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US Squadron Commander Anthony Lemagna US Squadron Commander Anthony Lemagna at RAF Mildenhall operating a Road Safety Simulator during Road Safety Week 2019

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US Air Force in UK offers Winter Driving Safety Tips

As part of the UK Road Safety Week 2019, the USAF at RAF Mildenhall are highlighting the importance of staying safe on UK roads this Winter

Published on November 22, 2019

As part of UK Road Safety week (18 to 24 November), the US Air Force Safety Team at RAF Mildenhall are offering some very useful tips and advice for driving in the UK during winter months which we thought would be useful for fellow Americans in the UK.

Tech. Sgt. Jose Martinez, 100th ARW Occupational Safety manager, explained that "During this time of year, we usually see a spike in car crashes all across the UK and our job in both safety offices is to educate our military, civilians, spouses and dependents ... The increase can mainly be attributed to the amount of black ice built up, along with the dark conditions which can be prevalent throughout most of the day."

Technical Sgt. Casey Loving, 352d SOW Occupational Safety manager, "One of the biggest dangers we face every day is the drive to and from work ... Whether it’s how narrow the roads are or, especially during winter months, only having a few hours of daylight – these all attribute to an increase in vehicle mishaps."

The US Air Force's tips for safe driving in the UK this winter are:

Tips for winter driving safety include:
Scrape ice fully off all windows, including side windows as well as front and rear windshield
Don’t overtake within the 10-mile radius around base per RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath no-passing policy, or anywhere it is unsafe to do so
Make sure headlights are on during inclement weather, or when still dark in the mornings/starting to get dark in the evenings

Vehicle safety:
Check fluid levels, belts and hoses
Ensure heater and defroster are working
Check tire pressure and tread
Ensure brakes are working properly
Test turn signals, brake and headlights, and hazard lights
Check windshield wipers and replace if worn
Keep emergency kit (including blankets, flashlight, water, energy bars, warning triangles and first aid kit) in the trunk
Don’t drink and drive
Don’t text and drive

What to do after a car accident:
Driver must stop the car at the scene of the accident
If car is drivable, place hazards on and find a safe place to stop
Unless there are injuries, ensure all passengers are out of the vehicle and taken to a safe place
Exchange information and take pictures of damages and any injuries

As part of the UK's Road Safety Week, Safety Officers at the base have been handing out traffic safety leaflets and are taking part in events. Martinez went on to say that "It’s great to work alongside our British counterparts during this time to ensure the safety of everyone in the local community ... We ask that everybody take their time, drive to the conditions of both the road and weather and everyone will arrive at their destination safe and sound."

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