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 23-052 - PMV-2 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-2
A 25-year-old Sergeant assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas, died in a PMV-2 mishap 25 May 2023 at 2345 local. The Soldier and his spouse were riding at night with a group of other riders when he lost control negotiating a curve at a high rate of speed. The motorcycle crashed into a concrete barrier and hit a light pole, and the Soldier and his spouse died at the scene. The Soldier was a state-licensed motorcyclist and scheduled to attend the Basic RiderCourse on 19 July 2023. At the time of the mishap, he was not wearing a helmet; however, his spouse was wearing a helmet. No other personal protective equipment can be confirmed for either person at this time. The safety point of contact is awaiting the toxicology report and official pronouncement of death for the Soldier and his spouse.

Since FY18, the Army has lost an average of 24 Soldiers a year to PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the 18th PMV-2 fatality of FY23 and is below the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.

Safety tip

Motorcycle riders continue to be overrepresented in fatal traffic crashes. In 2021, there were 5,932 motorcyclists killed — 14% of all traffic fatalities. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data show that this is the highest number of motorcyclists killed at least since 1975. To keep everyone safe, we urge drivers and motorcyclists to share the road and be alert, and we're reminding motorcyclists to make themselves visible, to use U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)-compliant motorcycle helmets and to always ride sober.

Motorcycles in fatal crashes had the highest proportion of collisions with fixed objects (24.6%).

Drivers or motorcycle riders are alcohol-impaired when their blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) are .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher.

In 2020 motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had higher percentages of alcohol impairment than drivers of any other motor vehicle type (27% for motorcycles, 23% for passenger cars, 19% for light trucks, and 3% for large trucks).

Motorcycle riders killed in traffic crashes at night were three times more frequently alcohol-impaired than those killed during the day in 2020.

In states without universal helmet laws, 57% of motorcyclists killed in 2020 were not wearing helmets, as compared to 11 percent in states with universal helmet laws.

Helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatalities to motorcycle riders and 41% for motorcycle passengers. In other words, for every 100 motorcycle riders killed in crashes while not wearing helmets, 37 of them could have been saved had all 100 worn helmets.

In Texas, 50% of motorcyclists involved in a fatal motorcycle mishap were not wearing a helmet and 40% of the 5,579 motorcyclists killed nationwide in traffic crashes were not helmeted, based on known helmet use.

Important safety reminders for motorcyclists:
  • Wearing a helmet is the single most effective way to protect yourself from a head injury. Use a motorcycle helmet for every ride, and ensure your passengers also use a helmet.

  • Make sure your helmet has a valid U.S. DOT label; the label means the helmet meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards – this is also known as the FMVSS 218 standard. Novelty helmets without this label may not meet the same standard and will not provide the best protection needed in a crash.

  • Check the fit of your helmet to ensure optimal protection.

  • Wear protective gear like a sturdy jacket, pants, boots, and gloves; safety gear provide protection in case of falls or crashes and improves comfort during the ride.

  • Make yourself visible by using high-visibility colors and retro-reflective materials to maximize the ability of drivers to see you.

  • Motorcycle riding requires full attention, skill and coordination. Avoid combining riding with drinking alcohol or using other impairing drugs.

  For drivers:
  • Always be on the lookout for motorcyclists.

  • A motorcycle’s smaller size means it can be hidden in your vehicle’s blind spot.

  • A motorcycle’s size and narrow profile can make it difficult to judge its distance and speed. Take extra care in judging when to turn or merge.

  • Keep a safe distance from the motorcycle in front of you; motorcyclists can slow their motorcycles by downshifting instead of using their brakes. This means the brake lights won’t come on.

  • Remember that motorcyclists sometimes change positions in their lane to avoid debris on the road.

Tips provided from NHTSA — NHTSA’s Research and Program Development
  • In the spotlight — The 2023 Off-Duty Safety Awareness Presentation provides additional information to include videos, statistics and risk mitigation measures in preventing PMV-2 mishaps. Visit https://safety.army.mil/ODSAP for more information.



PLR 23-050 - PMV-2 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-2
A 37-year-old Sergeant First Class assigned to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, died in a PMV-2 mishap 22 May 2023 at 2100 local. The Soldier was riding his sport bike when he collided head-on with a vehicle that failed to yield the right-of-way while making a left-hand turn. He was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical personnel. The Soldier was current on his motorcycle safety requirements and wearing all personal protective equipment. Alcohol and drugs were not contributing factors in this mishap.

Since FY18, the Army has lost an average of 24 Soldiers a year to PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the 17th PMV-2 fatality of FY23 and below the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.

Safety tip

Motorcycles — Sharing the road safely

What can you do to protect motorcyclists?

Many drivers are not aware of how to safely share roads with motorcycles. The vast majority of vehicle versus motorcycle crashes happen in intersections.

Before making a left turn, be sure traffic is clear, and then look again for motorcycles. A vehicle turning in front of motorcycles is the number one cause of fatal accidents for motorcyclists.

Because of road conditions, including potholes, dead animals and road debris, motorcyclists often need to weave from side to side within their lane. Give them as much room as possible.

Remember that motorcyclists have little personal protection other than helmets and the clothes they are wearing, so please help protect them.

Tips for sharing the road with motorcycles

Speeding is a type of aggressive driving behavior. Several factors have contributed to an overall rise in aggressive driving:

  • Motorcycles have use of the complete traffic lane. Do not share lanes with motorcycles.

  • Failure to yield the right-of-way to a motorcyclist is the most frequent driver error in collisions involving a motorcycle and another vehicle.

  • Often drivers do not see motorcyclists until it is too late. This is why it is important for drivers to continually scan the roadway in front, to the rear and to the sides.

  • Motorcycles accelerate, turn and stop more quickly than other vehicles. Bad weather, rough road surfaces or inexperience may cause a motorcyclist to fall. All of these are reasons why you should increase your following distance to four seconds or more when behind motorcycles.



PLR 23-048 - PMV-2 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-2
A 23-year-old Specialist assigned to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, died in a PMV-2 mishap 4 May 2023, at 0540 local. The Soldier was riding his motorcycle in the Mendonca Park housing area, when he collided with a vehicle that was exiting the area. He was taken to the local hospital by ambulance where resuscitative efforts were unsuccessful. The Soldier had a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement, current registration, completed the USARHAW Basic RiderCourse, and was wearing all required motorcycle personal protective equipment.

Since FY18, the Army has lost an average of 24 Soldiers a year to PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the 16th PMV-2 fatality of FY23 and below the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.

Nationally, according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation

Quick Tips: Ten things all car and truck drivers should know about motorcycles
1. Over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Most of the time, the car or truck driver, not the motorcyclist, is at fault. There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, and some drivers don't "recognize" a motorcycle – they ignore it (usually unintentionally).

2. Because of its narrow profile, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots (door/roof pillars) or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car (bushes, fences, bridges, etc.). Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, whether you're changing lanes or turning at intersections.

3. Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it appears. It may

also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle to be closer than it

4. Motorcyclists often slow down by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not
activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.

5. Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles, and wind. Understand that motorcyclists adjust lane position for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off, to allow you to share the lane with them.

6. Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling, thus some riders (especially beginners) sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change. Make sure a motorcycle's signal is for real.

7. Maneuverability is one of a motorcycles better characteristics, especially at slower speeds and with good road conditions, but don't expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.

8. Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes stopping quickly more difficult. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because you can't always stop "on a dime."

9. When a motorcycle is in motion, see more than the motorcycle – see the person under the helmet, who could be your friend, neighbor, or relative.

10. If a driver crashes into a motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian and causes serious
injury, the driver would likely never forgive himself/herself.

Motorcyclists should – Drive Defensively:

  • Be especially alert at intersections because approximately 70 percent of motorcycle-vehicle collisions occur there! Watch for vehicles that may unexpectedly turn in front of you or pull out from a side street or driveway. At intersections where vision is limited by shrubbery, parked vehicles, or buildings, slow down, make doubly sure of traffic, and be prepared to react quickly.

  • Check the rearview mirrors before changing lanes or stopping. A quick stop without checking rear traffic may result in a rear-end crash. When changing lanes, use signals and make a visual check to assure that you can change lanes safely.

  • Watch the road surface and traffic ahead to anticipate problems and road hazards. Road hazards that are minor irritations for an automobile can be a major hazard for a rider. Hazards include potholes, oil slicks, puddles, debris or other objects on the roadway, ruts, uneven pavement, and railroad tracks. Painted roadway markings and manhole covers can be extremely slippery when wet. Go around most hazards. To do so safely, you must be able to spot such hazards from a distance. Slow down before reaching the obstacle and make sure you have enough room before changing direction. Railroad tracks should be crossed at an angle as close to 90 degrees as possible.

  • Experienced motorcyclists often have this advice for new riders: "Assume that you are invisible to other motorists and operate your motorcycle accordingly." Position yourself to be seen. Ride in the portion of the lane where it is most likely that you will be seen by other motorists. Avoid the car's "No Zone" (i.e., blind spot). Use your headlights, day and night. All motor vehicles have blind spots where other vehicles cannot be seen with mirrors.

  • Tips provided by MSF.org and NHTSA



PLR 23-045 - PMV-2 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-2
A 29-year-old Captain assigned to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, died 23 April 2023 in a PMV-2 mishap in Charleston, South Carolina, at 1844 local. The Soldier lost control of her Honda Rebel 1100 sport bike while in the vicinity of Highway 61 and U.S. 17, near Albemarle Road. Paramedics responded to the scene and performed CPR on the Soldier. She was transported to the local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The Soldier had completed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic RiderCourse but had not completed the Advanced RiderCourse. It is currently unknown if the Soldier was wearing personal protective equipment or under the influence of alcohol.

Since FY18, the Army has lost an average of 24 Soldiers a year to PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the 15th PMV-2 fatality of FY23 and below the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.

The Army Progressive Motorcycle Program is comprised of:

  • Basic RiderCourse (BRC)

  • Advanced RiderCourse (ARC)

  • Sustainment


Each is designed to keep motorcycle operator training current and to sustain or enrich rider skills.

Within 12 months of completing the BRC, Soldiers must undergo a second round of training in the ARC. Sustainment training in the form of the ARC is mandatory every five years after initial completion.

For individuals who have been deployed for 180 days or longer, there is an additional requirement to attend the Motorcycle Refresher Training course. This course can be taught at the local level without a certified RiderCoach.

Motorcycle skills are perishable and need to be refreshed occasionally. Operating a motorcycle without the proper training and skills seriously increases your risk of having a mishap.

It looks easy, but it takes a great deal of practice, coordination and mental attention to ride a motorcycle and constant practice to maintain proficiency. The proper training will provide you with a clear picture of what right looks like so you can enjoy your ride.


PLR 23-042 - PMV-2 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-2
A 31-year-old Staff Sergeant assigned to Fort Shafter, Hawaii, died in a PMV-2 mishap 15 April 2023 in Honolulu, Hawaii, at 0300 local. Two Soldiers were riding their motorcycles when Soldier No. 1 veered off the highway, impacted a guardrail and was ejected from his bike. Soldier No. 2 was following behind at an unknown distance and observed Soldier No. 1 impact the guardrail. Soldier No. 2 attempted to avoid the debris but crashed and sustained minor injuries. The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) responded and Soldier No. 1 was pronounced dead at the scene. Soldier No. 2 was transported to a local hospital for further treatment and discharged. Both Soldiers were wearing the proper personal protective equipment and completed the required Motorcycle Safety Foundation training. It is currently unknown if speed or alcohol were contributing factors to the mishap. The unit/safety points of contact are waiting for HPD to release its final report.

Since 2018, the Army has lost an average of 24 Soldiers a year to off-duty PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the 14th PMV-2 fatality of FY23 and above the number of fatalities for the same time last year.

Is it Safe to Motorcycle at Night?
When it comes to motorcycle riding at night and its safety challenges, different people have different opinions. Some think driving at night is safe since there are fewer road users and traffic congestion. However, there are still others who view that night riding should be completely avoided due to the associated risks.

No matter the opinion, there are some challenges associated with motorcycle riding at night.

Low visibility
This is the most critical challenge facing motorcycle riding and other road users at night. With low visibility, it becomes very difficult to maintain focus and speed. As a result, most road accidents occur at night.
This could either be that riders can’t see other objects clearly or other road users do not see them. However, this can have an easy fix by using motorcycle glasses for night riding that enhance low-light visibility.

Obstacles on the road can pose a great safety risk to riders at night. It could be in the form of debris, roadblocks, potholes, manholes, loose gravel and others. In addition, due to darkness, the obstacle could become less visible to the rider. In such a case, his maneuverability will also reduce, and a potential collision could be life-threatening.

Drunk riders and drivers
When you decide to ride in the night, you should know that you’re not the only rider. Some other riders and drivers might be drunk. When a drunk driver is behind the wheel, they can’t maintain good road safety tips. Moreover, if the driver has limited vision, they’ll pose dangerous risks on the road for others.

Most animals that run in the night will naturally freeze once they gaze into oncoming headlights. If the animal’s eyes emit a glow, it will be a signal to you of its presence. However, if the eyes don’t, you may not notice their presence in time. Therefore, running through them or trying to maneuver around them at close range could lead to an accident.

Motorcycle Safety Tips for Riding at Night
Riding in the night could be inevitable in most cases. Many people do it as part of their hobbies or enjoyment. But some will engage in it as their only available means of commuting. Getting motorcycle safety tips for riding at night will protect you and your bike in whatever category you are. See them below.

1. Enhance your visibility

Low visibility is a critical safety risk for motorcycle riding at night. But you can make yourself more visible during your night rides in the following ways:

  • Wear high-visibility gear/clothing – Making yourself be seen in the night is a great means of reducing accidents. So, wear brightly colored clothing or a jacket before your ride. Wearing fluorescent colors such as green, yellow, orange and white will make you seen by other riders and drivers. When you dress in all black or dark colors, it keeps you hidden and limits your safety.

  • Use a white helmet – Wearing a helmet with safety certifications will give you protection in case of accidents. However, while gearing up, select a white helmet. This helps other road users to pick you out with ease.

  • Include reflective tape – You can increase your visibility by adding reflective tape to your clothing. Such tapes emit reflective lights at night and will help you increase your safety.

  • Use a loud exhaust to be heard – Not only should you make yourself more visible, but you also should be heard. Using a loud exhaust for your motorcycle will cause other road users to hear your approaching movement even before seeing you.


2. Increase your motorcycle visibility

Keeping your motorcycle more visible for your night rides will serve as great safety tips. You can also go for any of the motorcycle glasses for night riding to enhance your safety.

Here are some of the ways you can make your bike more visible:

  • Switch on the headlights and clean them when necessary– Riding in the night with a faulty headlight is risky. Instead, ensure your headlight is on and functioning properly. This will help to illuminate your front space. Never ride your motorcycle with streetlights. Also, the lenses of your headlights can get dirty over a long time of usage. With debris and dirt particles on the road, the lenses can become fogged and cloudy. However, with the use of water and a clean, non-fluffy cloth, you can easily clean the lenses to make the lighting brighter during your ride.

  • Ensure your brake handle and lights are functional – Before you embark on a ride in the night, you should check your brake and the brake lights. If other road users can see your brake light, they will know when you're slowing down. This will increase your safety.

  • Clean or replace your visor – Your bike visor can undergo wear and tear. Also, it can become dirty, which will invariably reduce your visibility. Therefore, ensure you regularly clean the visor. When it becomes too old, replace it.