PLR 21-096 - PMV-4 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life
A 43-year-old Active Guard Reserve Sergeant assigned to the Army National Guard, Columbia, South Carolina, died in a PMV-4 mishap 21 August 2021 in Saluda County, South Carolina, at 2355 local. The Soldier was traveling westbound when his vehicle left the road and struck a tree. The Saluda County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene, and the Soldier was pronounced dead. He was not wearing a seat belt, and alcohol was suspected as a contributing factor. Speed as a contributing factor is currently unknown. It is also unknown who placed the 911 call. The state safety office is waiting for local law enforcement to release the final report.
Since 2016, the Army has lost an average of 33 Soldiers a year to off-duty PMV-4 mishaps. This mishap was the 43rd PMV-4 fatality of FY21.
For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. Speed also affects your safety even when you are driving at the speed limit but too fast for road conditions, such as during bad weather, when a road is under repair, or in an area at night that isn’t well lit.
Speeding is more than just breaking the law. The consequences are far-ranging:
-Greater potential for loss of vehicle control
-Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment
-Increased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger
-Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries
-Economic implications of a speed-related crash
-Increased fuel consumption/cost
One of the safest choices drivers and passengers can make is to buckle up. Many Americans understand the lifesaving value of the seat belt – the national use rate was at 90.3% in 2020. Seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017.
Of those killed during the nighttime in 2019, 55% were unrestrained. In the instant you buckle up when driving or riding in the front seat of a car or truck, you cut your risk of a fatal injury in a crash nearly in half. That’s a massive return on the investment of the brief moment it takes to put on a seat belt.
Seat belts are the single-most effective safety technology in the history of the automobile. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study of lives saved by vehicle technologies found that, between 1960 and 2012, seat belts saved more lives — 329,715, to be exact — than all other vehicle technologies combined, including air bags, energy-absorbing steering assemblies and electronic stability control.
Tips provided by NHTSA.