A 39-year-old Staff Sergeant assigned to Fort Polk, Louisiana, died in a PMV-4 mishap 21 October 2022 in Rosepine, Louisiana, at 0228 local. The Soldier’s vehicle struck a concrete barrier at a high rate of speed and caught fire, resulting in his remains being unrecognizable. He was identified 24 hours later via dental records. The Soldier was wearing his seat belt and it is unknown if alcohol was involved. The unit/safety points of contact are waiting for the Louisiana State Police to release its final report.
Since FY18, the Army has lost an average of 35 Soldiers a year to PMV-4 mishaps. This mishap was the second PMV-4 fatality of FY23 and above the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.
NHTSA projects that an estimated 42,915 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes last year, a 10.5% increase from the 38,824 fatalities in 2020. The projection is the highest number of fatalities since 2005 and the largest annual percentage increase in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s history.
Additionally, the traffic fatalities in the following categories showed relatively large increases in 2021, as compared to 2020:
•Fatalities in multi-vehicle crashes up 16%
•Fatalities on urban roads up 16%
•Fatalities among drivers 65 and older up 14%
•Pedestrian fatalities up 13%
•Fatalities in crashes involving at least one large truck up 13%
•Daytime fatalities up 11%
•Motorcyclist fatalities up 9%
•Bicyclist fatalities up 5%
•Fatalities in speeding-related crashes up 5%
•Fatalities in police-reported, alcohol-involvement crashes up 5%
For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. In 2020, speeding was a contributing factor in 29% of all traffic 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 endangers not only the life of the speeder, but all the people on the road around them, including law enforcement officers. It is a problem we all need to help solve.