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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 22-057 – Combat Skills/Military Unique Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, Other
A 41-year-old Sergeant assigned to the United States Army Reserve, Birmingham, Alabama, died in a combat skills/military unique mishap 20 July 2022 on Fort Gordon, Georgia, at approximately 1130 local. The Soldier was participating in annual training when a tree inside the unit's bivouac area was struck by lightning. The tree disintegrated into multiple pieces that landed on three of the unit’s tents. The resulting impacts caused fatal injuries to the Soldier and various non-fatal injuries to eight additional Soldiers. The Soldier died in transit to the hospital. This mishap is still under investigation.

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


AVOID THE LIGHTNING THREAT – When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Each year in the United States, there are about 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes and about 300 people struck by lightning. Of those struck, about 30 people are killed and others suffer lifelong disabilities. Even though we boast, “it’s not training unless it’s raining,” most of these tragedies can be prevented though a deliberate risk assessment of the weather and a known plan to mitigate the hazards of lightning.

Tips:

· Know the local area weather forecast.
· Have a lightning safety plan. Know where you’ll go for safety and ensure you’ll have enough time to get there.
· Monitor the weather. Once outside, look for signs of a developing or approaching thunderstorm such as towering clouds, darkening skies, or flashes of lightning.
· Get to a safe place. If you hear thunder, even a distant rumble, seek safety immediately.
-Fully enclosed buildings with wiring and plumbing are best.
-A hard-topped metal vehicle with the windows closed is also safe.
-Stay inside until 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder.
-Tents, sheds, picnic shelters, or covered porches do NOT protect you from lightning.

· Consider postponing activities if thunderstorms are forecast.

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby, the following actions may reduce your risk:

• Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks.
• Never lie flat on the ground.
• Never shelter under an isolated tree.
• Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter.
• Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water.
• Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, trees, etc.).
• If you’re swimming or boating get to dry land and find a shelter fast.

 

PLR 22-056 – PMV-4 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-4
A 26-year-old Second Lieutenant assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was involved in a PMV-4 mishap 12 July 2022 in Braden County, North Carolina, at 0130 local. The Soldier was traveling home when she lost control and drove into a farmer’s field. She attempted to get back on the roadway, crossed over, and the driver’s side of the vehicle struck some trees. The Soldier’s fiancé was driving ahead of her, noticed her headlights were no longer visible, and turned around to investigate. At 0139 hours, he found the wreckage, and called for immediate assistance. The Soldier was pronounced dead at the scene. It is currently unknown if the Soldier was wearing her seat belt. This mishap is currently being investigated by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Since 2017, the Army has lost an average of 36 Soldiers a year to PMV-4 mishaps. This mishap was the 18th PMV-4 fatality of FY22 and below the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.


It’s not just paranoia: Driving at night is actually more 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.
However, other factors can add to the challenge of driving at night. 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.


 

PLR 22-055 – Off-Duty Sports, Recreation and Physical Training Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, Sports & Recreation
A Sergeant assigned to Grafenwohr, Germany, died in an off-duty water-related mishap on 12 July 2022 in Ham Lake, Minnesota at 1759 local. The Soldier was on leave visiting friends and swimming in the pool while the homeowners were away. The homeowners returned home and discovered the Soldier unresponsive on his back at the bottom of their pool. They pulled him from the water and called 911. Soldier was pronounced dead at the scene. Alcohol use is unknown at this time. This mishap is under investigation by the local law enforcement.

Since FY17, the Army has lost an average of eight Soldiers a year to off-duty water-related mishaps. This was the fourth fatal off-duty water-related mishap of FY22 and above the number of off-duty water-related fatalities from this time last year.


 

PLR 22-053 – PMV-2 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, PMV-2
A 27-year-old Specialist assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia, died in a PMV-2 mishap 25 June 2022 in Fort Mitchell, Alabama, at 2122 local. The Soldier was operating his motorcycle when he collided with an SUV turning east off the highway. Alabama State Troopers and emergency medical services personnel responded and pronounced the Soldier dead at the scene. Initial reports state that speed was a contributing factor. The Soldier was wearing the required personal protective equipment and had completed Motorcycle Safety Foundation training. The involvement of alcohol or drugs is currently unknown.

Since 2017, the Army has lost an average of 25 Soldiers a year to off-duty PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the 20th off-duty PMV-2 fatality of FY22.

Motorcycle Safety Tips

Here are a few ways to enjoy your motorcycle rides without compromising safety.

Gear Up

Contrary to popular belief, looking cool should be the last thing on your mind when it comes to getting on your motorcycle. Regardless of how hot it is outside, sandals, shorts, and a T-shirt are inappropriate riding attire.

Jeans also offer little protection against road rash and injury if you happen to be in a motorcycling accident. You should opt for unrivaled protection with reinforced or leather boots, trousers, or jackets.

Goggles or glasses are a must-have for open-faced helmets, and gloves are an ideal option to protect your hands. There’s also uniquely designed gear that’s ideal for cooling and ventilation in warm weather.

As a rule of thumb, avoid riding without a DOT-approved helmet regardless of how unsightly it looks, as it could mean the difference between life and death.

Safety Checks

Before hopping on your bike and speeding off to your destination, give it a thorough once-over. This entails checking out the lights, tire pressure, and mirrors. In doing so, you’ll notice if there are potential mechanical hazards such as leaks and loose bolts.

You need to be diligent when it comes to regular maintenance and care by staying on top of tire wear, suspension and chain adjustments, brake pad wear, and oil changes.

Hit the Brake for Motorcycles

Being on a motorcycle doesn’t automatically make it easier to spot other bikes on the road. Therefore, along with hitting the brakes in all sorts of riding conditions, always double-check when turning or switching lanes.

To ensure that a quick stop won’t result in a grisly road accident, always give ample room to the cars ahead of you and master the art of stopping on a dime without locking the brakes. Alternatively, you can advance to anti-lock brakes.

Research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that ABS brakes on your motorcycle can lessen the likelihood of being in a tragic road accident by up to 37%.

Spread the Love

Without a doubt, motorcycles are typically regarded as second-class road citizens or overlooked. However, as a rider, you can change the narrative by always driving as though you’re an ambassador for motorcyclists worldwide.

Ride with awareness, care, and courtesy, showing that you’re a great representation of motorcycles for those around you. Don’t let the urge to prove a point by retaliating against a reckless driver to overcome your better judgment. After all, it puts a damper on the joy of riding.

Ride Defensively

Are you aware that one of the most common phrases drivers say after a collision with motorcyclists is, “I did not see them?” A driver is trained to keep their eyes peeled for other cars, not bikes. As a result of a rider’s narrow profile, they usually find themselves in a car’s blind spot.

Therefore, the best way to overcome this is to ride defensively. It entails assuming that you’re invisible by constantly scanning your mirrors, glancing around you, and being on high alert when you’re on the road.

Be Aware of the Forecast

Given that weather is a regular foil to ideal driving conditions, the safety hazard of icy or wet roads increases when you’re on two wheels. You have the absence of a windshield, direct exposure to driving rain, and half the stability of a vehicle working against you.

Poor visibility is a biker’s worst nightmare, and until rain finds you on your bike, you’ll never fathom the pain that stems from being pelted by raindrops at 30 or 50 mph.

Ride With a Clear Mind

One of the greatest dangers to riders is hopping on your bike and cruising on the road in the wrong state of mind. Riding when you’re drowsy, deep in thought, or distracted can be a recipe for disaster.

Keep in mind that you’re ultimately the only one looking out for you when you're on a motorcycle. Therefore, if your emotions and mind are anywhere other than on the road, you’re highly vulnerable to rookie mistakes that can end in adverse injuries or, worse, death.

Pay Attention to the Road

As a rider, you need to keenly watch the road you’re riding on. When swerving, err on the side of caution by being vigilant for unstable road conditions, including gravel. Don’t throw caution to the wind when crossing railroad tracks as the paint may be slippery. The same applies to the white lines found at every stoplight.

Use Your Head

Granted, the mirrors on a motorcycle serve a purpose. However, it’s not practical to solely depend on them for awareness of your immediate riding surroundings. You’ll need to use your head to keep mindful of your position concerning your surroundings and those around you.

Seasoned bikers understand the importance of keeping their eyes and head up while rounding corners. They also understand that the safest way of switching lanes involves turning your head and looking over your shoulder to ensure the coast is clear. Furthermore, you’ll get a feeling for whether other drivers are paying attention to you.

Stay in Your Comfort Zone

Know your abilities and ensure that you don’t bite off more than you can chew when it comes to your selected route and motorcycle. Your bike should be a snug fit for you, meaning that your feet should comfortably touch the ground (no tiptoes) when you’re seated.

Moreover, it’s a no-brainer that if the bike feels overly heavy and bulky for you, then it probably is. To effortlessly get on and off your bike, the controls and handlebars should be easy to reach.

As a rule of thumb, the more familiar you are with a route, the easier it is for you to focus more on safety and worry less about missing a turn. Additionally, if you’re riding with a group of bikers, avoid pushing yourself to keep up with the pack. Always ride at your comfort level, rather than theirs.

Remember that just because your bike will go fast doesn’t mean you have to do it on the roadways, if you feel the need for speed take it to the track.

Conclusion

Remember, as a biker, you have no control over what happens around you. However, you certainly possess the power to control how you react to everything, so ride with courtesy, awareness, and care.


 

PLR 22-052 - Off-Duty Sports, Recreation and Physical Training Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, Sports & Recreation
A 21-year-old Specialist assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, died in an off-duty water-related mishap 25 June 2022 in American Lake at Shoreline Park on the installation at 2030 local. The Soldier was seen struggling before submerging, and bystanders rendered aid when he did not resurface. He was transported to the local hospital by emergency medical services personnel where he was pronounced dead. The involvement of alcohol or drugs is currently unknown. This mishap is still under investigation by the Army Criminal Investigation Division.

Since FY17, the Army has lost an average of eight Soldiers a year to off-duty water-related mishaps. This was the third fatal off-duty water-related mishap of FY22 and above the number of off-duty water-related fatalities from this time last year.

Safety Tips:
Swimming in open water (lakes, rivers, ponds, and the ocean) is harder than in a pool. People tire faster and get into trouble more quickly. A person can go underwater in a murky lake, making them very hard to find, or be swept away in currents.

- Swim in a lifeguarded area, especially if you are not a strong swimmer.
- Be cautious of sudden drop-offs in lakes and rivers. People who can't swim or aren't strong swimmers have slipped into deeper water and drowned.
- Stay sober when on or in the water. Alcohol and other drugs increase the effects of weather, temperature, and wave action.

For additional information preventing swimming and other water-related mishaps, please visit: https://safety.army.mil/OFF-DUTY/Sports-and-Recreation/Water-Safety


 

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