A Specialist assigned to Fort Hood, Texas, died in a PMV-2 mishap 3 November 2022 in Killeen, Texas, at 2130 local. The Soldier was on PCS leave when his motorcycle collided with an SUV that pulled out in front of him. The collision ejected the Soldier from the motorcycle and over the SUV. The Killeen Police Department (KPD) responded and pronounced the Soldier dead at the scene. He was wearing the mandatory personal protective equipment. It is currently unknown if speed or alcohol were contributing factors. The Soldier’s completion of the required Motorcycle Safety Foundation training has not been verified. The unit/safety points of contact are waiting for KPD to release its final report.
Since 2018, the Army has lost an average of 24 Soldiers a year to off-duty PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the third PMV-2 fatality of FY23.
Riding a motorcycle is incredibly fun, but it can also be quite dangerous. Unlike passenger car drivers, motorcycle riders have nothing to protect them but helmets and safety gear, so when accidents occur, they tend to be serious.
While getting on a motorcycle and hitting the open road will always come with a little risk since there’s no way to control how other riders and drivers behave, there are ways motorcyclists can reduce their chances of getting into accidents. Read on to find some safety tips that will help.
1. Ride Defensively
The most common type of motorcycle crash is a left-turn accident. While not all of them can be avoided, defensive riding can make a difference.
Pay attention to what drivers are doing. If there’s a car waiting at an intersection to turn, assume the driver won’t notice an oncoming motorcycle unless he or she makes eye contact. If there’s a gap in traffic or a driver pulling onto the road who looks a little too anxious to make a turn, those are also signs that it’s time to slow down, get in the other lane if possible, and be prepared to take evasive maneuvers.
2. Stay Out of Blind Spots
Lane-switching accidents are almost as common as left-turn crashes. They occur primarily when riders are in drivers’ blind spots when cars switch lanes. As with avoiding left-turn crashes, it’s important to drive defensively and pay attention to what drivers are doing since they are less likely to see motorcycles, even when they are in clear view. Look for signs that a driver is about to make a lane change, such as:
•Using turn signals
•Swiveling the head to check blind spots
•Turning the wheels
It’s also very important to stay out of blind spots by speeding up or slowing down. The best way for a rider to tell if he or she is in a driver’s blind spot is to look at the mirrors and check to see if the driver’s face is visible. If a rider can make eye contact with a driver, the driver should also be able to see the motorcycle.
3. Follow the Four R’s
Head-on collisions are less common than the two types of accidents described above, but they’re also more likely to be fatal. The National Safety Council sets forth guidelines for motorcyclists about how to avoid head-on collisions. They recommend following the four R’s. Motorcyclists should always:
•Read the road
•Drive on the Right side
•Ride off the road when an accident seems imminent
Reading the road refers to paying attention to what other drivers are doing. Driving on the right side is obvious and doing so makes it easier to merge onto the shoulder to the right to avoid head-on collisions. Reducing speed means slowing down as soon as a car starts swerving or a driver stops paying attention, which is important because even a 10-mph difference can be lifesaving.
Tips provided by Ada Martin for Poler Stuff