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PLR 23-113 - PMV-2 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

A 23-year-old Sergeant assigned to Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, died in a PMV-2 mishap 15 August 2023 in Savannah, Georgia, at 0147 local. The Soldier was reportedly traveling home when he crashed his motorcycle into a guardrail. The Savannah Police Department (SPD) responded and pronounced the Soldier dead at the scene. He was reportedly wearing personal protective equipment. Speed or the involvement of alcohol are currently unknown. The Soldier had a valid license; however, completion of the required Motorcycle Safety Foundation training has not been verified. The unit/safety points of contact are waiting for SPD to release its final report.

Since FY18, the Army has lost an average of 24 Soldiers a year to PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the 38th PMV-2 fatality of FY23 and above the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.

Safety tip
According to a declaration by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 27% of motorcycle fatalities occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Night is not the best time to ride a motorcycle.

The Risks of Motorcycle Night Riding
1. Poor Visibility
It’s hard to see clearly at night, and if you cannot see clearly, you can easily suffer a puncture or even crash. It even gets complicated when the darkness combines with fog or rain as the roads become almost impassable.

2. Stray Animals
It’s often at night that wild animals cross the road. Unlike you, they do not understand road safety. Not only can you knock them over, but they could also cause you to lose control, and it could end fatally for you and the animal.

3. Drunk Drivers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than three-fourths of nighttime motorists’ deaths are related to alcohol impairment. In most cases, it’s the drivers who are drunk.

4. Hidden Hazardous Objects
Since there is poor visibility, it’s hard to notice obstacles such as debris, fallen trees, potholes and loose gravel on the road. These obstacles pose an immense challenge on the road and could easily cause you to crash if you are not careful.

5. Oncoming Vehicle Headlights
It’s easy to get distracted by the headlights of oncoming vehicles and lose control of your motorcycle at night. Often, the flickering light makes it appear like the car is far when it’s near. You may not have enough time to prevent a head-on collision.

6. Nighttime Temperatures
Ordinarily, especially in mountainous regions, the nights get colder than the day. It sometimes freezes at night, which means you could easily suffer hypothermia (where your body loses more heat than it produces).
Hypothermia can easily happen if you ride your motorcycle unsafely in winter. What’s even trickier is riding in the wind, which makes you feel cold and may induce hypothermia.

Other Safety Tips on How to Ride a Motorcycle at Night
Slow down for better reaction – It’s hard to respond to danger if you are riding at full speed. Learn to slow down. It keeps you safe.

Keep a safe riding distance – It’s dangerous to follow motorists closely. If they brake suddenly, you may end up bumping into them.

Stay away from blind spots – Don’t ride into places you cannot see. It’s too risky, as you could crash.

Stay alert – You should always scan your eyes around to identify potential dangers and react to them accordingly. Just ensure you are not too distracted to lose control of your motorcycle.

Use road markings – Road markings can give you a proper road layout at night. Use them to the maximum. For example, road marker posts indicate the direction of the road curve even before you can get to it. The white markers show an offside curve, while the red markers show a nearside curve.

Check the bike’s condition beforehand – Ensure your motorcycle is in good condition. Check the brakes, tires, gears and every other part to ensure they are working well.

Fuel up – This applies to you and your motorcycle. Ensure you eat well and hydrate before jumping onto the bike for a nighttime ride. As for your motorcycle, ensure you have enough gas to last you the trip.

Stay sober – Don’t go riding your motorcycle if you are under the influence. This doesn’t just apply to nighttime but to every other time. Not only does intoxication impair your judgment and lead to injuries or deaths, but it could get you arrested.

Tips provided by IIHS and Motorcycle Exploits Blog



  • 16 October 2023
  • Author: USACRC Editor
  • Number of views: 99
  • Comments: 0