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Aviano kicks off 101 Critical Days of Summer

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- It’s that time of the year again, the time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, commonly known as the 101 Critical Days of Summer.

Air Force safety statistics have shown that this period has traditionally been a period of increased mishaps, especially those occurring in off-duty activities.

The leading causes of fatal mishaps have been in off-duty private motor vehicle mishaps; the second highest number has involved water sports and drowning. Because most of us travel, and many of us participate in water sports, it’s important to be aware of the risks and never assume that it won’t happen to you.

Last summer, 29 Airmen failed to properly assess the risks associated with their activities and took unnecessary chances. Those chances resulted in their deaths.

Whether you’re at a backyard party, beach barbecue, driving across country on vacation, playing softball, or just swimming in the sea, every activity has risks and you need to be aware of them. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and lose situational awareness to what’s going on around you. Only you can assess the risks of your actions and activities you participate in. Only you can take appropriate actions to reduce or eliminate them.

Summer after summer, too many of our fellow Airmen fail to assess the risks and weigh the consequences of their actions. They pay the ultimate price -- with their life. Some choose not to wear a helmet, some choose not to wear their seatbelts, some drive way too fast for conditions, and some choose to swim in unsafe waters. People die because they choose to ignore warning signs or rules or choose to take a shortcut.

As we enter into our summer season and the 101 Critical Days of Summer, we at the 31st Fighter Wing Safety Office invite you to take a short time-out and think about your safety and the safety of others.

Whether you’re at home, at the beach, or at work, you should be alert to your surroundings and make smart decisions to reduce or eliminate unnecessary risks. Ask yourself, “If I take the risk can I live with the consequences?” Don’t become a statistic. The choice is yours, so make it a safe one.