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PLR 23-109 - PMV-4 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

A 27-year-old Specialist assigned to Okinawa, Japan, died in a PMV-4 mishap 23 September 2023 in Okinawa at 2154 local. A civilian witness reported that the Soldier drove over a median and struck a light pole. The civilian notified local law enforcement, and the Soldier was transported to the local hospital, where he later died. The specific circumstances of the mishap, including the use of a seat belt, speed or the involvement of alcohol, is currently unknown. The unit/safety points of contact are waiting for local law enforcement to release its final report.

Since FY18, the Army has lost an average of 35 Soldiers a year to PMV-4 mishaps. This mishap was the 36th PMV-4 fatality of FY23 and above the number of fatalities for the same time last year.

Safety tip

For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. In 2021, speeding was a contributing factor in 29% 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.

Speeding endangers not only the life of the speeder, but all people on the road around them, including law enforcement officers.

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

  • Increased fuel consumption/cost

What Drives Speeding?
Speeding is a type of aggressive driving behavior. Several factors have contributed to an overall rise in aggressive driving:

Traffic congestion is one of the most frequently mentioned contributing factors to aggressive driving, such as speeding. Drivers may respond by using aggressive driving behaviors, including speeding, changing lanes frequently or becoming angry at anyone who they believe impedes their progress.

Running Late
Some people drive aggressively because they have too much to do and are “running late” for work, school, their next meeting, lesson, soccer game or other appointment.

A motor vehicle insulates the driver from the world. Shielded from the outside environment, a driver can develop a sense of detachment, as if an observer of their surroundings, rather than a participant. This can lead to some people feeling less constrained in their behavior when they cannot be seen by others and/or when it is unlikely that they will ever again see those who witness their behavior.

Disregard for Others and for the Law
Most motorists rarely drive aggressively, and some never do. For others, episodes of aggressive driving are frequent, and for a small proportion of motorists, it is their usual driving behavior. Occasional episodes of aggressive driving – such as speeding and changing lanes abruptly – might occur in response to specific situations, like when the driver is late for an important appointment but is not the driver’s normal behavior.

If it seems that there are more cases of rude and outrageous behavior on the road now than in the past, this observation is correct — if for no other reason than there are more drivers driving more miles on the same roads than ever before.

Information provided by Stars and Stripes and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)


  • 4 October 2023
  • Author: USACRC Editor
  • Number of views: 97
  • Comments: 0