A 21-year-old Specialist assigned to Fort Stewart, Georgia, died in a PMV-4 mishap that occurred 23 July 2022 in Lake City, South Carolina, at 0545 local. The Soldier was traveling westbound when he crossed the centerline and collided with an SUV traveling eastbound. He sustained severe injuries to his head, abdomen, and left ankle and was medically evacuated to the local hospital. The two occupants of the SUV were pronounced dead on the scene. The Soldier died 1 August during surgery. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s (SCDPS) initial report, speed was a contributing factor; however, the use of a seat belt and the involvement of alcohol and drugs are currently unknown. The mishap is still under investigation by the SCDPS.
Since 2017, the Army has lost an average of 35 Soldiers a year to PMV-4 mishaps. This mishap was the 23rd PMV-4 fatality of FY22 and below the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.
Speeding is more than just breaking the law. The consequences are far-ranging:
•Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.
•Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment.
•Increased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger.
•Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries.
•Economic implications of a speed-related crash; and increased fuel consumption/cost.
For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. In 2017, speeding was a contributing factor in 26% 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.Impact of Drowsiness on Driving
Driving while drowsy is similar to driving under the influence of alcohol:
•Drivers’ reaction times, awareness of hazards and ability to sustain attention all worsen the drowsier the driver..
•Driving after going more than 20 hours without sleep is the equivalent of driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% – the U.S. legal limit.
•You are three times more likely to be in a car crash if you are fatigued.
A driver might not even know when he or she is fatigued because signs of fatigue are hard to identify. Some people may also experience micro-sleep – short, involuntary periods of inattention. In the 4 or 5 seconds a driver experiences micro-sleep, at highway speed, the vehicle will travel the length of a football field.