(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — December is National Impaired Driving Prevention month. We encourage you to commit to driving safely and undistracted.

Decisions made while driving any type of vehicle or motor craft under the influence of alcohol, or any other controlled substance, can have far-reaching consequences. These actions negatively affect individual, family and unit readiness along with the safety and welfare of others inside the vehicle or on the roadways, leading to injury or death.

In Missouri, 59 percent of roadway fatalities involve occupants not using seatbelts; alcohol use is also a factor. Other factors contributing to accidents this time of year include low visibility, inclement weather, wildlife on roadways, breaking speed limit laws, and driving while drowsy or distracted. Driving distracted — whether fatigued, using a mobile device or any other activity that takes attention away from the task of driving — has similar consequences as driving impaired.

We are members of an honored Profession. Our Values and our Ethic require us to abide by all laws and safety guidelines and set the example for others. We want every leader to talk to their teammates about safety, risk management and stopping behaviors that lead to preventable driving accidents.

We also want leaders to have discussions about desired safe behaviors such as inspecting vehicles; checking weather forecasts; stocking supplies and remaining fueled up for emergencies; alternating drivers; communicating plans to loved ones and your unit; always wearing safety belts and ensuring all in your care do the same; following speed limits including school zones; always driving undistracted and unimpaired; and being available and connected to battle buddies who need safe transportation or a listening ear.

We need you all safe this month and every month to accomplish our missions here at Fort Leonard Wood. We appreciate you and are very proud to serve with you.

Victory Starts Here — Victory Through Skill!