Written by Dale Wisnieski
For Coast Guard members, the holidays provide for much-needed quality time with friends and family. The traditional holiday activities and quiet time are something we all look forward to.
The number of vehicles on America’s highways greatly increases during the holiday season. The American Automobile Association, AAA, estimates that during the holiday season, nearly 95 million Americans will hit the road, traveling long distances to visit friends and family. Unfortunately, during the end-of-year holiday travel period, nearly 27,900 Americans will be seriously injured in auto accidents, and more than 250 will be fatal.
In an effort to assist military members in their travel plans, the Department of Defense, managed by the U.S. Army, provides each service with a travel-planning tool known as the Travel Risk Planning System, more commonly known as TRiPS.
TRiPS is an on-line, automated risk assessment tool developed to help mitigate risk and reduce fatalities among personnel driving a private motor vehicle or motorcycle outside the local area.
In May 2015, TRiPS was updated to provide users a more stable platform and is accessible on any devise with Internet access. In addition, users are no longer required to register for a TRiPS account and may use their personal email addresses, eliminating the need for CAC login.
As you prepare to travel to holiday destination, members are encourage to advantage to this useful tool when making their travel plans. Members can access trips through the Coast Guard’s shore safety webpage.
Off-duty motor vehicle mishaps don’t just occur on the way to and from our destinations, they are more likely to occur after we arrive. When with friends and family we sometimes forget the little things such as using seatbelts, and driving after drinking. We continue to stress seatbelts and driving under the influence because many of our members would be alive today had they planned their outing.
Coast Guard members put their lives at risk rescuing people who don’t take the simplest safety precautions. Take five minutes before each activity to implement appropriate safety measures. Doing so may just save your life.
Coast Guard members work hard and are committed to their mission, their country and the citizens they serve. There is nothing more comforting than to spend time with the ones we love. Have a safe and happy holiday; you have earned it!