Preliminary Loss Reports (PLRs)

About Preliminary Loss Reports (PLRs)

Preliminary Loss Reports provide leaders with awareness of Army loss and highlight potential trends that affect combat readiness. Within 72 hours of a loss, PLRs provide a synopsis of the incident: unit, date of loss, description of the activity at the time of the death. PLRs do not identify root causes of an accident, as the investigation is ongoing. Further details will be available later on RMIS (account required).

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PLR 22-041- PMV-4 Mishap Claims Two Soldiers' Lives

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-4
A 22-year-old Specialist and a 23-year-old Private assigned to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, died in a multivehicle PMV-4 mishap 13 May 2022 in Anchorage, Alaska, at 1750 local. The specific circumstances of the mishap, including speed, disposition of the Soldiers, use of seat belts, and alcohol or drugs as contributing factors, are unknown. Currently, it is unknown who notified 911. The safety/unit points of contact are waiting for the Anchorage Police Department to release its final report.

Since 2017, the Army has lost an average of 35 Soldiers a year to PMV-4 mishaps. This mishap was the 13th and 14th PMV-4 fatalities of FY22 and below the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.


PLR 22-040 - Combat Skills/Military Unique Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, Other
A Staff Sergeant assigned to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, died in a combat skills/military unique mishap 10 May 2022 on the installation, at 1345 local. Soldiers were setting up a land navigation training course when they were attacked by a bear. One Soldier sustained severe injuries during the attack, was transported to the local hospital, and pronounced dead upon arrival by the attending physician. The other Soldier sustained non-fatal injuries and was treated at the local hospital.

Since 2017, the Army has lost an average of three Soldiers a year to combat skills/military unique mishaps. This tragedy was the second combat skills/military unique fatality of FY22.

Tips for Avoiding and Surviving a Bear Attack:

Avoid an Encounter
·Practice Proper “Food” Storage - Bears have an insatiable appetite and an amazing sense of smell, and they consider anything with a scent to be "food." This can include canned goods, bottles, drinks, soaps, cosmetics, toiletries, trash, ice chests, sunscreen, bug repellant, fuel, items used for preparing or eating meals, etc. Always pack your food scraps, garbage, or toiletries in resealable bags or containers.

·Never approach, crowd, pursue, or displace bears. If a bear changes its behavior because of your presence, you are too close!

·Be Especially Cautious if You See a Female with Cubs - never place yourself between a mother and her cub, and never attempt to approach them. The chances of an attack escalate greatly if she perceives you as a danger to her cubs.

·Identify Yourself – speak calmly so the bear knows you are a human and not a prey animal. Remain still; stand your ground but slowly wave your arms. Help the bear recognize you as a human. It may come closer or stand on its hind legs to get a better look or smell. A standing bear is usually curious, not threatening.

·Stay Calm - most bears do not want to attack you; they usually just want to be left alone. Bears may bluff their way out of an encounter by charging and then turning away at the last second. Bears may also react defensively by woofing, yawning, salivating, growling, snapping their jaws, and laying their ears back. Continue to talk to the bear in low tones; this will help you stay calmer, and it won't be threatening to the bear. A scream or sudden movement may trigger an attack. Never imitate bear sounds or make a high-pitched squeal.

·Move Away Slowly - You want to give the bear a wide berth and move away slowly, keeping an eye on the bear as you go. You want to move in a sideways motion as you go. Whatever you do, DO NOT RUN. This will trigger their instinct to chase you just like a dog will if you run from them. Bears are surprisingly fast and will have no problem at all outrunning you. If the bear follows you, stop where you are, face them, and keep talking to them in a calm low tone. Also, don’t try to climb a tree to get away from a bear. They are great at climbing trees.

·Brown/Grizzly Bears: If you are attacked by a brown/grizzly bear, leave your pack on and PLAY DEAD. Lay flat on your stomach with your hands clasped behind your neck. Spread your legs to make it harder for the bear to turn you over. Remain still until the bear leaves the area. Fighting back usually increases the intensity of such attacks. However, if the attack persists, fight back vigorously. Use whatever you have at hand to hit the bear in the face.

·Black Bears: If you are attacked by a black bear, DO NOT PLAY DEAD. Try to escape to a secure place such as a car or building. If escape is not possible, try to fight back using any object available. Concentrate your kicks and blows on the bear's face and muzzle.

If any bear attacks you in your tent, or stalks you and then attacks, do NOT play dead—fight back! This kind of attack is very rare but can be serious because it often means the bear is looking for food and sees you as prey.


PLR 22-039 - PMV-4 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-4
A 19-year-old Specialist assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, died in a PMV-4 mishap 8 May 2022 in University Place, Washington, at 0130 local. The Soldier was traveling at a high rate of speed when he struck a civilian vehicle and sustained fatal injuries. The specific circumstances of the mishap, including the mishap sequence, speed, and the involvement of alcohol or drugs are currently unknown. It is also unknown who notified 911. The safety/unit points of contact are waiting for the Tacoma Police Department to release its final report.

Since 2017, the Army has lost an average of 35 Soldiers a year to PMV-4 mishaps. This mishap was the 12th PMV-4 fatality of FY22 and below the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.

Driving at night is dangerous. Fatal accidents are three times more likely at night compared with the daytime, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The main reason for this—not surprisingly—is that we can’t see as well in the dark, says Alex Epstein, director of transportation safety at the National Safety Council. “You see less of the road ahead of you and have less room and time to stop.”

Ironically, some kinds of light—like the glare from too-bright lights—can compound the problem. Here are 12 tips that could help reduce the risk.

1. Be Extra Defensive
Drinking and driving poses a bigger risk after dark, according to NHTSA, which has found that the rate of fatal crashes involving alcohol impairment is almost four times higher at night than during the day. Of course, never get behind the wheel after drinking, no matter what time of day it is (don’t drive while distracted either); but at night, it’s a good idea to put your defensive-driving instincts on high alert.

2. Combat Fatigue
Drowsy-driving crashes are most likely to happen between midnight and 6 a.m., says NHTSA. So be aware during these hours that there may be sleepy drivers on the road—and keep yourself alert. Have some caffeine, pull over in a safe area to get some rest, or stop for the night. Some drivers have reported other activities that can help, turning the radio on (not too loudly); rolling down the windows periodically for fresh air; and talking or singing to yourself.

3. Clean Up Your View
Dirty or damaged windshields can scatter light and potentially increase the effects of glare, according to NHTSA. The group also reports that dirty or damaged headlights can decrease your visibility and cast glare onto oncoming drivers. So clean headlights and windshields regularly; you can use a special cleaning kit for headlights.

4. Avoid Two-Lane Highways
NHTSA says two-lane highways may be a “worst-case scenario” for nighttime glare, due to oncoming cars’ headlights, lower overall light, and the fact that these roads tend to have more sharp curves and hills than a freeway. If you can, take a safer route at night.

5. Slow Down
Speeding-related crashes account for 37 percent of nighttime-driving fatalities, says NHTSA—compared with 21 percent of those during daylight hours—due to lower visibility and shorter reaction times. For example, your headlight typically shines 160 feet in front of you, but even at 40 mph, you need 190 feet to stop. Adjust your speed to take conditions like visibility into account, says Russ Rader of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

6. Angle Your Headlights Correctly
If the beams tilt down too much, you’ll lose some of the illumination you need while driving. But if they tilt too high, they can blind oncoming drivers. Some states’ annual inspection tests include checking the headlight angle—but otherwise, take the initiative to make sure yours are pointed correctly. “This isn’t usually a DIY project,” says Rader. “Consumers should go to their car dealer or a repair facility for assistance.”

7. Use High Beams When Appropriate
High beams are underutilized, says Rader, but can be very helpful in rural areas or on open roads. Just remember to dim them when you’re within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle (so you don’t temporarily blind the other driver), and don’t use them if you’re following another vehicle. If you’re in the market for a new car, Rader recommends looking for adaptive lighting systems that automatically adjust your high beams depending on the presence of other cars.

8. Tweak Your Inside Lighting
If your dashboard lights are too bright, glancing from the dashboard to the dark road ahead can be disorienting, says the NSC’s Epstein. “Dim the interior lights at night, so that critical controls remain easily visible but not distracting,” he recommends. “And use your visors at night to shield you from outdoor street lighting and glare.” Many new cars, he adds, have mirrors that automatically dim the reflections from bright light.

9. Look in The Right Direction
While you should always keep your eyes on the road, avoid a fixed gaze and never stare at oncoming headlights, says Epstein. When approaching an oncoming vehicle, avoid being blinded by its headlights by shifting your eyes down and to the right, using the right edge of the road or lane markings as a guide to stay on track. Lift your gaze back up when you’ve passed the oncoming vehicle.

10. Watch for Wildlife
Collisions with deer often happen at dusk or at night and are more common from October to January. Your high beams can help you spot an animal’s glowing eyes. When you see them, the safest way to avoid an accident is by slowing down and stopping—not by swerving.

11. Take Care of Your Eyes
Get your vision checked every year, suggests the NSC; glare becomes more problematic for people as they age. You may also need a different prescription at night.

12. Test and Use Your Lights
Regularly test all your lights, including low beams, high beams, daytime running lights, turn signals and brake lights. And make sure to use your headlights to stay visible; not only do you need to turn them on when it’s dark, but you should turn them on in adverse weather conditions like rain, snow and hail.

Source: GEICO


PLR 22-038 - PMV-2 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-2
A Specialist assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas, died in a PMV-2 mishap 18 April 2022 in El Paso, Texas, at 0300 local. The Soldier lost control of his motorcycle while attempting to navigate a curve and struck a guard rail. The Soldier was ejected and landed approximately 25 feet from an overpass inside a gated lot. He was taken to the local hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was reportedly wearing personal protective equipment and did not complete the Basic RiderCourse. It is unknown at this time if speed or alcohol were factors. This mishap is still under investigation by local law enforcement.

Since 2017, the Army has lost an average of 25 Soldiers a year to PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the 16th off-duty PMV-2 fatality of FY22.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Problem: Riders in Curves

The Problem – Running wide in a corner is a common cause of motorcycle fatalities. Many times, it’s not the first curve that’s the problem. It’s the second or third in a series of curves that sucks you in, chews you up and spits you out.

The Problem Behavior – While we can’t take the curves out of the road (nor would we want to!), we can change our approach. There are innumerable reasons for missing a curve, but most point to one problem behavior: being unprepared. When unprepared riders – whether beginners, experienced riders or experts – fail to negotiate a turn, it’s because they enter too fast, in poor position, with no exit strategy.

Act, Don’t React – When a corner catches you unprepared, it’s not too late to act if you have your wits about you. Most important is that you look through the turn. Don’t look down, don’t look at the guardrail, don’t look at the ditch or oncoming logging truck. Look through the turn, to the exit. The motorcycle wants to go where you look. When you feel like you’re in too hot, the simple act of looking through the turn can save you.
If your speed is still way too fast for the turn, gently reduce your speed – a little roll-off can help tighten your line. If you’re still running out of road, press the inside handgrip more and lean the bike further. Trust those tires.

The Strategy – Every curve should be approached the same way: from the outside, at a safe entry speed, with an eye for the exit. An outside position provides the best line of sight and widest radius. A safe entry speed is one that allows you to slow or stop if the turn goes wrong. For experienced riders in good conditions, safe entry speed might be the curve’s advisory speed or just below it. The exit is where the curve ends.
As you round the turn, continue to hold your outside line and entry speed until you know where curve leads. Don’t accelerate until you can see the exit – that’s your target.

And beware: Sometimes the exit is a nice, long straightaway, but sometimes it’s another curve, in the opposite direction. At that point your target is no longer the curve’s exit. Now it’s the entrance to the next turn.

If you aren’t 100 percent sure of your curve skills, it’s time to head to school. Even a basic motorcycle class will give you a leg up in the corners.


PLR 22-037 - PMV-2 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-2
A Specialist assigned to Fort Carson, Colorado, died in a PMV-2 mishap 28 April 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at 0730 local. The Soldier was riding in the Colorado Springs area when a car swerved into the wrong lane and struck him. The Soldier was pronounced dead at the scene by the county coroner. The driver of the car was arrested on suspicion of DUI and vehicular homicide. The Soldier was reportedly wearing personal protective equipment but had not completed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic RiderCourse. There was no indication that speed or alcohol were contributing factors from the Soldier. This mishap is still under investigation by the Colorado Springs Police Department.

Since 2017, the Army has lost an average of 25 Soldiers a year to PMV-2 mishaps. This tragedy was the 15th PMV-2 fatality of FY22.

Motorcycle Safety Tips All Riders Should Know and Follow

1. Enroll in a Motorcycle Training Course
Motorcycle training courses are highly valuable to motorcyclists and potential riders. Once you enroll in a course, you’re guaranteed to learn vital safety tips to help you become more aware when riding your bike. The knowledge that you stand to gain by enrolling in a training course is invaluable because it will equip you on how to be safe while on the road.

Moreover, you’ll learn about the motorcycle laws of your state regarding safety standards. As a result, you’ll know what is expected of you as a rider. Furthermore, there are skills that you need to keep developing as a rider, whether you’re a seasoned motorcyclist or a new rider.

Remember, the more knowledge you have about motorcycle safety, the more you can avoid fatal accidents. Therefore, you should inquire about any motorcycle training courses near you to equip you with the necessary tips to remain secure when riding your bike.

2. Ensure You Have the Correct License
Alarmingly, 29% of motorcyclists who were killed in accidents in 2017 did not have a valid motorcycle license. There are different skills involved in driving a car and riding a motorcycle. It’s vitally important that motorcyclists have a dedicated license before they take to the road. To receive your motorcycle license, you’ll need to pass both a written test and a riding test. However, in some states, you can bypass the riding test if you’ve taken and passed a state-approved rider education course.

3. Always Wear Proper Protective Gear
Since motorcyclists are not protected inside the cabin of a car, when they’re involved in an accident, they’re much more vulnerable to severe injuries. When the human body impacts metal or concrete while traveling at high speeds, the results are never pretty.

Wearing a high-quality helmet is the most important thing you should do when you’re riding and looking at protective equipment. Any helmet is better than no helmet, but if you want the best protection, you should look for a carbon fiber helmet. Plus, you should ensure the helmet you choose meets the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. You’ll find the DOT symbol on all approved helmets. Source: https://www.nhtsa.gov/motorcycle-safety/choose-right-motorcycle-helmet

A carbon fiber helmet is hard, to protect you from impacts, but it also flexes under stress to relieve the force of the impact. In addition to a helmet, you should also wear protective boots, gloves, knee and elbow pads, and a jacket. There are even jackets equipped with air bags now that can provide a great deal of protection if you’re in an accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that arms and legs should be completely covered with either garments made from leather or heavy denim. This will ensure you are adequately protected from things such as road rash if you happen to come off your bike.

4. Avoid Riding After Consuming Alcohol
One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents today is riding under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, if you decide to have a few drinks after work, arrange another way to get home and pick your bike up in the morning.
When you ride your bike under the influence of alcohol, you’re putting yourself and other road users at risk. Since alcohol limits your level of alertness, the likelihood of you causing an accident is very high.

Therefore, you must always make sure that you’re sober when riding your bike. By adhering to this safety tip, you’ll help avoid being a victim in a fatal accident.

5. Ride Defensively
Protective equipment is a must, but the best protection for motorcyclists is to avoid being in an accident in the first place. Always obey the rules of the road and operate your motorcycle at a speed that allows you to keep control. Always be on the lookout for other drivers and watch out for potential road hazards when you’re riding.

6. Wear Bright-Colored Clothing
One of the main reasons motorcycle riders are more vulnerable on the road is because they’re smaller and less visible than cars. That means other drivers may not be able to see them as easily. When you can’t see something on the road, you can’t avoid hitting it.

Wearing bright-colored clothing can make you more visible on the road, which will reduce your chances of being in an accident.

7. Don’t Ride During Bad Weather
Riding during rain, snow, or hail is a recipe for disaster. For one thing, when you ride during bad weather, visibility is reduced. This makes the likelihood of an accident increase. The other reason that bad weather is dangerous is the fact that wet and icy roads are slick, which makes it harder for drivers and riders to control their vehicles.

If a car can’t stop in time when they see you, then they will end up hitting you. If you can’t stop your bike in time, you will either hit something or end up dropping your bike. In any of these scenarios, your chances of sustaining serious or life-threatening injuries are significant.

8. Maintain Your Bike in Good Working Condition
One of the most important safety tips is ensuring that your motorcycle is always in proper working condition. The mistake many riders make is riding their bikes when they’re faulty or when they lack essential gadgets.
For example, tires should be well inflated and kept in very good condition. When the tires of your motorcycle are not well maintained, it’s easy to cause an accident.

Another aspect of maintaining your bike is ensuring the lights are functioning correctly for the sake of providing the required light at night. Without this, it’s not possible to see properly when on the road and, as a result, you can cause a fatal accident that could have been avoided. Therefore, take the time to ensure your motorcycle is in great condition before riding it.

Fatal accidents involving motorcyclists are truly alarming. Hence, it’s highly advisable for riders to be careful about how they conduct themselves. Fundamentally, the safety of riders starts with them taking the required steps to maintain the standards of safety expected of them.

They must learn and adhere to motorcycle safety laws to protect not only themselves but also other road users. Indeed, it takes a deliberate decision to practice these essential safety tips to stay safe on the road.