‘Let’s think about the little things you don’t think about and that you do everyday.’
— Lt. Col. Andrew Wilbraham
Don’t let the reduced tempo during summertime lull you into complacency, because, in many ways, summer is the most dangerous time of year. August and September are typically peak months for car accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Several factors play a part: teens, statistically the ones most likely to be involved in distracted-driving accidents, are out of school and on the road more; hot weather is more conducive to engine problems or tire blowouts; and summer is also peak construction season, when routine routes are disrupted.
Summer also has more motorcyclists and pedestrians in and around traffic. The warmer weather also encourages hiking, biking, boating and swimming, and each one carries risk.
Lt. Col. Andrew Wilbraham, Fort Belvoir Headquarters Battalion commander, urged Soldiers to be aware of those risks during Safety Day 2019 in Specker Field House.
“Don’t drink and drive. You’ve all heard that. But, let’s think about the little things you don’t think about and that you do every day,” he said. “If you don’t think
about them correctly, then they come back to bite you. When I was a company commander, I had a Soldier drown in Belton Lake at Fort Hood when he went swimming, because he didn’t think about staying safe,” Wilbraham said.
Fairfax County Police Pfc. Lance Hamilton, displayed the county’s search and rescue boat, equipped with side-scan sonar, to detect submerged objects. Sadly, Hamilton shared his team had already been dispatched that very morning to find a swimmer who had drowned in nearby Lake Barcroft.
Bridget Pilgrim, garrison safety manager, said Safety Day starts the 101 Critical Days of Summer.
“We wanted to have Safety Day to highlight some of the summer activities, such as boating safety, fire safety, food safety and even the risks with everyday activities like cleaning out brush around your house or mowing the lawn,” Pilgrim said.