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USNA News Center

Memorial Day Safety Message


Memorial Day, formerly called Decoration Day, originally commemorated the Union and Confederate soldiers of the American Civil War.  It later included honoring all Americans that served in all wars.  The Memorial Day holiday weekend begins the summer safety campaign known as the 101 Critical Days of Summer; that period between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day.  The summer season brings the potential for increased risk. Why is that?

  •    More people on the roadways
  •    More water recreation
  •    More sporting activities
  •    More partying

With that in mind let’s look at a few safety tips that we can use as we plan our travels.

  •      Proper tire inflation will ensure your tires are up to the travel marathon and provide the proper traction for braking.
  •      Don’t stop at the tires; give the whole vehicle a check.  Fluids are vital to keeping your vehicle running cool.
  •      Clean your windshield and lights so you can see and be seen.
  •      Plan on using TRiPS to assess and mitigate any unnecessary risks. TRiPS is available at https://TRIPS.SAFETY.ARMY.MIL
  •      Keep a summer driving emergency kit with plenty of water and snacks in case you get stranded.
  •      Wear your seatbelts and ensure children are properly secured in safety or booster seats.  Remember, 75% of those ejected from a vehicle will be killed.
  •      Devote 100% of your attention to the driving task.  Distractions such as cell phones, eating, and programming the GPS can have deadly consequences.
  •      Watch for motorcycles.  They can be difficult to see so, look again.
  •      Slow down.  The chance of a crash nearly triples when driving faster than surrounding traffic.
  •      Every day, almost 30 people die in the USA in alcohol related traffic crashes.  This is a no-brainer, keep alcohol out of the mix if any driving, boating, or swimming is involved.
  •      Rest up.  Get plenty of sleep the night before leaving and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
  •      Have some fun!

Let’s not forget to celebrate the sacrifices so many have made for our country.  If you are staying close to DC for the weekend, think about participating in the Rolling Thunder Run which begins on Friday, 23 May at 9PM with a candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and continues to Monday with other tributes throughout the weekend.  See the event site at  or join other Maryland Memorial Day celebrations listed at

NSA Annapolis  Safety Office wish all that serve a happy and safe Memorial Day.  

Category: General Interest