Spring has sprung – Safety officials say time is now to prepare for outdoor seasonal activities

By Eric PilgrimApril 2, 2024

Safety officials say the time is now to prepare for outdoor spring and summer activities
Safety officials are urging Fort Knox personnel and family members to start preparing now for the change in weather during the spring and summer seasons. (Photo Credit: Eric Pilgrim, Fort Knox News) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Old man winter is likely hibernating for much of the rest of 2024.

While he sleeps, officials at the Fort Knox Safety Office say now is the time to start preparing for the busy outdoor activities of spring and summer. Those celebrated activities often include travel and water.

“Good sunny weather seems to bring people out,” said Bobby Jenkins, safety officer at Fort Knox Safety. “People are more confined to their homes and offices in the winter. Then the warmer weather energizes them, and sometimes the transition from a sedentary to a very active lifestyle doesn’t go well, which can be dangerous.”

Because of these concerns, Fort Knox has established a safety campaign to remind people to think and plan before they go outdoors and do. Jenkins said one of their biggest concerns is motorcycle safety.


Safety officials say the time is now to prepare for outdoor spring and summer activities
Motorcycle safety is a big concern at Fort Knox. Officials are encouraging riders to participate in the four safety check rides that are offered during the spring and summer months. (Photo Credit: Eric Pilgrim, Fort Knox News) VIEW ORIGINAL

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, motorcycle riders and passengers are at the highest risk of fatal injuries of traffic crashes in the United States every year. Though only 0.6% of all vehicle miles were traveled by motorcycles, cyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities – 5,579 in 2020 alone. The top two reasons were listed as excessive speed and alcohol consumption.

As a result, the office sponsors four safety check rides each year.

“The motorcycle rides are intended to raise awareness of our personnel out there in the communities,” said Jenkins. “It also helps new riders get accustomed to riding in groups, obeying speed limits and enjoying some of the back roads of Kentucky.”

The first two rides have been approved: April 19 and May 10. The last two, July 12 and Sept. 20, are expected to be approved sometime later in the year.

Water sports.

Another issue that Jenkins wants people to be aware of involves the water.

“As the hotter months approach, people want to get out on the water,” said Jenkins. “If you’re going to buy a boat, do your homework. Make sure you know all the rules and that you know the waterways that you’re going to be on.”

Jenkins said while people can be tempted to drink alcohol while boating, he doesn’t recommend even having it on the boat at any time.

“Keep the alcohol for later,” said Jenkins. “Alcohol and water don’t mix very well.”

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 4,040 recreational boating accidents occurred in 2022, resulting in 636 deaths and over 2,200 injuries. Of those victims whose cause of death was listed as drowning, 85% of them were not wearing life vests. Alcohol use was considered the leading cause of death.

Coast Guard officials reported that 74% of the deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instructions.

“They don’t require a driver’s license to drive a boat – maybe there should be,” said Jenkins. “However, operators are under the umbrella of the law,” said Jenkins. “Operating any vehicle under the influence is still a crime.

Remember safety.

Jenkins said a lot of the accidents that occur in the spring and summer have at least something to do with the increased amount of people who are getting outside to enjoy the weather.

“A lot more people are out and maybe distracted by what they’re planning on doing,” said Jenkins. “People are ready for winter to be over. So, while you’re out doing things, know that a lot of other people are out doing things, too.

“Be aware of your surroundings; look out for each other.”

Safety officials say the time is now to prepare for outdoor spring and summer activities
Safety officers say by all means enjoy the warmer weather; just do so safely. (Photo Credit: Eric Pilgrim, Fort Knox News) VIEW ORIGINAL