Motor vehicle accidents, primarily in sedans and other passenger vehicles, remained the No. 1 cause of Soldier deaths during the quarter. However, fatal motorcycle accidents fell by half from the same timeframe in fiscal 2011, a year that ended with an 18 percent increase in deaths related to riding. On-duty fatalities rose slightly during the quarter, due largely to a 25 percent increase in aviation fatalities.

"Although we started the year with some challenges, the good news is our Soldiers and leaders are looking out for one another like never before," said Brig. Gen. William T. Wolf, director of Army Safety and commander, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center at Fort Rucker, Ala. "Leaders engaging with Soldiers, and Soldiers engaging with their buddies, is key to driving accidents down and continuing our Army's achievements in safety."

Indiscipline is a top concern off duty: speed, nonuse of seat belts and alcohol were confirmed as contributing factors in several fatal motor vehicle accidents during the first quarter.

"A Soldier is a Soldier 24/7 -- their obligations to the standard don't end with the duty day," Wolf said. "We need our young leaders and Soldiers to apply their engaged, on-duty approach to off-duty activities. We challenge them to assess risks in everything they do. They owe it to themselves, their buddies, and their families to step up, be leaders, and take corrective action to save lives."

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ADDITIONAL DETAILS: This week, the USACR/Safety Center released an updated series of risk assessment tools designed to help Soldiers identify risky behaviors in themselves and their buddies, both on and off duty. The Battle Buddy and Individual Risk Assessments complement the existing Leader's Risk Assessment, and all three tools are available at The cards feature a brief questionnaire to determine risk factors and a listing of resources to assist Soldiers seeking help with safety issues.

Page last updated Mon January 9th, 2012 at 16:45