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 24-059 - PMV-4 Mishap Claims Two Soldiers' Lives

Two Specialists assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, died in a PMV-4 mishap in Pierce County, Washington, at local. Three Soldiers were riding in a vehicle when another vehicle traveling on the wrong side of the highway struck them head-on. Soldier No. 1 (driver) and Soldier No. 2 (passenger) sustained fatal injuries. Soldier No. 3 sustained non-fatal injuries. According to the Washington State Patrol, it was suspected the operator of the other vehicle was driving under the influence. The specific circumstances of the mishap, including the Soldiers use of seat belts, or speed are currently unknown. The unit/safety points of contact are waiting for law enforcement to release its final report.

Since FY19, the Army has lost an average of 35 Soldiers a year to off-duty PMV-4 mishaps. This mishap was the 25th and 26th off-duty PMV-4 fatalities of FY24 and above the number of fatalities for the same time last year.

Safety tip

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, wrong-way accidents contributed to an average of 400 traffic deaths per year in a recent six-year period.

Stay Calm and Avoid Making Any Sudden Movements
If you see a wrong-way driver coming toward you, stay calm and avoid making any sudden movements like swerving. This will help you maintain control of your vehicle and avoid an accident and could help you make a safer decision about what to do next.

Move to the Right
If you can, safely move your vehicle to the right-hand side of the road. This will give the wrong-way driver more room to pass and may help avoid a collision. You may be worried about damaging your car by running over a curb, but taking decisive action to get completely out of the wrong-way driver’s path is the most important thing for you to focus on.

Drive Defensively
Even if you follow all these tips, there is still a chance you could be involved in an accident with a wrong-way driver. Drive defensively at all times and be mindful of the possibility that a wrong-way driver could enter your path. Be extra cautious when driving at night or during periods of low visibility, as this is when wrong-way accidents are most likely to occur.

Do Not Swerve
Swerving out of the way of a wrong-way driver can actually put you in more danger. You could lose control of your vehicle or end up in oncoming traffic. Instead, slow down and come to a stop if possible, making sure that there are no pedestrians, cyclists or others on the road who may be at risk of being struck by your vehicle as you attempt to move to safety.

Use Your Horn
Use your horn to warn the wrong-way driver that they are coming toward you. If they do not respond, you can flash your headlights at them as well. However, it is important that you do not rely on this tactic to stay safe because if the driver does not realize they are going the wrong way, your horn or flashing lights may do little or nothing to make them realize their mistake. The hope, though, is that the wrong-way driver is simply confused and not aware that they are going the wrong way. Your lights and horn may help them realize their mistake and get them back onto the right side of the road.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Pay attention to your surroundings at all times when you are driving. This will help you spot a wrong-way driver before they get too close to you. It is important for all drivers to keep their attention and focus on the road, including farther down the road, to hopefully notice something dangerous like a driver heading in the wrong lane and act quickly without needing to make a split-second decision. Always be alert for signs that indicate a wrong-way driver may be present, such as headlights coming towards you in your traffic lane.

Look For an Escape Route
If you see a wrong-way driver coming toward you, look for an escape route. This could be a side street or a parking lot. If you can, get out of the way of the wrong-way driver before they get to you. Being aware of your surroundings and staying mindful of what is at the farthest point in the road you can see will buy you valuable time to recognize the dangerous situation, slow your vehicle, and move to the escape route without swerving or putting others in additional danger.

Call 911
If you can safely do so, call 911 and report the wrong-way driver. Give them as much information as possible, such as where you are, where you saw the driver enter the highway, and what direction they are heading. Alerting the authorities quickly can help save lives and ensure that everyone is safe. Never assume that someone else has called. DO NOT try to follow the driver or stop them — leave it to the professionals.



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