[ Triad Online Home ]                                                                                       October 28, 2005

Army program aims to reduce accidents

      ARLINGTON, Va. (Army News Service) -- Everyone who drives an Army vehicle must complete a new online course designed to make people think about driving safer.

      The Accident Avoidance Course now is available through the Army Knowledge Online Learning Management Services (ALMS).  All new Soldiers, civilian employees and contractor employees who drive Army-owned or leased vehicles must complete the training when they start working for the Army.  Refresher training must be completed every four years.  The course meets the four-year refresher training requirements of Army Regulation 385-55 and Army Regulation 600-55.

McCoy Safety Office urges work force 
to take course

      Fort McCoy is aware of the Online Accident Avoidance Course and encourages all Soldiers and civilian employees to go online and take the course, said Lt. Col. Randall R. Eddy, McCoy Safety manager. The course is mandatory for all new Soldiers and civilians who will be working for the Army. The course is  well designed and is worth taking the time to complete, Eddy said. 

      Several of the Soldiers mobilizing at McCoy already have taken this online course.

      Fort McCoy also conducts a four-hour Defensive Driving Course, which is required for anyone driving military, General Services Administration or rental vehicles on Fort McCoy.

      "This also is an excellent course and will help you to sharpen up your driving skills," he said.

      Another tool available for Soldiers and civilians is the ASMIS-1 "POV Risk Assessment." ASMIS-1 POV is available on the Combat Readiness Center Web site: https://crc.army.mil. This should be used whenever a Soldier or civilian goes on pass or leave, and is traveling more than 60 miles from home or duty station.

      Additional information about motor vehicle safety can be found on the Fort McCoy Safety Web site, which is available through the extranet and requires use of an Army Knowledge Online account and password.

      Installation Management Agency (IMA) safety officials worked with the Combat Readiness Center and the National Traffic Safety Institute to develop a course that explores how values and attitudes affect an individual's driving behavior. Driving is one of the few critical skills that Soldiers use in both military and civilian life. Changing a Soldier's attitude toward vehicle safety over the span of his career is key to reducing accidents, said Mario Owens, chief of Safety and Occupational Health for IMA.

      Training will be customized to each person using a risk assessment of driving behavior and habits. The driver's safety course is expected to motivate people to improve driving skills, Owens said.  Awareness of aggressive driving, defensive-driving techniques and avoiding distractions will be emphasized through the course.

      Discussion of driving under the influence, substance abuse, child safety and weather factors also are included in the online training program, which takes about an hour to complete.

      Driving accidents - both in Army motor vehicles and privately owned vehicles - are the No. 1 killer of Soldiers, Owens said. More Soldiers have died behind the wheel in fiscal 2005 than in each of the previous 14 years. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2005, Army motor vehicle accidents and privately owned vehicle accidents combined for 68 percent of all military Army accidental fatalities.

      "Soldiers are driving more than ever before and under a wider variety of conditions than they ever did previously. Soldiers must drive everything from passenger cars to Humvees," Owens said. "This contributes to accidents from human error and behavioral factors. The Army also has more Soldiers who have never driven before entering the Army."

      About 25 percent of new Soldiers do not have driver's licenses when they join the Army. Standardized traffic safety courses for everyone who drives in the Army that incorporate awareness, skills and motivation are one of the first steps in reducing accidents and improving combat readiness, Owens said.

      IMA also plans to field in the next year instructors who will hold face-to-face Army Traffic Safety Training Program classes at installations. IMA already is conducting Motorcycle Safety Foundation training at installations. Development of standardized Armywide safety training also is expected to save the Army money.

      "Some commands were spending more than $1 million a year for vehicle safety programs of all types. The programs weren't standardized. We should be able to save the Army millions of dollars with a standardized course." Owens said. "It's better for Soldiers, as well, because it is common training they will carry through their Army careers."

      To enroll for the online course, visit Army Knowledge Online, https://www.us.army.mil.  Click "Training" under the self-service menu, and then register through the Army's Learning Management System. In the welcome window, click on "Training Catalog." This opens a search window, where a user should enter "Army" in the product name block. Then register for the Army Traffic Safety Program, Accident Avoidance Course for Army Motor Vehicle Drivers. Users will receive an e-mail confirming registration. To access the online course, open "Registrations" under the welcome ALMS welcome page. Click on "Transcripts," and then click on "Contents." Open "Army POV 1-3" to complete course.

      "The Army is committed to the public health and safety of our Soldiers and civilian employees.  We're convinced we can prevent the senseless deaths and injuries that can result from irresponsible behavior behind the wheel," Owens said.  

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