NEWPORT, R.I. – Center for Service Support conducted drunk and distracted driver awareness training Dec. 19. The training was attended by nearly 100 CSS sailors and civilian employees.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, driver distraction was involved in 16 percent of all fatal car crashes. Nearly 6,000 citizens lost their lives and nearly 500,000 people were injured in crashes in which at least one form of driver distraction was reported. Of the drivers involved in fatal crashes who were reported as distracted, the 30-to-39-year-old group had the highest proportion of cell phone involvement. The age group having the greatest number of distracted drivers remains the under-20 age group.
"We want every Sailor to enjoy their holiday," said Cmdr. Tim Nicholls, CSS staff operations officer. "All personnel should conduct off-duty activities responsibly and have a plan and also plan their trips accordingly Drowsy or fatigued driving is also a huge factor in car crashes."
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration now estimates that drowsy driving is responsible for nearly 20 percent of all motor vehicle crashes and serious injuries. Sleep deprivation / sleep disorders are responsible for an estimated 1 million accidents, 500,000 injuries and 8,000 deaths in the U. S. each year. The problem is under-reported and under-recognized.
According to Nicholls, everyone should practice safe driving techniques every day and practice Operational Risk Management (ORM).
“Have a plan and know your limits,” said Nicholls. You should not rush and if you’ve worked a full day you should rest first so you aren’t fatigued during your trip. Everyone should also plan ahead so they aren’t impacted by bad traffic or weather. You must manage your distractions as well as your fatigue. If you must pull over, do it in a breakdown lane so that you don’t impact traffic.”
Nicholls also said drivers must remain aware of local speed limits and weather patterns in the routes they are traveling.
"Unsafe, intoxicated or inattentive driving during bad weather multiplies the probability of an accident," said Nicholls. We must also keep tabs on the posted speed limits. Check them [speed limits] periodically to ensure you are doing the right thing. When you travel more than 15 miles over the speed limit, you are only arriving at your destination a few minutes earlier. You shouldn’t speed. It’s just not worth it. We must be careful out there."
CSS and its learning sites provide sailors with the knowledge and skills needed to support the fleet's warfighting mission. More than 300 staff and faculty work hand-in-hand with the fleet and are dedicated to ensure training is current and well executed on behalf of 10,000 sailors who graduate from CSS courses annually in the administration, logistics and media communities.
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