A 43-year-old Active Guard Reserve Sergeant First Class assigned to the U.S. Army Reserve, Kansas City, Missouri, died in a PMV-4 mishap at local. The Soldier reportedly was traveling on the interstate when his vehicle was hit head on by another vehicle that crossed into his lane. The Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) responded and pronounced the Soldier dead at the scene. The involvement of speed, use of alcohol and seat belts are unknown at this time. The unit/safety points of contact are waiting for KHP to release its final report.
Since FY19, the Army has lost an average of 35 Soldiers a year to PMV-4 mishaps. This mishap was the eighth fatality of FY24 and above the number of fatalities for the same time last year.
Head-on motor vehicle collisions are deadly. Since 2019, head-on collisions have been the cause of nearly 30% of roadway deaths with other vehicles, according to the National Safety Council.
Read the road ahead. Scan ahead to watch for hazards on the road a few miles ahead whenever possible. The sooner you notice something wrong on the road ahead, the greater the reaction time, such as if an oncoming vehicle crosses the centerline. Also, check the shoulder of the road to see if you've got room to pull over. Watch the space between the left-front tire of any approaching vehicle and the centerline. If the spacing is becoming smaller, that vehicle may be about to stray into your lane.
Drive to the right. When possible, always drive slightly to the right of the center of your lane to create extra space between you and other vehicles. On multi-lane roadways, leave one lane to the left open. If facing a head-on collision, drive right onto the shoulder. Never swerve into the left lane. If the other driver instinctively pulls their vehicle back into the proper lane, you may experience a collision in the other lane.
Reduce your speed. If you see a hazard ahead, immediately reduce your speed. This allows extra time to react to a potential road hazard and gives the oncoming driver time to recover and return to the correct lane. Don't slam on the brakes or swerve to avoid a head-on collision. If you stop abruptly, you may be struck from behind – and potentially pushed forward into the oncoming vehicle.
Ride off the road. If you must choose between a head-on collision and riding onto the shoulder, your chances of survival are much better on the shoulder. If you cannot avoid hitting another vehicle, try to steer your vehicle closer to the shoulder so that instead of colliding head-on with the other vehicle, you may only sideswipe one another. Every inch off center reduces the impact of the collision – and increases your chance for survival.
Tips provided by the National Safety Council.