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Preliminary Loss Reports (PLRs)

About Preliminary Loss Reports (PLRs)

PLRs are intended to be used as an engagement tool for leaders to discuss the hazards and trends impacting Soldier safety and readiness. A PLR contains only basic information, as the investigation is ongoing, but provides sufficient background to allow leaders an opportunity to communicate risk at the Soldier level.

 

PLR 24-055 - PMV-4 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

A 19-year-old Private First Class assigned to Fort Wainwright, Alaska, died in a PMV-4 mishap 18 May 2024 at 0615 local. Two Soldiers were returning from Anchorage, Alaska, on their way to Fairbanks when the vehicle veered off the road and overturned. Soldier No. 2 (passenger) was ejected from the vehicle. Emergency medical services arrived and pronounced Soldier No. 2 dead at the scene. Soldier No. 1 (driver) was evacuated to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. Seat belt use is currently unknown.

Since FY19, the Army has lost an average of 35 Soldiers a year to PMV-4 mishaps. This mishap was the 24th fatality of FY24 and above the number of fatalities for the same time last year.

 

Safety tip

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 91.9% in 2023.

In 2022, 25,420 passenger vehicle occupants were killed. About 50% of those killed were not buckled (based on known seat belt use).

Seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives and could have saved an additional 2,549 people, if they had been wearing seat belts, in 2017 alone.

 

The consequences of not wearing, or improperly wearing a seat belt are clear:

  1. Buckling up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, whereas not buckling up can result in being totally ejected from the vehicle in a crash, which is almost always deadly.
  2. Air bags are not enough to protect you; in fact, the force of an air bag can seriously injure or even kill you if you’re not buckled up.
  3. Improperly wearing a seat belt, such as putting the strap below your arm, puts you and your children at risk in a crash.

The benefits of buckling up are equally clear:

  1. If you buckle up in the front seat of a passenger car, you can reduce your risk of:
    • Fatal injury by 45% (Kahane, 2015)
    • Moderate to critical injury by 50%

  2. If you buckle up in a light truck, you can reduce your risk of:
    • Fatal injury by 60% (Kahane, 2015)
    • Moderate to critical injury by 65% (NHTSA, 1984)
    • The Top 4 Things You Should Know About Buckling Up

  3. Guidelines to buckle up safely
    • The lap belt and shoulder belt are secured across the pelvis and rib cage, which are better able to withstand crash forces than other parts of your body.
    • Place the shoulder belt across the middle of your chest and away from your neck.
    • The lap belt rests across your hips, not your stomach.
    • NEVER put the shoulder belt behind your back or under an arm.

  4. Fit matters
    • Before you buy a new car, check to see that its seat belts are a good fit for you.
    • Ask your dealer about seat belt adjusters, which can help you get the best fit.
    • If you need a roomier belt, contact your vehicle manufacturer to obtain seat belt extenders.
    • If you drive an older or classic car with lap belts only, check with your vehicle manufacturer about how to retrofit your car with today’s safer lap/shoulder belts.
    • In a rollover, there is a five-fold increased risk of mortality if the occupant is ejected during the crash. It was also suggested that the fatality rate could be reduced by 70% by effective controlling of ejection in a rollover.
 

Despite widespread use of seat belts and electronic stability control, injuries and fatalities due to occupant ejection in rollover crashes remain a significant problem. Completely ejected occupants make up half of all fatalities resulting from rollover crashes. Compared to occupants who remain in the vehicle, the risk of serious injury is increased by a factor of 20 and the risk of fatality is increased by a factor of 91 in occupants who are completely ejected during a rollover crash.

Based on the physics of occupant ejection, any factor that increases the restraining force acting on the occupant or decreases the centripetal force required to stay inside the vehicle has the potential to reduce the risk of ejection. For example, it has long been recognized that seat belt use virtually eliminates that risk of complete ejection in any kind of crash because the seat belt is capable of applying very high levels of restraining force. Seat belt use also reduces the risk of partial ejection, although it does not eliminate it.

Tips provide by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Library of Medicine.


 

 

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