Good to Go: Safety Office provides holiday travel tips

  • Published
  • By Holly Logan-Arrington
  • Robins Public Affairs
As the holiday season draws near, work centers across the base will be buzzing with talk of how people can stay safe, and for good reason.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among Americans 34 years old and younger.

Taking a few precautions can help people reach their destinations safely.

Ben Howard, an Occupational Safety specialist in the 78th Air Base Wing Installation Safety Office, said getting your vehicle serviced before a trip is always a good idea.

"Be proactive and be prepared," he said. "Get rest and have an alternate plan of action. Tackle the fatal five: buckle up; never drive impaired; reduce distractions; and drive for the conditions. Know the risks, weather conditions and limitations."

Howard said whether traveling across town or across the country, it's always essential to wear a seat belt.

"Buckling up gives you the best defense against injury or death in a crash," he said. "Secondly, plan your route and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. A good resource to use is Travel Risk Planning System found at"

Additionally, Howard said people should check the weather - especially when it comes to winter driving.

"Driving in ice and snow is very different from driving on dry roads," he said. 

Howard said drivers should adjust their speed to road conditions and get plenty of rest before getting on the road.

Keeping a shovel, chains, jumper cables, first aid and survival kits in your vehicle is a smart move, Howard said.

"An emergency situation on the road can happen any time," he said. "Be prepared."
When an emergency arises, Howard said people should call a family member or their immediate supervisor or commander. Other resources include the American Red Cross and for qualifying military members, the Air Force Aid Society.

"Remember to be a good wingman and constantly inform someone of your whereabouts," he said.

Millions of Americans will take to the skies, rails or highways to visit their loved ones over the upcoming holiday season. The American Red Cross offers these travel tips to help holiday travelers arrive safely at their destination:


It's flu season. If you've been sick or been in contact with someone who is sick, consider postponing your trip. You could be contagious for a week before symptoms appear.

Remember that everything you touch has to be touched by someone else - luggage handlers, etc. Handle your own belongings as much as possible. Wash your hands often with soap and water.

Carry hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes with you. You can use them to wash your hands or wipe down surfaces such as armrests.

Bring your own pillows and blankets - they can act as a shield against the seat itself.

Avoid touching your face or eyes. If you have to cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue or your sleeve.


Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. Fill your gas tank, check the air pressure in your tires and make sure you have windshield fluid.

Buckle up, slow down, don't drink and drive.

Avoid distractions such as cell phones - don't text and drive.

Make frequent stops on long trips. If you're too tired to drive, stop and rest.

If you have car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible.

For more information on travel safety, call the Robins' Safety Office at 478-926-6271.