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NEWS | Nov. 25, 2013

The long and winding road

By 628th Air Base Wing Safety Office

It's that time of year again: the winter/holiday season - one of the busiest travel times of the year. With the change in weather and the rush of the season, hazards are everywhere.

Last year's data shows there were four fatalities in off-duty mishaps; one permanent total disability mishap in a government vehicle (on-duty Class A); and four permanent partial disability mishaps (Class B) from Thanksgiving through New Year's. Even more alarming is the number of Class C's: 158 on duty and 231 off-duty. Whether you're on duty or off, knowing what's out there can prevent an accident or save a life.

The CAC-enabled TRiPS website for all Air Force members is up and running ( This tool is great for planning your trip as well as providing peace-of-mind for both you and your supervisor: you can learn more about the possible dangers of your trip and someone knows your plans in case of an emergency.

Preparation for travel and the change in weather conditions will mitigate many of the problems you might encounter. All vehicles should be ready for winter weather - your personal, government and sports-related vehicles all need preparation. The following information will ensure your vehicles are ready for the season:

Fatigue is also a common hazard during this time of year. We're all thinking about spending time with family and friends and how to maximize that time. We want to attend all the parties, dinners and celebrations hosted by the unit, squadron, group and friends. In our rush to do so, are we sacrificing needed rest to get there and back safe and sound? Are the celebrations causing sleep loss? Have you lost focus on duty because you're tired? These are just a few of the questions to ask yourself that can avoid a mishap.