Travel safety makes the holiday season a safe one

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Travel safety makes the holiday season a safe one

by: Patrick Gordon | .
Naval District Washington PAO | .
published: December 10, 2013

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The holidays are a time that bring families and friends together to give thanks and gather around good food and maybe some football. But whether you are a traveler, a diner or a cook, be safety-minded during this busy holiday.

One of commands' primary concerns during holidays is travel safety, George Revoir Jr., Naval Support Activity Washington (NSAW) safety installation program director.

"The holidays can be a great time to get together with the family and friends," said Revoir. "But it's also really important to remember that this is a time of the year when a lot of accidents can happen, so it's important to remember safety."

The Naval Safety Center recommends that drivers and passengers plan accordingly to avoid rushing, always wear a seatbelt, and avoid tired driving. Peake also advises that drivers also be mindful of weather conditions throughout their trip.

"When driving take frequent breaks, and get out to walk around and stretch your legs every hour or so," said Revoir. "This will keep your blood flowing well and aid in focus and alertness."

An additional resource widely used by command leaders is the Travel Risks Planning System (TRiPS), to avoid possible hazards while driving. Sailors can download the automated risk-assessment tool through the NSC website or through Navy Knowledge Online.

"One of the most important things to do before getting on the road, especially before a long car ride, is having a plan including an alternate route, provide plenty of time to get there, and always get plenty of sleep," said Walter Fulton, a contract safety instructor trainer with Cape Fox Professional Service. "If you're in the Navy, I recommend utilizing the Travel Risk Planning System - or TRiPS - before getting on the road. It's available through Navy Knowledge Online and the Naval Safety Center, and it provides information and tips on safe travel."

Holiday driving is of concern to the Navy. Over the past summer alone the Navy reports that 33 Navy personnel were killed in motor vehicle incidents; 15 deaths as a result of four-wheeler mishaps, 14 deaths as a result of two-wheel vehicular mishap (either operator or passenger), and four deaths as result of pedestrian involved mishap between May 31, 2013, and Aug. 16, 2013. Revoir warns that weather becomes a greater factor in traffic safety during the holiday season with the onset of winter storms, ice, and snow.

An additional threat comes from alcohol.

"Driving under the influence is as dangerous as playing 'Russian Roulette' with a loaded revolver. Don't gamble with your life, or the lives of others," said Revoir. "If you're hosting a party, ensure designated drivers are available, and if not, offer a place to stay. Provide plenty of food so guests don't drink as much, and don't push drinks on guests; it's ok not to drink. Cut off alcohol a couple hours before the party ends and make sure your guests have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages like water and soda to drink.

Revoir also recommends that drivers use the Washington Region Alcohol Safety Program (WRAP) to get where they are going safely.

WRAP's 2013 Holiday SoberRide program will be offered from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly from Dec. 13, 2013, to Jan. 1, 2014. To receive a free cab ride home, up to a $30 fare, please call 800-200-8294 (TAXI). AT&T customers may dial #WRAP from their wireless phones. Callers are financially responsible for anything over $30. Callers are reminded that they must be 21 or older to use the service. All requests for SoberRide service must be called to and dispatched from 1-800-200-8294, where a SoberRide call operator will direct the request to the correct participating cab company.

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