Ground mishaps drop across the Air Force


Motorcyclists and motorcycle enthusiasts socialize and look at the different motorcycles on display at the annual Motorcycle Awareness and Safety Day at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., April 7, 2014. Airman 1st Class Joel Pfiester/AIr Force)

The Air Force in fiscal 2014 posted its safest year for ground safety in 10 years, the Air Force Safety Center announced Oct. 22.

There were three on-duty and 42 off-duty ground fatalities in 2014, down from seven on-duty and 47 off-duty fatalities in 2013, according to the Safety Center. Over the past 10 years, the average is 5.9 deaths on duty and 50.6 off duty.

The drop comes after a spike in summer deaths in 2013, which was the highest since 2009.

The service’s Critical Days of Summer campaign, focused on risk management, coincided with a drop in fatalities in summer from 20 in 2012 to 17 in 2014.

Other campaigns include efforts by the Safety Center and major commands to focus on injuries from falls and vehicles backing up.

“When every airman stays focused and uses the risk management tools available, lives are saved as evidenced by the significant decrease in fatalities, the lowest in 10 years,” said Bill Parsons, Air Force chief of ground safety, in the safety center announcement.

Motor vehicle accidents are the biggest cause of off-duty deaths among airmen, with an average of 39 airmen killed each year from crashes over the past 10 years.

Those numbers dropped from 34 in fiscal 2013 to 28 in fiscal 2018, according to the safety center. Thirteen of those were motorcycle deaths.

The service has a motorcycle safety training program, which has graduated more than 3,300 through 458 classes, according to the safety center.


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