carson Fort Carson is a United States Army installation and a Census Designated Place located immediately south of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States and just north of Pueblo, Colorado in Pueblo County Colorado. , Colo., and plans to implement this training as soon as funding and resources are available.
"Along with the already available training, this hands-on course will be a real boon not only for the Soldiers, but also for the dependants from where tomorrow's Soldiers come. At the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., children travel about 40 miles to high schools on a pretty dangerous highway, and this course can make them better prepared to react to situations they may face," said Mike Williams Mike Williams may refer to:
Powell said that Soldiers are entitled to excellent training and that every measure should be taken to protect their lives.
"This training will not only teach soldiers how to drive a car, but will also teach them skills that will help them handle nerve-racking situations better when operating combat vehicles." He added that drivers who are trained to avoid accidents will enhance accomplishment of the mission.
Training At A Glance
* Controlled Braking
The controlled-braking exercise develops the ability to achieve maximum braking while still being able to control the direction of the vehicle.
* Straight-line Backing/Parking
The straight-line backing exercise develops the ability to back a vehicle in a straight line. In addition, the parking exercise demonstrates an effective method of safely parking the vehicle.
* Emergency Off-Road Recovery
In this exercise, the student recovers a vehicle back onto the roadway safely.
* Evasive Steering
The evasive-steering exercise illustrates that less time is needed to steer a vehicle around an object than is required to stop before striking it. The exercise also demonstrates the maneuvering capability and stability of the vehicle, as well as showing the drivers their capabilities and limitations in making such a maneuver.
This exercise assists the student in learning the proper timing of steering inputs, coordination of throttle and steering (under steer, over steer), judging the relationship of the vehicle to fixed objects, reinforces the "3 and 9" hand position and develops "targeting" techniques.
* Skid Pad
Demonstrates the physics involved when driving in a situation when a skid could occur. It also develops the reactive attributes for recovery from a skid.
* Skid Control
The purpose of this exercise is to have the student recognize when a vehicle is in a skid and to regain directional control as soon as possible. This exercise also teaches that directional control can be achieved while driving in a curve or on a curved off ramp.
Application Of Training
* Army Motor Vehicle Operation
From General Services Administration The General Services Administration (GSA) was established by section 101 of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (40 U.S.C.A. § 751). The GSA sets policy for and manages government property and records. (GSA (1) (Global mobile Suppliers Association, Sawbridgeworth, U.K., www.gsacom.com) A membership organization of suppliers of GSM products and services. Its goal is to promote GSM as the worldwide mobile communications standard. See GSM Association and GSM. ) vehicles to large semi tractor-trailers, this training translates to all types of vehicles operated inside and outside of the continental United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. .
Commanders can use this training to ensure Soldiers can react appropriately to road hazards and are the most qualified individuals to operate the units' vehicles.
* Combat Operations
The training builds confidence and enables drivers to react quickly and properly and evade danger in combat operations. Vehicles used in theater include SUVs, sedans and tactical vehicles, to which all of this training applies.
* Privately Owned Vehicle Operation
Soldiers spend most of their driving time behind the wheel of their POVs. Additionally, POV POV
point of view accidents account for the majority of the Army vehicle accidents. The skills learned either in tactical or GSA vehicles translates to POV operation.
Investment For Success
* The Standard Load for a Training Center
The list may vary with select locations:
* Training staff of 4 minimum
* Log pak supplies
* 1000'x 1000' blacktop surface
* Four adequate GSA vehicles
* Two skid monsters
* Maintenance support location at training site