MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- As the end of the year approaches, Marines and sailors with 2nd Marine Division find themselves planning for multiple holiday weekends, one of which is considered one of the most heavily traveled; thanksgiving.
Service members must plan ahead to ensure the travel safely over these holidays. A few items they should be aware of when planning their trip are warning signs to include aggressive driving, annual maintenance of your vehicle and night travel.
“Failure to plan is planning to fail,” said Jordan Pickett, the Marine Corps Installations East safety manager. “Marines traveling during late hours of the days, and young drivers seem to be common characteristics of accidents involving Marines from this base.”
Planning helps Marines prepare for travel. Throughout 2nd Marine Division, Marines are currently preparing themselves and their vehicles for the upcoming holiday season.
“I am bringing my car into the shop,” said Cpl. Christopher Greene, a Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear warehouse noncommissioned officer. “I am having the mechanics check all the fluid levels under the hood, like oil and anti-freeze. They are checking the transmission and fan belt. Also, I am having them do a complete tune up.”
Fixing your vehicle is only the first step, there are other dangers to plan for. Marine must be aware of other drivers. They must watch for the way others drive and deteriorated condition of their vehicle
“Attitude of drivers is a main concern of ours,” Pickett said. “Some warning signs of aggressive drivers are people changing lanes multiple times in less then a mile distance without signaling, tail gaiting, speeding and racing. The sudden starts and stops at red lights and stops signs are more signs of aggressive driving.”
Travelers must also plan for driver fatigue. Planning their travel during daylight hours and rest stops are a few ways to avoid fatigue.
“If Marines plan out their trip with scheduled stops and plenty of rest before they leave it will help them get to and from their location safely,” Pickett explained.
As all Marines have heard time and time again, safety is paramount. They will need to return back to base safe and sound to stay in the fight.
“More accidents happen off base then on base,” he said. “Marines seem to get the ‘it will never happen to me mentality’ once they get outside the gates. That train of thought is what gets Marines in trouble.”
For Greene and his fellow division Marines, their job is to deploy. In order for them to do this, they need to be healthy and safe while in garrison.
“Marines have a long and proud history based upon solid values and established traditions,” Pickett said. “One of those is that Marines take care of each other. This is the only way the Marine Corps will continue into the upcoming centuries.”