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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
✪ 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."