A 22-year-old Private First Class assigned to the Army National Guard in an Inactive Duty Training status died in a PMV-4 mishap 18 September 2022 in Harlan, Iowa, at 0400 local. The Soldier was unaccounted for during the 0700 first formation of drill, so the unit made several unsuccessful attempts to contact her. The unit contacted local law enforcement to assist. The Crawford County Sheriff’s Department confirmed they received a notification from the Soldier’s on-board emergency notification system of a crash and responded to the scene. The Soldier was reportedly involved in a single-vehicle mishap and sustained fatal injuries. The specific circumstances of the mishap, including speed, the Soldier’s use of a seat belt, and the involvement of alcohol or drugs as contributing factors, are currently unknown. The unit/safety points of contact are waiting for the Crawford County Sheriff’s 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 32nd PMV-4 fatality of FY22 and below the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.
Drowsy Driving Fact: THERE WERE 633 DEATHS FROM DROWSY-DRIVING-RELATED CRASHES IN 2020
Crashes and Fatalities
Sleepiness can result in crashes any time of the day or night, but three factors are most commonly associated with drowsy-driving crashes.
1.Occur most frequently between midnight and 6 a.m., or in the late afternoon. At both times of the day, people experience dips in their circadian rhythm — the human body’s internal clock that regulates sleep
2.Often involve only a single driver (and no passengers) running off the road at a high rate of speed with no evidence of braking
3.Frequently occur on rural roads and highways
Tips to Drive Alert
HOW TO AVOID DRIVING DROWSY
1.Getting adequate sleep daily is the only true way to protect yourself against the risks of driving when you’re drowsy. Experts urge consumers to make it a priority to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
2.Before the start of a long family car trip, get a good night’s sleep, or you could put your entire family and others at risk.
3.Many teens do not get enough sleep at a stage in life when their biological need for sleep increases, which makes them vulnerable to the risk of drowsy-driving crashes, especially on longer trips. Advise your teens to delay driving until they’re well-rested.
4.Avoid drinking any alcohol before driving. Consumption of alcohol interacts with sleepiness to increase drowsiness and impairment.
5.Always check your prescription and over-the-counter medication labels to see if drowsiness could result from their use.
6.If you take medications that could cause drowsiness as a side effect, use public transportation when possible.
7.If you drive, avoid driving during the peak sleepiness periods (midnight – 6 a.m. and late afternoon). If you must drive during the peak sleepiness periods, stay vigilant for signs of drowsiness, such as crossing over roadway lines or hitting a rumble strip, especially if you’re driving alone.
1.Drinking coffee or energy drinks alone is not always enough. They might help you feel more alert, but the effects last only a short time, and you might not be as alert as you think you are. If you drink coffee and are seriously sleep deprived, you still may have “micro sleeps” or brief losses of consciousness that can last for four or five seconds. This means that at 55 miles per hour, you’ve traveled more than 100 yards down the road while asleep. That’s plenty of time to cause a crash.
2.If you start to get sleepy while you’re driving, drink one to two cups of coffee and pull over for a short 20-minute nap in a safe place, such as a lighted, designated rest stop. This has been shown to increase alertness in scientific studies, but only for short time periods.