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PLR 24-003 - PMV-2 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

A 25-year-old Sergeant assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, died in a PMV-2 mishap 7 October 2023 in Crestview, Florida, at 1227 local. The Soldier was riding southbound when he was struck by a civilian vehicle making a left-hand turn. Local law enforcement responded and pronounced the Soldier dead at the scene. The Soldier was licensed and had completed the Basic RiderCourse on 20 April 2023. He was wearing all the required personal protective equipment. Speed or alcohol were not contributing factors. The unit/safety points of contact are waiting for law enforcement to release its final report.

Since FY19, the Army has lost an average of 27 Soldiers a year to PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the first PMV-2 fatality of FY24 and above the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.
 

Safety tip 

Recent statistics reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggest that many motorcycle accidents happen at intersections when a motorist makes a left turn in front of a motorcyclist traveling straight, thereby failing to yield the right-of-way to the motorcyclist. These are potentially deadly motorcycle accidents because the rider will either strike the side of the car turning left, possibly flipping the bike over the car, or will need to make a very risky maneuver to avoid doing so. Such emergency swerves often end poorly for even the most experienced motorcyclist. 

NHSTA estimates that these unsafe left turns accounted for over 40 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents involving a collision between a motorcycle and another vehicle. Accidents of this sort happen for a couple of reasons. First, motorcycles are just harder for drivers to see, so a driver who is even slightly inattentive when turning left may never notice an approaching motorcycle. Moreover, although probably not intentionally, drivers do tend to easily forget about or ignore motorcycles that are on the road. 

Another reason these accidents happen is that it can be very hard for a driver who is getting ready to turn left to determine the actual speed of an approaching motorcycle, as well as how far the motorcycle is from the intersection. The end result is a driver who gets a little impatient may wind up pulling out in front of the oncoming motorcycle. 

The bottom line is that while common, these failure-to-yield accidents are entirely preventable. All motorists need to do is check and double-check before turning left. If they do see an oncoming motorcycle, it’s probably best to let it go by. If a motorist does not follow these simple tips and causes an accident, they may be liable to pay compensation. 

To avoid left-turn accidents on motorcycles, you should: 

  • Slow down when approaching intersections. 
  • Always assume that oncoming cars will turn left at the intersection. 
  • Always assume the oncoming driver does not see you. 
  • Always have an “out” planned before you need it. 
  • Cover your brakes to reduce your reaction time. 
  • Increase your visibility by wearing high-visibility or bright clothing and making sure your riding gear has a reflective design. 
  • Ride in the best spot possible by varying speed and lane position. 
  • Plan escape routes to take evasive action if a driver violates a right-of-way. 
  • Ride within your limits. 
     

 

 

  • 12 October 2023
  • Author: USACRC Editor
  • Number of views: 122
  • Comments: 0
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