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Army: Third quarter deadliest yet for accidental deaths

U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center

Published: 04:31PM July 19th, 2012
Army: Third quarter deadliest yet for accidental deaths

U.S. Army photo

According to U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center data, the third quarter of fiscal year 2012 has been the deadliest yet, with 42 Soldiers lost between April 1 and June 30 in fatal accidents. Motorcycle accidents that took Soldiers’ lives rose this year by 14 percent over the same 2011 quarter.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. — Data recently compiled by the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center show the third quarter of fiscal 2012 has been the deadliest yet this year for accidents, with 42 Soldiers lost between April 1 and June 30.

Overall, however, fatal accidents remain on the decline, with total fatalities 6 percent lower at quarter’s end than numbers from the same time frame in fiscal year 2011.

“The fact that we’ve maintained a steady reduction in accidental losses through spring and now summer says a lot about the disciplined commitment to safety principles by our Soldiers and engaged leaders at every echelon,” Brig. Gen. Timothy J. Edens, director of Army Safety and commanding general, USACR/Safety Center, said. “I’m optimistic we can close 2012 with the best safety performance we’ve seen in 15 years.”

Fiscal 1997 was the Army’s safest year on record, with 150 accidental fatalities reported both on and off duty. To date in fiscal year 2012, 112 Soldiers have died in on- and off-duty accidents.

While off-duty fatalities were down 7 percent from last year’s total through the end of the third quarter, fatal motorcycle accidents rose by 14 percent from the same time frame in 2011. Indiscipline, primarily speeding, failure to wear personal protective equipment and reckless riding, has dominated motorcycle accident reports during this fiscal year.

On duty, accidental fatalities fell 43 percent during the third quarter, due largely to a 64 percent decline in ground fatalities that offset a slight rise in aviation fatalities throughout the year.

Edens praised leaders and Soldiers for their dedicated efforts and encouraged them to remain vigilant throughout the remaining months of summer and fiscal 2012.

“Our Army’s men and women are making the difference,” Edens said. “They deserve the credit for our successes, but just because we’re doing well doesn’t mean we can relax.

“Historically speaking, the worst could be yet to come for accidents. Everyone needs to be on top of their game and looking out for one another.”

The annual Army Safe Spring/Summer campaign, which features media tools designed to address common seasonal hazards and assist leaders and Soldiers in their safety efforts, is available online at https://safety.army.mil.